After Three Years

Written on 7/18/17:

I will always love Michael .  I will always miss Michael.  But I don’t want to always mourn Michael.
These were my thoughts as this third anniversary approached.  You would think after three years you would have cried all the tears you would cry.
On the 18th I reread the CaringBridge entry from that day three years ago.   It was the day Michael asked me if we could go to Bravo’s for lunch.  That he would just get out of the bed and we would go to lunch.   When I told him he couldn’t go he was disappointed.  His friends thought he was kidding.  The doctors did too – they even laughed about it.  But he didn’t think it was funny.  And later that day his vitals began to drop.  The entry on the 19th talks about him being stable, but that he wasn’t making progress.  And it was just the day after, on the 20th, that he told me he wanted to stop all the treatment.
So as I look back on the timeline — that he was discouraged on the 18th and decided to stop treatment on the 20th — it makes me wonder.  Did I hurt his feelings by not encouraging him on the 18th?  Could I have someway picked him up emotionally and encouraged him?  Was I just too tired?  Did I not try hard enough?  If I had been more encouraging on that day, would he have fought longer?
Did I not encourage him enough?  Did I not show him that I believed in him enough?  God and Michael both know I would have never done anything to deliberately hurt his feelings.  But was I just too tired and being selfish to not indulge him in some way?
You would think that after three years these ideas would have been settled in my mind.  And I thought they were.
But to read back over these things again brings a new wave of questions.  And with the questions come the tears.  The gentle tears.  And then the continual tears.  And then the sobs of sorrow and regret and “what ifs”.
You would think after three years I wouldn’t react this way.
You would think …
The entry above was written earlier this week.  The thought that I could have hurt Michael’s feelings on that day still leaves me feeling crushed.  I know he would forgive me.  So I try to not hold onto the possibility.
Somehow I was under the impression that each year would get easier.  But it seems like the third anniversary is harder than the second.
 Check list for the third anniversary:
           New flowers for the cemetery
           Check on each of the kids
           Friends to get through the day
           Lots of Kleenex
           Book trip to Africa for next summer
           Learn that mourning doesn’t have a schedule
I will always love Michael .  I will always miss Michael.  But I don’t want to always mourn Michael.

7 thoughts on “After Three Years”

  1. Ginger,
    We just celebrated my dad’s 6th anniversary! While for my sister and I, time makes it easier, for my mom time has seemed to stand still. I watched you, day after day, love and comfort and encourage Michael to keep fighting! I don’t think you could have ever hurt his feelings! Celebrate his life every year, every day!

  2. Ginger I am reading this after we have prepared my mom’s birthday cake. It has been 4 years that she has passed. No matter how hard it is as taking care of her I knew that she knew I loved her. Knowing your story Michael knew you loved him. He knew you were tired and he knew God loved him. I don’t believe anything you would have done might have changed. God was with you all as he is with you all now. I am sorry you are hurting and pray for peace and comfort. Know that y’all relationship with each other and your children and with God will be remembered and will touch people’s lives for eternity

  3. Ginger, we too are coming up on Kaity’s 3rd Anniversary and not a day goes by that I don’t tell her that I am sorry for not doing more. Should we have moved her to Cincinnati Children’s hospital, should we have demanded a meeting with all the doctors on her team, the list goes on and on. The only thing I do know, is that time does not heal, it only gets harder. I know you did all you could do for Michael and I can not ever imagine him being disappointed with you. He knew how much you loved him and how supportive you were. Like Kaity, I think God just felt that he needed Michael more. Big hugs to you and your family.

  4. It hurts to read this. It hurts because you are still hurting. It hurts because your children are still hurting. I wish I could take the pain away! … but I can’t. So I continue to lift you and the kids up in prayer often. Praying for comfort, for peace, for assurance of God’s plans for your future. Love you.

  5. Thinking of you today my friend and I KNOW that YOU would NEVER deliberately hurt anyone, especially your FAMILY and FRIENDS! Be kind and forgiving to yourself, like you are to others! Grief and mourning have no timeline, and you are entitled to cry soft gentle tears, flowing tears, and sobs! You and Michael had that special magic and love that others may never have the opportunity to experience. Sending you lots of love, hugs and prayers. Michael is smiling down on you and his children with so much PRIDE and LOVE! We love YOU!

  6. This post reminded me of the day that Dino crashed and was unresponsive and as I waited outside of the ICU as they were working on him, you happened to walk by and asked me why I was back on that floor. I burst into tears as I told you that I didn’t know his fate and the last conversation I had had with him was a disagreement because he wanted me to get him candy from the vending machine. “What are you? The candy cop? he had shouted at me. That was our last conversation and I had left his hospital room to sleep at the Brenthouse. When I got the call about his condition I was devestated that those words had been our last and you said to me, “All of the good times are what matters. Nothing can erase the years of love.” Your words and presence brought great comfort and peace in a moment that wa sdark and unsure. ❤️

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