Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Widow's Walk: Coffee and Airplanes

They say there are five stages of grief. This alludes to the idea that grief is orderly and follows a path. It doesn't. Grief is messy. I think of grief as being like the ocean, sometimes the waves are soft, warm, almost comforting and other times it is like a hurricane is coming and you're drowning. And of course there is the in between.

When a spouse dies, there is so much to be done. And you can hide for a little while from it. But then you go home, and you're alone. He's not there. At first, the memories overwhelm you and make you feel uncomfortable. Loneliness sets in.

A lady who I go to church with lost her husband last year in an automobile accident. It was terrible. I found out that she was sitting on the side of the road where the accident happened on the one year anniversary. My heart went out to her. I can empathize with her grief, but everyone reacts to grief differently.

For me sometimes when I miss Mike, I will do things that remind me of him. He loved fresh coffee. I'm not a big coffee drinker but I do love the way it smells. Sometimes I'll go buy a cup and ride out to the park where we used to sit when he needed to get out of the house. We'd park in the handicap parking spot and just look at the pond, the ducks, and the people. It gave him a change of scenery and made him feel better.

Airplanes in the sky also seem to be a message of "I love you" from him. Flying was a passion of Mike's. There was a small airport near our home and we would often go park and watch the planes land or take off. It made him feel better. When I see a plane against a blue sky with white, billowy clouds I can't help but think of my Mike and it makes me smile.

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