Nights Are the Worst

I have four children.

They are 25, 23, 15 and 14.

The 25 year old has a son, and he lives in Edmonton.  His baby lives in Kamloops.

The 23 year old is due with her first baby in December.  She lives in Edmonton.

My 15 & 14 year old boys live with me.  They’re teenaged boys so they live in their bedrooms – and might as well be in Edmonton.

I live in Quesnel.  It is a min 8 hour drive from Edmonton – but in reality takes 10 hours with pit stops, gas fill ups etc.

So around 7pm, the boys vacate to their room… and I’m left sitting alone in my house.

There’s no other around. No adult to talk to. No one to share my day with (although some days are very boring, like today).  No one to just look over at and know that they’re THERE.

I don’t know how to live alone.

I never have.

But now, I’m alone.  Very alone.

I can feel the depression setting in. I’m silent, my ability to have conversations feels stunted.  I watch my widowed friends, my single friends all couple-ing up.  And I live in a town where I don’t have a circle of friends so I don’t have people to do things with.

I think that’s what makes the *alone* worse than anything.  Not only did I lose my partner, my spouse, my other half; I left my friends.

I don’t, for a moment, regret my choice to live here. My Metalhead Poet was worth taking a chance on. Love always is.

But I’m lonely, and struggling with the time and patience it takes to build a social circle.  Last time I had to, I had Mark with me to stave off the frustrations.

The loneliness is one that is understood and commiserated with by widda peeps everywhere.  But they’re all… elsewhere.

And the nights are the worst.

Grief Is Like the Ocean

It Was Meant To Be…

When I was in employment flux, between my first and second seasons at BC Wildfire, I went to a career counsellor, jumped through some hoops and decided on Licensed Practical Nurse as my upgrade/career path.

My reasons:

  1. The amazing nurses who inspired me.
  2. To be of service
  3. To be there for other people going through what I went through (simliar to #2)
  4. Employability.
  5. Mobility OR stability.

What I didn’t remember… was it was something I had thought about a long time ago.

This was part of an update post on April 13, 2012.  Almost 3 months after he initially went into the hospital.

Mark Healing Community Post

I can’t do a point/arrow/highlight on a picture in a wordpress blog, but right in the middle… It says..

“If I could do it over again I would go into nursing or surgery because that was AWESOME to watch.”

 “I would go into nursing”

And yah.  In 2 months, I will be in nursing.

It was meant to be.  It is happening.

I know for a lot of widows/widowers, the phrase “everything happens for a reason” is cause for white hot rage, seriously offended, going to throat punch the speaker reactions.

For me?  It’s the truth.

Everything happened.  For. A. REASON.

I am exactly where I should be in my life.

I am doing what I am supposed to.

All avenues, all options have closed off and the path towards nursing is brightly lit, clear and safe.


I know where I’m supposed to go from here. I can see the way, and without EVERYTHING THAT HAPPENED…

I wouldn’t be here.

I’d be in Squamish still (miss my friends!) working with Co-operators, selling life insurance and probably doing an amazing job at it.

I’d have a husband who requires round the clock care with a recovery measured in years not months.

I’d be exhausted.  My kids would come second to my husband’s needs.  My husband would feel guilty about that.  He’d feel helpless and hopeless and lost and a burden.  I would probably spend more time trying to make him understand that he’s not a burden than just loving him, because he’d need that from me, from us.

The reality is, life would have amazing beautiful moments.  I would still be Mrs. Mark Smith.  I wouldn’t resent it for a moment.   But it would be my life, focussed entirely on my husband.

But now, I’m allowed to shine.

A friend of mine blogged a long time ago… he gave me my life back.  I know that he’d be here if he could… but in the end, he loved me, loved his family enough to let us out of the limbo we were in.  He loved us enough that he would have fought if there were any real options left.  But there weren’t.  So he let go, and let us move forward.

And now… where I’m supposed to be is coming to fruition.

I love him so much more for being willing to let go.  For doing what’s best for EVERYONE, instead of holding on and keeping us in that holding pattern.  It shows how amazing of a person he was.   And I wish everyone who reads this could have met him.  Could have known him.

He was so incredible and I was so blessed to have been loved by him.  So blessed to have been his wife for 13 years.  So blessed to be the mother of his children.  So very blessed to have loved him to his last breath.

Who’s Got My Kids?

When my husband went into the hospital, I had a team, a community who came together and took care of my kids and ran my life.

Then he died, and they all came together and took care of me until I could take care of myself again.

I left my community on the promise of a future.

It’s been 2 years, and I know it takes 3-5 years to create a community again.  Minimum.  It’s starting here, slowly.

But I felt crapy the other day… which always leaves me hypervigilent about symptoms and checking and is this serious? Do I need to go to the hospital?  Can it wait until the doctor’s office opens?

And… then I thought yesterday… what happens if I end up in the hospital?

Who takes care of my kids?

When I was living with my Metalhead Poet, I just believed he would be there for me, and take care of our life if I couldn’t.

Now… I don’t know who… who’s the first person I would call?

I’m not partnered, so that’s not an option.

My best friends live 3.5 & 9 hours away.  They’d probably both here, but… they’re far away.

My derby friends?  I don’t know that they’d step up the way my Squamish team would.  Some of them?  But I don’t know.

