My view of the world through words & photos
I went to my husband’s grave today.
I really didn’t want to do it. I don’t find as much comfort in visiting his gravesite as some people do when they visit the gravesites of their loved ones. But today is the third anniversary of his death according to the Jewish calendar. And since his mother is Jewish, it was time for us to go.
Each year for the past three years I have recognized this anniversary twice – once according to the Jewish calendar and once according to the Gregorian calendar. I do not look forward to either one.
Each year, I talk with my mother-in-law to confirm the date and a time for us to go. Then I spend hours and days dreading the visit. While I doubt I will ever look forward to it, I have come to understand that the time we spend praying and talking always turns out to be something I cherish.
My husband loved his mother very much. One of the reasons I loved and admired him was because of how he treated and respected her. He showed me this same love, honor and respect. He taught our son that this was how you treated women, and he taught our daughter that this was how a woman should be treated.
I have always considered my mother-in-law a third parent – a blessing I thank God for daily. She welcomed me into their family as another daughter. I call her “Mom” because of her special place in my heart. We do not always agree with each other, but we have always loved and respected each other.
I have been struggling with my emotions and depression the last couple of months. While I no longer have my husband with me, I do have our children, our families and our many, many friends, as well as so many other blessings in my life. Despite all of these good things, I’ve been feeling very low and lost.
It’s been a dark place that I haven’t liked and didn’t want to share with anyone. I didn’t want to make them feel
bad, especially since most of them would not understand what I was feeling or be able to change it. I thought they didn’t need to be burdened with my problems.
These feelings led to my not talking to my parents for several weeks. These feelings led to not reaching out to my mother-in-law until two days before we were to go to the cemetery. These feelings led to a number of bad decisions and inaction during the last several months.
I finally shared my feelings with my parents. While they acknowledged they couldn’t truly understand how I was feeling or how to fix the situation, they did offer insights and encouragement…and, most importantly, they told me they loved me and would always be here for me.
I shared these feelings with my mother-in-law today. She lost her husband just before Bill and I were married, and lost her first-born child when Bill died. She has a better understanding of what I was feeling and shared her insights and support.
While none of them could fix or take away my problems, they did help me to feel better. They reminded me that I wasn’t alone. Logically, I’ve known this is true, but I needed to hear their reassuring and loving words. I needed to hear it from people I loved and respected.
Then tonight, I heard a song on the radio that reminded me I wasn’t alone and I have a reason for being. The song is “Here For A Reason” by Ashes Remain. This is the group’s You Tube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sb9Y_3O2tlQ
My problems are not gone. I’m still a widow who doesn’t want to be. I’m still wrestling with the fact that this is who I am and will be for the rest of my life. I am beginning to feel a little better, a little lighter and a little more optimistic now that I have been given some new perspective.
It’s going to take time to get back to that place of brightness. And having to face September 24th and all its memories is still going to be very hard. Nonetheless, I’m more confident that I can do it with the help of God, my family and friends. And isn’t that what we all need to do each day?