I Can Do It

I can raise my kids.

I can stick to a budget.

I can keep a clean house.

I can remove and install a new (to me) dishwasher.

I can be alone.

I can live without him.

I can enjoy life.

I can do it.

I miss him.  I want him in my life.  Everything hurts without him.  But I CAN do it without him.  I WILL be ok.  I WILL get back to work.  I WILL learn to enjoy life without him.  I might even find love again.

But I can do it.  It’s not about having to plan the rest of my life – it’s about having to plan my day.  One moment at a time.  One hour at a time.  One day at a time.

Eventually I will not hurt so much.  I will still miss him, but I will not hurt so badly I can’t breathe at times.

I can do it.   I know he’d want me to.  He always encouraged me to do better, be better, live better, love better, go higher, go further.   And I will.  I know he’s watching me.  I know he’s with me.

I can do it.

So Many Things…

There are so many things I want to share… it feels like he’s with me all the time.

Sitting in the lobby of the swimming pool I can almost SEE him coming out with the boys.

I can feel him beside me while I wait.

I wanted his opinion of what to do about the party our 12 year old went to.  Instead, I had to make the decision on my own.  I didn’t have to raise the other two on my own.

He’s supposed to be here and it’s hard to reconcile that he’s not.

There are just so many things that don’t make sense without him.   So many things feel wrong.

I miss him.

I watched Grey’s Anatomy last night.   Mark Sloan died.  They had to turn off life support.  It was too much like his last day.

Felt Him Tonight…

I don’t know what you believe in.  I believe that he’s here.  I believe that he’s watching over us.  I believe that the dimes I find are from him.

And tonight, when I went into my bedroom to get something from my purse… I felt him touch me.

It was not unusual for both of us to go into the bedroom together.  Usually he would follow me in, and reach out and touch my hip, my back, my shoulder…

Tonight… he followed me in there and his hand brushed my hip.   I could FEEL him there.

 

 

It’s Not All About Me

I took my kids and ran away from my home this weekend.   I went to Victoria – about 5 hours of travel time by land and sea to get there.

It wasn’t really a “run away” such as an escape.   I had planned it for weeks and was very much looking forward to it.

When I’m in Victoria, there’s no memory associations with Mark.  It’s somewhere I can go, and just enjoy being with my friends.

 

(us waiting to get on the ferry)

This weekend, I made new friends.

After the derby bout, instead of the derby after party – we went to my friend’s friends house.  It was a lovely house party, lots of fun conversations, lots of laughs, ad they had lots of drinks.   I had fun.

Somehow, the conversation only briefly turned to my husband’s death.  That happened when I was talking to a nurse about different nurses and their personalities and the nurse asked me what happened.

That was it.

The rest of the night was talking about other people and relationships and roller derby and burlesque and flirting and talking and fun.

Somehow… that didn’t seem right.   But at the same time, was SO peaceful.   To be able to just talk and be and not explain what has gone on, and see the looks and see the sympathy, just to meet new people and enjoy their company… was so freeing.

The grief takes over my life.  Every where I go, everything I do, reminds me of him.   The ONLY place I’ve been where I can just “be” and relax and not remember EVERY. SINGLE. MINUTE. is Victoria when I’m visiting my friends over there.

I sleep in our bed.  In our bedroom.  Where his dresser and clothes are.  In our house.  Where pictures of him are.  Where his fishing gear is.  I leave and I drive our vehicle.  To places we went.  To do things we did together.

He’s everywhere.

I wouldn’t have it any other way – I love the reminders of him – but when I step off the ferry and am at Sarah’s house… there’s a weight that lifts for a time.

I have no associations of him over there.

So while this THING that is so very in my FACE all the time seems like EVERYONE should be affected by it… but really… it’s just me and the kids.   Everyone else goes on with their lives.  Everyone else has other concerns, other situations, and my husband’s death is not a topic of conversation.

So this weekend when everyone is sitting around talking… to have him not even brought up… seems wrong.. but felt right.  It was exactly what I needed.

I need to be reminded that it’s not all about me.  Life goes on and life will go on for me…. and I will enjoy these escapes into other peoples lives whenever I can.

 

Dinner at Boston Pizza

Memorial Video

I finally figured out a way to share his memorial video online.

Facebook wouldn’t let me upload it.

Youtube said it was too big, but I figured out how to upload something longer.

And now – I have managed to upload it.

For anyone who wants to see the memorial video created by my friend Michelle for me, you can see it here.

Enjoy…

12 Weeks Today

Today is not a day for busyness.

Today is not a day for forgetting.

Today is not a day for pretending.

 

Today is a day for remembering.

Today is a day to look at pictures.

Today is a day to watch our wedding video.

Today is a day to immerse myself in him.

Today is a day to allow myself to feel the full measure of my grief and loss.

 

Today, I will sit and remember a man who brought so much light into our lives.

Today, I will remember his smile.

Today, I will remember his voice.

Today, I will remember his sense of humour.

Today, I will remember him.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Life Feels Different…

Tomorrow marks the 12 week point.

12 weeks since he died.   At this time 12 weeks ago, I was sitting with him, listening to the doctors explain how grave his condition was and how one more big dip like he’d had the last couple weeks and it would be doing more harm than good to bring him back at that point.