Either of my adult children?  I wouldn’t ask them… they both have babies of their own and live in different towns than me.

My new friend Janene has said she would…. but she has 2 kids of her own in a different age group.

My sisters would absolutely.  But they’re in diferent towns. Hard enough on my boys if I end up in the hospital, but if they have to leave all their friends?

Short answer?  I don’t know.  And it makes me feel… lost?

Lost my Love.  Lost my Metalhead Poet.  Left my friends. Lonely as fuck.

And I don’t know who I can lean on.  I think that’s the only thing I regret about being here.  I’ve lost my tribe. Tribe

It’s All Good… but…

A strange thing happens when your spouse dies.

There’s this hole in all your conversations.

Robin Williams died…and I wanted to tell Mark about it.  Mark was such a big fan.

Grandbabies… grandbabies everywhere…and I can’t talk to him about them.

Justin Trudeau getting elected… and Hunter Tootoo being the Ministry for Fisheries and Oceans.  OMG the conversation about that.

Everything the Harper government did to decimate the environment… he would have been talking about that… not just hours, not just days… but I’d never stop hearing about it. Ever.  He was so passionate about it.

And the adorable throatsingers at the swearing in ceremony.  He probably would have shown those to me before I had a chance to show him.

Things are good… but there’s a hole in my conversations.   I miss the indepth, passionate debates we’d have about various topics.

I haven’t found someone else who will talk about those things with me. Who has that same passion for conversation.

There’s just a hole where the conversations used to be…

Christmas 2011

Things Change… in an instant.

January 19, 2012:  my husband goes into the hospital for what we thought would be a short stay, and then home again.  It had happened several times before – it wasn’t unexpected.

January 22, 2012: being told my husband had a 5-7% chance of survival overnight.

June 25, 2012:  being told there was nothing more they could do.

June 26, 2012, 415pm: he takes his last breath.

Life changes in a moment.  Anything can happen in one day.

One Day

I moved, I fell in love again, the relationship ended, I moved out, he moved out and now… I’m heading into school.

My life is about to change again.

When you practially live in the ICU, you get to know the nurses who live there.  The good ones.  The meh ones.  The ones you request never be assigned to your spouse again.  And the amazing ones.

Every single one of those nurses are why I am changing careers and going into nursing.  I want to be one of those amazing nurses who makes a difference for the patients and the families.  I want to take what was a brutally painful, brutally hard 6 months of my life (that turned into something even worse) and use that compassion I have for others in my situation to make the unbearable bearable.

I have been accepted to nursing school.  I’m taking the 2 year Licensed Practical Nurse program as a first step to being one of those amazing people in the ICU.

School starts in 2 months.  And I have to come up with $1500 in tuition.

Please understand.  I am NOT asking for donations/money etc.  I am NOT asking you to fund me going to school (although I won’t turn down any offers!)

BUT! If you are looking for some amazingly unique gift ideas… my amazingly awesome cousin Simone has decided to put on a fundraiser.

Simply – you buy something for yourself, someone you love, or as a teacher gift…. and my cousin donates her commission to me.

So… if you have a moment to peruse, could ya look at the amazing stuff that she sells? Fantastic gift ideas, and it will help me get through this next few months of school while I apply for scholarships and cut corners and budget tighter to pay for my tuition.

The website for the facebook event is: Fundraising for Jane.  Click the link to go to the event, and Simone will answer any questions you might have.

Like I said, I’m not asking for donations.  I’m asking you to buy a gift for someone in your life, do some Christmas shopping, and it will help me in the end.

Because life changes in an instant.  In one day, I can fall in love, or I can change my world.  And in one day, you can help change mine.


I am content these days.

I miss my Mark every day. He was my love, my sexxy man.  Had a lovely conversation with his brother last night… was feeling so incredibly lonely and then out of the blue Wade calls me to catch up.

I miss Mike every day.  He was mo chroi. It’s so weird to know he lives 5 mins away from me and we’re just *not* together. I don’t know if we’ll find a way back to each other.  I wish him happiness either way.  I hope he finds what he’s looking for, even if that’s not with me.

I have a tattoo for each of them on me.  They are both forever a part of me.

But overall, I’m content with my life.  I am more or less happy with the direction my life is going.  I have amazing opportunities appearing in my life.  I’m slowly building a circle of friends who I enjoy spending time with.  My boys and I are getting along and I think I’m doing fairly well with this whole ‘single parenting teenaged boys’ thing.

I said to someone about 2 months after he died… “If he wasn’t already dead I’d kill him for leaving me to raise teen boys by myself!!”

But I think I’m doing ok.

I’ll be ok.  I still grieve.  I still cry.  I still have moments/days of intense loneliness.   I curl up on my couch those days and pretend I’m being snuggled from behind.

But mostly… I’m content.   It’s a weird place to be, content.  It hasn’t happened in at least 4 years.


Then there’s that moment when…

… your heart is breaking and you want to reach out… but there’s only 2 people who would do…

… one is dead… and the reason your heart is breaking…

… the other has chosen not to be there for you regardless of how many times you’ve asked so you don’t see the point in asking again…

Stupid Grey’s Anatomy.  Amazing writers.  Amazing acting.  Breaking my heart.  Dammit.