I am so glad that I switched schools this year. Today was the day last year, as I was giving out grades to my students, that I got the phone call from the doctors telling me that there was nothing else they could do for Jeff and I should begin hospice. A little over a week later, he was gone.
If I was still at my old school, the memories of being in that same classroom, with the same schedule, doing the same thing I did last year would have driven me crazy. I recognized this week that certain things happened last year (the night he went in the hospital, the 10 days spent in the hospital, how I juggled finals week and grading and spending the nights with him, and of course today, when I got that terrible phone call) but since I am in such a new environment, I recognize the feelings but then they pass and I am trying not to wallow.
I think it has also helped tremendously that I have said yes to every social event and actually gone, whether I was in the mood to or not, because, so far, since I have gotten to the event, I have had a good time and end up enjoying myself.
The only really tough part is the drive home by myself to an empty house.
What has also helped is scheduling all of the good-for-me things such as going to my bereavement group, my therapy appointment, my emotional release appointment, my facial appointment, maintaining my workout schedule, getting plenty of sleep, and trying to eat as healthy as I can.
Last year, all I did was take care of Jeff and I feel the need to take care of someone so this year, I chose to take care of myself. I am truly trying to take care of myself.
I have a plan for Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and the first anniversary of Jeff's death. I have a cousin from out of town staying with me too so I will not be alone.
I feel like I am doing all of the "right" things and I'm also not denying or distracting myself from the sad feelings. When I do feel sad, I sit with it, I journal, and try and think of the good times with him and I also think about all the things I have to be grateful for right now.
I love that famous saying by Dr. Seuss, "Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened." I still cry because it's over but after, I smile because I still feel so lucky that Jeff happened to me.