Yesterday was a weird day. I found myself floundering between joyful and sorrowful. The weather was beautiful. The boys and I are on spring break. The boys were doing ok and we were going to a spring training game…and I was looking forward to it. We had some business to attend to in the morning before the fun could begin. The boys had appointments with the dentist. The dentist’s office is very close to the cemetery where Dave is buried. I rarely go by his grave anymore. The boys don’t often mention it and as helpful as it was for me to go there in the early years…it just isn’t anymore. I don’t want people to think he isn’t loved. I don’t want people to think we’ve forgotten him either…we haven’t. He is still a very important part of our lives…visiting the cemetery isn’t as important anymore. All that said, when I asked if the boys wanted to go by the cemetery on our way home, they said yes. I wasn’t expecting it. They haven’t wanted to go in a long time. Maybe they were having a weird day too…wavering between happy and sad…who knows? So we went. On such a beautiful day, we stood and stared the stone that says my husband is dead. For a brief moment, my breath was gone. I was whisked back to those early moments. No tears, I just had the wind knocked out of me…just for a moment.
When I took my vow with Dave, I said “until death do we part”. So did he. Now, I know this might sound a bit loony…but I challenge that phrase. Death was the furthest thing from my mind that day, well, any day until the day the doctor said his death was imminent. Here’s the next thing, love doesn’t die. Even though Dave is gone, his love endures. His love never left me. It is the painful truth, in my opinion, that death doesn’t part us at all. It definitely changes the physical world around us…we are separated. We don’t see each other, touch each other, or even have each other anymore. What I do still have is his love. I don’t know if he still has mine, but I know I still have his. I can feel it in my heart. I can feel it when the boys do something that is very Davish or when something triggers a memory. His love never left.
As I stood at his grave yesterday, all I could think about was asking him to help with our little one. My baby boy is so angry lately. He just isn’t a happy boy and it seems not to go away…at least when he’s with me. I asked Dave to help me parent. I asked him to help me see what is troubling our sweet, little guy. Did I get an answer? No. Did I feel Dave’s love for me and his children? Yes.
So, as we went to the ball game, I remembered the times we spent at baseball games. As I sat in the warm sun of such a beautiful day, I remembered all those moments that we enjoyed days like that together. There are so many memories, there is so much love, and so much sadness in my heart all at once.
This April it will be seven years since he left me. All these years of striving for survival and healing and it’s still not here. Well, many days it doesn’t feel like it. Can I really heal from being loved though? Is it healing I need or just integration of the physical changes? If integration is what is necessary, I have done that. I have changed my world and have survived. I have not let go of his love though. I can think about it with joy and sorrow now, not only heartbreak. I can parent without always wondering how our lives would be different if he were still here. I can see a future that he doesn’t exist in anymore…but part from him, even with his death, I don’t ever think love will let it happen. He will always be a part of me, his love will always be accessible to me, and so far, I think that’s ok.