Today is the anniversary date of my husband Rich’s passing. I recently read a Post on the Soaring Spirits International Facebook page that discussed how we deal with “Our Month”, a time of year when we become hyperaware of a difficult milestone.
Even if we choose to Power Through and act as if it is just another year, month, week…day, there are so many subliminal reminders. Just the way the shadows fall, or the way the light plays on the trees, can be reminders that at this very time of year, you experienced a life-changing event. Many don’t understand that although you may seem to be doing fine, there are private struggles and after a while one gets weary of explaining, or expecting others to understand, so you just stop trying.
I talk to people almost daily who’ve lost a spouse or significant other. Some just months ago, others five years ago or more. The latter still talk about “the waves”; those times for “no apparent reason” we relive our losses like they just happened yesterday. There is no getting around it. We are changed forever no matter how positively we face our days. We can run but we can not hide.
So it’s best to run to a place that has the potential to bring most joy.
I accept this and try to live life in the present because that was Rich’s nature and that is what I can do to honor him. He himself was a strong presence in the world. You knew he had arrived before he even entered a room and always found a way to naturally take center stage wherever he went.
As I prepare to take temporary leave of my home in Georgia to spend time in my newly acquired log home in central Florida I find myself cleaning out numerous closets and chest of drawers that hold memories of my late brother, sister, nephew, dad and of course Rich. My youngest brother Matt passed during the month of October as well at age 39. He was a “challenging” person, but with a wicked sense of humor and I miss our big laughs, expecially with our sister and her son, Zac. Still hard to live life large without them all.
The other day, I found a journal I’d kept during the time I met Rich. I haven’t journaled in a long time, but when I rediscovered that handwritten notebook I realized how important a tool it can be; not always evident until some time later, in this case nearly 30 years.
Anyway, this weekend, I will begin the slow official transition southward to begin a new chapter on many fronts. It is still so unexpected, but I truly do take it one day at a time now. I have learned to keep a positive yet private presence. When you’ve been through too much loss in a small space of time trust is carefully measured. Seeking a place of quietude has been a way to find my way back on my own terms.
Who knows why on a hot day in August, I drove with my little dog two hours south to a town I’d never been and bought a log home on the spot. I recall that day when I rushed in to a Dollar General with Quint to grab a water and a snack before meeting with the realtor. An older gentlemen had trailed us through the aisles striking up a conversation. “You’re not from around here,” he stated. We made some small talk and before I left the store he proclaimed, “You should buy a house here.” I told him that I just might. The universe works in mysterious ways.
The weeks that followed were filled with challenges on how to make “it” happen, and although there were times “it” didn’t make sense, I never doubted it was a step in the “write” direction and that forces bigger than me were at work. I know that Rich would’ve loved this place and that he’d be very happy for me.
In some ways this new lovely magical property is a version of what I shared with Rich for 23 years in our log home at the Jersey Shore. There are many differences of course, but the feeling I’ve hoped to capture in a new form is present and I think that is what I felt the moment I stepped inside. In a strange way, I get to start all over again in a new manifestation.
Guide in Peace Richard Kruysman. Thanks for being such an important part of my journey and helping me to move forward. Always in my heart.