Smell Ya Later

Note to readers:  this is a blog post that was in drafts from 2013. I didn’t post it then, I don’t know why.  I’m not sure where the deodorant went. But that smell. I miss it. 

I’ve finally got some time to go through and read the blogs I’ve been missing.  Gawd I’ve been missing them.  THIS daily prompt caught my eye and I needed to write…

I keep a couple of things at my bedside, on my vanity table.   One is the collection of dimes from the last 14 months.  The other is a half used men’s deodorant.

It was Mark’s.  I am blessed.  I have a video of him talking so I get to hear his voice.  I have pictures that remind me what he looks like.   I have in that same video, his laugh.  Oh how I miss his laugh.

But his smell.  That is elusive.  He had scent issues.  He couldn’t wear colognes.  He would occasionally – just for me – but he’d suffer for it later with headaches.

But his deodorant… He’d get out of the shower, put it  on and usually I’d get a hug or a kiss and I’d smell it on him.

If I open that half used deodorant, (and I won’t tell you how often, that’s between Mark and I) for a moment… For just a moment… I’m in his arms.  I can feel his presence behind me, beside me, near me.

For that moment, the world springs back into place and the pain is gone and the loss is gone and for that moment… The last 20 months have been erased and I’m back at that night just before he got sick, and my world makes sense.

And then, I put the cap back on the deodorant, the grief and the loss and the reality hits me again and the discombobulation of what my life is comes firmly back into my consciousness.

As I get closer to moving day, the deodorant comes out more often.  I’m saying goodbye to my life here and the grief is stronger and hits me harder and I while I’m so excited for the future, I’m terrified of losing the past entirely.

So I take myself back in time to when the word “widow’ didn’t apply to me, and there was a clear path in front of me.

The adventure ahead of me is exciting and full of promise…. but I can’t help but peek back through the door I’ve walked through to see what I’ve left behind….

I feel you

I Grieve For You

I didn’t expect to.  You are a stranger to me.

You weren’t my patient.

You weren’t my friend.

I didn’t know you.

I wasn’t part of the team that tried to save you.

But I grieve for you.

A life cut short.  Similar age to my children.

For what?

Parents cry tonight.

Siblings mourn.

Cousins and extended family are brokenhearted.

A family is torn apart – a vital piece of it missing, gone forever.

I grieve for them too.

The family with the weight of your loss forever etched in their minds and hearts.

I grieve for the friends who are left behind.

The ones who saw the friend who died, the friends who saw the one who could have been, should have been.

I grieve for them.  The family. The friends. The acquaintances.

I grieve a referred grief.

You could have been my child. I could have been the mother. The sibling. The cousin and extended family. I could have been the friend or acquaintance.

I was the wife.

And I grieve for the losses no one expects.

I grieve for you tonight.

Merry Christmas

This is the 8th without you.

The 8th Christmas without your whacked sense of humour.

The 8th Christmas with a piece of my heart missing.

This is the 8th Christmas I’ll be missing you.

It’s a short and sweet post…because I have no deep words of wisdom.

I miss you.

I miss your self.

I miss us.

I miss everything we were.

8 Christmas’s and so much has changed – but yet one fact remains.

I miss you. I miss us.

There will always be a seat at the table for you.

Love you forever.

IMGP5742This was our first Christmas without you.

Why I can’t be Calm…

On January 19, 2012, my husband was in the bathroom vomiting. We called 911, and he was taken to the hospital.

In the hospital, we were given a diagnosis of pancreatitis. Over the next couple days, he got worse, and was transferred to a hospital with ICU capabilities.

In that first hospital he transferred to, they told us his kidneys were shutting down and that he needed to be transferred to a hospital with dialysis capabilities.

We got to THAT hospital.

I went home that night.

The next day, I set up dinner in the crock pot, left my kiddos playing video games with neighbours as emergency contacts and headed to the hospital.

I thought, in my infinite, uneducated wisdom, that we would be going through the same situation we’d been through before.

You see, 3 years prior, he’d had two heart attacks.  A few days in the hospital, and we were home. New regime, new diet, new plan of attack, new medications.  Each time. A few days of driving back and forth between the house and hospital – about an hour each way.

So I thought that this would be the same.

But it wasn’t.

It really really wasn’t.

And just under 6 months and another hospital later I left the hospital for the last time, knowing that I would never be back there again, that my role of being a “patient’s family  member” were over.

Except it’s not.

