Today is my 10th wedding anniversary with my deceased husband. He passed away 88 days ago. On this day we were going to renew our vows. This is something that my husband wanted to do, something that he looked forward to. A new start was so important for us. Today has been filled with photos and memories of Mike, and our love story, and many, many tears. I feel like each breath I take is going to be my last. I pray for the strength I need to bear the pain and agony of being here on earth without him. They say the first year of widowhood is the hardest. I don’t know who ‘they’ are, but that’s what everyone keeps telling me. First year, hmm Milestones marked “important” on my calendar: Birthdays, holidays, wedding anniversaries, the anniversary of his death. Since he died, less than three months ago, I’ve already had to celebrate Thanksgiving, Christmas and his birthday, and I tell you, it hasn’t been easy. Feels like punches in my face, and I don’t believe that this will ever get easier. Living everyday without my person makes me sad. I feel drowning waves of grief as I try to process through the intense pain I am is feeling knowing that he will never come back. I wish I could sit around with family and friends who knew and loved him and talk about old stories, but there really are none. For the past seven years, it’s been just the two of us. Just me and him. Sometimes I wish to play scopa, and dominos for hours like we did. Sometimes I wish to talk things over with him, like we used to. I miss him. I’ve tried to feel some gust of wind or some shift in the sky or something, ANYTHING, that might, maybe, sort of, be a sign from my husband. Something that would tell me he was there, with me, always. Something, just something, that felt like a tiny fragment, of being with him. I am so afraid I will forget what his face looks like or forget what his voice sounds like. Today I’m no longer his wife, I am his widow, and as his widow, it is my honor, and my responsibility, to keep him alive, to keep his soul alive, in all the ways that I live, so I will live my life fully and with purpose, because he doesn’t get that choice.