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A Different Kind of Tribute

On Wednesday, September 20, 2023, my beloved wife Charlene left this world to be with Jesus and loved ones who have gone before. I love her and will be with her again someday. A rather detailed version of what went on is here, so no need to do it all again.

There is a great deal to learn about the grieving process, and it is different for everyone. Do not expect someone to get over the emotional gut punch and mental fog (especially with unexpected losses like mine) quickly. We have to experience it and learn to deal with it. Here is one way I am facing it.

Grief is a process that everyone handles differently. Part of dealing with the loss of my beloved wife involved revisiting Esopus Creek sites alone.
Esopus Creek near Mt. Tremper, Unsplash / Cowboy Bob Sorensen
In September of 2022, Charlene and I gave ourselves an outing. We went on Route 28 to Mt. Tremper for some walking in nature and so I could get some pictures. (This is comparatively recent for me, partly motivated by the fact that newer smartphones tend to have good cameras.) Unfortunately, the Esopus was muddy from low rainfall. During this time, her back condition was getting worse. It was painful for her to walk or even ride half an hour in a car, so we had to stop going on most outings. But we really wanted — and expected — to go back.

No way am I going to try to suppress thoughts and emotions. Other people have agreed with me that it's best to face things head on. There are so many things that remind me of Charlene, even little things, so ignoring or suppressing my feelings is impossible. My trip back to that place on 11 October was a tribute to her. It was cloudier than the forecast said, but I got some decent pictures. I put in a description on the photo sharing site that the trip was dedicated to her.

There was a nice bonus on the way home. One end of the Ashokan rail trail begins in Boiceville, but we drove around and couldn't find the entrance because of road construction. This trip, I tried all by my lonesome. Drove around, nope, picked a place to turn around. Coming out at the highway, I saw straight across from me two signs: One for construction, and a smaller one on the right. Well, why not take a chance?

Charlene and I wanted to see the creek from the bridge, and I was successful.

Esopus Creek near Boiceville, NY, Unsplash / Cowboy Bob Sorensen
So this part of the trip is also dedicated to her. Charlene would not want me to just continue to exist, but to live. That includes doing things without her that she would have liked. There's a painful undercurrent, but I'm facing up to my immense sorrow. Several people (including grief counselors) said this was a good thing to do. Whether it gets better here or in Heaven, we'll see what happens. Here is another song she likes and sent to me on Fakebook's messenger: