Last night, I stayed up late catching up with a friend during a marathon phone call. Shortly after Dave died, her life took an unexpected turn. While our situations are quite different, they are also similar in many ways. We’ve leaned on each other heavily this past year.
We talked about friends and family. About changes in relationships. We each talked about the shock of having people, who we always believed would be there for us during the tough times, who haven’t been there much at all. I talked about how I have even gone an extra step making those people feel better about not being there – “It’s okay.” “I understand.”
We talked about being alone. And about dating. I mentioned that I never expected to be navigating this season of my life by myself. We talked about decision making and agreed that while we are both smart, capable women that we miss the partnership and having someone to help carry the burden.
We talked about finances. Our kids. Where we live and where we might live in the future.
We talked about resentments. We talked about obsessing. Obsessing over things that we can’t control. How hard it is to realize that your position in life has shifted. That relationships have changed. That for us it has been JUST a year. One year.
I think that I have changed quite a bit in this last year. Small, subtle changes that others likely wouldn’t notice. I still believe that it is better to be kind than to be right. I believe that I have become a better listener. I believe that I am more generous with my words – sharing compliments, sharing love, not letting important words go unsaid.
One very meaningful gift that Dave gave both of us was saying everything that needed to be said before he left. I can’t help but wonder how much richer our relationship could have been if we had always taken the time to do just that. He was always very good at letting me know how appreciated I was. I am not sure I was his equal in that regard.
My friend and I ended our conversation talking about how it is the little things that were once taken for granted that are now noticeable gaps in our lives. To sum it up in 20 words or less – I miss reading the newspaper together and having someone to talk to about what I’ve read.