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This is a letter I wrote to my now son-in-law just two weeks after George's death. (I cut out the part that was specific to him)

July 3, 2005

This will probably not be as long as usual since I’m having a hard time focusing. I don’t even know what to say, my life has been turned upside-down overnight through no desire of my own, or George’s either. I miss him more than anything and there are no words that exist that describe my loss and pain. It is unbearable, it is overwhelming. No one should have to go through this. I have heard of the five stages of grief and it seems I have experienced all of them except for “partial acceptance” and “acceptance”. How do you accept something that goes against every fiber of your being? It’s not up to me to accept it or not accept it, God did what He wanted without consulting me. It’s just my lot to go on and I don’t even want to do that but the kids and God are making me. People say I’m taking it well but they don’t know my thoughts and they don’t see me when I’m alone and bawling, they don’t see me tossing and turning during the night, they don’t feel the stress inside of my heart. My faith is strong, it always has been, and I know what I “should” feel, think, say, do, but right now, I have to experience my grief, there’s no way to circumvent it or repress it, I have to go through it, whether I want to or not. I know I’ll survive, but whether or not I want to is another matter altogether. The only thing I want is to be with him again and I can hardly wait for that day when he can hold his arms open to receive me into them again and plant his sweet butterfly kisses on my forehead. That is all I long for and all I cannot forget. How do you say goodbye when you’ve loved like we have? I know better than to ask “why”, I have always known that wasn’t a good question to ask, we’re supposed to trust God, we’re supposed to dutifully ask Him what He wants from us now, but I can’t help but ask why and rail at heaven for taking my Beloved so soon from me! Why? Why indeed? Why George, why not his dad, or even my mom, when she would love to be with my dad again? Why am I a widow at 52? Why did we only get to be married 3 years and 8 months? Why did I only get to know him 6 ½ years, and part of that time couldn’t even have contact with him? I am very glad to know where he is and that he is finally over with the suffering of this earth, but it sure didn’t end for me…still, I guess that may be the secret ingredient I need to focus on, that he IS indeed out of his suffering, and God knows he had plenty of it, not only with all that the world put him through and living down his own past, but with physical suffering as well and that horrible demanding job of his that always took more and more from him. He’s done with worry and pain and every infirmity that he suffered…anxiety, paranoia, diabetes, heart failure, back pain, feet pain. This man suffered, he suffered plenty. I think sometimes that I was his only respite from the world, it’s as if God used me as the medium by which to reach down and caress him, inside and out. And I loved him. I am thankful for the time we did get together, I guess I need to concentrate more on being thankful and less on what I lost but right now, I don’t know how to do that when I ache at night to reach over and touch him, and wake up in the morning still alone, and face my days and nights alone, overwhelmed by decisions and tasks and finances that don’t stretch wide enough for all of the bills. How do I do it? Well I guess, I don’t, I need to learn to let God do it, I need to turn to Him. I’ve had a hard time with that, being as He’s the one who took him. But I have turned to Him some, and I know I will increasingly more. I’m glad God is big enough to understand what I am going through and not take my responses personally but is giving me time to work this out. I do love God and I know He’s got some kind of a plan, I guess I’m just not in the mood for it just yet. But that’s how life is, things change, no one asks us about it, and there’s been widows and widowers since the beginning of time and people have just had to deal with it. It’s a loss we don’t concentrate on…until it hits us personally, and then it overtakes us like a thief in the night.

I think Christmas is going to be extremely difficult. I don’t know how I’m going to do it, but I guess I can’t think of it right now…that and the whole month of June…his birthday, Father’s Day…and his death day being the same as that…plus my dad’s birthday and parent’s anniversary also being in June. And our anniversary…how do I survive that? I wish I could just skip that day somehow, somebody give me a couple of sleeping pills and wake me when it’s over. I still have to cancel our anniversary plans, I haven’t been able to make the call yet. Maybe I can have Melissa do that. I thought about going ahead and going to the coast and just thinking about him on that day…but I can’t afford to anyway and am not sure I’d be up to it. I’ve been left strapped financially, I mean to the point where it’s going to be hard to provide basic necessities. I cancelled everything I don’t absolutely need. I still have nearly two years left on our cellphone contract and no need for it any more, but Melissa said she’d go halves with me and take George’s number over so that helps at least. As much as she drives I feel better her having one anyway, especially one with a national plan instead of local like she used to have. I’m going to sell a vehicle but am still trying to figure out exactly which one and for how much. The Honda will be a total loss and won’t bring me much since it has a salvage title and it’s depreciated and the air conditioning quit but the Mercury has been so dependable and we loved it so much, and I don’t want to get rid of the truck…I can still take Lucky out in it, and even though I may not know how to hook up a trailer, etc., at least I could camp in it by sleeping in the canopy if I wanted to. And I could haul a Christmas tree if I could find someone to cut one down for me. I feel so stupid! There’s so much I don’t know! I look in the garage and shop and it’s a mess, such a disorganized clutter! When George and I first married I had everything pretty neat and organized and he was pretty good with that too, but then when he started getting so tired, he let everything go and didn’t put things away when he used them, and now there’s stuff everywhere and I don’t know what half of it is or what it’s for. I still need the rails built for the ramp, he never did get to that, and I have no money to pay anyone to build them. I need to repaint the outside of the patio rails, but I think I can do that if I can find the paint and roller.

Today the dowel in the closet broke in two and down came all of our clothes with it. Several people asked if they could help me and I told them about it and they never offered to do anything. So I went home and prayed, and then I looked around for a dowel big enough and found one…I needed to cut it to size, so I measured and marked it and then looked around for a saw. I don’t know where the hand saw is but I found a table saw (?) and an extension cord and managed to figure out how to turn it on and cut the dowel…it fit perfectly in the closet. I know that sounds like a small thing, but it was a triumph to me…the kind of thing I always had someone else to do, and don’t anymore.

Anyway, I’ve gone on way too long on my situation. George used to feel his life had passed him by, but really, it hadn’t, it just wasn’t like other people’s. He learned and grew and changed…maybe he never got the opportunity to learn all of the things some other men have gotten to learn over the years, how to roof a house, do electrical repairs, stuff like that, but he certainly excelled when it came to people and loving…he was a champ at that.

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