I can’t say that losing Peyton has been any harder on me than my husband; only that we grieve in entirely different ways. Where I cry and talk and question incessantly, he tends to be more accepting. Where I retreat to deal with my pain alone, he chooses to find joy in the company of others. On Tuesday night, as we sat at a restaurant waiting for dinner, I mentioned that I had been in a real “funk” all day, feeling frustrated by my inability to be “strong” during this, and doubtful that things will ever be the way I had imagined them. It’s been seven months since Peyton died, and sometimes it feels as raw as if it had been only seven days. The fact of the matter is grief doesn’t respect time; there are okay days and there are bad days and Tuesday just happened to be the latter. I began to question whether my weakness bothered him; if he was upset with me for still being so broken up; what he wanted from me.
“That’s simple,” he answered, his tone honest and caring, “I want you to be happy.”
Our plates arrived and the subject changed; this exchange becoming just another blip on the radar. We began to talk instead about our meals, the saltiness of my drink, how his day had gone. I had actually totally forgotten about the conversation until I woke up yesterday morning to find the tiny slip of paper, a Chinese fortune, retrieved from the pocket of a loving man and left intentionally in plain site. Leaning over it I read the blue lettering:
Happier days are definitely ahead for you.
This may seem insignificant, but to me meant the world. I remembered that my husband mentioned that he had gone out for Chinese with some friends over lunch. I pictured him reading the fortune, then placing it in his pocket so that he could bring it home to share with me. For the first time in a long time, I started my day with a smile. Even in this darkness I have never been alone; he has always been at my side. I am blessed by the love that I share with this man, and it is my faith in that love that tells me that we will find those happier days together.