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The month of March was a huge challenge. I was dealing with reliving Bill's final days, anniversary stuff that coincided closely with my birthday and Easter (Bill was buried on Holy Saturday and my birthday was Easter in 2010) and my own journey through this dark place I find myself inhabiting... I KNOW it is fine that I am in what I call my cave...it is right where I need to be. It is fine and safe. Many people I see would not know I was there...a few do and being heard by them keeps me going.

Last night I made myself go to a play. I tend to avoid crowds these days and stick with one-on-one or small groups. This was a local production of Steel Magnolias. Why, oh why, did I choose that after passing on so many crowd events recently? Anyway in the lobby as I waited for the two gals I was meeting there (both caring safe, people), I found myself getting greeted and hugged by a lot of people to the point where someone asked me if I was the greeting committee. It is small town..what can I say..and I have not been very visible at big events. As much as I loved all the attention and hugs (I so miss touch and being held by Bill) the tears began to flow...big time....and I ended up sobbing in one of Bill's "caregiver's" (our friend who helped me out) arms. He is so kind. He is the one who said to me after Bill died that he had not known Bill very well before he was symptomatic and wanted to come over and spend time going through photos and hearing stories. We did that one Sunday for 4 hours. He and his partner, Tom, wrapped themselves around me IN THE LOBBY. I hate scenes...as open and vulnerable as I tend to be in relationships I am not a public person. I finally got myself pulled together without causing a scene in the lobby and went in to a seat and waited inside (having asked the ushers to tell my friends where I am-everyone knows everyone) and then suddenly decided to leave after the first scene. I knew this play was only going to get sadder and sadder and I was unprepared for whatever it would bring given how the evening started. I was fried by then and needed solitude. I went home and cried alone even though my friends offered to come with me. I needed to be alone by that time.

I do not regret going. I was reminded about how raw I am (again) and how much pain I am in...even though I knew it. I have gotten busy since the second anniversary (March 27) as I was so far behind after pretty much losing 6 weeks. The being busy stuff has distracted me a lot (some good and healthy and some running away stuff-a break, if you will) and this reminder was good for me. So were the tears which seem to flow a lot anyway. I also saw how loved I am in this town....people I have not seen in a while just reaching out tenderly with hugs and empathy. Took me by total surprise. I guess I am always surprised when I am liked/loved. After my birthday a friend said to me, "Mary, people just like you. They like being with you." I truly do not get it but am learning to accept it as real. Sooooo here I am...still in my cave. Someday the light will break through and in the meantime I know it is fine to be here and I desperately want to honor this journey...and I will and do...and once I get this issue of Voice to bed in the next couple of days...I need to paint. I am working on a good one.

Guess I just needed to put this into words for myself mostly and sharing it here is good for me now and then because I know you all get it and I can take my time and think my way through it by writing.

Now, I have a deadline to meet and as usual I let the worst part of the task go to the end....so I will start that now and work in a couple of little fun breaks for myself and walk Bentley (in training for therapy dog) who is doing better than I thought he would by this time. There IS hope...for him. Now I have to find some for myself.

Thank you all. I wish us all peace and comfort. Mary

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Mary, one thing surprises me about you, how you not realize how people look up to you, your kindness, humor, compassion, and wisedom. I personally felt a bond with you, almost immediately after your replies back in those early, exceptionally dark days....almost a yr ago! Funny though, Ed recently stated to me " You dont realize how others look up to you, your strength, and resilience" Huh? was my reply, not sure why we dont recognize what others see in us.......

Went shopping today, next door at a yard sale, the neighbors daughter and her boss (maybe more?) were in a horrific car wreck recently, where he drowned and she luckily crawled to the shore, barely missing his same fate, she is a rep for a bed sheet company and had piles of complete sets for 10$ a piece, bought several for myself,and family, Xmas presents??? They were going to give them to me for free, but couldnt accept, she is out of work, while healing, and 10$$ a set is a steal.......they report that she cries constantly everyday, not surprising.......got them in touch with some grief counseling.....knowing it will help.

Glad you got out, even just for s short while......Take care....Dave

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Thanks, Dave

I appreciate your words and thoughts. I hesitated to speak to my surprise as being liked/loved in case it would be interpreted as a passive aggressive move for input of some sort but it is truly how I feel and I finally said it to that friend earlier this month...because i knew she knows me well enough to know I am sincere. Anyway, I do appreciate your feedback. And yes, it is also true of you!!!!

So so kind of you to get that neighbor in touch with help. So important.

Peace and gratitude,

Mary

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