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The Best Tribute


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Ever since spending Thanksgiving (and my birthday) with my family and allowing my friends to celebrate my birthday with me (I still have a "spa day" to look forward to next week!), I've come to a deeper realization of just how important it is to take the inescapable pain that is grief and pour it into those I love. Take the emptiness and try to fill someone else's heart up just a little bit, or make their day brighter (like Lily is always doing), or help them out when they need it. And allow others to do the same for me.

My original idea was to "escape" the holidays, push them under the rug, and maybe...maybe bring them out again next year. Somehow I'm now wanting to embrace Christmas rather than hide. Bill absolutely loved Christmas. I want my house to look festive when my family comes. I want to cook a delicious dinner. I want my little great niece and nephew to walk into an inviting atmosphere of love and hope. I want to embrace those family and friends who have an even greater role in my life now (and I in theirs) than they did before Bill passed. I know that's what Bill would want. I know that to him, that would be the greatest way I could honor him.

One of our traditions was to order pizza one night and watch two or three classic Christmas movies (A Christmas Carol and It's a Wonderful Life being our favorites). Often times this would be the same day we put up our Christmas tree and lights. I may pass on the pizza and I won't put up a full size tree, but I plan to watch those movies on my own one night. I want to experience the beautiful memory, and in a way, I need to experience the loss of that tradition -- at least the loss of "our" tradition. It will leave me in tears, or it will bring me comfort, or possibly both -- I won't know until I do it. In a weird way, I'm looking forward to it. Like I'll still be sharing it with him in some way.

I read Bill's unfinished book the other day. Something I hadn't done since his service, when I was deciding which parts to read aloud. I was so struck by his sincerity, honesty, humor, and ability to be so damn eloquent and clever when his mind must have been filled with so many agonizing thoughts. He started his book right about the time we knew things weren't going our way. Oh, we always had hope, but the dark cloud loomed lower. As I read, I felt so proud of him. He so wanted to help others (and he did and still does). He was absolutely amazing, and I miss him ever so much. I also watched a home DVD of us on an absolutely idiotic adventure, off-roading in Death Valley (by ourselves). It was January 2006 for our 10th anniversary (I know, most normal people would take a cruise). But we made it out alive and the DVD is hilarious and it documents "us" in such a real way. It's only about 10 or 15 minutes long, but I LOVED watching it.

I am so blessed to have had him in my life -- to HAVE him in my life, even if I can't touch his face again just yet.

This grief process is weird -- every week is a new phase, and I never know what the next phase will bring. I just know I can't hide from it, so I might as well stare it in the face. Which is exactly what Bill did with his cancer. If he can be so brave as to do that, I can be brave too.

Ah, yet another one of my convoluted posts...


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Thank you Teri for your reference to me and for reminding me in such a wonderful way how much a part of us our loved ones are even after they have left this world.

I know what you mean about facing the grief and finding that it takes you on a different path each day. I don't have the holiday memories with Johnny. We just didn't have time, we missed Christmas by just a few weeks. Still he seems to be a part of all that I do and all I think and feel.

All we can do is go forward until the time comes to join them. I give thanks everyday for my wonderful family and all of the great friends I have made in this past 5 years. Despite the pain I am so thankful for the time Johnny and I had together. In a lifetime we had only a little over a year together. Just five months that we lived together and almost three months of that was taken up with the anxiety attacks and his time in the hospital. Still I remember it as a time of great joy. My sorrow will never dim that and I can see how true that is of you and your memories of Bill.

God Bless you Teri and all of us who are still feeling the pain of such a deep loss.

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I feel I would be so comfortable watching your movies with you.........I would. Wish I could be there. You continue to be so awesome to me, Teri. I cannot imagine the emptimess you must feel, but would feel privileged to share some of that emptiness with you. Wishing you some comfort and peace as the holidays approach.


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I wish I had your attitude. I would skip Christmas if it wasn't for the kids. I must have been overheard saying this because Jillian asked me the other day if we were skipping Christmas. So I have to make it a nice day for her and the kids. It is so hard not to have John here. I looked at all my gifts I have to wrap and wished he were here to help me. He had a unique wrapping style, but hey they were wrapped. :lol:

I always send out cards and a Christmas letter about our year but I don't think i will this year even though I did buy the cards. They fit this Christmas, a black and white photo of a woman being blown around in a snowstorm and inside it says "have a wonderful holiday season"-- ok so I haven't completely lost my sense of humor in all of this.

Anyway, it is hard. I admire your strength.


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I love reading your posts Teri. When you talk about him you are keeping Bills memory alive on here amd that is good as we really love Bills writing and his courage and especially his humor.

You are also very eloquent in the way you express yourself in your posts here. Even though you are going through incredible emotions, it helps me and I am sure many of us to know that you are coping and I know one of those reasons is the way Bill lived his life and his last days. He left you a legacy of his wonderful strong spirit in the physical and now spiritual soul.

Please do not feel that you are burdening us with your posts. I feel it helps you to heal when you talk about him and his wonderful family.

You do what you have to on Christmas as I know in my heart of hearts he will be with you.

Would love to see that video of you guys it sounds very entertaining :D

Take care Teri, you mean so much to us as you are part of our family on here and we really care about you and what you are going through.


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Sometime we can get so much peace and comfort from doing things that are familiar to us, even if they make us sad. I think when do do the things that we shared with our loved ones, it makes us feel close to them.

Yes...I loved your post!!!

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