Another Ending

In 56 hours, I will do the final walk through and hand over the keys to my house.

In 57 hours, we will likely be driving our stuff in a big-assed truck towards my new home.

In 56 hours, we will no longer be residents of Squamish.

There is a certain type of grief that comes with leaving your home of 8 years.   Leaving the home where your children grew up.  Leaving the home where you were building a life with your deceased husband.   The home where he got sick.  The home you went back to after he died.  The home you started to heal in.

The grief isn’t the soul-crushing, bone crushing, heart-wrenching kind of grief that came with his death.

It’s a softer grief.   One that just pokes at the bruises in your heart.  Over and over and over.

Despite the excitement of a new home, of a new town, of new adventures, the grief continues to poke incessantly at the bruised and healing parts of my heart.

I will miss my home, my job, my town, my mountains.   I will miss my friends.  I will miss my routine, my new normal that I’ve created after his death.

Change happens.  Change is inevitable.  Change is scary and painful and exciting and amazing.

Life is good.  Life was good before he died, and life has become good again.

But as with all endings, there is a certain kind of grief.

My_Bruised_Heart_by_murtada_king (1)

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Happy Anniversary…

14  years ago today I married the man who was my best friend.

14 years ago today I promised to love him until death do us part.

14 years ago today I got pregnant with my 3rd (his 1st bio) child.

14 years ago today.

A life time.

Happy Anniversary Mark.  14 years ago today I promised to love you forever… and I will.  No matter where life takes me I will always love you.

SCAN0095

Packing and Moving

There’s a special kind of hell for relatively new widows who have to pack up their homes and move.

After the first year, I figured… I got this covered. I’ve got it handled.  I’m good.  I’ll grieve and cry as the reminders come up but overall – I’m moving forward.

And then came the packing and moving.

The problem with packing your stuff is that you’re forced to go through everything.  You’re forced to touch everything.  You’re forced to move everything from the place it has sat for the past 14 months.

Everything has a memory.   Everything has a feeling.  Everything is a trigger.

I have no problem with decluttering and packing the things that mean nothing.  The things that had a number on them, a grocery list, that were given to him but he never used or wanted and didn’t know what to do with.

It’s the fact that all that stuff is interspersed with the stuff that DOES mean something.  I have to pick up everything to see if it IS worth keeping or not.

I have to open the notebooks not knowing if they’re going to be a record of his weight and cardio tracking when we were doing Body for Life or if they’re going to be a random note about how much he loves me (I keep desperately hoping that I’ll find one of those)

I have to touch things that were his deceased mother’s not knowing if I should keep them for my children, or if I should pass them back to his sister.

I have to find a place to put all this stuff.

Does it belong in the big box?  Do I have or should I buy a small box?

Somehow putting things in a cardboard box seems just … but it doesn’t matter what the stuff is in.

In my logical brain – this is clutter.   In my heart – this is Mark.  And the more I get rid of Mark, the more painful it is.

This move is going to be good for me.   It’s going to be good for my kids.   I am so looking forward to building a life with a man I love.  I have been blessed to find love again.

But holy fuck is it hard, and painful, and sad.

I miss Mark.  I need Mike.

And this morning I noticed a text from Mike that made me smile enormously…. This song by Steve Earle.

I am so lucky, so blessed, so fortunate.

And we’ll get through this – both of us will get through the stresses and the griefs and the sorrow we’re going through…   and we’ll get through it together…

Life is what Happens

Moved to Tears

I don’t always write about the Daily Prompt; in fact most times I ignore it.  But today’s prompt – moved to tears by something beautiful…

I wrote about it the other day – about watching my boy laugh watching his kitten.

The joy in his face.  The sheer beauty of the laughter and the light that was in his eyes…

Its been so long since I’ve seen that.

I don’t cry very often.   I spend so much time being strong for my boys and for work that I almost *can’t* when I want or need to.

(Of course, I started crying at work yesterday – in front of my boss – totally different blog post)

So watching my son, seeing how much he loves his kitten, seeing the joy in his smile.  If I could have cried – I would have.  I certainly felt like there were tears under the surface.

My children are the light of my life.  If I could spare them the pain of loss, I would.  If I could ease their sorrow, I would.

I know though, that they need to go through it and find their own healing, just as I do.

And being able to find joy, that’s worth the tears.

Andrew and Kudos Turn On the Light

He’s Laughing…

Andrew, my 13 year old, has been very quiet and withdrawn lately.

His dad died 13 1/2 months ago.

His cat died a month ago.

And he’s been withdrawing into computer and Xbox and his cell phone and generally getting more and more depressed.

I’ve been worried.

Two days ago – we got him a new kitten.

This morning, we’re sitting, being amused by the kitten’s antics and the dog’s reactions to the kitten and he’s laughing.

He’s laughing HARD.

He’s got this look on his face I haven’t seen in a long time.

Joy.

I’ve missed it.  It’s so wonderfully awesome to see.

The kitten was the right move… even with the upcoming move.

Andrew and Kudos

Feeling Out Of Control

In 3 weeks, I pick up and pack the moving truck that will move me away from here.

In 3 weeks, I will do a final walk through of this house that has been a part of my life for 26 years and hand over the keys to my past and my memories.

In 3 weeks, I will walk away from the life I had with Mark, to start a new life with Mike.

I am both excited and apprehensive about the next 3 weeks.

I love Mike.  I am IN love with Mike.  I am looking forward to my life with Mike.

And I miss, oh so terribly, my life with Mark.

I was talking to my Mom today – trying to explain to her how no matter what, I will always be a widow.  Even if I marry Mike, I will still be Mark’s widow.  That will never change.  That is forever and always part of me.   The grief is forever and always part of me.

It doesn’t matter where I am, what I’m doing, there’s a part of my heart that is forever sad.  It is forever broken, forever laying on my floor, crumpled in a heap because he’s dead.

And that’s ok.

That part of me allows me to sit beside another wife while her husband’s machines are turned off, while her husband takes his last breaths.

I am not broken, but at the same time, I’m forever broken.

Kintsugi

My life, right now, has no routine.  No stability.  No sense of peace.

I get home, I struggle with dinner plans, I struggle with boys’ routines, I struggle with time for myself, I struggle to find time to write, I struggle with all that still has to be done.

Sometimes, I can focus on the little things that need to be done – dishes, floor, walk the dog – and sometimes, I just sit on the couch and play Candy Crush Saga until I’ve run out of lives and then I switch to the stupid Jewels game that Mike got me addicted to.

But my life feels out of control and I want that sense of order back.

I went to Walmart with my friend Kathy last night – it was craft night, and a lot of craft nights we’d gone to Walmart to come back – and Mark would be there with Bailey’s latte’s… kids would be on their way to bed… and he’d be there to chatter with us.

I sat in her car and said “I can’t believe he’s not in there.  I can’t believe he’s never going to be there again.  I can’t believe he’s really dead and that I’m going to go into that house without him there”

And that’s the crux of it all.  I’m living a life where on one hand, I should be coming home to my husband and the plans and the life we had.  On the other hand, I’m looking forward to moving in with Mike and starting our life together.

It’s very… disconcerting… knowing that I can’t have both of them.  Knowing that I had to give up one in order to have the other.

And especially knowing that I wouldn’t be able to choose.  I want them both.   But I only get to have Mike.  I already had my life with Mark… now its time for Mike.

I’m still working on acceptance that my life’s path really has taking this turn.  I am excited to see what’s down it… I’m just still confused as to why I couldn’t keep going down the path I was on.

PLOT TWIST