Leo Tales: Changes

Hello, again. Leo here.

Just a bit of catch up on Ellouise. These are hard days but she is getting through them - even though she misses Jim terribly. This may sound silly but its difficult to accept the finality of death. Jim is not coming back. That's it.

Ellouise says the Serenity Prayer has new meaning - -
Accept the things you cannot change -

She keeps busy with the business of dealing with changes - calling people and telling them that Jim has died. Removing his name from various things. Meeting with the lawyer to start the probate process. Answering cards and sending thank you notes. Picking up the pieces of her life.
All of that continually reminds her to "accept the things you cannot change."

People ask, "how are you?" She says, "ok, I guess." Other widows touch her arm knowingly - and don't ask. They know. Their eyes say, "been there." There is an immediate and deep connection between them... no need for words. I heard her telling someone, "this is not a club I ever wanted to belong to - -"

People are incredibly thoughtful and kind. Sending messages. Telephoning and emailing. Seeming to want her to know "you are not forgotten. you are not alone." Yesterday one of Jim's classmates from medical school sent an email, "thinking of you." She burst into tears. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Ellouise is starting to tell stories again. Taping her TV show. Accepting a date to tell a story for a local show.  Beginning to plan for telling Pushing Boundaries at the Capital Fringe. Goals. Familiar territory to help her to keep focused.

Books and people instruct grievers to "take care of yourself." Ellouise is not sure what that means.  

After five weeks of waiting the call from Arlington National Cemetary came today. They assigned a date for Jim's final burial in August at 12:45 pm in the "little" Fort Myer Post Chapel for a Catholic ceremony - - followed by Full Military Honors.

Ellouise knows where it will be - with their daughter Gretchen.

                                                        Flowers for Gretchen's birthday, November 10, 2011.

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