I Miss You

It has been 4 years since you took your last breath.

It has been 4 years since we gathered around you, held your hand, and allowed you to move on to another place with love and laughter surrounding you.

It has been 4 years since the grey Vancouver sky opened up for one moment, and sunlight streamed in your window as you left us.

It has been 4 years since I crawled up on you to snuggle you one more time, because I knew it wouldn’t hurt you and I hadn’t been able to do that in 6 months.

It has been 4 years since I broke down on you, and finally realized… it wasn’t you anymore.

It has been 4 years since I kissed your cold forehead one last time and walked away from the hospital one last time.

It has been 4 years since our lives changed.

It has been 4 years.

And I love you as much today as I did that day.

I miss you.  Your children miss you. Our lives are not the same without you.

4 years.  4 fucking years without you and I want to reach out and touch you and talk to you and hold you again.

This song.  Every. Fucking. Time. 

The Curse of Conflicting Emotions

It’s been 3 1/2 years.  Almost exactly.

He’s dead.  He’s not coming back.  They took his body, stuck it in an incinerator and presented me with a very lovely, beautifully decorated box of what remained of him.

Some of his cremains are in the Squamish River.

Some of them are in various other rivers.

Some of them are in my skin.

Some of them sit on a shelf in my living room.

Some of them travel with me as I go to various places.

But he’s GONE.

And his absence leaves a hole in my heart that I don’t know how to heal.  Every new thing, every milestone that hits the wound rips open and bleeds a little more.

At the same time, I can’t live in constant pain.  I get told by people that I am grieving too hard, having a pity party, holding on to the past.

I get ripped open by people because I still love a dead guy and the dead guy’s absensce still causes me enormous amounts of pain.

How do I live with both? I thought it was going to be a matter of I fell in love again, the new love would give me joy, the joy would buffer me against the sadness but when the sadness hit, the new love would be the blanket I would wrap myself in while the pain washed over me.

The new love didn’t see it that way, and that fell apart, and now I live with loving a dead guy AND a live guy, neither of whom I can lean on, neither of whom I have a promise of growing old with.

I want to be happy again. I have been. I am.  But I want to be HAPPY.  I want to be sitting in my own living room, not dragged down by depression and sadness and grief.  I want to be as ok alone as I am when I’m snuggled up to someone.

I wonder; am I holding on too hard, missing him too much, trying to be the “perfect” widow? ?

Or am I just feeling, just loving, just being?

Someone said it’s at least 5 years before the pain won’t rip me apart anymore.  And then I read from other widows who are STILL going through pain as fresh and acute as it was 3 1/2 years ago, 2 1/2 years ago, a year and a half ago, 6 months ago… it still hurts.  It’s still painful and lonely and sad for them.

And I don’t want to be there.  But how to live with both?  The joy of a future being built as the pain of a future lost?

I don’t know.  I don’t know the answer.

Just as I can’t act my age because I’ve never been this old before, I can’t manage my grief because I’ve never been 3 1/2 years a widow before…

It's Going to be Ok Someday

It Was Meant To Be…

When I was in employment flux, between my first and second seasons at BC Wildfire, I went to a career counsellor, jumped through some hoops and decided on Licensed Practical Nurse as my upgrade/career path.

My reasons:

  1. The amazing nurses who inspired me.
  2. To be of service
  3. To be there for other people going through what I went through (simliar to #2)
  4. Employability.
  5. Mobility OR stability.

What I didn’t remember… was it was something I had thought about a long time ago.

This was part of an update post on April 13, 2012.  Almost 3 months after he initially went into the hospital.

Mark Healing Community Post

I can’t do a point/arrow/highlight on a picture in a wordpress blog, but right in the middle… It says..

“If I could do it over again I would go into nursing or surgery because that was AWESOME to watch.”

 “I would go into nursing”

And yah.  In 2 months, I will be in nursing.

It was meant to be.  It is happening.

