Thursday, January 7, 2010

On Moving On

I have mixed feelings about the new year. I've endured great unhappiness in 2009, but leaving it and moving forward to 2010 and beyond makes me a little nostalgic for the past.

It also makes me a bit afraid that by going forward, I may eventually forget about some important parts of my previous years. I don't want to do that.

It also makes me feel like I'm leaving behind my late husband. So for that reason, here is a slide show I made for him that I'd like to share with you, so he will be a little less forgotten.

For those who never met him, were I to try to sum him up in one sentence, I think I'd say, "He was not your average Joe."

I will never totally forget him, unless someday dementia consumes my mind's precious recollections of him and all his ways. But I have this disturbing feeling right now that he is gradually floating away from me, like a leaf drifting down a bubbling stream. He's in a better place, of course, but it is not here, with me.

There is no guidebook for what I'm going through, at least none I've found very beneficial. Each soul must make their own journey through grief as thick as this.

Sometimes it feels like I'm fighting my way through a very dense jungle, machete in hand, sweat on my brow, tears in my eyes. Am I getting anywhere? In fact, what is my final destination? Is there any end to this misery? None in sight, yet.

Thank you, everyone, for providing support for me on this blog. It is immensely comforting. I'm not sure why. It's sort of like having someone hold the flashlight for you while you're walking in the dark.

So just stay with me, please, for the night is cloudy and moonless, and I am afraid to go on alone.


  1. ((((Donna))))
    What a lovely tribute to a man you loved so very much. I think it's very common to feel as if you worry you'll forget as time goes on, and to be afraid of those feelings. Afraid of moving on as it seems like it's leaving Roger behind. But, I suppose what you need to know is that you could never leave him behind, because he's a part of you. His memory lives "in" you, and that will never, ever go away. Again, I can't even begin to imagine going through what you endured, but know that the best way you can honor his memory is to find a way to keep moving. In other words, what would he say about it? If he could, what would he say to you right now? Stay stuck, stay focused on what was, don't live? Just by looking at your slide show, methinks that is not who Roger was, nor what he'd want for you.

    We're here dear. We'll hold this flashlight for as long as you need us to. Warm hugs to you today.

  2. Donna - Many thoughts, prayers, and good wishes are coming your way today and everyday. I have never been through what the last year has held for you. My wish for you is that every day somehow becomes a little easier than the one before.


  3. He seems like quite a man and I am so sorry for the pain you are going through. There are no words to say to ease your pain but my prayers are with you.

  4. I so understand the conflict you feel. It is a common experience when coping with loss, and it can haunt you as you grieve. Your awareness of it is a sign that you will move through it and come out on the other side intact. The blurring of memory is natural, whether or not Roger was here with you. What is happening now is that new memories aren't being made to occupy and fill your present. But think of it this way. Your life with Roger informed and gave life to who you are now. Your grief and pain is evidence of his impact, and of the impact of your life together. Who you are includes him, and always will. He, and your relationship, is internalized. Moving forward is not a betrayal of him or his memory, but a natural part of growth. You will make the transition in your own time, and it will happen without your conscious awareness. Trust life, even though it has been cruel to you. Surrender to God, who desires your comfort and peace. And count on us to walk with you on this journey and be your light. You are not alone.

  5. I love you. We are all in this together, truly.

  6. Donna--such a gift you have--to see clearly and feel deeply and to be able to express it all. No, you are not leaving Roger behind. Yes, he is a presence within you.
    I have a friend whose husband died about 10 years ago. Recently, in talking with her, she said he is a constant presence with her every day.
    The little bit I know, what you have written and shown in the slide show, Roger is still a presence with you.
    I pray that the keenness of his sudden death will be less painful--although it is most understandable WHY it would be so painful. I pray that 2010 will give you new courage, new strength, new support.
    Thank you for sharing with all of us some of your inner thoughts.

  7. What a place in time you are at right now. I remember when I lost both my parents, I felt like an orphan. I used to always say .. "Life cannot go on with them gone" but it does, and sometimes we feel guilty about it. It is part of the 'process' as everyone calls it.

    Losing loved ones is not about leaving them behind. As others have written above, they are part of who you are. They live on in you and in what you see and do. Yes you now live without their physical presence, and you learn how to go on in a new 'normal' and yes it is very hard.

    Praying for you as the new year begins, that you never forget the joy and love and companionship you have had, Some have never experienced it at all. How blessed you have been.

    Now it is your turn to be the blessing to others. Praying that God can help you thru that and direct you as you continue on the path ...

  8. I've been away from my blog-reading this week. Yes, we're here together, in a way, holding the flashlight. Hugs and prayers coming your way.

  9. Donna,

    I was visiting Jayne's beautiful blog and your post title intrigued me.
    Dear heart, my heart goes out to you. May you know that as others have stated-the flashlight is on for you. I have found that grief is it's own teacher- that in time she might teach you that love never dies, life trumps death and the scales some day between the two will show that his life outweighs his passing. Bless you for courageously, sadly bringing it here...tell his story. It brightens this world for all of us to know such a beautiful man brought such joy, and in your tellings-continues to do so.
    Take care-


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