It’s been about 11 months since Don died. In the Jewish tradition, the daily recitation of the mourner’s prayer for a close relative lasts for 11 months. And it was nearly a year ago – May 10, when Don started to get so very sick. He had been doing well until he didn’t, and then had a very rapid one-month decline.
So all this is leading up to saying that it’s coming up on the one-year anniversary of Don’s death. And much has happened in that time. I still wear my wedding ring. And Don’s wedding ring (around my neck – and it’s in my gravatar picture – hanging from a bracelet on my wrist). But one thing that I have noticed is that I’m lonely.
I miss Don. He visits me in my dreams quite a lot, which is a lovely gift. But I still spend every night alone in my room. I hadn’t thought I was ready to start dating again. Until I suddenly thought that I was. The loneliness has become bigger than the mourning.
So I’ve decided to brave the waters. Which is a bit scary. The last time I dated it was 1992. Grunge was in. Well, it was in for some people. I was already not into the trendy stuff anymore. Most people weren’t on the internet yet. I was…several sizes smaller than I am today. Let’s just go with that. Oh, yeah, and I wasn’t scaring people away with my job. “What do you do for a living?” “Oh, um, I’m a pastor.” Yeah.
I even belonged to a dating service a long time ago. Before websites. Back when you had to go to an office and get interviewed by live people. And then they sent matches in the mail. Mail – that was what came in mailboxes. With stamps on it. I actually had a relationship that lasted several years from that dating service. Now it’s all online.
I don’t know if I even remember how to do this. Did I mention that this is scary? It is. But so is the idea of being lonely forever.
Twenty-one-year-old and I have talked about this. We talked about it a while ago when I definitely wasn’t ready to be dating yet. She said that she expected me to start dating eventually, and that it would be weird. I get that. It’s weird for me, too, and I haven’t actually started dating yet.
Don and I actually talked about it too. I think couples do that. We didn’t talk about it after he’d gotten sick – but over the years. We’d both agreed that neither of us should remain lonely and pining for the other if left alone. So I know that Don would want me to do this. But it’s still a bit strange.
I wonder what will happen next. It’s a bit scary and exciting at the same time.
That’s all I’ve got. That’s my mite.