Jack and I got married on my birthday. We had been living together had one child and another on the way. He had been asking me to marry him a few times but I told him I wanted to make sure he was there because he truly loved me and not out of a sense of responsibility. So a month before my birthday he asked me what I wanted and I said a husband. Don't ask me how but we made it happen. on my 23rd birthday we got married. It was a simple ceremony at city hall but it was perfect. I didn't need more, i just needed to marry this man who meant everything to me.
Birthdays never meant much to me, who wants to get older. After you hit your 21st and can legally drink what else is there. So our anniversary was the focal point of the day. I was so blessed to have this man in my life that is what I wanted to celebrate.
So I decided if I was going to get through that first wedding anniversary I needed big time shiny. What could be more shiny than Las Vegas! My sister-in-law lost my brother a few years prior to Jack's passing. She took care of him and stood by him in so many ways. So I said let's go to Vegas, my treat and that was the start of what we referred to as Widow week.
I knew the day was going to be really hard to get through. it had only been three months. The morning of our anniversary of our anniversary I woke up and cried. I couldn't hold back the tears. My sister-in-law held me and let me cry. When I was all cried out, i pulled my self together and got ready for the day. I knew I would cry and that was okay. I wasn't there to forget just to get through. Besides I didn't want to forget that day and what it meant. I just wanted to survive it.
Was that the last time that day I cried, of course not. I filled up with tears every time I saw a couple laughing, holding hands, hugging or kissing. I cried with memories of the times Jack and I were in Vegas. I cried when I forgot and turned around to say something to him and he wasn't there. Yet shiny helped me survive.
So no I don't travel to forget I travel to survive, to get through, to ward off the depression that can be all consuming when you lose someone. My head knew that it would get better, it would get easier, that I would get through this. My heart not so much, it was broken, it hurt all the time, Shiny kept my mind busy so my heart had time to rest, to heal, to someday feel all the love I have for Jack but with happiness and joy for what we had and not for the pain of what I lost.
People get through their firsts in their own ways, what works for them. I chose shiny, some choose solitude and grief, others have support groups, friends or family. No matter how you make it through, know it does get better, it does get easier and though the pain is always there it does just become a whisper in your heart.