Saturday, August 16, 2014

The Anniversary of the First Year of my Husband's Passing



Today I am having a tea in honor of my beloved hubby on the anniversary of his passing.
I can't believe that it's been a whole year and yet it seems like only yesterday. Even though I know he's gone, I still find it hard to believe.  I'm using his Ohio State insulated cup that our daughter gave him. It's filled with Lipton tea...none of that "sissy, flavored tea", in his honor. Growing up in Ohio, he was a huge Ohio State fan. The candle, from our youngest son and DIL that they brought back from Notre Dame Cathedral, will be lit. I'll be serving his favorite dessert, which can be found here.


Even though I've had a year of sadness and heartache, in many forms, here is what I have learned about grief and loss this past year:

Grief never really leaves us and is certainly unpredictable. Just a memory or a thought will trigger tears. Where would I be if I didn't have these thoughts? I've realized that tears are blessings of my wonderful life with Rich.

Self pity is to be expected, but cooking, baking, crocheting, reading, sewing, blogging and doing things with my grandchildren have kept me busy with projects.

All things take time. Rich's clothes are still hanging in the closet and are still in his drawers. His office is still not cleared. One day, I'll be able to deal with it.

Trying to understand the death of a loved one, as with so many things in life, DOES NOT LEAD TO PEACE.

Find childlike wisdom and humor whenever you can. My three year old granddaughter kept asking where Papa was. I would reply, "He's in heaven." When I finally knew that it was time to sell his car after many months, and she didn't see his car in the garage any more, she asked , "Did Papa take his car with him?". She would also ask, "Is Papa coming back?" I would tell her that he wasn't. She answered, "It's not fair!" I guess that's a first lesson in how life is not always fair.

Talking about your loved one keeps their memory alive.

I have realized that I'm stronger than I thought.

Being with family and friends adds joy and purpose to my life.

Some holidays can be worse than others. For Christmas, I couldn't bear the thought of sitting at the dining room table, so we didn't. Valentine's Day was hard; Mother's Day was not. Not having the father of my children here on Father's Day was especially difficult. You just never know how all these "firsts" will affect you.

There will always feel like a piece of me is missing with Rich gone from my life. A friend wrote me and said that there will always be a void and nothing will ever replace it. Life is forever bittersweet.

I tried a Grief Support group at my church and found that it didn't help me. You must do what feels right for you.

Family and friends keep his spirit alive through acts of unending kindness.
My never ending faith has sustained me.

Even though my beloved Rich is gone from my life, I have only to look in the eyes of my four children and my grandchildren to see glimpses of him. Yes, he lives on in them.

Rich will forever hold a place in my heart and being married to him for 43 years was a gift. I'm not sure how the next year(s) will be, but I have survived this year.   Thank you all for helping me through this journey along this first year of grief. You have lifted me up through your thoughtfulness, kindness and prayers. I have prayed for peace and strength, and God has helped me.   I  have come to the realization that we are in charge of our own happiness, and we must live our lives with thankfulness. 



I am sharing this with:


Make It Pretty Monday
Tea Time Tuesday
Tuesday Cuppa Tea
Friends Sharing Tea
Tea Cup Tuesday
Share Your Cup



Thank you for your visit! xo

40 comments:

  1. My darling friend Kitty,

    What a wonderful tribute to your husband................I am saying extra prayers for him today. How is it a year already? You are right. Time has passed quickly.

    I don't know how non-believers can get through grief.

    Knowing your faith, as well as my own, we believe there is a promise of new life. W hen you're having rough days, hang onto to that with everything you've got!

    And reach out to those who love you and hug with both arms.

    God bless, with love and prayers,

    Michele from Ohio and an OSU fan :-D



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  2. Kitty,
    Such a touching post in honor of your husband.... I admit I needed a tissue by the end of it. I imagine that a year of firsts is the most difficult. May the year ahead be filled with more smiles than tears when you think of your beloved husband. Take care,
    Linda
    mysewwhatblog

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  3. Thinking of you today, Kitty...

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  4. My heart goes out to you. It's been almost five years since my husband died and I can feel your pain. You just have to keep going on, as you are doing. Those grandchildren sure help, don't they? You will always miss him, but you will find a place in your heart to put that pain, so it doesn't creep up on you so unexpectedly. Sending you hugs today.

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  5. thinking of you... take care. And yes the year's do start t o go by faster and faster! Carole

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  6. Dearest Kitty, you've shared your heart. I send you my own heartfelt thoughts and hugs of friendship to wrap you in love. Learning to walk a new road is both painful and lonely. Thinking of you, my friend.

