Some of the ways I handled my grief after my sweet Hugh returned to the moon are a little odd. I had a little bit of time to process my grief because I found out 2 months prior to him leaving that he was already in the stages of dying. My heart was heavy but not shocked. It is not a big surprise when your husband who loves cigarettes and butter in equal measure is diagnosed with late stage lung cancer.
I know it is hard to keep score with what type of death is the hardest and who has it a little easier. I will say however after seeing my friends lose their loved ones with no warning, I felt a slight advantage. I was more thankful to become somewhat prepared. But you are really never prepared and the day he shut his eyes forever I had some major adjusting to do.
I immediately had a friend help me change the bedroom that very day. I stripped the beds and changed all the bedding, changed the decor around so that it was not the room where he was so sick and died. Another big thing that helped me was I slept on his side of the bed, I did not want to look over and see him gone. It gave me great comfort being on his side of the bed. In the beginning I did not know how to walk or to move or to be. I just prayed and believed God would soothe the empty place and lift me.
I was so thankful my office took over and let me have my time before and after his death. I did not worry one minute about my business because my precious people took care of everything.
I poured myself into books about other women who had dealt with grief. I especially paid attention to those that used it as a stepping stone to more grace and love in their lives. I asked God to show me what and how he wanted me to serve with such an empty place in my heart. What in the world and where could he use the massive amount of love that was no longer finding its home with Hugh? I served in a prison nearby for the last several years but have not had much time to be there and I miss them. Those precious prisoners filled a void and we found hope in each other.
So now to my silly but very powerful way that I worked out my grief and found a release and an escape was by visiting the quaint little town of Stars Hollow. Lorelai Gilmore and her daughter Rory and the sweet and down home folks of this little town took me to a time of no stress, no worry, town hall meetings and zany characters with a Mayberry like charm. I would lay there and watch show after show and would forget about the real world that was on the other side of the remote. I found myself smiling and laughing and loving this crazy coffee loving mom who was tenacious in raising her daughter on her own. Well not really on her own because the whole town came together to help each other and love each other.
When I look back on these last 4 years plus that I have walked through life alone I am thankful when someone mentions his name. I am very grateful when I read one of Britt’s poems about him in her new book. I am so beyond grateful when I see the seeds of his sobriety in my boys. He always told me that they would get it one day and they did. I just hoped that one day I would have been with him.
I am thankful for the women that came before me and were able to share with me their journey whether in person, books or song. They helped me more than they will ever know. I wonder if the creators of The Gilmore Girls would ever imagine that they would have served as such a balm during such a tough time in my life.
Not sure after all this time what led me to share this grief tidbit but these few things really helped me. I hope that if someone reads this is going through the missing and the sadness that they may find their own quirky way of walking through their grief. I know some folks go to Grief counseling or join online groups but for me I found hope in books, other people and certainly the town of Stars Hollow.