Sunday, July 17, 2016

Sunday Stroke Survival: It's Complete, Sort Of

Today is the first anniversary of my husband's death. Goes by quick when settling an estate, as well as mourning and going on with my life. Still after a year, tears will roll down my face at times, and I still expect to see him in the house. I'm technically finished with the grieving process and it's the end of the official mourning period. I say technically because it's not over. It is ongoing and will be, but there are days when he doesn't cross my mind or I try to talk to him. He's not here constantly, but still in my heart.

I still wear my twentieth anniversary wedding set he bought me. I'm not ready to take them off. Honestly, I may never will be, but that's okay. I don't have to. Another widow friend from my Golden Isles church told me when I went back for my family reunion. It helped to be given permission. Her husband has been gone nine years now, but it seems like it was yesterday too. It seems like my old church has always been filled with widows, widowers, as well as married and single folks. Great people all. It will always be my church.

I still have bouts of anger towards my hubby for leaving. Like when part of his estate wouldn't sell. It has always been part of the plan to "see me through" after he was gone. I could have sold it for 1% of value. Not a chance, I do know it's value and won't accept less than 30-40%. My husband would be a very angry spirit if I had sold it for 1%. Or, like when I went home for the family reunion tried to walk out the back door and couldn't. The big oak tree in the back yard had come down in a nasty storm a couple of weeks earlier. No, it didn't hit the house, but it and the subsequent rain has totally destroyed my game house and all it's contents (pool table, antiques, nostalgia paraphernalia). I had to deal with the insurance company instead of him. The adjuster couldn't come out until the day I had to leave to come back because of numerous appointments in north Georgia. I'm still trying to get up with him via telephone. All of this happens as I'm trying to clear the house of possessions to sell it. The house should be empty and ready to clean by the end of the month with yet another trip 6 1/2 hours away.

Then there are the moments that pull at my heart strings like our newest grandson being born on his birthday this year. My daughter is naming him Murphey in honor of my husband. My husband will never get to hold him, love him, or teach him "the big bird." We had one other grandson by marriage who shared my husband's birthday with him. That boy is in college now. My husband left him his telescope that they used to watch the stars with to remind him to always reach for them.

I'm finally getting the back income from Social Security that they have owed me since his death a year ago! It isn't chump change. It's five months worth of payments. GRRRR!!! Nothing about my husband dying has been easy, but then again, nothing ever has been for me. I should have demanded interest, but I didn't. Next year about this time, I should qualify for Medicare. I'm crossing my fingers. My medical insurance cost will drop drastically when it takes effect which will be a blessing. I really don't think it will drop my pharmacy bill that much unfortunately.

With Medicare, the amount of coverage I receive should overlap and maybe even extend some. I know the deductible will drop. No copays or half copays will help with doctor visits. It will make driving to Athens (an hour away) easier on my pocketbook. Yes, there are neurologists closer, but I like mine.

All in all, on the anniversary of my husband's death, I'm coping pretty well.  I've had a few nightmares both waking and during sleep, but it all works out in the light of a new day. I'm adjusting. My biggest was moving away from what was comfortable and usual. It was a huge step for me, but a necessary healing one.

So today, once again, I start a new chapter in my life. I still have a few chapters to live before I join my beloved. Although, I really didn't want to. But join him, I will for all eternity. "Honey, I'm coming, but not today." Tomorrow is the first day of the rest of my life. Me, with half a functioning body, is doing quite well post stroke. Nothing is the same or usual, but that's okay. For...
Nothing is impossible.


  1. Hi Jo - you've certainly had loads going on ... but thankfully you have a way of turning that 'lump of difficulties' over and getting some positives and opportunities from the events ...

    With thoughts and many of them for you and your future - Hilary

  2. {{{{hugs}}}} for the anniversary and the moving on.

  3. Joyce Carol Oates wrote "on the first anniversary of her husband's death, the widow should think: I kept myself alive."

    So pat yourself on back for surviving the very tough first year. I know how hard it is and how hard it continues to be for me. Could relate to everything you posted. Hang in there. You're doing a great job.


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