I may never heal.
And that’s ok.
Because I’m never not broken.
Since his illness and death, I have a morbid sense of humour, and love reading this blog.. and it just spoke to me so eloquently today…
It was a normal Monday morning. As we had for the past 158 days, Kathy and I sent the kids to school, loaded up our supplies for the day, and headed to Vancouver General Hospital.
It was a normal Monday morning. In the Lower Mainland, the sun was shining between the clouds and there were cloudbursts of rain between patches of blue sky.
It was a normal Monday morning. He was awake, alert, and responsive but he was somewhat cranky and starting to refuse care; he was done with being poked and prodded.
It was a normal Monday morning. While the doctors did their rounds, Kathy and I walked up the stairwell from the third floor to the sixteenth floor and back while we waited to go back in.
It was a normal Monday morning. The doctors delivered the news that there was nothing further they could do. Should he have another emergent dip in health, it would be against his best interests to bring him back. It would do more harm than good.
It was a normal Monday morning. I consulted with him as to what his wishes were. Did he want to fight? Or did he want to let go? Were we going to say goodbye?
It was a normal Monday morning. He wanted to come home. He had been in the hospital for 22 weeks. He had tubes sticking out of him. He had wires in his arteries. He had a hole in his throat to help him breathe, a hole in his belly where they cut him open to save his life, a hole in his side to drain the waste, and a hole in his back where his skin had degraded so far that it wouldn’t heal.
It was a normal Monday morning. I walked over to the ICU physician who gave us the news and told them that he wanted to come home. I was crying as I explained to them that he was done. He was ready for the machines to be turned off, for the tubes to come out, and for him to come home.
It was a normal Monday morning. I had one last day with him all to myself, before I had to tell our children that their Dad was going to die. I had one last day to decide if I was going to try to convince him to keep trying, to hold on for us, or if I was going to honour his wishes, let him die, and bring him home.
It was a normal Monday morning. His primary surgeon pulled me into a private room to explain that he has seen people come back from worse. The surgeon urged me to use guilt and convince him to try harder.
It was a normal Monday morning. I sat beside him, sobbing, my head on his chest, and asked him, “If I asked you to try one more time, would you?” He shook his head no. The man who would move mountains to make me happy, refused to do this for me.
It was a normal Monday morning. I decided to respect my husband’s wishes and turn off the machines. I decided to put his feelings, his desires, and his needs before mine or my children’s. I decided to say goodbye.
It was a normal Monday morning.
I can smell you all around me.
It’s very disconcerting.
That scent just after you’ve showered.
It’s all around me.
Filling my senses.
It’s like you’re sitting here. Beside me.
I can smell you.
I turned 41 two days ago.
How did I get there? Here? How did I get to be FORTY-ONE??
I spent my day at school, had a pop quiz in biology, a test in chemistry and my English teacher taught me a way to remember the metric scale which I’ve promptly forgotten half of it (I’ll have to remember to ask her for it again)
My boys made me dinner. We had birthday cake.
I went out to hang out with acquantences who will likely become friends.
Had a good time, played cards, had a drink or two.
Saturday morning found me up at the butt-crack of dawn… actually before the butt-crack of dawn… to drive an hour or so away to play roller derby for the day.
6 hours of skating.
A lunch date.
2 more hours of skating.
I played in a bout where I got knocked on my ass by a wicked hit to my sternum (totally legal) and I had SO much fun!!!
My body hurts from the bangover.
Overall… I had a good weekend. So far.
But there were moments… moments of longing. Moments of missing. Moments of intense sadness.
I looked out in the crowd at the bout and there was no one there…. no one to cheer me on, no one to support me, no one for me to have a victory drink with after the bout.
Don’t get me wrong… there were people I knew in the crowd… but they were there to watch *derby* not cheer *Jezebelle* on (my derby name).
My husband would have been there. My ex-boyfriend? I don’t know that he would have – he was hot & cold in his support of my hobbies/goals/dreams.
I have friends I celebrated with… and watched them go home to their spouses. I watched them go home to their families.