In just under 3 weeks, my youngest, my baby, my gorgeous amazon woman of a daughter will undergo a craniotomy to remove a brain tumour. In all the reading, all the literature, it says that they will go in, do the surgery, she’ll be transferred to the ICU and then after 3-5 days she’ll be sent home.

3. to. 5. fucking. days.

Are you KIDDING ME?

I’m supposed to be ok with this?

I’m not. I’m not on any level.

3 – 5 days and then she’s sent home?

I don’t know how to make my brain go back to that uneducated, naive view of life that will allow me to say “she’ll be fine. It’s a couple days, maybe a week in hospital then home for recovery.”

BECAUSE THAT DIDN’T HAPPEN THE LAST TIME.

The last time someone I loved went into the hospital they FUCKING DIED.

And so I’m in a constant state of panick. I’m trying desperately to be calm and keep things normal and be positive and upbeat but…

HE DIED.

HE DIDN’T COME HOME.

And I don’t know that I will survive it if she doesn’t.

Life Changes

I miss my husband.

I miss his steadfast, solid, calmness.

I miss being able to lean into him.

I don’t know how to navigate the waters of a contentious relationship with my oldest child without him.  My new husband is angry about him hurting me. He doesn’t have the same attachment my dead husband had.

I don’t know how to navigate the waters of a potential diagnosis for my kid.  I mean – I did it with my husband. I navigated all those moments of discussing it with doctors, but this is my CHILD. The person who helped bring her into the world and he’s NOT here to be all the things I miss about him while I panick and cry and fall apart.

My current husband loves me. He adores me. He’s there for me in every way.

But he has a detachment that allows him to be passionate about the injustices to ME which leaves me feeling like I have to fight on two fronts – angry/frustrated about whatever situation but at times having to defend the situation.

It’s exhausting.

I miss my kid. The one who wasn’t so angry at the world and who I could talk to about everything. He doesn’t get that he and his kids ARE important to me. He doesn’t care that I’m going through my own shit. He doesn’t know. Doesn’t ask. Just sees that I’m not there for him in the way he wants. He doesn’t care what it would have cost me, personally, financially, emotionally to step out of my life to be there in his.

All he sees is I wasn’t there.

And now we’re fighting because of it.

And he’s too angry with the world and at women in general to stop and listen or see my side.  And now I cannot see a way around it or to fix it.

And I miss my husband because he would have been the negotiator. The mediator.  The peace-maker.

My current husband is just angry at the fact that I’m hurting.

I miss him.  My husband who was the rock, the glue in our lives.

Pictures 025

Missing Him Lately

I spend a lot of time with ALC/LTC patients and residents lately.

Helping them with body care, helping them eat, helping them walk, helping their lives have meaning.

Some of them talk.

Some of them don’t.

The ones that don’t, I try to have “conversations” with them… but I’m not super good and it leaves me with time to think.

Would this have been my life if he’d lived? Or would he have recovered to be independent again? Or would it have been, no matter what, the beginning of the end?

The what if’s get me.

What if he’d lived? What if he’d pushed that one more time? What if?

And WHY THE FUCK DID HE HAVE TO DIE?

Why do I have to navigate this world without him who understood me so well? Why do I (as much as I do love him) have to navigate everything with my new husband who doesn’t *quite* get it? Who I have to work at having good communication with?

Why did other people get to survive what he went through and he didn’t?

Why did I have to be a widow?

Why the fuck?

I’ll never have the answers and this will never be a thing I’m *over* because how do you get over losing someone you love so deeply?

Lately it’s been super freaking hard managing the grief. It hits me out of no where and I always feel like crying.  7 years gone. That’s half the time I had with him. I want more.

Stages-of-GriefMark in Fruitvale

Merry Christmas 2018

Every year it becomes more and more apparent that you’re gone. Stupid eh?  I mean, I know you’ve been gone from the moment you took your last breath.

But pictures don’t lie.

I’m taking new pictures, creating new memories, and everything is changing.

But the pictures I have of you are all the same.  There’s no new ones. No Christmas 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2015, 2017 and now there won’t be a Christmas 2018.

Seven fucking Christmas’s without you. Without making memories with you. Without sharing the life we planned.

Seven.

It’s hard to believe it’s been seven Christmas’s without you.

But here we are again, my Love.  A Christmas without you, without the traditions we had, without you sharing in the joy of being a Daddy, and now a Grandpa.

Thank you for the dime I found today. Thank you for reminding me that you’re still here and still around.

I miss you.

Merry Christmas.