Waves of Grief

This weekend, my defenses have been down.  I’ve been unwell, fighting off a cold which finally took me down last night.

I went with my guy (what do you call the guy who you thought was your 2nd chapter, only to break up, but are now attempting to work things out with?) 45 mins away to pick up his friend to come for the weekend.

We got there about 1/2 hour before his friend got off work, so we hung out in the store.   I wandered, looking at magazines, drinking my coffee, until finally I made my way into the video rental section.

I haven’t been in a video rental section for a long time.  Since before Mark died.  Long before Mark died.  It was how we met, working in a video store.   I still have very awesome memories of going through videos… before we were officially “together” and choosing a theme for the “Manager’s Favourites” and bugging him with various movies.

So I’m standing there, picking up each dvd case, reading the back, then putting them back.  And the memories washed over me.  The happy, the sad, the innocent brilliance of a new relationship…  and my heart hurt.

The cold I’d been fighting off started taking over.

By the time we got home, I was fully ill… and not totally in a good mood.  I had put up walls and defenses.

I sat upstairs with him for a while, but then went to bed.  Tried to sleep.

I hate having a cold.  I hate the feeling of my whole body being heavy.

I messaged a friend of mine, told her what was going on.    But I couldn’t tell him.

You see, one of the sticking points in our relationship is my widowhood.  He has an issue with me crying over another man (albeit a dead one) while he’s standing there comforting me.   He thinks I should be looking towards the future, that my grief and widowhood is holding me in the past.   I disagree.

But I couldn’t tell him.

I probably could have stayed upstairs with him, had I not been dealing with emotions.   I didn’t have it in me to split myself three ways… grief, illness, maintaining a facade of a good mood.   One had to go and since the grief and the illness were beyond my control at that moment… I opted to go to my own bed, to my own room and hide where I didn’t have to pretend I was in a good mood.

This morning, I went upstairs, had a coffee, then came back to my room to sleep.  I slept, I painted my bathroom, I slept some more.   And I put on a movie.

If I Stay.

OMG good movie.   And at the end… I bawled.   I cried, big deep sobbing tears.  Painful, gut-wrenching tears.  Curled up in on myself, not knowing how to stop hurting kinds of tears.

Good movie.   But yeah.  The end just about killed me.

And I couldn’t tell him… again.

I couldn’t share that with him.  And I wanted to.  But I couldn’t.   I put up a wall again.   Waited for after dinner, went up for our weekly “Walking Dead” date.    Came downstairs… and read a blog that s

I’ve been following this blog for a while now.  And tonight’s post… on Grief… spoke to me.

Because of past relationships, because of frustrating, horribly abusive relationships… I dont’ quite trust myself when it comes to how I feel.

When you’re made to believe that what you feel is wrong… over and over and over… even 20+ years later it still affects you.

So I read the blog.

And I read it again.

And I read it again.

And I realized… I have a right to my grief.   I have a right to my feelings.  I am functioning. I am moving forward.  I am just moving forward in MY time, in MY space, at MY pace.

And I realized again… I need to learn to trust myself.

I grieve because I loved.   I grieve because I lost not only my past, but also my future.  Because it HURTS with all my being to wake up and realize that those dreams are NEVER COMING TRUE.     And I grieve for them.

I’m looking forward to my life over the next few years – I have plans that will take me in a direction I never expected to go.  And for the first time ever… I feel like I have options, like I can choose my life.

For the first time ever… I don’t feel trapped.

But I grieve.  I mourn.  I am sad for what I have lost.   Even as I’m happy for what’s coming, I’m sad for what’s been lost.

That’s my truth.

Tucked In MY Heart

Grief Is Like the Ocean

Death Vs Divorce

In a number of online boards, one of the most common “insensitive” things said to a widow is something along the lines of “I know how you feel, I got divorced” or “At least you don’t have to deal with seeing him anymore”

Because, yanno, death and divorce are the same thing.

Did you hear the sarcasm?

The anger that comes from that statement?

Death?  Divorce?

When you divorce someone, you choose not to be with that person.  You end a marriage, choosing that the person you once wanted to be with for the rest of your life is no longer someone you want in your life.   You always have the option of texting or calling or seeing or talking to that person.  That’s an option, whether it’s an option you choose to exercise or not.

When someone dies, that’s it.   You don’t get to hear their voice.  You don’t get to send them messages.  You hold on to those last few messages from them as if they’re gold.  There’s no option to go back.  No option to have dinner and rehash that last fight.  No option to have make-up sex.  Nothing.  It’s OVER.  DONE.  GONE.

When your spouse dies… you lose not only the person, but you also lose who you were… as in I’m not MarkandJane anymore, I’m Jane.  The Markand part of me is in the urn on my shelf in my living room.    You lose your future as well.   You see, I was supposed to have a 50th anniversary with him.  I was supposed to be a Grandma to his Grandpa.   I was supposed to be Mrs. to his Mr. Claus.   I was supposed to travel across Canada with him.   I was supposed to have a LIFE with him.

That was taken from me.  Ripped away in one tiny sentence.  “I want to go home.”

And that was it.  It was over.  The fight was done.   And within 30 hours, I wasn’t a wife anymore, I was a widow.  I was an only parent.  I was half of the whole I was before he died.

Death cheated me out of a lot of my life plans.

