Today is 1 year and 11 months. I can feel the 2 year mark looming closer…especially as the season changes and the temperatures are lowering, the leaves are changing colors and winds are blowing as they did 2 years ago.
Each griever’s journey is as unique as each of us are. Each one’s path looks differently.
Not long after my Beloved passed, I began to come to the cemetery. Of course, it was far too cold to come and stay, but I was drawn nonetheless. As time went on, I began a monthly “ritual” of making sure I came each month on the 13th, provided I was in the area. I never want to be legalistic about this, as God does not require it, but coming on the 13th, at least, is my goal.
I know many widows who do not go to their husband’s gravesite. I do not think any less of them. Each person must do what is in their heart to do.
However, as time has gone on, I have began to feel hurt that others did not go visit my sweet man. I know he isn’t really there. I know Clint will not be upset with me if I do not come. I know he is in heaven with Jesus and is not angry with me or anyone else for that matter. But, it began to be an issue with me that I needed to work out inside myself. Why did I come?
As I took some time to reflect on it, I came up with several reasons I do.
First, when he died, he took a part of me with him. Conversely, he left a part of himself in me ☺️. But, for me, I felt drawn to the place his body was laid to rest, as I too felt partly there with him. It was this place that I not only buried him, but also the “we” that we used to be, the past family we had built for 25 years. One widower wrote how when the two become one, it’s like baking a cake inside the shell of an egg. Try as you might to scrape the cake out of the shell, you can never fully do it. There will always be residual of some kind leftover.
Secondly, when Clint died, I didn’t think I would ever be the person to come visit a cemetery. He and I had even talked about it. We knew it isn’t really the person there in the ground…just their shell. Neither of us thought we would be “those” people. But, I have turned into “that” person! I don’t want him forgotten. That’s one thing about death I absolutely hate with a vengeance…that you must move forward without them!! It seems unthinkable you ever could! I had spent years caring for him in sickness and health, making sure he always had clean laundry, appointments set, looked his best, heck…I even read books for him and underlined the good parts so he wouldn’t have to wear himself out more trying to do EVERYTHING!!
Which leads to my final point and the REAL reason I come at least once a month…
It took some soul searching to figure this out. I needed to because I was frustrated with others that didn’t come. I was judging them based on my own personal feelings…which was wrong. I finally realized that I come, because I Still Do! Nearly two long years ago, he and I weren’t asked what we desired. For reasons I’ll never understand but choose to trust a good, good Father, Clint was taken Home…without me.
So…I come. I don’t know how long I will…but I Still Do! I have zero intentions of stopping…because I was fully prepared to die together or see our 50th anniversary at least! Each month, it means something to me personally! It means that even though we both said vows “til death us do part”, I meant them to my last breath! It means that regardless of the circumstances, I drop everything and come, bring him one red rose and sit and remember and cry and listen to sad music and allow myself to more fully feel the weight of all I’ve lost without the distractions of the world buzzing all around me. I Still Do! I Still Do! And I always will!!
By the way, I bring one red rose, because he used to always say he picked the most perfect one he could find for me because I was perfect for him! ❤️. He was perfect for me! I am who I am today, because of God bringing him into my life and helping me to work through my monstrous “trash” pile I had managed to collect and come to him with…broken…wounded. He never left me or gave up on me! He loved me all the way to the end! He believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself. He stayed.
So, even though he is no longer here for me to care for and protect and serve him, I Still Do! And I always will! 1 year, 11 months today😢💔. I love you, Clint Otto and I always will!