Tag Archives: milestones

Two Years On

Today marks two years since Dan’s passing. As with last year, it’s a time for reflection for me, to think about where I’ve been and where I’m going.

A good friend told gave me some very wise advice early on: “It doesn’t get easier, you just get stronger.” I’ve revisited those words many times and thought about what they mean to me. In the last year I’ve found I have less frequent episodes of breaking down crying, of that feeling of complete despondency. The worst are still the dreams where Dan is away on business and in that fuzzy time between sleep and waking, I think about how he’ll be home soon. Those are really hard, but there’s not much to do but soldier on.

There are always reminders in places we went, things we enjoyed together, foods he liked. I want those reminders, though. It’s not likely I’ll ever forget but having those are an important touchstone for me. I’m still grappling with survivor guilt, but also know that Dan would be kicking me in the ass and telling me to go live my life. For the longest time “it’s what he would have wanted” felt like a cop-out, but that doesn’t remove the underlying truth.

Just a few weeks I hit an important turning point: I went on my first date in over two decades. Nothing will come of it, unfortunately, but having the date itself was more important than any outcome. I’m realizing that having another person in my life won’t displace Dan, they will be in addition to him. Realizing that makes me feel a lot better.

I’ve got big plans for the coming year. I’m working on creating an Accessibility Services department for Midwest FurFest because in the short time that I was with Dan after his back injury, I realized quickly the issues created by limited mobility. I want to use that knowledge to help make the convention better for everyone.

I have international travel slated as well, something we had big hopes to do. I’ll be seeing parts of the world that are completely new to me. I wish I could have seen them with Dan, but I carry him in my heart every day and so we’ll still see them together.

I love you, Dan.

It’s Been a Year

One year ago today was the worst day of my entire life. Dan, my husband of eighteen years, suffered from a bilateral pulmonary embolism and passed away in a matter of minutes.

It wasn’t supposed to happen like that. We had big plans for the future. Sure, Dan had some temporary health setbacks but we were going to beat them, together. We both had good, secure jobs. We talked about starting an event planning business. We wanted to travel, with friends and just ourselves. We had dreams.

And then those dreams were just…gone.

Those of you who have followed me on social media have witnessed my travails of this past year. Depression, anxiety, grief, loss – the worst I ever could have imagined, and then some. I have been very open about it because I know I’m not the first to go through this and I certainly won’t be the last. Part of my therapy was showing that it’s possible to live through all of this, somehow. It’s messy, chaotic, and unpredictable, but it’s possible to make it through.

The last few weeks have found me very introspective. I have been thinking for so long about the things that I have lost, but I began thinking about the things that I have gained. I have found a new measure of compassion for the hurt and grieving. I have rediscovered the warm, caring community that I am fortunate enough to be a part of. And I have been reminded of just how lucky I have been in my life. I had the love of a wonderful man for eighteen years. We were able to build a life together, and we found happiness. How amazing is that? And just because eighteen years was all we had, that doesn’t make that time any less wonderful.

I wondered if the approaching one-year mark would be any great milestone for me. After thinking about it more, though, I realized that milestone had passed without me realizing it. You see, a month or so ago I started planning for the future. I thought about what my life might hold 5, 10, 15 years from now. That may not sound like much, but it’s something that was very hard for me to envision six months ago.

I have found something I never expected to find again. I have found hope.

I’m think gonna make it, Dan.