Grief, Serenade 2 Seniors
THE EMPTY CHAIR OPPOSITE MINE
Before my husband passed away, my birthday had always been a day filled with love and giving. And, I was thankful for what I had. On the first birthday after his passing, his empty chair at the dining room table was a constant reminder of my loss. The knowledge that he would never again sit opposite me as we spoke about our blessings or our problems, caused me a great deal of pain and the effort to remain seated till the end of the meal required determination. Grief was my all-encompassing companion.
The following year on my birthday, the empty chair opposite taunted me, reminding me how alone I really was. It was also a constant reminder that my husband had gone forever.
A full 365 days later, the emotion that sat opposite me on my birthday was resignation, and suddenly, my husband’s absence was almost as much a part of my life as his presence had once been. Amazing as it sounds, I found some comfort in that.
My children missed their father too and we spoke openly about things he’d said and done. I think it was then that I became resigned to the reality of widowhood and was able to be grateful for the good things in my life. I was even able to enoy some of them. I am aware of the fact that many people are in less fortunate positions.
February, 2014, will be four years since my husband’s passing, and I hope by then that I might use the word okay. Missing my husband no longer consumes me as it has become a large part of my daily life. I realized this when I heard myself laughing the other day, and looked across at the empty chair opposite me without flinching.