A Tough Week For Those Who Mourn

Today is my late husband’s birthday, the first without him, and Saturday is Valentine’s Day, so it’s going to be a tough week for me and others who mourn.

Swan Lake Companion Urn

Swan Lake Companion Urn

In the month or so since his death, I’ve had some time to reflect on loss and grief. I’ve lost other loved ones–parents, in-laws, friends and relatives–but I’ve come to realize that some losses are not just harder than others. They are life changing events. The loss of a spouse falls into that category. The day we got the diagnosis of metastatic, stage four bladder cancer, I knew my life had been changed irrevocably. The end came sooner than I’d expected, leaving me adrift and rudderless.

In the past, death was more commonplace. The recent measles outbreak has reminded me that prior to the introduction of antibiotics and other modern medicines, infectious disease was the number one killer worldwide. Yes, people still died of heart attacks, stroke and cancer, as we do today, but far more died from infectious diseases like tuberculosis, influenza, pneumonia, and even measles. Modern sanitation eleminated the outbreaks of water-born disease like choleral and typhus, but it took modern drugs and vaccines to eliminate diseases like polio.

Tuesday night, the local PBS is going to show The Forgotten Plague: Tuberculosis in America. I’m planning to record it since one of my mother’s relatives died from tuberculosis at the age of seventeen, and her Aunt Martha survived the disease.

The Victorians had elaborate rules about funerals and mourning, including the following: “A person in deep mourning does not go into society, or receive or pay visits.” I’m so glad I’m not living in those days, though I have friends who have gone into self-imposed seclusion after losing a spouse. Each person mourns differently, and one size doesn’t fit all. Having to remain isolated for an entire year would drive me mad.

I’m not out partying, of course, but I have been to meetings and spent time with friends over a meal or coffee or to watch TV. Distractions like that are welcome. The house is far too quiet without my husband in it. So tonight I’ll be at Lady Jane’s Salon OC to hear my fellow romance authors read from their books, and on Saturday, I’ll attend the monthly OCCRWA meeting. This will be the first Valentine’s Day in years that I’ve had to buy my own candy, but that’s okay. I’ve been hoarding a See’s Candy gift card for a rainy day, and this is it.

Sorry to be such a downer, but this is my life now. In time, I will feel more cheerful. I hope you all have a good week. Leave a comment below, and don’t forget to enter the Rafflecopter for a chance to win a $10 Amazon gift card & 2015 Mouse Pad Calendar. There’s only a week left to enter and this may be the last drawing for a while.

Linda / Lyndi

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18 thoughts on “A Tough Week For Those Who Mourn

  1. Your husband, I ‘m sure, doesn’t want you to suffer. He is, unseen, close to you.
    What matters in life is not what happens to you but what you remember and how you remember it, says Marquez. The fact you remember him, keeping alive his memory is what counts.
    There are few things one may say in such moments of grief, except that I’m sending you all my positive thoughts.

  2. Linda, so sorry for this hard time ahead of you. Knowing others have followed this sad trail is of little comfort but is the best I can offer. Know I am thinking of you and try staying as busy s possible. It helps ease the passage of time.

  3. The urn is beautiful. I’m so glad you pictured it for us.

    For the living, life goes on unmindful of the pain we feel, doesn’t it? The journey through grief is a personal one, and I’m relieved that you’re able to get out a bit and be with friends.

    Hugs and love.

  4. Oh, Linda, so sorry for the loss of your dear husband. Glad you are still part of OCC. Those friendships are sanity. All my best to you. **Long Distance Hug**
    xo Barbara

  5. Linda,

    You said it…everyone grieves in their own way. Do what makes you feel the best that you can be right now. Your friends are here for you and support you with loving thoughts.

  6. I’m sorry I didn’t know Linda. I believe you’re right everyone deals with this loss in a different fashion. I found Valentine’s Day and other holidays are just a bump in the road but the day we realized he was sick is still a difficult anniversary.
    As much as I am not a fan of excess vaccination (which happens too often with our dogs) ignoring what vaccines have done to improve lives is just not smart.
    You be well

    • I know you’ve been through this before me, Monica. The first year is tough.

      I don’t think anyone is for excess vaccination, but there is a reason why vaccines exist. It’s easy to get complacent when those old diseases seem to have “disappeared” but they are lurking, waiting for us to let down our guard. Herd immunity is important.

  7. I recently came across a letter from the hospice organization reminding me that there is no one set time that is “correct” for mourning. Everyone deals with this in their own fashion at their own speed

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