1 year anniversary

pdcraig

Distinguished member
Joined
Mar 2, 2013
Messages
101
Reason
Lost a loved one
Diagnosis
09/2012
Country
CA
State
ontario
Hi everyone,

it been a very long time since I was here. I needed to take a step back.

Years ago, we had done personality tests, basic extrovert vs introvert. It was based on how you recharged. Did you feed off of the energy of a crowd or did you need time alone. I fall into the latter. I find being around people all the time exhausting, need my alone time.

Of course every grief counsellor tells you to get out, be around people, don't be alone. I found it rather stressful and draining being around people. It always felt like I was putting on a show. I'm doing okay, everything is fine. Not wanting people to worry about me but honestly, it was not soothing or comforting, at least not for me. Eventually I kind of backed off, kept in touch but from a distance. Honestly, after the last 6 years, all I wanted was some peace.

It's very hard to explain to people that yes I am fine, but no things are not okay. It's really okay that things aren't great right now. It's perfectly fine to be sad, to cry, to mourn. No it's not "over". No, it's not a straight line from point A to point B. I'm not getting through anything, over anything nor do I need to be getting on with my life. I never stopped living my life, took quite an unexpected turn, sure, but it's a journey like any other, I'll get there on my own, in my own time, just like always.

I do realize it came from a place of caring and concern but seriously, I'm not going to shatter. I'm good.

i always thought Ferd being sick and being his caregiver was the worst experience imaginable. Wouldn't trade a minute of it, but wouldn't wish it on anyone. This part is worse. A surreal, different kind of worse.

Sometimes it feels a bit like a dream, did this really happen? How did I ever do that? How can he not be here anymore? This is not the way it was supposed to be.

I think the hardest part of grief or grieving is to allow yourself to just be. Be sad, be happy, laugh, cry, sell the house, stay, go get help, don't get help, get rid of everything, keep everything. Doesn't matter what anyone else thinks or expects, be honest with yourself and what you need. It's your path, no one else knows you like you do. There is no right way or wrong way, just your way. For me, it meant spending far more time alone than anyone else thought was healthy. I know this isn't a new thought, it comes up here all the time but it really does bear repeating. It's far too easy to get caught up in other people's ideas or expectations of how things should be. Kind of reminiscent of being a CALS, always somebody ready and willing to tell you how it should be or what you're doing wrong.

I've made it through all of the firsts, our birthdays, Christmas, spent New years with his family which was unexpectedly a lot of fun, made it through our anniversary on Valentine's Day. All pretty good. Better than I thought really. Sure I miss Ferd, probably always will but the memories make me smile most of the time. I remember the goofy things we did, laughing together, hearing him sing, sometimes just how insufferable he could be about things. I even did a bit of peer counselling for a new CALS who lives near me. Doing okay, sure there are moments, but normally, just moments. Then the 22nd of April rolled around. Hit me like a truck.

I was talking with a colleague about how hard a time I was having. How it had taken me a bit by surprise after all of this time and getting through all of the other things without feeling this way. She replied it wasn't strange at all. For all of the other things, I had 20 years of great memories to draw on. This was different, all I had for this were memories of pain and loss. No mystery at all. Didn't make me feel better or shed any fewer tears but it did make me realize this is okay too. A year ago, yesterday, I was at Ferd's funeral. That's where the surreal part kicks in, how can that be?

But I've got this, I can do this. We can all do this. We've already been through one impossible experience being CALS already. keep taking it one step at a time, just like always.

It's hard coming back here. Unfortunately, it ends the same for all of us. Sue, Becky, Lenore, Nina and to everyone who is here, my heart goes out to you, I wish I could have been here to offer the support you all showed me. This family we have here is never far from my thoughts. Really an incredible group of people.

I wrote something for the memorial I'd like to share. I think most of us could have written something similar.

