One Year

The 29th marks one year since we lost Amy to cancer. People say the first year is challenging, but I think 2020 has taken things a little too far… I’m supposed to be adjusting to the “new normal,” but how exactly is that supposed to happen when nothing is remotely normal? It’s just rude.

I still miss her. I still love her. I don’t expect either of those things to ever stop, regardless of what else happens. And she’s still a presence in my life. Not in a religious or mystical way. But we were married for 15 years, and friends for almost 15 more before that.

I know her so well I can hear her commenting on things. I can converse with her in my head, and I think I generally know what she’d say. Which is, I think, a good thing. I’ve occasionally had days where I felt overwhelmed, and I’d grumble about not knowing what to do, and sometimes I could imagine what she’d say or do, and it helped.

That’s pretty cool.

It’s been almost two years since we lived together. For the roughly nine months she was sick, she was either in hospitals or staying at her mother’s place, which was safer for her limited mobility. I still stay on my side of the bed out of habit.

A running theme with my therapist has been making sure I remember to keep living my life. Keep reaching out, keep looking for joy, keep doing things. I think I’ve been doing pretty well there, all things considered. I’ve been in an online D&D game, took a trip to the zoo with the kids, took my son to his first drive-in… We’ve also been doing video chats with Amy’s parents every week.

I don’t think there’s such a thing as being “over it,” but I’m proud of how well the kids are doing. And I think I’m doing well, overall. I’ve gotten back to work on writing, and should have Terminal Peace ready to turn in within the next week or two. I’ve been actively thinking about the future instead of being stuck in the past.

One of my biggest regrets is how much she and I took for granted. If I could change anything (aside from, you know, getting rid of the cancer), it would be to make more of an effort to cherish and take advantage of the time we had together before she got sick.

Looking back over the past year, I know I haven’t gotten everything right. I know I’ve dropped the ball sometimes. But overall, I think she’d be proud of me.