As you know, when we first received Gregory's diagnosis of Dementia/ Alzheimer's Disease, we reaffirmed that we loved each other More Than Ever. And sure enough we did continue not only to love each other more but continued to fall more in love with each other each day as his, my, our needs continued to change.
So we named our trust which safe guarded his continued care in the even of my dying before he did the More Than Ever Trust. And now we have named the education fund that will help provide financial support to homeless youth, the More Than Ever Education Fund.
As I continue the process of grieving Gregory's death I have taken Yoga and Meditation classes, read daily inspirations about Grief, found a wonderful book by Karla Helbert on Yoga and Grieving, and am taking again after many years a class in Tai Chi. I laugh, I cry, I giggle, I sob.
In many ways I have been able to create a new non-physical body relationship with Gregory by talking with him and in my mind, hearing him reply. I know that this is nothing new to any of you who have grieved for the loss of someone you love(ed.) I use the love(ed) construction if only because we all know that the love never stops, it just changes.
Re-read if you need to Karla Halberts comments on building a new relationship with the one who has left the human form behind. http://mhorvich.blogspot.com/2016/01/moving-away-from-physical.html
Another thing I do is sit with Gregory's remains, located in his Grandma Carrie's sewing box which lives on the book case shelf in my bedroom. I sit on the edge of the bed and we have a conversation now and then. I tell him about how I am doing, I tell him that I hope he is also doing well on his new journey.
I tell him about my adventures, new things I'm doing around the condo like growing a succulent garden, making his old office into my new office, creating a reading corner in the bedroom.
I discuss my plans for upcoming vacations and travel I hope to soon begin.
I buy things for Gregory and put them on his shelf. For Christmas I bought him a bar of his favorite chocolate and some Walker's Short Bread Cookies. The chocolate is still there but I ate the cookies shortly after Christmas.
How is that any different than children putting out cookies for Santa Claus and their being pleased to see that the cookies were eaten when Santa delivered their presents?
How is that any different than when Mexican families put out the favorite foods and drinks on their Día de los Metros (Day of the Dead) offerenda (alter) celebrating the people they love who have died? Later the food and drink is shared with the living members of the dead one being celebrated.
On Gregory's shelf I have some favorite objects of his for example the "counting beads" made of beautifully polished natural seeds. A deck of cards sits there to remind him of how he loved to collect playing cards with unusual patterns on the covers.
Tonight as I was eating dinner at Johnny Rockets, hamburger and fries being my favorite meal, I imagined him enjoying the meal with me.
When I walk around the Botanic Garden of Chicago I share with him and remember his love of gardening and nature.
I talk about him to others least they not forget and so I do not forget that he is no longer with me. A couple of times I had dreams which on waking up caused me to forget that he has died. Those times are more painful then when I wake up knowing he is gone.
Tonight I bought him two pieces of Lady Godiva dark chocolate as an early Valentine's Day gift and put the bag of candy by his photo. I'll probably end up eating them before the holiday arrives but that will give me an excuse to buy him some more.
Every night after I finish reading, I put my book away, glance over at the photograph of Gregory on his shelf and wish him "Good Night!" Sometimes I imagine (or really do) hear him say, "I love you too, Michael. I love you more than ever!"