I haven't posted in a while about how long it has been since Keith died. I haven't needed to. For a while after his death, writing about exactly how long it had been served a good purpose for me. It helped me come to terms with the reality of Keith's death. It is very difficult to truly come to terms (both in your heart and in your mind) with the death of your loved one. It doesn't matter if the death was expected or sudden. It is tough to come to terms with the finality of death.
In keeping up with the hours, then days, weeks, months, and finally reaching the one year mark, I have been able to reach a point emotionally and mentally that I can DEAL with the results of Keith's death. I finally crossed over into the land of acceptance. It didn't all come in one fell swoop or happen overnight. It happened in little pieces all during the last year. It is a healing wound.
Why am I posting about how long it's been now? I've been thinking about it a lot this week. It struck me that this 7th was exactly on the day that Keith died. I haven't been overcome with a huge amount of grief. I actually have found that while there is grief, there is also a huge measure of healing that has taken place. My emotions have been closer to the surface this week than I have experienced in a while. I find that I have needed to cry some this week. That's fine. I cry when I need to.
I miss Keith. Some days, I miss him with a longing that is so intense I still expect him to walk through the door. I have realized that what I miss is the "well" Keith. I miss everything about him. In accepting his death, I have come to terms with the loss of the dream that we would return to that life one day. I had to accept that my life is meant to continue on without Keith. That is another level of acceptance that is very difficult to reach and CAN NOT be rushed.
I still have work to do though. I am still coming to terms with the reality of life after his death. I have to live. I have to take care of my children. I have to find some kind of gainful employment to take care of us. I am only one person. I have limitations. I am a single parent. I am the go to guy. I am my children's rock. I am the _________ (fill in the blank, and it probably applies).
I do realize that the work that I have to do is work that I will always be doing. When Keith died, I became the most important person in our children's lives. Sounds weird, but hang with me a sec...The kids went from two solid parents to one solid, but grieving parent. That shakes up a kid. I know when my dad died (I was 22), it shook my very foundation, even though I was married and had a baby. I see some of that in my kids. The death of their dad shook their foundations...AND why wouldn't it?!
Death should shake your foundation. It should make you question your mortality, where you go when you die, how will you survive the death of someone you love. It should be difficult to deal with if only because death is permanent. Once absolute death occurs it can not be reversed. Death is forever.
As the realization and acceptance that surround death begins to settle in, the children begin to realize just how much their lives have changed and are continuing to change. As their only living parent, I KNOW that I will be the most important person in their lives for a very long time. They don't have two anymore. They only have one.
Keith has been gone 14 months. This week I feel every one of those months apart. It's been a tougher week than I have had in a while. It's okay though...that is how grief works.
As always, I strive to remain...
In His Grip!