Day Drinking & Derby

NOT recommended.

I debated where to put this, on my widow blog or fitness blog.  I’m still not sure which is the best place, but it’s both so… meh.

Today at school we were going through hospice training. The training involves digging deep into empathy and feelings. We got to talk about death and dying and grief and mourning and how to best help the families and patients as they go through this.

I started the day with Bailey’s and coffee. First thing.

I wanted just enough to keep the edge off.  It didn’t work. So I drank more.

And I cried my way through hospice training.

The first coffee finished, and the facilitator started reading a poem. I had caught a glimpse of the poem and left for more coffee.  I still had Bailey’s left and there was enough to make me comfortably… relaxed. Filled my cup with coffee and managed to get back to the room just at the point of the poem finishing.

I cried my way through the rest of the training.

I cried for three freaking hours.

After the hospice training, we went into the nursing lab, and talked about what would happen with a body.  How it would look.  What would be happening with it. We got a body bag and talked about the family and their rituals and what they would want.  And I watched and listened while memories of Mark after he passed superimposed over the visual of the mannequin laying there.

And I cried some more.

Some classmates and I went to Boston Pizza.

We had pitchers of sangrias.

And I spent the afternoon getting inebriated. And more inebriated.  And thank goodness for my commuter dude who could drive home.

I got home at 5.30pm.  Derby was at 7pm.

I was day drunk.  And then had to go to derby practice.

Not a good combination.

I practiced.  I hurt more than normal.  Had trouble breathing.  Couldn’t push myself the way I normally do.  But I practiced.  And I tried to focus.

But I was either still drunk… or I was hung over.  I wasn’t on my game.  Our head ref said to me… “You’re not moving the way you normally do” which… duh. 😛 I was either drunk or hung over. LMAO

I couldn’t have made it through the day without the drinking.  But I shouldn’t have drank. But I needed it.

I laughed with my classmates. I laughed a lot. And had a good time.  And got drunk. I needed it.

But day drinking and derby don’t mix.



Hospice Training

If you’re new-ish to my blog, or haven’t read that far back, I’m in school to become a Practical Nurse.

This involves working with people who might die.   Just in case you didn’t know.

As an LPN the primary areas we work in are Long Term Care, Palliative Care, Post-Natal Maternity and Med-Surge.

2 of those 3 involve the likelyhood that someone will die.

So we need to know how to handle that, how to manage that, how to be a part of that.

Enter Hospice Training.

It started at 9am.  Tears started about the same time.  I brought Bailey’s for my coffee.  Drank it all.  Cried for 3 freaking hours.  Still teary.

But yeah.  Lets talk about death. Dying.  The dying bill of rights.  Grief.  Mourning.  Bereavement.

Lets do this all in a class.

And lets watch Jane fucking break down over and over and over and over.

Other people cried.  In parts.

I cried the whole time.  And after.  And honestly if someone were to look at me sideways I’d probably start crying again.

But yeah.  It was like having a wound…and someone sticking their finger in it and twisting it around so that they could say “HEY! This is how it HURTS.  Now you KNOW how it feels!!”

Fuck you.

And fuck you again.

But I will have a bit of a better idea how to help people through the process when it’s time. And hopefully, I will be able to bring an empathy to the dance floor that another wouldn’t have had.

But fuck me.  I haven’t cried that much for a very long time.

After class?   I went and drank.  Had some serious laughs. Had a good time.

But I still want to cry.  A lot.  Because that class brought up SO much emotion.

Fuck I miss him.


Are You Ok?

Three simple words.

Sitting at the afterparty, a derby girl I’d just met, just played with for the first time that night, sat across from me at the table I was sitting at and asked me, “Are you ok?”

She saw that I was teary when I came into the dressing room.  She wanted to check in with me that I was ok.

She asked, and was genuinely concerned.  She genuinely wanted to know.  And so I told her.

And she… she listened.  And understood.

She held space and let me talk for 5 minutes.

Because.. she truly wanted to know.  Was I ok?

I was. And having someone just take those 5 minutes, take that time to be genuine, I was even MORE ok when we were done talking.

Really ok

If you randomly read this, for whatever reason, Amanda… thank you.  Thank you for that moment of just being genuine and holding space and allowing me, for one moment, to just not be ok… before I was ok again. Thank you for that moment.

Be Grateful

I’m sure you’ve seen the meme on Facebook or wherever.

