A Year Ago Today

A year ago today I lost Roland to brain cancer.

One year… 52 weeks, 365 days.

Yet, sometimes it feels like only yesterday.

A lot has happened in this year… mostly I have learned to hold my family and friends close.

The first few months of loss were traumatic. The hardest moments were the first of the day when upon waking I would remember, over and over again, that Roland was not there. A black heaviness would descend and overtake me. I have tried to come up with other words to describe it but can find none. Thank goodness for my dogs. They needed to go out, they needed to be fed. If not for them, I think many days would have been spent in bed, covers up, blinds drawn.

Then, one day, in early spring, while walking with my friend through Whitter Park, she asked, “How are you feeling when you wake in the morning?” Caught off guard by her insight and empathy I turned towards her and let the words fall out. Relief came in the telling. Thank you, Brenda, for this.

These days, the blackness has dissipated from my mornings… such a relief. The heaviness remains but often feels as if it too is lifting.

Over the weeks and months, there are more and more days when I find myself feeling happy and enjoying my life. On occasion, a memory or a photo now brings a smile instead of tears, or perhaps more honestly, a smile before the tears. For this I am grateful.

But there are still those days when I just wait for him to come home.

Loving can hurt, loving can hurt sometimes
But it’s the only thing that I know
When it gets hard, you know it can get hard sometimes
It is the only thing that makes us feel alive

We keep this love in a photograph
We made these memories for ourselves
Where our eyes are never closing
Hearts are never broken
And time’s forever frozen still

So you can keep me inside the pocket of your ripped jeans
Holding me closer ’til our eyes meet
You won’t ever be alone, wait for me to come home

~The photograph – Ed Sheeran

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