Wow ……

…… that’s all.
Just …… wow.

When last I left you, I had seen Sting in the Park.
Question: And yes, I know I could Google this, but what is his real name? Does it say “Sting” on his birth certificate, because if so …… bad parenting anyone?

Yesterday and today I read a book.
Seriously.
Book club is tomorrow afternoon.
Never let it be said that I don’t get things done …… when I want to.

I’ve also been to some barre classes and on some more walks through the Park.
Fall has not yet graced us with its presence, but it’ll be here soon. I hope.
The weather hasn’t been cold enough to turn the leaves yet, but I did happen upon two beautiful trees.
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Tonight I went to see this play:
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The cast changes every 6 weeks. Right now it stars Carol Burnett and Brian Dennehy.
People who know me well, know that I have loved Carol Burnett since I was much younger than I am now. Much.
When I think of her, I think of home.
I think of growing up, watching her show every Saturday night, while my mom put rollers in my hair for church the next morning.
I have memories of high school, and college, and continuing to admire, respect and love her talent.

She came to Houston to do an evening of Q & A. Jim took me to see her. She showed a video that contained a lot of clips from her show. I found myself crying during that video. I’m not sure why, except for the memories it brought, and the feeling of home.
Jim died later that year.
Wow ……

So anyway, I loved watching her tonight.
I went to the stage door afterwards, mainly because I was walking that way and there was room for me right at the very front.
I hoped she would come out. And just the thought of her doing that, made me teary. I knew that if she walked through that door, only a few feet from me, I’d be blubbering all over her.
So it’s probably a good thing that she didn’t.
But Brian Dennehy did.
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Wow ……

And just in case you’re planning a trip up here between now and mid-February …… here’s the other casts coming up:
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Yep. Wow ……

Yesterday I awoke to find a text from a friend on my phone.
She wrote that she was very upset over a comment someone made on my FB wall.
I obviously hadn’t seen FB yet, so I opened up my computer and went to the site.
Wow ……

Something less than a firestorm had been unleashed.
By a “friend”.
All because I posted the night before that, as I was updating my children with pictures of a certain baby, I started missing Jim. A lot.
That’s it. That’s all I said.

Here’s what she said:
“With all my love and obeying the voice of the Lord. I want to tell you Janine your time of mourning is over. It is time to enjoy the life God gave you. It is time to renounce to self pity party. The Lord is not done with you jet. You got to finish the race but rejoicing on the Lord. This life is precious and temporary. Forgive yourself, forgive God! Jim is in Heaven with our Heavey Father and you know that you will reunite with him. God is more important than any person! It is time to put things in order. The word of God saysocevthe Lord your God above anything else, no your husband, no your children.
The Lord is your Husband!!!!”

She also quoted the verses from Ecclesiastes …… there’s a time for everything. Some of them say this: (I’m not quoting exactly, just giving highlights)
A time to be born, a time to die, a time to weep, a time to laugh, a time to mourn, a time to dance.

This “friend”, whose husband is very much alive, who has no idea what it is to grieve for the loss of half of your heart, for your future, for your children’s grief …… told me that my mourning is over.
Wow ……

And here I thought I was moving forward with my life, moving to a new place, enjoying the life I have, making the most of the days I have, etc.
I thought it seemed pretty evident that I am no longer “in mourning”.
Heck, I don’t even wear black that often …… even in New York!!

I have about 30 minutes of feeling sad and missing Jim, and I’m told it’s a pity party.
Wow ……

But do I still grieve? You bet.
Do I lay in bed and grieve and cry and spend a day in grief? I do not.
Not in a very long time.
Grieving and mourning are two different things, in my mind anyway.

Grief will always be with me, back in a corner of my mind, and my heart.
There will always be a thought, a word, a picture …… an event …… that will cause me to miss him …… and bring tears to my eyes.
Always.
And I’m ok with that.
I will never stop loving Jim.
Even if I’m blessed to have another love.
God came, and will continue to come, first in my life.
Jim was second.
The kids were third.
And we were all good with that.
Now the kids are second.
And will most likely remain second for a very long time.
And I’m good with that.

After the shock of reading that post, I briefly felt anger.
But then anger was replaced with something like pity.
I feel sorry for anyone who hasn’t experienced a love so deep, so strong, so …… forever.
I feel sorry for anyone who thinks they are the voice of God. That’s a lot of power to mis-use.
I can’t even fathom speaking for God.
Judging for God.
Wow ……

For those of you who read this blog …… and are widowed …… I pray that no one ever, EVER says those things to you.
You will grieve as long as you will grieve.
You will move forward at your own pace.
You will do things in your own time.
No one should judge you for how you grieve.
NO.
ONE.
Especially someone who has no idea.

Never let someone tell you that you’re doing it wrong.
Never let someone make you feel bad, or wrong, or crazy because of how you grieve.
Never.

But if that ever does happen, please know that you can come here.
You can email me, message me, call me.
I’ll be here.

