The grieving process

It’s been six months since Sandy died. Anyone who has lost a spouse, a mother, a son, or a close friend knows what these past few months have been like. At first, I couldn’t sleep at night and I couldn’t stay awake during the day. My stress levels were high. Tears would flow without notice. I saw a man on the subway carrying flowers I assumed he was taking home to his wife. That used to be me. I stood there and openly wept.

Family and friends have been very supportive. Without them, I couldn’t have made it this far. I worked in “our” garden most days this past summer. Sandy always called it her healing garden because she was diagnosed with cancer shortly after we moved to this house. She rebuilt what had been here and made it her own. Sandy always liked to move plants to new places; I was the designated digger. I used to call it “plants on wheels.” If she had been alive this past summer, I would have been moving all kinds of things. But, you know, everything came up perfectly. There was something in bloom from May to November. There were plenty of different heights, shapes, leaves, and colours. Her vision was finally complete although she could not enjoy it in the flesh.

I still wear my wedding ring. After 46 years of marriage, it’s just a habit. I keep fresh flowers on her bedside table. I come across notes she made and catch my breath. For a long while, I talked to her in the bedroom as if she were still there. I’ve stopped doing that because I know she’s watching. I don’t need to report.

Who knows how long this will go on. Probably forever in some form. And that’s OK, too. In fact, that’s exactly how I want it. It’s almost like Sandy never left. Almost.

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