Don't Cry

I was at a derby bout this weekend.  Northern Mayhem vs Terrace.  In Terrace.

Terrace is the place where Mark and I moved a month after we got together. It’s the place he proposed to me.  Where we conceived our first… and lost it.  It’s the place we had our marriage blessed by the church we belonged to. It’s where our Andrew was conceived, and born.  It’s where we solidified our relationship and who we were as a couple. It was the start of MarkandJane.

And I was there, driving around the town, ripping off bandaids, picking at the scabs, allowing myself to bleed a little.

And then I get to the derby bout.

I had planned to ignore the last weekend and just have an amazing fucking time, learn new things and play hard.  But one of the North Stars came up to me and offered me more.

“You’re my buddy.  You and I are going to work together all night.  Last weekend was last weekend and tonight we’re going to have fun.”

I started crying. Apparently it took someone just being nice and supportive (damn you Mark for dying and taking that from me!!!) after the day of picking at the emotional scabs for the tears to finally come out.

I had to explain that this (tears and emotions) had nothing to do with this (the derby stuff that happened last week and I was ignoring it this weekend regardless of what happened)

And she said to me…

Be grateful for the town.  Be grateful for what it gave you and the memories you have because of it.

And somehow… for the first time… I’m able to see that.  I’ve seen the “Don’t cry” meme before and in my head I’m like.. DUDE.  Do you not GET how fucking PAINFUL it was to lose him? (yeah, I yelled at the meme a few times)

But grateful.  I can do grateful.

Grateful doesn’t mean I’m not sad.  Grateful doesn’t mean I don’t cry.  Grateful doesn’t mean I ignore the pain.

Grateful means that even when I’m crying, I smile because of everything we shared.

Grateful means that even when it hurts so much I can’t breathe, I still hold on to the love we shared.

Grateful means that I can look at the town here we started and smile at the memories even as they’re ripping me apart.

Grateful means that picking the scabs and ripping the bandaids means the healing can carry on… even if it leaves a scar in the end.

I can do grateful.  And I am incredibly grateful for her for saying it in those words.


The top image is Mark and Me and Kyle and Katie at the mouth of the Shames on the Skeena River.

The bottom is Mark and Chi-wen & Simon and someone I don’t remember hiking Terrace Mountain.


So…. My Husband Died

I’m in nursing school.  In just over a year I will have finished a diploma program and will have (almost) earned the title “Practical Nurse.”

It is a … therapeutic process for me. Each new thing I learn, each new skill I learn brings up memories from when he was in the hospital.

And each new instructor I have to have a conversation with them.

“So… my husband died.  And this is bringing up a LOT of memories and triggers.  And if I step back from what I’m doing or what’s being taught, please understand that it’s a matter of trying to get myself under control or minimizing the emotional battering I’m going through.  But I AM learning, I just don’t want to be penalized because I have to do it differently at that moment.”

So yeah.  My husband died. And I get to talk about it over and over.  And maybe as I talk about it, I’ll desensitize more?  I don’t know.  It doesn’t seem to be happening, but I still talk about it.

Sometimes I don’t want to though.

Today I didn’t want to, but I did want my instructor to understand that I am going through things and working on them.

Because my husband died.  And he wouldn’t want me to live life any other way than out loud and as boldly as I am. So I talk.  And I learn.  And I try to make the world around me a bit better and a bit brighter.

And I will take the lessons learned from him and his death and build a life that is beautiful and bright.  And be there for another who is going through the same thing.

It’s part of why I’m becoming a nurse, yanno?



How Time Flies.

3 years.  9 months. 9 days.  6 hours. 45 minutes.

That’s how long it’s been since I’ve been Mark’s wife.

That’s how long it’s been since I became Mark’s widow.

I still love him and miss him with every breath.

He’s still the one I want to share the stuff with.

I still say good-night to him every night.

I still cry over him.

Almost 4 years.  And I still can’t believe I’m never going to see his face, kiss him, hug him, or touch him again.

4 years and I’m still surprised when he’s not here.  Even though he’s never BEEN here, he’s never BEEN where I am.  I have NO memory of him in this room, in this house, in this town.

There’s a whole slew of friends who never met him.  And only know him through what I’ve told them.

I think, some days, that hurts the most.  That I’ll never share Mark with my new friends. That I can never introduce them to him.  That people only ever know me as this single mom.

That no one saw me as Mark’s wife, only his widow.

Miss you Mark.

January 2010 036