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  7. My Mother and I had a conversation this morning that ran shotgun with this very subject. Oh, Kitty...you must know that our hearts go out to you and your children and the little ones who just can't quite grasp it all in its entirety. I guess even the grownups have a hard time completely taking it all in.

    I don't have the slightest inkling of how this feels other than what you describe, and even then I am sure my understanding only grazes the depth of it for you. I am glad you have a strong and loving support system to help you through. Without that, it would be so much harder and would likely consume you. Thank God for the miracles in our lives that take the form of loving friends, family and sometimes in song, dance or a movie. Like in tablescaping and cooking, one just never knows where that inspiration and/or strength might come from.

    As always, you know the state of your heart is on my mind and in my prayers.

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  8. Such a touching post, Kitty. I think we never really stop grieving for those we love, but you have found ways to cope with your pain. Grandchildren are such a blessing!

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  9. Dear Kitty,
    Your words are beautiful..and the way you talk about your past year, I can tell you have had a year filled with the peace of God..even in the times of grief.. I don't know how anybody makes it through such grief without our loving Father..I have had grief in my life especially for my Mama and if it had not been for God, I would have sunk....
    I am glad you have Him to depend on and glad that you do..
    You are such a loving and sweet girl..glad to know you..
    Love, Mona

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  10. Kitty, Your post is touching. So glad you had wonderful Rich in your life for 43 years! I am sorry that he is no longer with you and glad you have family, friends, and faith to help you day by day.

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  11. Your strength is so very inspiring and encouraging for all who have lost loved ones. You hold extraordinary wisdom and I am so thankful you shared it with us, wisdom about loss that is so true and a help to the hearts of all those who have lost a loved one who are reading this. I believe you are absolutely right that trying to understand losing someone does not make things better or give you peace... faith is the only thing that gets us through and seems to take the place of any understanding of what has happened in a way only God can help us through. Your words are beautiful in tribute to your husband. My heart goes out to you.
    Thinking of you and sending you hugs and prayers♥

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  12. Kitty, you are a strong and lovely woman, and you have courage. I'm thankful you have family and grandchildren to hug. Blessings to you today, Deborah

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  13. Such a precious post. I can only imagine your journey this past year. You have come so far and have a wonderful outlook.

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  14. Such a loving tribute ~ and the table looks lovely with the special mementoes. You remain in my prayers daily. I am walking this path of grief with you my friend. It's so true....you just never know when a thought, something you see or hear, a photo...whatever will trigger the tears. It's ok to allow those tears...they're very cleansing and healing.

    A dear friend lost her husband a few years ago and she told me that the first year was the worst for her and the second year she began to find peace. In my own experience, I'm finding that is true. I can't remember *anything* that happened in the months following Abby's accident. Perhaps God allows a little black out, so to speak, to help us function. :)

    I'm writing letters to her...like a journal really. The entries make me smile, laugh, cry and vent my anger when I feel it. We all wrote notes to her when we did the balloon release. I think the writing has helped me a lot and those that did the notes agreed.

    You're so strong! I know it doesn't feel that way but you are doing a lot and you're living. We do have to go on. I won't ramble anymore but your loss has touched me.

    xo
    Pat

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  15. Kitty, I can't imagine being in your shoes. I do remember your post announcing his passing and it does seem like it was yesterday. May God continue to bless you in the coming year. -Bev

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  16. Go Bucks!! How perfect that you decided to honor Rich's passing with his favorite pastime!
    I, too, can't believe it has been a year that he has been gone. You've written a very touching tribute to the man who shared your life for 43 years. I wish I had the words to express what this means to me, to understand what is ahead & hopefully, be able to handle it as gracefully as you have.
    Mega Comforting Hugs from OHIO

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  17. ((((hugs))))) I lived in Ohio for 35 yrs...loving Ohio that is just part of what made him special....((((hugs)))) to you

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  18. Such a moving tribute. Obviously he was your best friend. I can't even imagine what you have gone through and are continuing to go through, but I am glad to read you have found some solace in family, friends, and keeping busy. I love reading your blog and imagine it has helped with the "keep busy" part. Your story is similar to my Sister's, who lost her husband of 33 years.

