June 8, 2011. A year since Doug died. This morning, I went for a walk by myself. Instead of my usual pity party, today while walking I tried to think about things I am grateful for.
I am grateful I survived the first year - I think. I know I am grateful for:
- The joy and luck of having Doug first as a co-worker, and then friend, lover and husband over 27 wonderful years.
- What Doug taught me about living and loving.
- That the 52 years he did have were full of joy, challenge, fun, adventure, friendship, love, and making a difference.
- That he did not suffer. He was probably gone before he hit the ground. Most of us would wish that for the people we love and even ourselves.
- That Doug will always be young. He will never have to deal with the deterioration of ability and age, and the pain that too often accompanies injury, illness and aging.
- The kindness and understanding of everyone, including strangers, and the comfort they have offered me.
- For friends and family. They cushioned the blow. Time and time again, they have stood by me, lifted me up, and given me a reason to keep going.
- That I knew I needed help. From the bereavement support group, a grief counselor, websites, and books by people who have been there and done this.
- That Doug was able to donate tissues to help other people see and heal. (More on the real people he helped.)
- That while bereft, I am far from destitute, thanks to Doug. It helps.
- Patrick. He loved his wife of 24 years as much as I loved Doug, yet he survived losing her. That gave me hope. If I had not met him, I doubt I would have made it through the first year. He has pulled me from the wreckage, helped me endure the darkness, and has brought laughter back to my life. He proved to me that, while life will never be the same, it can be good again.
- Those who have celebrated Doug's life and honored his memory.
- Though I do have regrets, I am grateful that we didn't take Doug for granted, and he knew how much we loved him.
- Having so much to miss. It would be sadder still to die and not be missed I think. To have no one notice that someone is missing. The more we love someone, and the more special they were, the harder it is to lose them, and the bigger the hole they leave in our lives.
While I would give anything and everything to have Doug be healthy and alive again, in a way I am also grateful that Doug was not the one left behind.
The love lives on.
June 8, 2011