From the Funeral
A cute black dress came forward right on time. I was shopping (alone) for something to wear to the funeral for my husband of fifty-one years, nine months. I don’t enjoy shopping, so procrastination prevailed until the 11th hour. This smart black dress with just the right amount of sleeve and buttons down the front below the v-neck was more than adequate. It was kind. It brought itself to me in my time of need; sturdy, but feminine; comfortable yet suitable, and just the right price.
My granddaughter proclaimed it “cute” with sincere enthusiasm; a welcome note of positivity on the eve of a most important and long-awaited event. Pandemic conditions delayed the service one year, though privately we sent him off with song and story, fire & ash. On the day of the funeral we would bury his ashes.
A strong practicality guides my choice of clothing.
Comfort is essential. I avoid dowdy looking things, except to work in the yard. Some say that I am too old for cute. I disagree. I believe we are never too old for cute.
When I returned home after the funeral, I could not see myself wearing that dress in the future. I remember thinking, “too bad that dress is so cute since I will probably never wear it again.”
For months it lay in a paper bag in my closet, awaiting the cleaners’ magic which eventually occurred.
Fast forward to April 2023.
I have actively pursued an up-close and personal relationship with my grief. I’ve taken advice from other widowed folk and from authors through many books. I’ve attended several Camp Widows and participated as much as I am able with a Soaring Spirits Regional group in Orange County. The journey I’ve traveled has brought me to move in close with my grief rather than try to avoid it. Making a commitment to write this blog each Wednesday helps immensely as I seek words to map the process of grief over days, weeks, months, and years. For the most part, all is well with my world.
I have wrestled with the angel of grief and I am getting stronger.
On Easter Sunday, I pulled my dress from the cleaner’s wrap; its black motif a contrast to most spring dresses. With a multi-colored scarf, in imitation of colored eggs, I sent a message to death: You will not win.
Call it a private protest.
Call it a secret message to the Universe.
Call it whatever you like. I wore the dress from my husband’s funeral to say to death,
You do not win.
Love wins everytime and today I feel that in my bones.