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One Year Later, Thinking of Betty

December 7, 2013

I’ve passed my one year mark, and have met my “firsts.” Not only the first holidays and birthdays and anniversaries, but also things like the first time I saw sushi in the store and thought “I’ll get some for Betty” then burst into tears; the first time I was watching TV coverage of gay marriage issues and realized it’s not “our fight” anymore, because “we” wouldn’t be getting married; the first cats that came into my life after Betty died and I couldn’t bond with them right away because they weren’t part of my family— because they didn’t know Betty.

Image

We didn’t know it would be the last photo taken of Betty. Brenda Schertz (center) came to visit, and my brother took this photo of us.

Friends have asked how I’m doing and I’m never quite sure what to say. This year has been a time for crawling into my shell, working to take care of myself and let myself grieve. Every once in awhile I poke my head out, look around online and try to reconnect with my world. Then I disappear again. Society seems to think that I need to move on quickly, to embrace the future. In the past, traditional societies mandated a one-year grieving period. Friends who have gone through similar grief have told me to be gentle with myself, that it took them a year-and-a-half to two years to slowly put the grief aside. That’s the journey I’m on, but I get impatient sometimes. The sadness hasn’t gone away, and might never do so. But as time goes on, I don’t mind carrying it as much. 

The photo shown is the last photo taken of Betty, November 18, 2012. Brenda Schertz came for a short visit and I’m so glad she said she wanted a picture of us. 

Originally, friends and I scheduled a memorial service for Betty today, December 7th. Since I didn’t advertise the date, I didn’t post that it was being postponed for the second time. We just couldn’t get ourselves together enough to plan this. But the third time should work, and we’re making plans for a memorial for Betty in April. More details soon.

 

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. March 28, 2014 12:19 pm

    aww nancy – just reading this now for the first time
    pls dont listen to society. many folks say “move on” because we r not comfortable with other people’s pain. that is wrong. when i was a young woman in a sociology class my professor started crying – she said im sorry but my mom died three years ago and my husband said i should be over it by now but my psychologist said grief is a whammy for the first 3-5 years and even after it never fully goes away – just becomes a bit more bearable. so i share this cuz it has always comforted me. we lost my mother in law 10 years ago and she still creeps up on me. BAM im a flood. for your betty- wow i have been crying about her alot lately. she was so good and brave and i feel so incredibly sad she is not physically here with us for the 25th anniversary of De’VIA. just seems so wrong but i try to comfort myself that indeed she is with us because with her passing many more folks have come to learn of her and she is reborn in them in many small ways and im grateful.
    i also think of u often nancy – on how huge this loss must be. Much love to u and biggest hugs and im deeply sorry i wont be able to attend the memorial service. i will be with u in spirit for sure. thank u again for sharing ur grief with us and betty’s life with us all

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