To say that March was a difficult month would be an understatement.
I lost the love of my life, and am slowly learning how to navigate a world without him. We both knew this day was coming, but even after the accident last fall, when his health became so immediately fragile (he had some broken vertabrae in his back which made it even harder to take any kind of a deep breath), we somehow always thought his passing was something in the future. He was here TODAY, and we clung to that. Even when he began in-home Hospice Care, we were optimistic that he would be one of those people who defied the odds. I mean, he always HAD before, so we thought he would just keep going. We joked about the Energizer Bunny, and how thankful we were that he just kept going and going.
Until he didn't.
I was with him when he passed, holding his hand, telling him how much he was loved. I like to think he heard me, but the nurses assured me he was thoroughly sedated - something we insisted on, so he would not feel pain or panic. But whether he heard my last words to him or not, I have no doubt he knew, because we said those words to each other pretty much every day of our marriage and meant them, even when it was a challenge.
And now it's just me, without someone to consult about important decisions, without someone to bounce ideas off, without someone to hold and care for....my literal other half. I remember saying to him once that I would not even know how to be ME, without HIM. He thought it was a silly statement, but it's true. A part of me went with him.
In the midst of all this, there are some very important decisions to be made. Both space and financial considerations mean a move, and sooner rather than later. A house? A condo? And where? I'm strongly leaning toward staying here in Lancaster County, where I have a strong support system, and am only a train ride away from our daughter Courtney. But I'm also dreaming a bit about the mountains of western North Carolina, where John and I always dreamed of living or retiring.
There's also much work to be done...more paperwork and legal details than I'd ever imagined, and of course, painting awaits at the studio table, and a now desperately overdue commission schedule. I must get back to it, and soon...and trust that as ever, Art Heals.
I would also like to thank everyone who has offered up prayers, all those who attended his funeral Mass, and Celebration of Life earlier in the week, and the many, many kind comments, messages, cards, and very practical gifts of help I've received. I'm overwhelmed, truly, and so grateful for each of you in my life.
There will be some major changes happening, and I will miss him terribly every day of my life. But I'll find my footing, and take comfort in the knowledge he's no longer struggling, and that I will see him again someday. It's all I can do.
Besides, if I fell apart, he'd be the first to come back and tell me to snap out of it. ;)