The Difference Between Today and Some Future Tomorrow

I was talking to a woman about grief today, and I realized something. It doesn’t get better, it gets different, and in that difference, we can find happiness again.

Easter Sunday marked the sixth anniversary of my life mate/soul mate’s death, and except for a brief acknowledgement of the day, it passed without incident. No tears, no upsurge of sorrow. Just . . . difference. I’m different, I think. (It’s hard to know for sure — I can barely remember what I was like back then, barely know what I am like now.) But for sure my life is different.

At the moment, I am in Florida, staying a couple of blocks from the beach, visiting a woman I had never even heard of a week ago. (Oddly, because of my blog, she knows me very well.) It doesn’t even seem strange to me, this almost blase attitude when it comes to visiting strangers, though I am sure that in my more cautious days, such behavior would have appalled me. But I have learned that unlike other authors, I don’t have fans — I have friends. Most of those friends are as yet unmet, as yet unheard of, but friends nevertheless. It is our shared sorrow, our shared determination to find renewal after a devastating loss that connects us. Because of this, there has never been even a moment of discomfort when I do finally meet these friends.

The difference for me, the difference that allows me to find happiness despite my missing him, is a willingness to embrace life no matter what it brings. To accept myself without censure. To simply be wherever I am or who I am with.

As the years continue to pass, when the seventh, tenth, fifteenth anniversary comes, there will be more differences. More opportunities for happiness.

For those of you new to grief’s journey, I hope you will find comfort in knowing things will not always remain the same, that in the difference between today and some future tomorrow, you will find joy again.

***

(Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels Light Bringer, More Deaths Than One, A Spark of Heavenly Fire, and Daughter Am I. Bertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.”)

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10 Responses to “The Difference Between Today and Some Future Tomorrow”

  1. Coco Ihle Says:

    So very well said, Pat.

  2. Toby Burnett Says:

    I’m a little surprised that you would say you hardly remember what you were like back then, when you so poignantly described it, almost day to day. That helped me very much, and set an example that I’ve been following since. Reading my journal entries back then (I’m almost to the second anniversary of my wife/soul mate/partner’s death) I can hardly believe how much pain I was in. I completely agree with it being different, and, for me, leading to some happiness.

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      I remember the pain, of course, but I don’t remember me so much, or what I was like, or what I was like before his death. Maybe I was as adventurous, but I don’t think so. All I did was put my head down and trudged through the days.

      (Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels Light Bringer, More Deaths Than One, A Spark of Heavenly Fire, and Daughter Am I. Bertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.”)

  3. rami ungar the writer Says:

    “It doesn’t get better, it gets different.” I’m going to have to remember that someday.

  4. Betty Rountree Says:

    “When reality changes, life takes us along for the different twists and turns, and evidently we will adapt, even if we think we can’t do it.” …. was my widowed aunt’s terminology.

    About the time I became a divorcee, long, long ago, the phrase “A new reality” became popular. So not only is it ‘different’, but it’s also ‘new’, ….. and it’s ‘real’.

    I liked what I knew of the ‘old you’, and I thought that was ‘just fine’!!

    The ‘different you’ is an awesome person, too! It’s making my day happy to read this post! Good for you! YEA!

    I’ve loved your posts since I began reading them long ago, and I’m although I still want to meet the former “you”, I’m also increasingly enthusiastic about meeting and getting to know the ‘different’ you, as well as the ‘new’ you! That was a great post!

    Have some fun and enjoy this next phase of your life! <<>>

  5. Betty Rountree Says:

    Back in October, a short 5.5 months ago, you wrote a blog titled “Building a New World for Myself”. You have accomplished that goal, ….. but since there’s enthusiasm, perhaps you are ” in the business ” of it, and making great progress, a work in motioon, and inspiring others, almost counseling others along the way! That is truly inspiring! You’re touching a lot of people, and letting others learn from you! What a great book you might write? Next time you come through Texas, I hope it won’t be as far north as the Ft. Worth area, but maybe a little bit ‘south’ of there in northeast TX!!

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      I thought you lived northeast of Dallas/Ft.Worth. Either way, it wasn’t possible to make the stop. Maybe on my way back, we could find a halfway point to meet.

      (Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels Light Bringer, More Deaths Than One, A Spark of Heavenly Fire, and Daughter Am I. Bertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.”)

  6. Constance Says:

    Interesting thoughts! Happiness does come in time. He will always be in your heart though the changes.


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