That’s the part I hate most about being a widow. Going home alone. Combine that with the knowledge that my ex is so very close… that I would probably just have to go upstairs and tell him that I miss him, that I need him, that I want him, that I want to work things out with him… and we’d find a way…
It hurts… knowing that he’s right there. It hurts, knowing that my love for my husband is part of what ended my relationship with the man I love now. It hurts… knowing that I go to bed every night, starving of skin hunger… missing him incredibly (both the hims I love) and wondering if I’m ever going to be able to have a love like what I experienced again.
Happy Birthday to me. I didn’t get a picture of me on my birthday this year. I’m not going to. Or maybe I will. But right now… I’m kinda feeling sorry for myself, wishing I had him here to snuggle up to on the couch, watch a movie before I go to work, or go through my flash cards with while we drink coffee and just be together.
The loss of a love relationship after the death of a spouse is harder than just an ordinary break up. I grieve over my 2nd chapter daily. I miss him. I miss my husband. While there is so much good going on in my life, I am grieving over the loss of the future I was promised… again…
The problem with having a diagnosis of clinical depression along with grief is not knowing when what you’re going through is normal grief or depression rearing it’s ugly head.
I haven’t had any anti-anxiety meds in 2 1/2 months.
I dropped my dosage of anti-depressants 2 1/2 months ago.
I’ve been doing well.
I made it through Christmas with a smile on my face.
Despite a devastating action by my ex, I made it through New Year’s alone… not quite with a smile on my face, but happy none the less.
And the last couple days… since the old man in the store, since I’ve been vocal about what happened to my husband… I’ve been sad.
I’ve been tired, fatigued. I’ve been struggling to keep focussed. I’ve been lonely.
I have been sort of reaching out – but as it usually is when I’m in need, no one was available. I don’t mean that in any derogatory way – it’s just what I need and the universe conspires to keep me alone to work through it, usually.
There was no one to talk to, really. No one who *got* it.
It’s my birthday in 3 days. And in 6… its the 3 year anniversary of the day he went into the hospital.
So… I wonder… should I up my meds? Or should I just ride this out and hope that when I come out the other side, I am not failing school?
In the end… it won’t matter… grief is grief. I”m pretty sure this is just another wave, but the temptation to mask it with meds is SO strong. Because if I can’t feel… then I don’t have to feel.
But if I don’t feel… I won’t… and it’ll come back and get me later.
I work in a big box store part time. It’s helping with money, keeping me out of trouble and in general… I quite enjoy it.
I was stocking shelves last night and this old man comes up to me. He’s looking for hams. What is the best ham? His wife had sent him.
And… then he started talking about his wife. And his marriage. And his kids.
He’s been married for 38 years. His wife loves him. He loves his wife. She’s amazing. Their life together is amazing.
As he’s talking, telling me about their life together, all I can think of is the life that was denied me.
I had 14 years with my husband. We had SO looked forward to growing old together, to being grandparents together, him playing Santa Claus at Christmas.
So I’m listening, because there’s no polite way to disengage from the conversation. I’m not busy enough, and there’s no other customers I could go “help.”
He continues on with his conversation, and finally winds it up. He thanks me for listening to him, and wanders off on his way.
I think, I really do think I did a good job of hiding the fact that my heart was breaking. I think that I managed to keep the pain out of my voice and off my face.
I finished up what I was doing then went on my lunch break.
On facebook, there was a post from one of my widda peeps. It hooked into the pain that was being held back, and pulled hard.
The dam broke.
In the middle of my break.
In the breakroom at work.
All I could think was… thank goodness no one else is on their break.
I finished up my lunch… and ducked into the bathroom. It’s hard to cry quietly when the grief monster hits. I don’t get the pretty little “tears running down my face” thing. I get big, ugly sobs… that are usually fairly loud.
I managed to get it together, go to work for the remainder of my shift. Walk towards the back and there’s a lovely love song on the freaking radio.
I practically ran back to the staff only section.
I finally got myself under control.
I love stories of love that last. But right at that moment? I didn’t want to hear about it.. or be reminded of what was lost. Not only my deceased husband, but also the potential Chapter 2.
But sometimes… I get to anyhow because the old man in the store needed someone to talk to.