The Healing Corner: Abbe's Story


…death ends a life, but not a relationship. --Tuesdays with Morrie

…the pain can be as deep with different types of relationship. Each one has their own meaning to an individual.

It’s very ironic that this month marks 40 years since my mom’s death. Feb 2nd also marked 100 months since my husband Ray died.

40 years without my mom. That figure in itself is unbelievable. I was a teen--a somewhat rebellious one at that. She never saw me graduate from high school. She never met my husband, she never met my children. I would think I’ve become a woman that she dreamed about raising. I feel confident that I’ve made her proud. Not only from the hurdles I’ve overcome, but because even with her long time muscular illness she always blossomed her love with extra hugs and cuddling. I know compassion because of her illness. I know how to relate to a husband because of her family love. I know how to give extra special hugs to my kids.

I remember she had been gone about 6 years when I was newly married. I hated the fact that she hadn’t met Ray or been part of my wedding plans. I had to learn it is what it is and continuing on is an art to master.

We were newly married, and we had a small argument. An argument over nothing that just seemed to magnify for no apparent reason that two strong willed people in battle. I remember like yesterday, how I went into another room when Ray wouldn’t speak to me. I curled up with my knees into my chest and started to cry...more like wailing as I wanted to run to my mom’s arms and try and understand the constant learning event of bonding two people together as in marriage. Ray heard me that night and came to me. He understood my pain of loss. The argument was over and life continued on.

I shudder to think that my kids will say 40 years since their dad died someday.

The loss of a spouse is so different. We learned how to mesh over 25 years in marriage. After Ray died, I had to learn to separate the me from the we. We spent 25 years of falling into step with one another, and now I needed to learn how to step by myself. Solo parenting, solo life.

The majority of people don’t like to talk about death…almost like it’s contagious.

What isn’t understood are the entire dynamics of widowhood. I don’t want to hear about it being the same to a great grandparent, parent, cat. I’m kinda thinking here that not many people have made love with their cat, parent or grandparent. The intimacy at night, the intimacy in the morning. Intimacy is a lot more than just sex…it’s all the casualness and love in a couple.

It’s not the whole picture, but all the little pieces that make life a masterpiece. Walking in the door and nobody to ask how your day was. Nobody in the car to touch your knee while driving. Nobody to grab your butt at the kitchen sink. Nobody to casually speak with while watching television or eating a meal.

I am thankful for the love of life that we shared. I love the fact that I can bring a lot of our values in life and continue on. Sometimes it takes all the inner strength I can muster...time and patience and finding the pieces of peace come together makes its presence known.

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