The first thing to explain is why I write and share this each year. I do it to mark my progress, to understand how grief has changed me and my family. I mostly want to see the progress and understand the journey. I want to share it with others and help those going through grief to understand how the grief process changes and how life can move forward.
This year was a year of big progress, I got married! Many people have asked me if that means I am not a widow anymore now that I am remarried. Technically, I am a remarried widow. I will always be a widow it has been branded on my soul and the love I have for Dave will remain forever. At the same time I know that it is possible to love again. That I can hold love in my heart for Dave and still love Therion. I love him just as much as I loved Dave and in a completely different way. My relationship with Dave was all crazy, fun and impulsive. It was fantastic and exciting and powerful. My relationship with Therion is peaceful, like putting on a soft comfortable sweater. We love each other, we take care of each other and there is so much safety and security in our relationship. I am so blessed to have the love of two great men in my life and both have shaped the person I am today.
The first year after Dave passed away, I was a mess! Incredibly sad, a little bit numb and whole lot of crazy! The second year, I felt like I was crawling out of my skin, trying desperately to process what was happening to me and what to do with my life. The third year descended like a blanket of sadness, enveloping me and weighing me down.
The fourth year I feel disconnected, I feel like my life has been separated into before Dave died (BD) and after Dave (AD). The before years included the past 3 years of widowhood. This year it is so strange, I feel like that life was another life, that poor girl that went through the loss of her husband was me but wasn't me. I don't feel completely connected to her anymore. It might be the way the mind works to protect itself, I'm not sure.
In ways I struggle with the disconnect, I want to make sure that Dave is always on the top of my mind and my heart. In some ways I don't want to let go of the pain for fear it might take something away from the memories and how much I love him, I know that is not true. I also fight the idea of my mortality and the mortality of those around me.
I want to make a difference in the world, to leave a legacy. My efforts to do this have gotten me off balance this year. I have spread myself to thin trying to make a difference and sometimes missing the things that are most important. Family always has been the most important thing. I need to find a way to balance my work for others with making memories with my family. I am not proud of the way I have handled this year as far as that goes.
We started it out great with an amazing LIVE LOUD party; a bounce house, jousting, pony rides, snowcone machine, cotton candy, food, family, friends and lots of FUN! I am sure Dave was with us and enjoying the party- he always did love a good party!
So as I move forward into another year without Dave, I feel blessed that the girl "Before Dave" was lucky enough to be his side-kick and be loved by him. I am blessed that the girl "After Dave" has found love and life again. I am grateful that both of those girls are me and that life continues to give me chances to get it right. This year I pray to find balance between the girl I was and the girl I am becoming and to remember every moment of every day to LIVE LOUD!
In loving memory of my honey David Allen Ledesma
Until we meet in that beautiful place!