Birthday tribute

I wrote this piece in my writing group last Tuesday. I was inspired by a quote from Joan Rivers:

“I wish I could tell you it gets better, but it doesn’t get better. You get better.”

Here goes:

February fourth would have been my husband Bob’s eighty-seventh birthday. It was an awful lonely long day. No hugs, no kisses, no conversations, no plans, no nothing. And I kept thinking about how I could make it better, and I couldn’t find a way. He’s been gone over three years already and those three years seem so much longer than the over fifty years we were together married, having a family, sometimes working together, traveling, eating out, occasionally bickering and having long and interesting talks almost every night after dinner. I still have the beautiful jewels and clothes and artifacts that he gave me that I don’t even wear or use. But I can’t bear to sell or give them away. They are my memories of him and his generosity and love. My son will have to deal with them after I’m gone.

The only way I can think of to make it better is that we both should have died at the same time. Then neither of us would have had to grieve. Then no other couples would have to grieve. Maybe I can suggest that to the man upstairs when it’s my turn, but in the meantime, there is no way or anyone else can make that happen.

The advice is get better myself. Maybe what I’ve done so far since Bob died are steps in the right direction: sell our house that we lived in for forty-two years, move to an old people’s retirement community, make lots of new friends, exercise regularly, eat healthy, write something every day, take regular naps on my comfy sofa, watch a lot of Netflix movies, and rant whenever I get a chance. I’ve left out travel because that’s too hard. I don’t like doing that alone – I would miss being with him too much. But the other things have helped me get by.

The real truth is it doesn’t get better – at least not for me. and I don’t expect that it will change. I have to be satisfied with the fifty plus wonderful years we had together and find a way to live on since he’s been gone – whether it’s better or not.

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