18 Years

Today would have been 18 years married.  We were together a year and a half before we got married, so we were coming up on 20 years together.

It has been 5 years since I’ve seen him. Touched him. Heard his voice. Listened to his heart beating.

I am afraid, most of all, of being without him longer than I was with him.  I am jealous of those people who had 30, 40, 50 years.  One client I talk to was a few months shy of 60 years before their spouse died.

Every day, every month, every year, takes me that much further away from when I last saw him and that much closer to the day when I’ll have been without him longer than with him.

I’m not destroyed today.  But I am sad.  And I am doing a lot of self care. And my lovely sexxy chef has been amazing in supporting me and helping me through this day.

Happy Anniversary to the dead guy.

Mar & Jane Wedding

Cutting all Ties…

Shortly after my Mark died, I fell in love with the man I thought was going to be my Chapter 2.  I was in love with him. He seemed to be everything I wanted. He presented in a way that promised love and understanding and a future.

He did not.

He was, for lack of better words, jealous of a dead guy. He felt as though I was always putting the dead guy first. (Bear in mind, the dead guy had been dead just over a year when we got together).

Against my better judgement (and an actual question of “do you really think we should do this?”) we got matching tattoos.

They’re gorgeous. Musical and heart-y and romantic and lovely.  And did I mention matching? And we’re not together anymore.

He felt I owed him money. I paid him $400 every 2 weeks for a year or so, then $200 every 2 weeks for another year or so.  Ended up paying him close to $16,000.

I told him that I was done paying for things that I didn’t feel were my debt.  That I needed the $200 every 2 weeks to buy, oh, I don’t know… groceries.  (I had resorted to using the food bank because I couldn’t afford to feed my kids – yet he could).

He said fine.  Actually he said a whole lot more than that… but that was the end of the conversations.

The man who told me he had loved me for 20+ years, the man who promised to love me no matter what, the man who was supposed to be my best man at my wedding, the man who promised me that no matter what, we’d be friends…. cut me off. Blocked me on all social media sites. Refuses to answer any phone calls or messages I send. (Not that I’ve sent many – mostly about mail he still gets here).

Apparently my friendship was worth $200 every 2 weeks to him.  Nice, eh?

So anyhow… I’m left with this tattoo. This lovely, gorgeous, incredibly designed tattoo that matches that of a man who broke every. single. promise. he ever made to me.

Before I get married next summer – I’m getting it altered.

Today? Today was stage one.  The lines are done, one element is mostly complete, and this little heart at the bottom of the tattoo that I tried to make uniquely my own (but he insisted they match) has been obliterated.

Today, I truly cut the last of the ties I had to him.  Because I’m making my tattoo, my own. Not matching his, not similar, just mine.

It’s tempting to send him a picture.  But in the end, it only serves the purpose to hurt him – and I’m not playing that game.

Widda peeps? Don’t get a matching tattoo with someone who you’re unsure of.  Really that applies to all peeps – but especially widda peeps who’s brains are fried from the trauma of the death of their person and who are desperate to feel that connection again.

Because at some point… you’ll end up having to have it covered/altered despite how much you love the tattoo – simply because you no longer love the guy.

(Not entirely true, a part of me still loves him… just not a big part)

But wait until you’re completely sure.

When the tattoo is done – I’ll post before, during, and after pics.  But for now… I’m in the process of cutting the last of the ties.

The Patient who Died

In my very short nursing career (super short! I’m not yet a licensed nurse!!) I have been a part of 3 deaths.  3 deaths over 2 years of theory and clinical.

Two were very expected.  The patients were on palliative care orders, they’d had a decline and death was expected.  I cried a little, moved on and continued my day without much pause.

The third and last (latest?) was not.

He wasn’t expected to die.

His death was not only unexpected, it was unusual and traumatic.

An artery blew and he bled out. He was my patient. I had sat him up for breakfast, and 45 minutes later I was walking by to get another patient a drink and saw him slumped over.

His bed was covered in blood and non-responsive.

I discovered this.

I didn’t respond well – there were things I didn’t do that I should have, and there were things I shouldn’t have done that I did.

I learned so very much from that man’s death.

I walked out of the room as they were continuing the code and thought to myself… what did I miss? What didn’t I do right? What could I have done differently?

The answers?

Don’t leave the patient.
Hit the emergency button.
Put oxygen on the patient.
Open the IV to run a bolus.
Look for the bleed.

The last two are probably interchangeable. Stopping the bleed is important but getting volume back into the patient is important as well.

So I learned.

And now… the grief has hit me again and again.

I talk about it, and I cry. I think about it, and I cry. I’m blogging about it, and I cry.

It was the first traumatic death I’d experienced. And in the words of the nurse who was working with me… it was VERY traumatic.

My husband’s death wasn’t traumatic like that. It’s not reminiscent. It’s only reminiscent in that it wasn’t an expected death. We expected Mark to get better.  He didn’t. I expected the patient to get better.  He didn’t.

I am grieving over this patient who’s name I don’t fully remember (just remember his first name) and his death.

People tell me it’s normal. That I will learn to adjust. That it will stay with me. That I learned from it and from this point on, I will ALWAYS remember to check my emergency equipment, hit the emergency button and put oxygen on a patient who is suddenly not stable.

But I’m grieving.  And I’m sad. And I suppose it will eventually be a part of me. I’ve also been told that if I wasn’t compassionate and caring – I wouldn’t feel this. But in the meantime…

I grieve.  For the man who’s last name I can’t remember. For his dog.  For the children who lived across the country. For a death that shouldn’t have happened even though I know that there probably wasn’t anything anyone could have done differently to change the outcome.

The images in my head flash randomly.  The memory of his voice haunts me. And I grieve.