I know for a lot of widows/widowers, the phrase “everything happens for a reason” is cause for white hot rage, seriously offended, going to throat punch the speaker reactions.

For me?  It’s the truth.

Everything happened.  For. A. REASON.

I am exactly where I should be in my life.

I am doing what I am supposed to.

All avenues, all options have closed off and the path towards nursing is brightly lit, clear and safe.

Path

I know where I’m supposed to go from here. I can see the way, and without EVERYTHING THAT HAPPENED…

I wouldn’t be here.

I’d be in Squamish still (miss my friends!) working with Co-operators, selling life insurance and probably doing an amazing job at it.

I’d have a husband who requires round the clock care with a recovery measured in years not months.

I’d be exhausted.  My kids would come second to my husband’s needs.  My husband would feel guilty about that.  He’d feel helpless and hopeless and lost and a burden.  I would probably spend more time trying to make him understand that he’s not a burden than just loving him, because he’d need that from me, from us.

The reality is, life would have amazing beautiful moments.  I would still be Mrs. Mark Smith.  I wouldn’t resent it for a moment.   But it would be my life, focussed entirely on my husband.

But now, I’m allowed to shine.

A friend of mine blogged a long time ago… he gave me my life back.  I know that he’d be here if he could… but in the end, he loved me, loved his family enough to let us out of the limbo we were in.  He loved us enough that he would have fought if there were any real options left.  But there weren’t.  So he let go, and let us move forward.

And now… where I’m supposed to be is coming to fruition.

I love him so much more for being willing to let go.  For doing what’s best for EVERYONE, instead of holding on and keeping us in that holding pattern.  It shows how amazing of a person he was.   And I wish everyone who reads this could have met him.  Could have known him.

He was so incredible and I was so blessed to have been loved by him.  So blessed to have been his wife for 13 years.  So blessed to be the mother of his children.  So very blessed to have loved him to his last breath.

Took It Off Again

When my ex-boyfriend and I were trying to work things out, I took off my ash pendant.

For a while… I forgot that I had taken it off. It didn’t cross my mind that I had taken it off.

And then a couple days ago, I found it on my end table.  I wanted to put it away but was in the middle of something else, so I just put it on again.   I forgot about it… wearing jewelry just becomes part of my skin.  If I wear it long enough I feel naked without it on.  If I take it off…after a while I don’t notice its absence.  (ask me about my wedding rings – i haven’t noticed that my fingers are bear in months)

So I put the ash pendant on.

And it bugged me.

It’s heavy.  I don’t know how I didn’t notice that before. It’s REALLY heavy.

And it sits right in my cleavage.  Right where my heart is, right between my boobs. So as I move around it bounces against my boobs.

And… it wasn’t comfortable.   I love it.  It’s beautiful.  It’s a lovely reminder of my dead husband.

But it didn’t *feel* right being on my body again.

I wear him in my skin.  I wear him in my heart. He is forever a part of me.

Maybe, just maybe, I am coming to that place of accpetance and moving on?  Almost fully at the “don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened state of mind” that would be so lovely?

Peace

I’d like to think that I’m coming to a place of peace.   To a place of… yes, I am a widow.  Yes, it’s part of what defines me much as being a mom did, being a wife did, being a student does.  It defines me, shapes the way I look at the world, but it is no longer my WHOLE world.

It is a big part of it.  Until I get married again, I’ll still check “widow” on the box, even if I have to write the box in because someone didnt’ think to put it there. Because it is so very much a part of who I am.

But it is no longer the focus of my entire world.

I miss him with every breath.  I wish with ever fibre of my being that we could have had the life we planned.   I think though, that I’m coming to a place of acceptance of what is.   Of the change in our relationship, in the change in my life, in the story I am writing for my own life.

The Things You Lose

There were so many things my husband loved.

Movies.

Awards shows.

Musicals.

Music shows.

Things I don’t watch anymore.

