Waiting for the End of the Year

I’ve survived, celebrated, or ignored many New Year’s Eves in my life. Mostly ignored. A new year merely meant starting over with a clean unmarked calendar and remembering to use a new number when writing the date. For the rest, it didn’t matter. I dragged my old self into the new year, along with all my old problems and frustrations, griefs and hopes, so that there was nothing intrinsically different from one year to the next.

Last New Year’s Eve, the end of the worst year of my life, I toasted the upcoming new year. That was the first time in my life I ever ushered in a new year with any sort of ceremony, but I thought it was important to put on a good show for myself. I needed the symbolism of looking forward to the future, building hopes and creating dreams, finding reasons to live when I could barely find a reason to get up each day.

And now here I am, three hundred and sixty-five days later, waiting for this year to end. I’m not celebrating the end of this year or toasting the new one. I’m simply waiting.

I mentioned in a couple of previous posts this week how grief snuck up on me again. This year ends the first full calendar year since the death of my life mate/soul mate. I can no longer say, “He died last year.” Our shared life is now more remote than ever. And so I’ve been grieving the end of this year. And the end is almost upon me.

I have no sense of the future tonight. I only feel, deep in my soul, that this is the end of something. I’ll be staying up until midnight, holding on to this year as long as possible. And then? I don’t know. The end of something, if only a year, should presage the beginning of something else, shouldn’t it? But I have no plans. No plans to make plans. No plans to plan to make plans. I’m not being negative, I simply have no sense of the future, of what that future might bring.

Right now, tonight, I only feel that this year is ending, and I need to see this year to its very end.

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9 Responses to “Waiting for the End of the Year”

  1. Deborah Owen Says:

    Thinking of you at ll:58 pm. The new year will bring new life, but uncertainty is always hard to face. You’ll make it. God bless and many hugs.

  2. Joy Collins Says:

    Waiting here too, Pat. 51 more minutes…to what?
    Like you, I still don’t care. The future is blank and without meaning.

  3. Mary Friedel-Hunt Says:

    The anticipation (and the wait) of beginning another year has ended here in Wisconsin. I fell asleep in the chair and when I awoke, sleep had carried me over the threshold to 2012. It feels no different than an hour ago which was now last year…the sadness I have carried in my heart and on my shoulders for many many months and years now is identical. Bill still died 21 months and 5 days ago, was sick and spiraling towards death for at least 5 years. It means nothing that it is now 2012 except in some wierd way it is now more than an hour longer since Bill died….since I held his hand in my hand….the hour that just passed was a year long. I see 2012 in my mind’s eye and his death in 2010 now feels even further away…as does he. That is what I have feared all week. Does it matter? He is gone….and that is what matters. I am left here on this planet and like you, Pat, I am waiting…still.

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      Mary, it is odd that it matters so much today. I mean, it always matters that he’s gone and that every day takes me further away from him. But there is a big difference between saying he died “last year” or saying he died the “the year before last.” It makes it more . . . remote somehow.

      And in less than three months, we’ll be dealing with the second year anniversary. Eventually, as you said once before, we’ll move beyond this, but for now, the bleakness still looms. I had a weird thought. If there is anything beyond this, I wonder if they’ve met. I mean, they died within hours of each other.

  4. Holly Bonville Says:

    I’ll say it too.. Happy New Year.
    Right there with you in limbo. Waiting….and waiting.


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