Wednesday, October 26, 2022

Let me tell you what I've learned

I've learned

- that laughter is that absolutely insatiable, most satisfying emotion, feeling, act of body-shaking, chortling, roaring, guffawing, snickering one can engage in with pure delight and happiness. And Warren provided that every day of his life.

- that when someone you love with all your heart and soul dies, they never really leave you. You hear their voice inside your head, tumbling around in conversation and you smile broadly while shaking your head in agreement and astonishment.

- that because of my beloved Warren, my life has been the best it could be. He made me whole, incredibly happy, cherished and safe.

- about intense anger at the reason he died.

- that it doesn't matter how much time goes by, grief is never-ending. There is no closure.

- the pain doesn't get any easier, it just changes with time.

- that tears pouring out of my soul can sometimes bring me a measure of comfort.

- that time is divided into before and after.

- that it's never time to say goodbye.

- that this is a journey only I can make - my way.

- that I wanted and needed him to stay forever, but he couldn't.

- that I can't hide my grief.

- that I am surrounded by family and friends who never, ever denied my feelings of utter despair and anguish, even after years have gone by.

- that our love affair continues and will until the end of time.........

Copyright © 2022. Reisa Sterling Miller. All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, September 15, 2022

I drive, I think....

Enclosed in the space of my SUV, my mind works overtime when I'm driving. It flits from thought to thought very quickly. 

Driving recently with the usual tears dripping down my face, I thought: If I collected all my tears from the past five plus years, I could have wiped out the Arizona drought!

I can count on one hand the times I actually got to see some friends during the last two years and still have one finger left over. As a consequence, I've taken a lot of rides with Snuggles, just around the neighborhood for a change in scenery. And while I drive my mind goes back into the sweet memories but often the sad darkness descends. It's not something I can control.  The thoughts I have bottled up come spilling out. 

And when they do, I start my conversations with Snuggles. She's such a good listener! It's like a running commentary, reminding her of the times Warren and I used to drive over to the big park with her and Sterling so they could enjoy some new smells in a little different scenery. I actually describe to her some of the scenery we pass because she doesn't see well anymore. 

As I pass a lot of restaurants Warren and I used to enjoy I think, "There's another one I won't be going back to." Eating in a restaurant by myself is not something I would do. At least I just don't have the courage to do it.

I was driving home from an errand I had to run when suddenly his smiling face appeared in front of me. I immediately started to cry, tears dripping down my face, my chest heaving with sorrow and not a sound came out of my mouth.

I sometimes cry quietly while driving. At least it starts out that way. But too often I end up screaming through my copious tears.  I try to prepare myself when I know I will be driving somewhere. Even when errands had to be run, we almost always did it together so driving with the passenger seat empty presents its own melancholy memories.

It's been over five years, the heartache has diminished just a little, but the tears continue to dribble down my cheeks as I drive. I'm okay with that. I have to get the anguish out and I seem to be able to do that more easily in the privacy of my vehicle. It is a necessary outlet that allows me to resume breathing again. This grieving thing: it really hasn't gotten much easier for me with time, the pain of the loss has just become my companion. It has settled in and I'm learning  to live with it, teardrop by teardrop. Grief has no time limit.

Copyright © 2022.  Reisa Sterling Miller. All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

It's been five years......

From the time of the news of the diagnosis, there was never a moment when we thought he wouldn't beat this thing to a pulp. The choice of treatment was calculated out of intense and immense research and the course we took provided a good quality of life throughout the many months that followed.

Looking back now, even as we neared the end, we couldn't see around that corner. And even at the end, I never, not once, believed he would go. And when I hugged him and kissed him I didn't think it was goodbye. It took an instant to lose you. It will take the rest of my life to grieve.

With a love like ours, we always thought our lives together would be never-ending, that we would be together for the rest of our lives. But the realization is that he did live the rest of his life with me.  And what a magnificent life it was. 

When I think of the place where I found love, I think of being encircled in his arms, the place were I felt safe, warm,  protected, cherished, cozy, snug, loved and incredibly happy. 

My Darling, every minute without you has been excruciatingly painful deep within my heart. Time has changed nothing. I love you and miss you just as much as I ever did. I ache every day knowing you're not beside me. I carry within me your jokes and puns, your laughter and beautiful smile, your twinkling eyes, your loving touch. I keep my love for you deep within my soul, safe and everlasting.

I know you live on in the hearts of all you touched, especially our sons who miss you terribly. They channel you constantly with jokes and puns and are a constant reminder of the love we all shared.  We are your legacy. We are your voice and you live on in us. Our sons honor you in everything they do.