Paul

Prince of Persistence

--o0:|0o--

The Loudest Silence

Right from the start, completely done in
By your beautiful voice, that mischievous grin
When you walked in a room, it made my heart pound
You lit up my life, you filled it with sound
Awkward hugs, misplaced kisses, who knew I would miss them
The percussion, our steps, as we danced in the kitchen
We laughed, and we sang, we bickered and fought
My own ever after, at least that's what I thought
Not one of us perfect, but perfect as one
Maybe dysfunction, but we were the fun
This unlikely pairing, of you and of me
Hand in hand, going forward, united as we
But fate can be cruel, relentless, unkind
The path hard to walk, as it twists and it winds
Through heartache and loss, through sorrow and pain
To that one final place, not to see you again
But we travelled that road, all its dips and its bends
Your hand still in mine, right up to the end.
No longer together, no more us, only me
My solace, just this, you are finally free
In the dark of the night, I don't see you in dreams
No visits at midnight, not sure what that means
Was nothing unfinished, no words left to say
Or you know how unwilling, I'd wake to the day
I remember your smile, and still hear you sing
Your absolute faith, I could do anything
The stillness,it echoes, in this house we called home
Completely unsure, how to do this alone
The quiet enfolds me, so thick and so dense
Here, without you, the loudest silence
 

Attachments

affected

Guru status reached
Joined
Apr 26, 2013
Messages
11,871
Reason
Lost a loved one
Diagnosis
05/2013
Country
OZ
State
home
Beautiful Craig I could relate to it all.

April 22 was 5 years since my Chris died. It was a really tough one, harder than last year, but then not as bad as the first couple.

Surreal - yep.

Introvert - yep.

Beautiful tribute, such a heartfelt sharing.

You are following your heart and that is the most important thing as only you experience the grief, so you decide how to get through it. hugs mate
 

lgelb

Forum Supporter
Moderator
Joined
Nov 5, 2009
Messages
7,663
Reason
Lost a loved one
Diagnosis
09/2009
Country
US
State
WA
"The loudest silence" indeed surrounds all of us past CALS at times. Thank you, Paul.

There is no right or best way to get through, only your own way.

Best,
Laurie
 
Last edited:

Jrzygrl

Senior member
Joined
Feb 14, 2017
Messages
554
Reason
Lost a loved one
Diagnosis
08/2014
Country
US
State
NJ
I was just thinking about you yesterday, Paul. Wondering how you were. I am glad to hear you are making your way. Like my college-age kids would say - "You do you". Hugs.
 

wishmobbing

Senior member
Joined
Dec 5, 2017
Messages
722
Reason
Lost a loved one
Diagnosis
07/2017
Country
DE
State
Germany
Paul, how good of you to check in, as always with some very fitting thoughts. Sorry to hear that first bad anniversary smacked you down. But like you said: it's okay to not be okay.
Today could have been our 17th anniversary. Well, it wasn't. It was one of the best days I had in a long time surprisingly.
I'll keep your colleagues words in mind for that first bad anniversary in August.

Thank you for the beautiful poem and the very winning picture.
 

Narrowminded

Extremely helpful member
Joined
Apr 30, 2016
Messages
2,515
Reason
Lost a loved one
Diagnosis
07/2007
Country
US
State
PA
Paul so good to see you. I’ve been thinking of you as well, wondering how you were doing.

Don’t worry about not being here, I get it. I too am introverted and the “how are you doing” question started getting annoying after a while even tho I know it was meant for good.

Our anniversary was in Feb and nearly did me I being so soon after. Easter wasn’t too bad. We will see as the year goes along.

You are correct everyone has to go their own way, there isn’t a right way nor a wrong way.

I loved your poem and could totally relate. Thank you for sharing.

I still owe you that hug.

Hugs
 

Lkaibel

Forum Supporter
Very helpful member
Joined
May 9, 2016
Messages
1,317
Reason
Lost a loved one
Diagnosis
06/2016
Country
US
State
MN
Paul, great to hear from you!

Yep, I’m not okay but that’s alright.

That Loud silence fills my house and my life too.
 

texastc

Distinguished member
Joined
Aug 30, 2015
Messages
269
Reason
Lost a loved one
Diagnosis
09/2013
Country
US
State
Texas (TX)
Glad you're good. I'm about 3.5 yrs down the road and good too, just like you. I could comment on every paragraph, chime in and agree and elaborate.
Beautiful tribute.

tc
 
Top