Posted in David, death, Facebook, grief

Ides of March

In the four years I have been blogging, I have never gone this long without posting; nearly a month. In the world of blogging, I have just committed professional suicide; anyone who was following me, has given up on me. There is no real excuse; I have begun several postings and then abruptly stopped. Here is one of them;

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Written in my journal, March 11, 2011, 16 days before I would unexpectedly lose my husband;
“This sadness we carry within ourselves, the gaping hole in our heart, is not ours alone, though it feels that way at times. The loss of a loved one is a universal truth we will all have to face at some point in our lives. Entire books have been written about this journey called grief. We can read a dozen of them and imagine how it will be for us. I thought to lose my father was bad enough; to lose my mother was a hundred times worse. I imagine to lose my husband would feel like searing the flesh off my bones.”

I imagine to lose my husband would feel like searing the flesh off my bones.”

I. Had. No. Idea.

February 27th did not slip past me unnoticed. Eleven months since David’s death; that much closer to one year. I began a blog posting that day, and then abandoned it. How many of my readers have tired of my grief, I wondered that day.

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What do you say after that? Because the truth is, even I am tired of my own grief. And it isn’t like the grieving is going to abruptly end on March 27th, the one-year anniversary of David’s death. The next day, March 28th would have been his 62nd birthday. I remember questioning him two years ago as that birthday ending in zero approached. “Does it bother you hitting the big 6-0?” I asked. “Because each of those birthdays ending in zero bother me.”

“Not at all, because think of the alternative.”

Smart man. He had survived cancer and was looking forward to growing old with the woman he loved. And now, he has missed two birthdays. Or more accurately, I have missed spending them with him because I don’t think he is missing anything at all. Not even me. It is those of us left behind who miss a wonderful man.

The month of March brings news about my grandson’s cancer, as well. In three days a CT scan will reveal whether the chemo drug he has taken twice daily for two months is actually doing anything in the way of shrinking the cancer.

I suppose I could explain away my lack of blog postings by saying that I have been dreading this month and the anticipatory dread paralyzed me, not allowing me to write.

On the contrary, I have been writing non-stop; working on my next book and the proposal for it. I’m also working with an editor, chapter by chapter, on Coupon Crazywhich will be released on August 1st.

So, what is it then?

I was too busy cleaning my desk?

desk 002

That was a major milestone, believe me, and one that unearthed only one forgotten reminder of what I am missing; these photo cards from a family trip to Chuck E. Cheese, when even David and I evidently climbed into a machine that makes plastic id cards.

chuck e cheese cards

“Do you have plans on the 27th?”  “Are you going to be okay?”  “Are you dreading the anniversary?”  “You haven’t posted in a while. Are you doing okay?”  These are the kinds of questions well-meaning friends and family have asked in the past couple of weeks, and I appreciate them. It means they care about me, and yes, someone even noticed my lack of blog postings.  And then there was “Why haven’t you gotten rid of David’s Facebook page yet?” Now, that one made me cry, though I know that wasn’t the intention.

No, I haven’t made plans for the 27th. I’m kind of counting on my new grand baby to make an appearance on that day. Elizabeth’s due date is the 28th, David’s birth date. I don’t mind if she waits until then, either. I don’t ask for much. I’d like the 27th to arrive with some sort of fanfare; a vivid dream involving David the night before, a dark butterfly with a blue pattern on its wings fluttering in front of the window, a backyard full of beautiful birds at the feeder, a kitchen light that has shone brightly for 24 hours a day, 365 days, abruptly going dark.

“You are going to be so disappointed if that light doesn’t suddenly go out on March 27th, aren’t you?” my son Daniel correctly surmised one day. (and don’t get any ideas about sneaking in my house during the night and dismantling it, Daniel) 

God usually surprises me in the method he chooses to reach me. I’m waiting to be surprised.

I don’t really have an answer as to why I haven’t removed David’s Facebook page. The family of a friend of mine who died a few months before David kept her page, and occasionally her children post on it, “talking to their mom.” Maybe I wanted my children to have that option, though only my son-in-law, Ben, and I have done so. David never wanted a Facebook page, though he did relish a couple of chats with an old classmate and his sister on it the few times we logged in for him. I set up that page for him. I guess it feels like if I delete it, I am removing all traces (one the Internet) of a man I loved so dearly. So, yes, on March 28th, David’s birthday is going to pop up on the pages of his “friends.”  I suppose I could ask the same question of the person who innocuously asked me why I hadn’t deleted his page.

“Why haven’t you deleted David yet as your friend on Facebook?”

Exactly.

Now go clean your desk.

Author:

Author, public speaker, and workshop presenter for community colleges, libraries, women's groups and for grief support groups, Hospice and retreats. Certified grief counselor and Senior Service librarian for the James Kennedy Public library. Popular public speaker and workshop presenter on the topics of writing, couponing, utilizing your creativity in everyday life, and finding hope in grief. "Coupon Crazy: The Science, the Savings, and the Stories Behind America's Extreme Obsession" was published by Familius Publishing in 2014. "Chemo-Therapist: How Cancer Cured a Marriage" and "Refined By Fire: A Journey of Grief and Grace" were released by Familius in 2014. "Mary & Me: A Lasting Link Through Ink," co-written with Mary Jedlicka Humston of Iowa City, was published in September 2015. Grief journal to be released in 2018.

3 thoughts on “Ides of March

  1. So many things have been deleted already in the past year; there is nothing wrong with leaving David’s Facebook page up indefinitely if you want to! I don’t think I will ever take Greg’s down because the kids and I still post there and find it comforting. I am thinking of you and praying for your daily. I don’t know about you, but in the midst of all the busy that is my life I am still feeling very much in a fog most days. I wonder how long that will last?

  2. Go clean your desk….??? Why do you get to boss me around? My desk is a disaster and needs cleaning so badly that I could cry. And I don’t cry easily. So is God using you to kick me in the backside and make me get started for real? Love you, Mary and pray daily. I thought Jacob’s testing would be last Friday, so I’ve been itching to find out the results. I’m glad to know that I’m not a week behind. ❤

  3. I have been wondering how you have been doing. I knew that this was the month that David died, but I couldn’t remember the day. Yes, leave the Facebook page up. Take your time in doing those kinds of things. I also hope that you hear good news on Jacob, and that Elizabeth will have her baby on the 27th or the 28th. Take care.
    Beth

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