In memory of . . .
Today is the second anniversary of the passing of my husband. In some ways, this second year was harder than the first. I wouldn’t have believed that. In fact, when my attorney gave me a copy of a human interest article from the New York Times written by Jane Brody on that very subject, I was skeptical. Yet Brody was right. The second year is harder than the first.
During that first year there are so many things to do. Deal with all the legal and financial aspects of a spouse’s death. Figure out whether you’re going to stay in the family home or sell it. Find another place to live when you do decide to sell it. Get the house in shape to sell. List the house. Decide whether to accept a less than desirable offer. Figure out what to do with everything in the house that you can’t take with you. Have an estate sale. Move. Get settled into the new place. Take care of all the address changes and all the legal and financial details concerning the move.
There’s so much to do you barely have time to think. And throughout, your children, your friends, your family . . . constantly worry about you and check on you. You get so many invitations from so many well-meaning and loving people, you never feel alone.
And then comes the second year. By now everyone realizes you’re pretty capable of existing on your own. People stop worrying about you. The invitations dwindle. Anniversaries come and go and no one but you seems to notice. That’s when your loss really sinks in. Your partner is gone. That message was hammered home on Dick’s birthday this past July. All day I kept thinking about the last birthday of his we’d celebrated together. I couldn’t stop remembering how upset he’d been (his cancer had advanced; he knew he was not going to get better) and how he’d tried to pretend otherwise. How we’d both tried to pretend otherwise. All in all, it was a miserable day.
I thought about all the times I could have been more understanding. All the ways I could have made things easier for him to bear. All the times I should have told him how much I would miss him when he was gone and hadn’t.
I realize regrets are normal. Only perfect people have no regrets, and I’m far from perfect. But on this second anniversary of his passing, I just wanted to say there’s one thing I’ll never regret, and that’s making the decision to spend my life with him to begin with. RIP, Dick. You’re not forgotten.