August 19 – Today is the first anniversary of the death of my best friend, soul mate, and wife, Barb Calabrese. I called her Babe. A remarkable woman who taught me more about love than all the words I’ve read on the subject. She touched a large Twitter following, @Barb_Calabrese, reaching out in simple, love-filled ways.
My year has been a year of learning to dance with grieving. A year of learning how to live without someone whom I shared the most intimate secrets of my soul. A year of grappling with why? And, discovering I’ll never know the answer. A year of discovering I am not alone on this journey. All who have suffered a deep loss understand the grieving experience without speaking. They understand by looking into each other’s eyes. Their messages travel silently from heart to heart.
In my year of grieving, I rediscovered a deep faith in God. For unexplained reasons people I know, and strangers enter my life as messengers of love at unexpected times, times when I am low; times when sadness knocks at my door. They pick me up. Make me smile. And, encourage me. I find the strength to go on another day.
Each day, I grow stronger. Each day, I grow more optimistic. And, each day I find my path forward unfolding before me. How does it happen? I believe it is grace. I have no other explanation for it. I don’t think grieving ever ends. But I choose to dance with it.
To all my brothers and sisters who grieve over the loss of a loved one, together let’s find the strength and courage to go on. Together, let’s smile more often. Together, let’s sing joyful and happy songs. Together, let’s celebrate the gift of the life of the person we loved and love; and, together let’s not waste a moment of the wonderful gift of life you and I still share.