2020: A Challenging Year

Grieving, Illness, Uncertainty, Trying to Move Forward…

(Photo credit: The Free Photo Library)

This has been a most challenging year. For everyone. There is the constant noise and drama coming from the Trump administration, the frightening divide, hatred and intolerance in our country, the fear of the unknown with a pandemic that is out of control with protocols that are challenging for even the strongest among us, and the most consequential election of our lifetime.

For me personally, I feel as if I am being tested, over and over again. Still in deep mourning over the death of my beloved husband and soulmate, I think that I was numb and in stunned disbelief for the first nine or ten months. It just seemed surreal. Now I am facing the year anniversary of his death, and I am still in a deep depression, a feeling of purposelessness has permeated my world.

The beginning of 2020 started out in utter disbelief that I was a widow at 59, and my beloved soulmate and best friend was physically gone from this realm. Trying to grieve, the novel Coronavirus would make the situation even more challenging. Having to isolate, wear masks, stay home, wash hands and disinfect everything has become the new normal.

If there is any grace to David’s timing and dying when he did, it is that he did not have to try to survive in this new way of trying to get through life. He would have hated it, unable to see patients and do his work to his to his full potential. And, most importantly he did not die have to die alone, but in my loving arms. He always had impeccable timing.

Our final moments together
(Photo credit: Laurie Braun)

Happy birthday to me…🎈

The day before my 60th birthday I was caring for a big (100 lb) loving dog. We were walking in the park when he pulled me onto black ice, causing my feet and legs to go straight up in the air, and I hit the pavement hard on my thoracic spine and head. On a scale of 1-10 it was a spectacular 10. However I ended up spending my entire birthday in the Emergency Department, being evaluated for a Traumatic Brain Injury; muscle & ligament damage and bruises. Nothing says “party” like being in the E.D. After that debacle I figured that things had to get better. How wrong I was.

Next came the horrific murder of George Floyd by police officers, which was finally the tipping point for generations of frustration at oppression, blatant racism and institutional bias. It is everywhere and it is past time to recognize it and deal with it through massive change and reform. The marches and protests were powerful and moving. The riots were frightening, mostly perpetrated by outside groups. The Black Lives Matter group mobilized across the country and indeed the world, to awaken a sleeping nation on issues of social injustice.

One of many demonstrations around the country and the world. (Photo credit: The Free Photo Library)

For me personally the year went from bad to worse. While in the midst of trying to learn how to cope with out David, the novel Coronavirus appeared and proceeded to ravage the world, and especially the United States due to gross incompetence by our so-called leaders. Adapting to the new protocols and managing the isolation of being quarantined alone at home proved very demanding. On top of it all I had to prepare to move, to leave our beloved apartment and move to a smaller apartment. I was clearly not connected to reality. I was too depressed to organize my move, in fact I couldn’t conceive of how I was going to manage it. I had no idea of the amount of stuff we had accumulated over the years. It was like trying to fit the Sun inside the Earth… I had to spend most of my waking hours taking care of David’s practices and our other affairs. I am deeply grateful to family and friends who made the move happen. Now if I must focus on getting settled into the new apartment, and getting rid of a lot of stuff, a task that is very difficult for me emotionally, at least it has been thus far.

As if things couldn’t get worse, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died and I tested positive for the SARS-CoV-2 novel Coronavirus. I had to completely isolate in my apartment for just over 21 days. It is a very debilitating illness, and to this day my energy and breathing are affected. As this pandemic not only continues but worsens, I am more and more grateful that David didn’t have to try to survive this. I miss him terribly every moment, but this would not have been a possible way of life for him.

Our new normal
(Photo credit: The Free Photo Library)

Now, on this November 7th, 2020, the drawn out and stressful presidential election is just over, with the Biden-Harris team reigning victorious. This day also marks the year anniversary of my beloved’s death. A year. It is surreal. Compounding my grief is the fact that just yesterday morning our beloved “Angel” Reva Lear, who introduced David & me and stood witness at our marriage ceremony, left this realm peacefully and with love, but it still breaks an already shattered heart. I loved Reva dearly yet take solace in the knowledge that somewhere in the Universe David has welcomed her and they are both at peace.

Our beloved “Angel” Reva Lear, who introduced us and stood witness at our marriage ceremony, and who recently died🥀. (Photo credit: Laurie Braun)

I realize that I have been wallowing in the past, paralyzed with grief and unable to move forward with my life. Now I must consciously live in the present and plan for my future. I must hold the intention of discovering who I am without his powerful force in my life, and create a life in which I can do good work and contribute to society. I will never “move on,” but it is imperative that I move forward.

I am grateful for the support and encouragement of dear family and friends. As I inch forward back into the light from the darkness of my grief, I must have the courage and determination to honor David’s life, but still live my own life. I need to find the self-confidence to do my own thing, understanding that I risk falling, but optimistic that I can get back up again. Never have I felt so paralyzed and stuck, but those feelings are juxtaposed a sense of excitement to see who I can become and what I am able to create out of my life. I am hopeful. 🥀

Hopefulness (Photo credit: The Free Photo Library)

Dearest David, half of me is missing, and the other half is missing you. 🥀💔🥀

Published by The Philosophical Widow

Only some seven+ years after meeting and marrying my soulmate, I became a reluctant widow. It is a surreal experience, especially because my beloved husband was indomitable. There were so many health scares, times that medically he should not have survived, but beat the odds and went on to do better and better work, not to mention being a loving life partner. I changed dramatically during our time together...in him I found the safety and true love that I had always craved. This sense of safety and unconditional love allowed me to do the deep trauma work necessary to heal and become whole. I came to possess a strength that I never knew I had. I learned what true happiness felt like. I had it all in this amazing man. All except time, that is. “We loved each other enough for a lifetime, but tragically only had a moment.” Yet I am full of gratitude for having had the opportunity to love and be loved by this man. He was my world. Now I must learn who I am without being at his side and without him at mine. My only regret is that we did not have forever...

2 thoughts on “2020: A Challenging Year

  1. We missed you, Deidre. You know, there is actually another amazing guy who is still around–for now, anyway. It was his 93rd birthday. Looking forward to having you back next week, in black or white or any color you care to come in….

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Challenging is a very polite way of putting it. The last year has been awful, and I’m immensely impressed that you’ve survived it as well as you have.

    Liked by 1 person

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