The Color of Grief

June 24th marked three months since my husband died. I am doing better. The country is divided and embroiled in attacks, mobs, destruction, death, all manner of hateful things. All I seem able to do is try to get through another day without Ron.

I have business tasks and legal chores to attend to, but I get so overwhelmed by grief that some days I need to say no. It isn’t going to happen today. Instead, while doing laundry, I watched some Sherlock Holmes. That was what I could manage.

Some people seem to like being culture warriors. Not me. I’m just trying to learn how to be a widow. There are many different kinds of marriages. Some seem to be a kind of parallel-life business arrangement. Some seem to have settled into respectful friendships. Some I don’t understand at all. But it isn’t my business to try to understand why people have chosen the person they married. All I know is that I was very fortunate to have Ron. Like my parents, Ron and I were happiest when together.

Before I married the first time, at age 24, I had had seven marriage proposals. All of them were decent people: one was from another continent and another race; one was a lovesick boy. One was my boyfriend for three years while I was in college. But none of them were quite the right choices. I finally found the right guy to marry — and we made it through twenty-six years of marriage. To my life-long regret, I failed him when he needed me most. It is a grief that I have carried through every year since that time.

Then I married Ron. Ron did not have any protective armor. He loved me with a passion that carried us through all tides. There was nothing off-limits to discuss. When I got emotional and cried, he held me and told me to tell him about it. When I started hanging family pictures on the wall of the front stairs — he told me to put wedding and family photos of my first husband and our daughter. He wanted my daughter always to feel welcomed in our house. There are quite a lot of those pictures scattered around our house. There are beautiful pictures of his daughters in our house, and I have always wanted them to feel at home here.

Neither Ron nor I were perfect people. We were sinners who asked for forgiveness, picked up the broken pieces of life, and tried to go on as best we could.

Ron was an amazing man, generous to a fault, and for some unknown reason, he adored me. Beyond all that, he was my best friend. Since his death, I have managed some pretty happy days with friends and family. But rarely have I made it through an entire day without tears. They come less frequently now — but they trip me up none the less. I hate crying in front of other people, and so on top of the tears, I get frustrated and embarrassed that I can’t control them better.

My Mom was a widow for thirteen years. I was living in another state — but we talked nearly every day, and sometimes multiple times a day. In my whole life, I can only remember a very few times when my Mom cried. She and my Dad loved each other and loved getting into mischief together. Sometimes just escaping for a weekend — only the two of them. They had such fun together. My Dad’s death was surprising — from a Saturday until the following Wednesday was all the warning we had. Yet she kept on much less soggily than I have managed.

As much as I miss Ronnie, I am praying that the Lord will grant me many more years of good health. My Dad’s Mother lived to be 90 if I recall correctly. My Mom lived to be 89, about three months shy of her 90th birthday. I would love to be able to see my grandchildren grow up. Ron and I talked about many future adventures. Thinking about pursuing some of those adventures makes me very happy.

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5 Responses to The Color of Grief

  1. Deniene Enders says:

    Grief is something that must be treated as individual and independent as you are. This tells of a wonderful man, that sounds like he treasured you. A love like that is rare you are blessed to have had those wonderful years together. He is with you still in your memories and in the future adventures you choose to go on.

  2. AECRM says:

    Thank you, Deniene.

  3. Jan Seibel says:

    This is a wonderful story, telling of the ups and downs of life but also of redemption and forgiveness. The love you you and Ron shared is irreplaceable and will be carried in your heart forever, just like your parents. It is rare and lovely. I have yet to experience that type of loss but I do know that God will carry you through. He just asks that you lean on Him!

  4. AECRM says:

    Thank you, Jan.

  5. It takes someone not experiencing what you are going through to say this, but I think you are doing just fine, and just what is expected of you when grieving. Jesus Christ is love; he is the love that you feel and that keeps you going. Rest in the love of Christ for as long as you need (or for 18 months, whichever comers first; anything beyond that and you are just hooked in wallowing). Keep positive, but don’t fake it in order hide your grief from others. I wish I had known Ron better; but the two of you raced off to Tucson so soon after your wedding that I didn’t get the chance to work him into my life. But I always liked him (even on those rare occasions when he did not particularly like me, which always turned out to be misunderstandings). I understand how and why you miss him so. I have nothing to suggest you do except what you are doing. Healing this sort of loss takes time. Every once in a while I still want to pick up the phone and call my Dad. only realizing he died in 2012. I keep you in my thoughts and my prayers always include you — and will keep doing so even after your grief has settled away into your memory.
    With compassion and hope —


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