That’s not to say that my life isn’t good – but death took my choice away.  Divorce?  You make that choice to change your life.   When Mark died… I didn’t have a choice.

Death and divorce are completely different entities.   The defining point?  Choice.

I will forever mourn the loss of my husband, my future with him, our hopes and dreams.    Because I didn’t have a choice in the matter.

I Miss You

Christmas Is Coming!!

Yeah yeah… I know.  It comes every year.

Smartie pants.

I KNOW it comes every time this year.

Ok… that’s enough out of YOU… 😉

It’s come every year for the past 40 years of my life.  And every year… except the last two… I’ve been excited.

I’ve been totally pumped.

My house VOMITS Christmas.

My kids think it’s too much.

I love it.  Just love it.

Except Christmas 2012.   6 months after Mark died.

And Christmas 2013.  18 months after Mark died and my first Christmas in Quesnel.

I didn’t love it.

I didn’t do anything Christmas-y.

I mean, I sorta did.  But I was mostly miserable about it.

I have a beautiful picture of me and my kids the first Christmas after their Dad died.

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I love this pic.   It has me, my kids and Mark watching over us by the Angel.

Last year, I took a pic of Mike’s boys and mine.

Tree Decorating night  2013

It was a good picture, overall.   Even though I couldn’t get Andrew to smile 😉 😛

But I wasn’t really happy those years.  I was, deep down, miserable.  And some surface miserable too.  I tried.  I tried SO hard to get in the Christmas spirit.  But I just … couldn’t.

It hurt.  It hurt SO FREAKING MUCH. to be doing Christmas without Mark.

But this year…. something magical has happened.

I’m… dare I say… excited… about Christmas.  About life.  About my world.

I’m happy with a lot of my recent choices.   I’m becoming more content in myself.  I’m learning to live in my world and in my skin and in my thoughts.

And… Christmas is coming!   In like… A MONTH!   And I’m DECORATING.  And EXCITED!!!  Yep.  I am.

My poor boys.  They don’t know what’s going to hit them… :p

I have Christmas songs going around in my head… *snicker*  Wait until they start coming out 😀

Kitty Cats and the Box

We moved.   We were living in a 7 bedroom house, now we’re living in a 3 bedroom basement suite.

It’s a nice suite, as far as basement suites go.

Lots of space, lots of room, and a landlord who’s wonderful about letting me paint.   Helps that I intend to buy this house, later.

So we moved.

My “Mark Box”  the one with all the momentoes and the bits and pieces of his life, that moved with me.   It used to be in the living room, under the front window, but now it’s in the living room, in a little “alcove” that would fit either the box or my piano.

Suddenly, the cats are ALL over that box.

Before, I assumed they liked to hang out on the box because they could look outside – but this spot doesn’t allow them to.

I was sitting on the chair beside the box – and Bandit, the biggest/oldest cat, was sitting up… looking… at *nothing* and then he just lay down.

Now he and Kudos… they share the box, the spaces on the box.  They’re there most of the time, it seems.

I wonder… if they’re there because of Mark.  Because of his presence that is so very much part of that box.

Or maybe they’re just hanging out there because we keep kicking them off the couch and chair to sit.

bandit

Imma Single What?!?

Oh fuck.  It just occurred to me… I’m a single parent.

For 14 years I was married.  With kids.   I was a partner, 1/2 of the whole, one of two.

And then he got sick.. .and I still was married… and then he died.

I became a widow.   A somewhat romantic figure.  A tragedy of a lost love.   It didn’t OCCUR to me that I was anything but a widow.   My children had lost their father, I had lost my husband, and that was just our life.  We’d find a way somehow.

And then… my 2nd chapter.

I was again a part of.  1/2 the whole.  One of two.

Then… my 2nd chapter ended.

I moved into the basement.  I took responsibility for my kids, he took responsibility for his.  I took responsibility for my house, he took responsibility for his.

And I sleep alone.   He sleeps alone.

There was no tragic death.  There was no sad story to tell.   It was just a matter of … we didn’t fit.  We didn’t work well together.  We had too many differences to overcome.

I became… another single mom.

Can I pull back to the “widow” status?

Can I pull back to being the person who I was?  Probably not.      But it feels weird.   I’m a single parent again.  After 15 years, I am a single parent.

I don’t know why it feels different – I’m still a widowed parent, I’m still the ONLY parent… but I’m a single parent.  And that bothers me.

But I’m going to do the best I possibly can for my boys.   They deserve the best of me that they can get.

IMGP5737

And So Ends Chapter 2…

It’s funny how we have hopes and dreams.   We fall in love, stay in love, reignite the love… and love still isn’t enough.

My chapter two ended.

I love him still.  He loves me still.   But the reality is that we’re too far apart on how we communicate and how we interact.

Irreconcilable differences?

Basic incompatibilities.

He’s an awesome guy.

He’s an amazing person.

I love who he is.

But we have some basics that don’t mesh well and we fight and we argue and despite the love, despite the desire, despite the overwhelming urge to run back and beg him to find a way to make it work…  I grieve for another loss.   Another “what could have been” and another future that never will be again.

I grieve for the loss of “US” and the plans that we had.

Added to the grieving for my husband.

Just one big ball of grief these days.

But I hope we’ll be able to be friends and move forward in a positive manner… because he really is pretty freaking awesome.

We’re just not awesome together.

Letting Go Some  People Stay in your heart