“There is always a time to seek those small instances in every life that make them grow. Anyone can pinpoint a certain time or place, that has served as the turning point to stretch the mind and think past that small beginning.” And so has been with the death of my husband Thomas Nunes. It is a year September 28th 2021. Since his death I have taken a step back to simply be present with myself, and digest how I feel and what I should do.
“The ways to grow are without number if the person is alert and tuned to them.” Getting tuned takes time. “There are rich ideas in the simplest of conversations, beauty in a sunrise and a sunset, and understanding in a handclasp if only we can tap that great potential and move out of the vacuum that seems to hold us.” And so it was with Thomas. I won’t let mourning Thomas become a vacuum. I understand very well what that kind of thing can be is. I have learned to listened to myself, feel my feelings and took a step back so I would not go into a vacuum. I have struggled with feeling my feelings due to past experience. Thomas changed that for me with his love and support. I needed to have my experience of mourning Thomas to be a personal experience, and familiar to all that our relationship was. Not anyone else concepts of who we were or what mourning his loss should be like. I found little to identify with when I looked up the mourning process, Not much seemed to fit. I thought I must be a pretty balanced person.
“We must be watchful for opportunities. We must seek beyond our small personal desires to fix anything of lasting value. I can’t fix this! Nor should I! There is no bringing Thomas back. As he was in the end I wouldn’t want him to suffer anymore than he did. A heart attack for him eased him out of life.
I had to learn how to be with “this”___. This is whatever it is___As to when mourning “ends” I have no clue. I will always think of Thomas. Mourning is different for everyone, it is different because of the life lived according to who we are. Life with Thomas was good! There was a lot of love and laughter. You do wonder about the rest of your life, will someone else come into my life? I can not know what happens in the future. I know people to remarry or have relationships. I think this is something to not over think. Loneliness will change as you continue to live your life, and reach out to others, and get involved. Simple do what you do and if someone should come into your life be open to it. This is what my wisdom tells me. I think about what I would want in another relationship. This I think is a part of moving forward. It is not something to feel guilty about, or that your being disloyal. We are humans are social and we need other humans to do things and communicate with. I see myself as single because I don’t like the word widow,
Another leap in thought here: “When we seek only to satisfy ourselves, we become stagnant and sooner or later fall onto a pattern of existing without a purpose.” Falling into the vacuum of despair over losing your loved one is self-serving, as it is self thinking___thinking and believing in there is nothing better ahead. In buying into this you can become hostage to their emotions. Thoughts that come from the voice in our heads, is not us, but the voice works a lot like the word association game. You think of something sad, and then other degrees of what makes you sad turns up. Just pick a thought and follow it! Or not, not is using wisdom, and allows you to find inner strength and wisdom itself. Fearing change is a normal response, and the feeling that you can’t control this is as well. When someone dies, they go poof! That is the best way to describe the experience. Your left to figure your way forward, in my situation we did think of what I would need ahead of time financially. Things were in place. Thomas made sure things were done to his liking. I am grateful he was!
There is a place for sadness and it’s in your heart where it’s ok to feel it. “The silent moments of meditation”, (are needed.) “the seeking of reason and purpose,” (are needed) ___these are “great sources of growth and will ever be valuable in the progressive person’s life. The right to seek is one of the greatest opportunities.” Joyce Hifler again dear friends, has been quoted, built into my thoughts here.
“An artist friend, falling into dialect, once said, “If I was the head of the world I’d say. “Where is the remotest place on earth? Take me there!” I would have liked to go there! Or perhaps a place like in the movie “Eat, Love, Pray!” Instead, my haven was our home. And to make it work for me, I had to change it, and put Tom “away”. This was no small feat! Not when both of you are artists! Not when there is a whole room of beloved music and one of books. Not when most things in the house come from Thomas’s beloved family as well as the things we found or bought together. You can’t put everything away obviously. And not everything will become a keepsake or have a special place. The kind of thing I had to do was make it different and cozy so I could simply think about what I would need for my future without Thomas. I was suddenly single and what do you do with that! LOL I am not fully sure. I did conclude that I want to take different paths that will be exciting and worthwhile. There is a lot I want to continue such as developing Shibui Found Image Art and writing. I am thinking of doing an MFA in writing! Something I have always wanted to do! To improve upon what I do thus far.
Thomas’ death has created a new turning point. Something in me made me feel I must stretch my mind and think past the experiences of his death, of other past experiences as well, and begin a new path. The realization is that no one lives forever and I sincerely want to do good things with my art and writing before I die. This means continuing my plans even without Thomas” his love and support. “The ways to grow are without number tap that great potential and move out of the vacuum that seems to hold us.” I
As I said,I found I needed to go within, to my quiet place so that I could be present. I had no idea how long this would take, at this point, it will be a year in a matter of days. My purpose has been to spend time with myself that I would feel my feelings. I needed to understand what could be a great overwhelming loss of my husband and dearest friend. There were other things from left field to be digested as well. It hurt that two of my children did not come. Nor did my brother or his wife and children. No card or reason why this made no sense to me. I did not want to overthink this as well. It had to be let go of. The funeral was very small and intimate with all who did come. Being during Covid, well. Wisdom requires a proper view. My daughter Jacobie and her children were there, Daniel with his lady Brianna and new baby Harper. Alexander, Emma, and Oliver Thomas were there. Thomas” brother Grafton came. He did a wonderful eulogy about Tom. Tom’s cousins came from “away” and their coming meant a great deal to me, and would have Thomas. A few other friends special to Tom, and neighbors came. It was not all I had expected. I did not want to color how things went, instead I embraced the love of those who were there. I mention this for one purpose. Such things happen, and they can deepen your sadness and even create anger, they can fuel a fire that will never quit. But I did not want that. I don’t want to figure things out any more about why someone did or didn’t do this or that. I feel too much time is wasted this way. After all, we only know what we can learn about situations, and how others feel, Beyond that, it is guessing what the truest reality is. You can think and rethink, and think again, and your hurt will deepen and it can take over your life. I am grateful for a good marriage where I did not have to think of my regrets. Regrets should not be gone over and over if you have them! It’s stacking up pros and cons, like debate class, where you already have your answer. The proof? The list that makes the best argument.
Other thoughts are that Thomas and I had something special, we loved who each other was as a person. Being individuals was important, we would say “two to be one, one to be two!” And so we were. How we gave me much strength, Thomas went poof! And I was suddenly single but I lived a very good life with Thomas for 22 years.
The big question after his death was in fact “What do I do with this?” Well, in life I reason we wear many hats. The ones labeled wife, lover, caregiver….these blew off along with some others. But I still have am an artist, writer, poet, photographer, print-maker, mother, grandmother, great grandmother….researcher, art therapy developer. All these are still stacked high, and I put them on and off. I am many things. Life has taught me to take care of my under-pending well. You must carry all these hats. Put them on shelves for safekeeping.
There is a place to keep Tom, and how I feel about him in my heart. It is ok to feel sad. To take time to process just how I feel. I had a life that was full of love and laughter. I never expected that! What might happen next? I have no idea. I believe I can shape things. I just need to be willing to go on another adventure. When I am ready. Taking time to feel ready has been important. Life is how we look at it. It is what we make it to be. We can listen to the voice in our heads that is not who we are and following it as if we are playing the word association game. Or we can think, that is just a thought. And then think of other thoughts which will push down the word game voice in the mind. Replace it with positive thoughts and be happier!
“ Seeking of reason and purpose, are great sources of growth and will always be valuable in the progressive person’s life. The right to seek is one of the greatest opportunities.“If I was the head of the world I’d say. “Where is the remotest place on earth? Take me there!” Just for a while or as long as it takes to grow a bit more and pivot towards new ways. I don’t have to be a certain way because others do or have. I have always found the way that is true to me, why change that? Tom would agree.
September 21, 2021