Long ago, at Folly Beach in South Carolina, some good times were interrupted by what seemed to me to be an eternity of terror. If you have experience with riptides, you probably know just what I mean.
We were in hip-deep water when all of a sudden, I was pulled under by a riptide. I couldn’t get my footing. I remember seeing sand and sky over and over and over again. No matter how hard I tried, I could not stand. Finally, a hand reached down, got hold of me, and pulled me to my feet.
That riptide is what my life feels like at present. That is the most accurate way I know to describe the grief I have been living through this year. I try to get my footing. I try to set goals for myself to accomplish something each day. But riptides are a constant threat. Last night I cried myself to sleep again.
My dear mother was a widow for 13 years, and she died just two months shy of her 90th birthday. I am a widow for the rest of my life and am decades away from my 90th birthday. I have much to be thankful for in my life. But nothing in my life prepared me for the trials of this year.
How does one prepare to see the man they love climb to the top of the stairs and then collapse on the floor for lack of oxygen? How do you brace yourself for the news, that after today, there will be no visiting allowed in the hospital?
Thankfully, I was able to bring him home.
Ron and I celebrated our eleventh wedding anniversary in January. Two months later, he was dead. We hadn’t even finished arranging our Ohio home. Dying intervened. We had lots of plans: things to do, places to go, people to see. Death had other plans.
This woman, who loved and was loved by her husband, is stuck in a riptide of grief. It keeps pulling me under.