Tuesday, April 8, 2014

On Tears

Dear John,
 
I hated not talking to you last night! I got home from the party just in time to put on pjs and watch  UK lose. UConn won the men's tournament last night and the women's tonight - it's been an amazing year for them. I'm proud of our boys. Neither I nor anybody else would have dreamed that we'd get so far with a freshman team. It was a good year.
 
Today I've been pondering an especially annoying thing about widowhood. I've realized that I can burst into tears any time - all I have to do is think of the right things. I've never been a crier. I've always hated for anybody to see me cry, and I've never done it very much. But now I can cry any time at all. It's annoying.
 
I have a pretty good grip on it these days. I haven't had to run out of a store crying in over a year. I managed not to cry during memorial prayers for you Sunday morning, but only by driving my fingernail into one of my nailbeds. (Don't worry - it's a trick that most women know.) I can control it now. But it's always there, just under the surface. If there was a market for it, I could make a fortune crying on cue.
 
I know you didn't want things to be like this for me, but you also knew there wasn't anything you could do about it. Many times over the years, you'd start telling me that you wanted me to be happy and go on with my life if you died before I did. I'd let you go on for a while, then I'd say that I wanted the same thing for you if I died first. And you'd always stop, and I'd see your face change as you imagined what that would be like. And you'd understand.
 
We both knew it would be terrible to be the one left here. And I can now tell you that it's much worse than we ever thought. We didn't know about the loss of purpose, the loss of identity, and so many other things that go with being left here. But we also didn't know about all the people who would be so kind, like insurance companies and government offices - people from whom I would never have anticipated compassion. We didn't know how helpful it is to have Facebook and Pinterest in the middle of the night, or that I would find such a lovely group of widow-friends here in cyberspace. I had no idea how relaxed you get about life when the worst thing that can ever happen to you has happened, or how freeing it is to not care about anything anymore. I had no idea that our dog would rescue cats, who would then rescue me.
 
In Sunday's sermon, Father talked about the appropriateness of wanting to go to Heaven. I've learned that it's true that where your treasure is, there your heart is, also. My treasure is in Heaven, my heart is in Heaven, and sadly, the rest of me is here. It's hard right now, waiting for the two-year anniversary to get here on Sunday. It will be Palm Sunday - I don't know if I'll join in the celebration or if my heart will jump straight into Holy Week. We'll see.
 
But, no matter what my heart decides to do, you are safe at home. And that is good. Please pray that I can join you soon.
 
So ready to be with you again,
Joan.

No comments:

Post a Comment