It's been a number of months since I've written a post here on my blog. When Mark died last spring, my desire to write died with him. However, on this day before Thanksgiving, I have felt the desire to express some things, to explore some feelings and to count my blessings.
First and foremost, I'm grateful for the 4-1/2 years I spent with my late husband, Mark. They were the happiest of my life, and I'm thankful for each and every day we spent together.
I'm grateful for the love that we shared and for the family that we created during those years we were together. I'm grateful for the opportunity to be forced to confront existential truths, to be taught how to live in the now and to cherish moments. And I'm thankful for circumstances that allowed us to live for nearly three years in what, in retrospect, seems like an almost timeless dimension in which we could simply breathe love.
I'm also thankful that Mark had the death he had hoped for. I can't imagine how the process of him leaving this world could have been less painful for him or more peaceful than it was. During the months since his departure, I have reflected many times on just how courageous he was to face death and the unknown it represents with such peace and equanimity. I'm grateful for his example and grateful that I was witness to that peace. In this regard, I am reminded of the poignant words expressed by a friend upon news of Mark's passing: "We feel his love and grace, and through our tears see his exuberant spirit and kindness. What a privilege to have known him." Amen.
I am also very thankful for each one of my children and for the love that we share. I am grateful for who they are as people and feel privileged to be their father. Gratitude rests in my heart for the special times we had together this past year.
The months following Mark's passing were for me at times lonely, difficult, confusing and fearful, yet they were also hopeful, comforting, promising and full. I am thankful for the family and friends near and far who helped me through difficult and sometimes dark times these past nine months. I'm also grateful for the opportunities I had to travel and meet new friends.
Lastly, I'm grateful for the journey I've been forced to take since Mark's death. A journey of, yet again, (re)discovering who I am. This is a topic I'll explore in a future post. But for now, I am grateful to be alive and thankful for the journey.