This weekend was probably the first one that I’ve had, since sometime last year, where I have set my own course. The first weekend since Kevin died where I have decided what to do and who to see. I’ve found through the months since my husband’s death that there was always something to do or someone to see on each and every weekend. It culminated in Christmas and New Year’s Day, where there was a steady flow of family and friends. My sons were here for a visit, and now, this second weekend in January, everyone is gone and things have settled down.
It was okay, having a weekend to self-direct, to plan what I wanted to do. I didn’t find it lonely; I wasn’t consumed by grief or sorrow. Invariably, each and every day, I think about Kevin at some point. I would. I live in the same house we shared for over 20 years – it is full of him, his artwork covers my walls, his books are on the bookshelves. It’s comfortable and comforting to me. I don’t feel any emotional pain from choosing to live here. Sometimes the sheer familiarity of my home can be accompanied by a sense of loss, but it is what it is. I don’t know from one day to the next if I will react to something that exists in my surroundings. Life just continues to unfold in its own crazy, unpredictable way.
After Kevin’s death, as part of a courtesy offered by the funeral home, they gifted me with a six month subscription to a leaflet/help letter on the Grief Counselling I got my last issue this past week. It was written on the recovery phase. With respect to grievers, it states, “One of the greatest mistakes we make during bereavement is to compare our progress with others. There are too many variables in each person’s experiences, personality, and coping mechanisms. No two people will grieve in the same way – or even within the same time frame.” (The AfterLoss Grief Recovery Program, Issue Six, AfterLoss Inc.) My intent is to stop self-analyzing as to whether I am progressing or not. I should not measure where I am at in my sorrow and grieving compared to someone else. There was only one Kevin and only those who knew him can feel his loss – each in their own way; me – in my own way. I miss him, and I finally had a weekend to discover how that would manifest.
So, what did I end up doing this weekend? I went to an afternoon matinee with a friend from work, I went out shopping at a ridiculous time of night (because I could), I cleaned my house, and, finally, I invited family over for Sunday dinner. It all felt quite right.