Dan and I worked on our bucket list for years, but that work was limited to talking, dreaming, and writing it down on an actual list. We saved, paid bills, took care of my folks, and did the responsible stuff. We didn’t start checking things off the list until our oncologist gave us a six-month deadline. We cashed out retirement accounts and crossed as many off the list as his increasingly failing health would allow. Don’t get me wrong, over the years we did some amazing things, just not all the things we’d dreamed about.
In the weeks and months since Dan died, I’ve taken a sabbatical from many things that were “ours” together. I stopped going to our favorite restaurants. I sold the dream retirement home we built. I took a year off from cheering on the Boise State Broncos because we met at a BSU football game and that was our thing. I’ve taken a break from all the things that have become too painful for me, even though I know he wouldn’t approve.
My grief counselor gently advised that not doing anything we loved was about the same as erasing Dan from my life. That was unacceptable. So I made myself a promise to live the bucket list. Some of those trips will be stateside, but many are overseas. This is how I choose to honor his Live Now motto. This is how I choose to honor him. And this is how I choose to honor myself. This widow is wandering. Look out world, here I come.