It's been five years that I've missed your arms around me. But the flashbacks of those memories will have to do. Even though the sorrow will never fade away until my heart stops beating, all the memories, those sweet memories are gifts you send to allow me an instant to reflect, to breathe, to get lost in the moment and to remember your life. 

I know you're watching over our sons and me. The love envelopes us like a beautiful cape. It's ever-present and comforting. 

My wonderful Warren, I miss you, my Darling. We had the greatest love story and I continue to live it with the sweetest of memories.

Copyright © 2022. Reisa Sterling Miller. All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, June 12, 2022

It began with laughter

In the beginning.......  When my brother Ed heard that I was dating Warren and really liked him, his reaction had me convulsed with laughter. His comment:  "Warren? my fraternity brother? He looks like a taxicab with both of its doors open." He was referring to the fact that Warren's ears stuck out a little. But, so did mine! I knew it was all going to be good because Ed's reaction was priceless, funny and a portent of things to come.

Laughter was a hallmark of our time together from the very beginning.

It was not surprising that I recently found a yellow pad filled with jottings of joke lines, joke ideas and full jokes and puns while cleaning out a closet in our home office. It appears that he was preparing for a speaking engagement, I think, at the law school where he taught. I sat down to read them and was convulsed with laughter all over again, remembering when he would drop them on me, many at the most unlikely times. We laughed constantly.  What a gift. When memories coming flooding back, they're always accompanied by his puns, jokes and his incredibly beautiful, sweet smile and his twinkling eyes.

When I talk to the boys about Warren's puns and jokes, they inevitably reply in like fashion. They both have inherited his penchant for jokes. Laughter and making people smile is part of their DNA.

And the last thing he said to me (I won't write it here) was one of the most loving and hilarious things he ever could have said. I giggled inside hysterically and have that permanently etched in my mind and in my heart. I often call upon that memory when I'm in that dark place and the giggles bubble up from deep in my chest and it chases away the sadness, if but for a short while.

Copyright © 2022 Reisa Sterling Miller. All Rights Reserved

Thursday, March 24, 2022

Why am I cold?

All winter long, inside my house, I've felt cold. I had the thermostat at what I thought was a reasonable temperature but I always felt chilled no matter what it registered.  It took me a while but it finally dawned on me. I felt cold because Warren's arms weren't around me. Yes, it's that simple.

We spent a great deal of time together, really together and his warmth emanated and radiated outward to encompass everything in its path. And I was usually in his path. He had an aura of wonderfulness about him and he made me feel safe, protected, incredibly loved and cherished. 

I will never get used to missing his warmth ...his smile ...his love ...his voice ... his puns ... his laughter ...his brilliance ...his beautiful eyes ...his embrace ...his touch ...his everything...........

Copyright © 2022. Reisa Sterling Miller. All Rights Reserved.

Friday, March 4, 2022

Music brings me back to a time....

I listen to the current music used for a commercial (the theme from CHEERS) and I practically choke on tears because it brings me back to a time when life was good and a lot happier. I'm transported back to the time we spent in Boston and Cambridge during Warren's law school years before we were married and I marvel at the wonderfully funny and crazy things we used to do then. Enjoying going to coffee houses, listening to folk singers, walking through Harvard Square with friends, law school dorm parties. And sometimes, on a Saturday night, me just sitting in his dorm room reading while he studied with music on low in the background. What an insanely happy time that was.

But then, we did a lot of funny and crazy things throughout our lives together.  We toured the west for thirty days one summer, courtesy of the Air Force which allowed its officers thirty days of leave each year. So, during the trip, in one of the national parks, I fell into a mud hole up to my knees while I was running to get a photo of a moose! (I got the photo!) I managed to get the attention of a bear who was begging for bread. As he loped over to me, I had to scramble to get into the car and away from his reach! Warren was calmly sitting in the car, doubled over with laughter.  We drove through the Wawona Tree, the famous giant Sequoia in Yosemite, the summer before it fell in February of 1969 from an overload of snow. And on this trip we found out that deer and chipmunks love Cheez-its. 

When I hear music from that time, the 60's, and the memories come flooding back, I smile and my heart soars because I'm right back there, enjoying all the love and happiness again. Memories like that are wonderful things because they soothe an aching heart. And I will be forever grateful that we made so many of them filled with love and giggles.

Copyright © 2022 Reisa Sterling Miller. All Rights Reserved.