You are not alone.
It will get easier.
Hope matters.
You will love life again.
Wow ……
🙂

11 thoughts on “Wow ……

  1. Twyla

    We will stop grieving for our loved one when our heart stops beating.
    Ask her to talk when she has lost her husband and not until then. Even then, grief is different for each one of us. As different as each relationship is different. As a widow of one year, you were the first person I followed thru your blog and found hope for life after losing my husband of 35 wonderful years. Janine, pay no attention to those who know not what they talk of. For those of us who walk this unwanted path, you give us hope.

    Twyla

    Reply
  2. Harriet Harrison

    Wow Janine, that is one cruel lady. We all grieve at our in our own time, and we grieve by what we know. When my daughter, Sara, was born 38 years ago she had a disastrous brain hemorrhage. It was due to medical negligence. In the early years my grief was almost unbearable. It’s eased over time, but there are still days when I see someone her age, walking with their own children and in my heart to the depths of my soul I’d grieve for the child that should have been. Sara is a happy person with very limited abilities. I guess your “friend” would think I was a horrible person,but I know it’s okay to grieve for my Sara. it’s what’s in my heart and I love her for who she is. My heart is just sad for all she missed out on in this life.
    H2

    Reply
  3. Kim

    Janine, your writing inspires me! and wow is about all I got too!! It will be 3 years next month that my husband died. Like you, I don’t lie in my bed and cry all day. I’m living my life. But I do have some days when tears come and I welcome them! He is loved and missed everyday. We have grandchildren that he would have doted over and I sometimes have tears when I think of what they and he are missing out on. I think if someone told me I should be ‘over it’ I would be furious. Thank you for your blog!! I thoroughly enjoy reading them!! hugs

    Reply
  4. Donna Martin

    Hi Janine, I too am a long time fan of Carol Burnett. Back in the early days of her shows, there was obviously no captioning on TV until early 1980’s. But with Carol and her fabulous cast they had great lips to “read” (for those of you who dont know me, I am Deaf) and I thoroughly enjoyed laughing along with my family (really the facial expressions and body language made me laugh more than the talking). Of course when the captions came along I got ALL of it. Too bad you did not get to see her but hopefully some day….when in NYC anything is possible.

    Regarding the comment from the “friend”….since the day I met you (on Skype or in person) you have been a widowed role model for me. Even though we dont see each other much, I “hear” you through your blogs, FB postings, emails, etc. Whatever you express in your grieving process is OKAY with me and probably thousands of other widowed people. Living YOUR life and grieving along the way is what helps me live my life and continue to grieve, laugh, cry (not in bed all day!) when I think of the love Karen and I shared (for 20 years) and miss her terribly (5 years now) and the memories of her bring tears and smiles along the way.

    Yes, HOPE MATTERS!
    {{{ ❤ }}}

    Reply
  5. Dana Thurman

    Janine, I just want to let you know that I appreciate your honesty, especially when it comes to Jim. It gives me the opportunity to pray for you and, I believe I’ve become more compassionate and understanding toward others who are grieving/mourning. As you’ve said, everyone deals with the loss of a loved one differently. It is no ones place to determine what that should look like. You inspire me!!

    Reply
  6. Rosemary

    Yes, Wow! My Jim died almost six years ago. I have recently been told that I should be “over it” by now. I have learned to live with the loss, but will never be “over it”. Thank you for your blog. Your words/thoughts have encouraged me many times.

    Reply
  7. Kellie

    What the hell?? And who is she to ‘declare your time of mourning is over’? My father passed away 8 months ago and my mother, sister, and I will mourn him for the rest of our lives. I happen to think you are amazing. You have built a hell of a life for yourself, but that doesn’t mean you don’t wish that he were here to live it with you. I am constantly amazed at your bravery and independence. What an a**hole. Sorry for the language…that got me fired up.

    Reply
  8. JSP

    Janine, you were the first person that gave me hope, all because you were the first person I read that described in detail the reality of the devastation and the dark ugliness you have to walk through to get to a place of hope. I was in the dark ugliness, and you helped me see there was hope in my future, and now I do have some hope. I have never had someone so brazen as to say those things to me. But I have had bits of that sort of thing, from people who have husbands whose couple selfies they post on Facebook. Lucky them. I was so angry when I read this. You have done so much for so many of us with your words. I think that God would say to you thank you for helping his lost ones. How dare she? My first thought was I have no words, but a second later I had too many of them and none of them good.

    Reply
  9. glenda1203

    Janine,
    You’re living your life and doing amazing and of course you would love for Jim to be here with you and your children, but you will never get over it! How dare she? My dad passed when I was 13 and until my mom passed 10 yrs ago we would sit and talk about my dad and grieve. Grief is a part of our lives forever. Thank you for sharing your life with all of us and thank you for sharing my city NYC in pictures. Makes me feel like I’m right there with you! Enjoy!

    Reply

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