    Enjoy your tea, knowing dear hubby is with you in spirit.
    Hugs, Pam

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  19. Thinking of you and sending a big hug. As you say, life isn't always fair and we struggle through life's hard lessons. I read your post with tears in my eyes, although in no way the same, I lost my Father this year. Hard to believe he is gone but as you say they live on through our memories!!
    Your tea is a wonderful tribute and I bet he's smiling knowing how you celebrated!!

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  20. A beautiful, touching tribute and helpful insight into grief. Have thought about you so often this past year. I'm bookmarking this post!

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  21. Kitty, this is such an insightful, honest, and straight from the heart post. I'm glad you shared it with us -- it was very enlightening to read. You have been on my mind so much and I'm proud that you're standing strong. Blessings to you, my friend.

    Denise at Forest Manor

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  22. You are a very wise woman, dear Kitty, and I admire your strength and courage. You have been through so much grief and pain and yet through it all you manage to be an example and precious testimony to those around you. My heart aches for you, my friend, and I wish I could take some of that burden onto my own shoulders. . .thankfully we have Jesus and He will carry our burdens and grief He will ease the pain and sadness.

    I love you, Kitty! Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers!

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  23. Kitty, This is such a heartfelt post. I'm so glad you have your children and grands to help comfort you. Thinking of you ♥

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  24. Oh Kitty - how beautifully you expressed the depths of your grieving heart. God bless you Dear as you look ahead. Those grandkids are wonderful gifts of our hearts, huh? Love your beautiful setting to honor Rich. May he always live in precious ways in your heart. Hugs! XO

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  25. I can't imagine the difficulties and grief of losing your life's partner. I am humbled and blessed by how well you have processed and risen above the pain. I am so glad you have a loving Heavenly Father to turn to. God bless you dear friend, and thanks for linking to Tuesday Cuppa Tea.
    Ruth

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  26. Kitty, I pray for you and your family daily. Love you!

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  27. A loving tribute to Rich, Kitty. One always wonders how they will deal with the grief of losing their partner and I appreciate how you have explained your transition over the past year. Indeed, thank heavens for family and friends to carry you through the days when you need to know someone is watching out for you.
    Hugs,

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  28. Dear Kitty: I so understand your pain. This is a lovely tribute to your husband. I am so glad you shared it with us. Sending hugs your way, Martha

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  29. A loving tribute. Sending you a hug and my prayers.

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  30. That is lovely Beth and so many helpful words and thoughts for others to help them. I am sending a big hug too - looks like many have!

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  31. I looked up above and saw Beth's comment and wrote Beth instead of Kitty - I know you Kitty! Sorry!

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  32. Kitty, thank you so much for sharing your insights with your readers. I was nodding along agreeing with so many. Have to chuckle a bit at the little grandgirlie's observations, too. And how I love that you honored the day. I honor the days, too. It's much better than going on trying to pretend that it's just another day. Love to you...

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  33. Sweet Kitty, I wish I could be there to give you the biggest hug ever. It is difficult to believe it has been a year already. I know for you, it seems like forever. You have set a lovely table and tribute for your Rich. We as bloggers and friends can only imagine the pain you have felt. It takes time and grieving and crying is so good for us all. You have your precious memories with the love of your life. I am so glad you are keeping busy with projects, cooking, baking and spending time with the grands. I lost my little sister 7 years ago, while we were in Nevada for her daughter's wedding. My sister unexpectedly died in her sleep the night after her daughter got married. I miss Cynthia everyday. Be well dear Kitty and treasure your precious years. Love, Linda

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  34. Kitty: I'm so sorry for your loss--this is a wonderful tribute to your husband. You're in my thoughts.

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  35. Your tribute to your wonderful husband is so wonderful. It allows you to release your feelings. You deserve a great big hug from all of your followers and friends. Having a blog gives you a place to share and it gives you at least a little break from the pain. Hugs, kisses, and prayers for you. Bert and Pam

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  36. Touching tribute to your husband. I wish I could tell you it gets easier, but I've learned the grief is always there. But, at the same time, they are always in your heart. Hugs---

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  37. Ah, Kitty, you have been on my mind and in my thoughts for several weeks now leading up to this anniversary. I agree, the void will never go away. And you are so blessed to have so many loved ones around you. I know they help you and make you smile. Your tribute to Rich is very touching and tugs at the heart strings. Like many others, I am sending you big hugs. Thank you for sharing from your heart and God bless you, dear friend.

    Love to you,
    Sandi

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  38. You are always in my prayers, dear Kitty. I too understand how life becomes bittersweet after the passing of loved ones. I rely on my faith as well. You are a wise woman. May Rich rest in peace, and hear our prayers for him.

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