12 weeks since he told me he wanted to go home.

12 weeks since he told me he understood what going home meant.

12 weeks since I told the doctors that he was done.

12 weeks since we gathered family and friends around to say our final good byes.

Life feels different today.  I can stop, take the time to remember him, REALLY remember him, not just constantly think of him.  REALLY remember his laugh, his smile, his voice, and his way of being and grieve for all that is lost…  but for the most part… the grief is not as raw, not as painful until I do that.

I’m not as foggy.

I’m not as numb.

I feel like I have purpose and direction.

I feel like life will be good again.

I am going to miss him forever, in hugely painful ways.

I hate going to bed alone at night.

I hate not having him there in the evenings to play cards with, to talk to, to watch our favourite shows, to snuggle on the couch.

I hate that he will never see his grandkids, that he will not see his boys graduate, or walk his daughter down the aisle, or see his oldest son make it big in music.

I am sad for those things.

But I feel him all around me, and I take strength from that.   I am finding peace in what is… and taking strength from his presence and his love that still surrounds me.

Odd Triggers

I spent this afternoon/evening organizing and decluttering my dining room.  Part of this involved cleaning out the china cabinet and buffet, so they could be moved downstairs for storage until spring when I take them to my mother’s house.

I was cleaning out the buffet, and discovered a candle in the drawer that we’d been saving:

 

It was supposed to be for his 50th birthday.

The running joke in our household was that he was going to be 50 before I turned 40.  I’ll be 40 in just over a year – he never got to turn 50.    He died at 49, and the candle never got used.

Next May, we’re going to have a party for him.  Make a cake, celebrate what would have been his 50th birthday.

Seeing the candle made me sad… realizing that he’s never going to be 50.  And I’m still getting older.

Missing him, so much.  I’m finally getting the house to a state that would have been perfect for him to maneuver around in, and I don’t get to share it with him.

It was an odd bit of trigger, but the room is clean, organized and SOOOOOOO peaceful.

Memories Sliding Down my Cheek

I frequently post this picture in this blog:

 

 

Because ALL my memories cause that to happen.

Today it was just one.

Today – I’m on the phone with my Mom, we’re talking about the concert I’m going to with my friend Kathy tomorrow at Rogers Arena, and where we’ll park.  I explain to my Mom that there’s a  place where I know to park because I parked there last time I was at Rogers Arena when I went to the Canucks game last April/May (I don’t remember exactly when).

And then the memory snuck out of my eye and rolled down my cheeks.

After the game, I let my friend out to catch the skytrain and I raced up to VGH to see Mark.  He was in the step-down unit at that point (first time) and they have a 10pm cutoff time for visiting hours.   I called ahead and asked if I could come in to see him – that I was just coming from the Canucks game and would be there right around 10.

The nurses let me come.

I rushed in, very quietly so as to not disturb the other patients, went over to his bedside and kissed him silly.

He was so happy to see me.  I got his big grin, his smile, the light in his eyes and the pure joy at being able to see me – when I startled him.  I was only there to say good night, it was a very short visit to kiss him and tell him how much I loved him.   But the joy in his face made it worth it.  It made the extra drive (it was out of my way) and extra time worth the effort.

He lit up.  And I was so freaking happy to see that. He was able to talk at that point… and so the memory of hearing him say he loves me… the joy in that moment…

Today the memory escaped… but it also brings me joy to remember that, even though the sadness is there that I will never see that smile again… I will never see his eyes light up like that again… to know that I brought that kind of joy to him, even at his sickest… so for today the memory is bittersweet… but I’m grateful for it.

He had the greatest smile…

Guilt

I remember, a couple weeks before he died, having a conversation with a nurse about when to let go and let him pass, and how not to feel survivors guilt.

I remember it so clearly because it was the first of 2 major dips in his health before he finally decided that it was time.

I remember thinking “why would I have survivor’s guilt?” and even after he passed – I still didn’t feel guilty about surviving.  I didn’t feel guilty about decisions I made.

I had one regret – not visiting the few days before he decided – but if I had to make those decisions again – even knowing what I know now – I probably would make the same decisions.

But now I feel guilty.  Not about surviving, but because of the freedom I feel.  I am free, because of his death, to do things that previously were not possible.  They were not possible in my mind, in my thought processes because of how our life was set up.

Let me be clear.

I LOVED OUR LIFE TOGETHER.

I would happily go back to that in an instant.

I adored him.

But now… now the future is uncertain, unclear, and possibilities are limitless.

And for that, I feel guilty.  I feel guilty that I’m excited (in my better moments) about what can happen now.

I feel guilty because the future – which had a clear path, a clear plan, is uncertain and I can do whatever I want.   I can forge my own future.  I can pursue dreams that seemed impossible before.  Dreams that were shelved as unrealistic.  Dreams that I gave up on.

I feel guilty because I can live a life that is authentic.

I would go back to our life together in a heartbeat.

But I can choose a life that works for me.

I don’t know if it’s because he’s gone… or if it’s because now I realize how very fragile life is.

But I don’t want to just mindlessly live the life I was living before… I want to live it with purpose, with intent, with authenticity.

I want my life back with him.  But since that cannot, will not happen – I will choose a life that works.

And I feel guilty because I’m just realizing now what I should have done before.