Glee.  Oscars.  So You Think You Can Dance.  Dancing With The Stars.

I don’t watch them because I want to share them with him.  I go to tell him something, even after all this time.   And then… the hurt hits.  My heart hurts.  I remember what I’ve lost.

After 32 months.  I still get hit in the chest by the pain of losing him.

I’m deliberately watching the Oscars tonight.

I am on purpose watching a show that was something he and I watched together.

I am not wallowing, but I am letting the pain wash over me.   I am breathing through the sadness.  I am feeling it.

I have heard/read somewhere that in order to let something go, you must first have a hold of it.

I can’t let go of the pain, I can’t move past the pain, I can’t leave the pain behind if I don’t FEEL the pain.

The well of pain is deep and at times seems limitless.   But I know as time goes by, as I move through each wave of pain, as I learn to swim in the deep ocean of grief… it becomes easier.   Not consistently, but it does.  There are times I’m drowning, but there are times when I feel the pain…and I let it go.

Slowly… I’m getting better at the letting go.   Slowly.

In the meantime… I make choices as to when I wish to submerge myself in that pain… sometimes… so I can learn to swim.

Grief Is Like the Ocean

Falling Apart

I am falling apart right now.

Big, snotty, can’t breathe, can’t see sobs.

It’s a good thing I can type without looking, without seeing because I can’t right now.   I apologize for any spelling errors.

I hurt.

My dad died, did I tell anyone here that?

He died in April 2011.

A year before my husband.

He and I weren’t particularly close.  He lived 8 hours away, and didn’t seem to know, despite his incredible intelligence, how to pick up a phone and use it.

And then when he finally did call… it was to tell me he had stage 4 lung cancer.

That was October?  November? of 2010.   We went to see him at Christmas.  My brother, my sister, me.  My sister’s husband.  My husband and kids.   And then we didn’t expect to see him again.

I managed to go for another visit in March – saw him in the hospital.

And then he died in April.  I remember – I was at work when I got the call.   My husband came to get me.

I had a cry.   I mourned.   We spread his ashes that summer at Duggan Lake.   I cried again.

And that was it.

Less than a year later, my husband went into the hospital.   159 days after – he died.

My dad and I weren’t close.   I always had a feeling of I would never *quite* measure up.   I got an A once on an English Essay and he said to let him know when I got 100% on an essay like him.

I’m in English right now – my essay marks have been 97%, 97%, and 98%.  Not quite the 100%.  And yes, each mark, I’ve thought about him when I saw that it wasn’t perfect.

So Saturday I went to see 50 Shades of Grey.

The main female character graduates from college.  Her dad shows up.   She’s super happy.  And then it hits me.

HE WON’T BE THERE.

My dad won’t be at my graduation.

He won’t be there for me at that moment.

He was at almost every other major event in my life.

But he won’t be at that one.

And so there I am… in the middle of a sexxy movie… crying.

Fuck me.

And tonight?  I can’t stop.  It’s like all the grief I didn’t know was there has just bubbled the fuck out.

And I can’t stop crying about it.

I miss my Daddy.  I miss him.  And I’m never going to be able to share my grandson with him.  He’s not going to see me graduate.  He’s not going to be a part any of that.

And I can’t stop crying about it.

So much fucking lost time.

July & Aug 2009 048

I’m Angry… but Not… blah

Lately, I’ve had some anger surfacing.

Anger that he died.

Anger that he left me alone.

Anger that I have to live my life differently.

Anger that the future we planned is not going to happen.

Don’t get me wrong… I love my life.  I love where it’s headed. I love the choices I am making.

But I’m angry that I HAD to make the choices.

While there is something amazing in having freedom, I was never one who wanted it.  I wanted the plan.

Too many choices confuses me.

But… I have the choice.  I have the freedom.  It’s an awesome dichotomy of “I want this but damn I wish I didn’t have to” going on in my head.

Life is a mass of contridictions.   And so am I.

Lost sign