Jayne Agena

Jayne’s husband, Marc, died of a stroke 2013. Her expectations about grief haven’t lined up with reality and she finds herself missing the little things about life with her spouse—waking up to a full pot of coffee and holding hands with the man she loves.

My husband.

We had a perfectly fine, normal Tuesday. And, I'm always grateful for that day. We went to bed, and then he never woke up.

Grief is hard. It's probably the hardest thing I've ever done. You have to think of yourself as a different person. You have to imagine yourself differently, in ways that you would not have imagined yourself to be before. That's really hard.

It's hard on the people who knew you before because I think they keep expecting that person to show up. The person I was when Mark was alive is not the person I am now. of course people want you to be happy again. And they want you to be yourself. But, I'm never going to be that person again, not completely.

A lot of people just didn't say anything, but you can feel this sort of expectation. That you should be moving on. You should do your grief differently. You kind of know that when their turn comes they'll understand it better. But at the same time you don't want them to have that turn.

There's just certain things I'm not ready to do. When we moved here, Mark decided we're moving all our storage stuff out to the garage. That's now full of his stuff. You know, I thought maybe five years out I'd be able to just get in there and clean it all out and now it's been six, and it's still there.

How would you define grief? I think in its simplest terms, for sure, it's love. It's a different version of it. It's the missing of it. It's the missing of a person who mattered in so many different ways that you didn't even know you could count.

You hear the things, you know, "Love is always, Love is forever," but you don't really know what that means. And people don't know what it looks like. They think it ends, and it doesn't. It's just different.

Jayne Agena holds a hose watering a planter box full of yellow flowers.
Jayne Agena in a purple sweatshirt and wearing reading glasses reads a book
An old file folder box labelled with the words Marc's Personal Items

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