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Roger Bourland

Ouch. Poignant. Thank you for sharing the memories and the thoughts.
Roger

Betty

If it feel right to have his ashes in his office, that's where you should leave them until you feel otherwise. I have a friend who told me how conforting it was to have her husband's ashes closeby. She finally did bury them, when she felt the time was right.

Claude

Joy, these are such difficult times, the first anniversary, the first Christmas, all these hurdles to be crossed. I don't know what to say, because I've been there, and I know that there is not much other people can say or do to help, except tell you that they are here, thinking of you.
Love
Claude

janet

I've only been reading your blog for a couple months. I'm sorry to hear that you suffered such a tragic loss just one year ago.
It's just another reminder for the living to live each day to the fullest.
Your friend and fellow blogger
janet

Alan G

Some of your pain I can relate to Joy. Especially wanting to be near and close in those final moments. I lost my mother to lung cancer almost ten years ago and along with all that goes with that dreaded disease, she distanced herself from us and in the final couple of months she refused to let us get close enough to just hold her in our arms and tell her how much we loved her. That remains today as painful as it was then. Perhaps there is some measure of selfishness in that - I don't know.

I am sure I would have a very hard time letting go. I truly believe that your closing sentence best encompases what you should do until such time as your heart suggests otherwise. Our thoughts will be with you and your family during this time.

Winston

This must have been difficult for you to write, but quite cathartic to have done so. I admire your strength and courage and openness in sharing this with us. Thank you...

As to the ashes... if Joel left no directive, then you are free to do whatever feels right to you. Keep them on the desk. Scatter all or a portion in the middle of the lake (like, who is going to know...). Or bury. I want creamation myself and one of the reasons is I don't want to be planted in the ground. So I have never understood burying the urn with ashes. But to each their own...

Merle

Dear Joy ~ How very sad, that Joel
retreated into himself and missed out of a lot of family times, and then to go so very quickly. What a shock for you and the family. But at least he is at peace in his office.You look after yourself Joy, you did all you could for him and now is the time to look after YOU. Thanks for your comments. School fetes or festivals are great fun. The weeks are flying
by this year and Christmas is looming. Take care, dear friend,
Love, Merle.

Marilyn

It doesn't seem possible that it's been a year already. I can only imagine that the most tormenting part is not knowing WHY he made the choice he did. My wish for you in the coming days is that you'll be able to find a place in your heart where you can accept his choice, and forgive him for the pain that it's caused you. Anniversaries are hard...my thoughts will be with you.

June

Joy,

I cried as I read of this pain of you, your family and your husband, Joel!

I admire your strength so much.

Love and hugs,

Junie

Peggy

You're almost done with the first year! I hope the rest of this year is easier.

Kay Dennison

Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhh, Joy! How painful that must have been and still is for you! You are and will be in my prayers as you go through this difficult time. And if you need a shoulder, mine are broad and available. Trust that a gracious God has Joel in his arms. Hugs!!!

Maya's Granny

My mother and my aunts and my grandmothers all went through widowhood, as so many women do. I remember one day when my mother, her two sisters, and their mother were talking about it and my Aunt Florence said that she knew she was going to make it one day when she heard herself singing. They all agreed -- after months of sadness and early morning silence, one day the heart opens and you sing.

Know in your darkest days, that one day you will hear yourself singing.

jen

Wow, nearly a year already. I think you should be able to spread ashes where you like.

It sounds like Joel didn't want you guys to have to deal with it like he was trying to which of course didn't make it any easier on you.

love jen

Chancy

Writing about your feelings and your journey with the grief process will be helpful for you and we all are glad to provide a shoulder for you to lean on.

One day at a time may sound trite but that is all any of us can do.

Take care.

Chancy

joared

I wasn't sure what drew me to your blog tonight. First, I read your story above; then I found your poem and I understood what brought me here. Know that I am thinking of you.

MaryB

Ah, Joy. what beautiful writing about your dear Joel. You are in my thoughts during this time of remembrance. Thanks so much for giving us a glimpse.

Liz

Hi Joy,

I read this yesterday but couldn't comment. I still don't know what to say today. Thank God you have your children and wonderful relationships. I pray the next few weeks will be a time of good memories for you - with frequent weeps, I'm sure.

buffy

Joy, you could be describing my husband when you write of Joel. Dear Husband wishes to be left alone when he isn't feeling well. He chooses not to speak of it, and doesn't want me to, either. I understand about being an unwilling enabler. There's not much we can do when our husbands choose a road that excludes us.

This is a very difficult time for you, and you need more time to deal with your loss. I hope the lovely messages from your friends will be part of your healing process. Hugsssss to you, Joy.

Rain

that had to be so tough. Perhaps he pulled back because he knew he was going over and was doing internal work to prepare himself for that.

In our state, you can put ashes where you want (well not likely in a downtown block). I want mine sprinkled somewhere, not divided up, but all one place. I haven't yet decided on a preference but don't care a lot. I just know I want cremation, nothing in the ground, and hope by the time it's an issue, I'll know where.

zenknitter

Oh Joy, I remember that pain. I am in the middle of the "terrible two" second year after loss of our adult daughter at sea, on a rescue mission at night as an EMT. Sudden, not like yours but I wish I could hug you and cry with you. Instead of alone.

bod

my heart feels for you joy. i know there is nothing anyone can say or do to make it better but like everyone else i am thinking of you. you are in my prayers.x

Karen

Joy, as someone who reads and enjoys your blog regularly, I cannot believe it has been a year! Where did that time go? It seems like just yesterday - but then I think back on all that has happened in your life since then (and WHAT a year it's been for you - even just what you write about here... and I am sure that's just the half of it) and realise that yes, time has passed, hasnt it?

You are such a brave, open and giving woman, Joy - to be able to write a post like this(that brings tears to my eyes just reading). I do hope that this writing is a way of letting go and healing for you.

I'm sending you my prayers and hugs, and a touch of Aussie sunshine. xx

jau

I'm so sorry for what must have been a horrible time. You are brave and strong. I hope the next few weeks have at least one more good memory than difficult moments!

Bob Patterson

Joy, my thoughts and prayers are with you. I think our human condition asks us to embrace our lives, and accept our ending. All of which is sort of a dance. Maybe next time you put your hand on Joel's Urn, you can slow dance with him in your heart. All my love!

Peter

Sorry to be among the late arrivals Joy, I somehow missed this post, Bloglines isn't perfect, but it does help, that must have been a terrible time for you all, Joel included, one can only imagine the frustration he must have felt.
Hope things brighten up for you soon.

Paul

"Parting is such sweet sorrow." I am truely sorry for your loss !

Suzann

November ---- my heart flies across -- the first year of widdaness and all the loss for you this year my dear friend. How it hurts --- my love. Be gentle with yourself. Love and Hugs ((((((Joy)))))

Maria

Joy,
I will not speak of strength. None of us who have lost our spouses felt strong or courageous our first year. What I do admire is your depth of honesty. You write of a man and your relationship to him in a most candid manner and that is very admirable. It will take time to heal and to quiet your heart. God bless and keep you.

tamarika

Dear Joy,
I feel like I have been away forever. Your memories, pain, love. I cannot imagine what you must be feeling but am so grateful for your sharing. You are in my thoughts.

wayne

Wow, your post was touching and amazing. This is the first time I've read your blog, and I was blown away by the power of your words. My father passed away in July after a two year battle, and every day seems to come with some reminder of him. I'm not ready to write like you have, but you give me hope that some day i will be able too. thank you for the courage you show in this.

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