It’s been four weeks today since Erika passed. I will admit to doing better than two weeks ago. I still have times when I’m in denial, or I feel like she’ll still be coming home. Or today, I had a moment where I thought she was still in the hospital and would be coming home from there. It really is still shocking though. And I am still mad that she still had so much more life to live, so much more to do, so many things that she and I still had to do together. One example is we’d recently talked about looking forward to seeing how Jaro reacted to seeing snow for the first time. Jaro was a street dog from Corpus Christi, Texas. A south Texas beach town, so I’m guessing she has never seen snow. She seems like she didn’t quite know what to think about it
But then after a short walk in the snow today, she seemed to be having a lot of fun, running around the backyard and sliding on the deck a few times.
I do wish Erika could have seen it as I’m sure she would have laughed with me at Jaro’s reaction.
Some people have asked if we have any more information yet about what happened with Erika and that answer is no. We’re still waiting. That in itself is a source of, I’m not sure what the right word is right now, stress, frustration, something else? But even as little as two hours before she passed, I thought she was definitely going to be coming home in a few days. That adds to the shock and disbelief of it all for me.
People are also asking about memorial services. We will have one at some point. I will let the time/day be known far and wide. It’ll be virtual/online so anyone and everyone can attend. But I decided that I want to know what really happened to her, and have time to really absorb and accept that, before having the service. Apologies to anyone worried that they had missed it, you haven’t, and I’ll do my best to ensure that you don’t.
As for my evolution, I still get mad, sad, shocked each day. I still go through her photos and just looking at her is breathtaking to me so many times. She’s just so beautiful, so photogenic, such a beautiful smile. I was so lucky to be able to spend all the time with her that I did. I feel lucky and fortunate that she chose to be with me.
I am meeting with a therapist once a week, which I think is helping. I have so many thoughts throughout the week, I have to keep notes for myself. My head goes in so many different directions. One of the big things right now is feeling the responsibility for being the one to keep her memory alive. I know that she touched so many people and they’ll always remember her, but I really feel like it’s my responsibility to never let anyone forget her. I know that “life goes on” for people, and I’ve spoken with others who have given me good advice. No one has said anything like “You gotta move on.” in fact, it’s been just about the opposite. I’ve been told things like “Your life has changed forever. It will never be the same.” As painful as that is to hear, it really is true. It never will be the same. I was talking today with a new friend today whose own wife passed unexpectedly about twelve years ago and he was telling me his experiences, things he learned from his wife and our stories were so similar. As sad as it all was, it was still good to hear someone else who’d gone through similar things. Even though it’s been twelve years for him, he said he still has moments when it all hits him again. He’ll have periods when he thinks he’s doing ok, but then it comes back. That too is good to hear as I know Erika will be forever with me, she truly was my other half.
As always, I’ll end with a beautiful photo of Erika, but I also wanted to included this quote from Mitch Albom because it is also in its own way reassuring:
“Death ends a life, not a relationship.”
My relationship with Erika will never end. Forever.
We would have been wrapping up our Prudence Island vacation week tomorrow, so here’s a photo from one night on the island last year: