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

Not as Bad

Things aren’t as bad as they were last year.  The pain of missing him is still there, and the grief storms hit on occasion, but I don’t have that overwhelming depression.

Things are better.

Things continue to get better.

There has been no cutting nor has there been a desire to cut.  There IS a desire to not do anything or go anywhere, but I’m committed to doing things and so therefore… I do them.

I’m not dying inside. I miss him.  But it’s not killing me this year.

Almost 5 years… and I’m doing okay this year.  So far.

Grey's Anatomy

17 Years

As I write this, my new Love is in our bed, sleeping peacefully because he has to work in the morning.  I have no where to be; I have some stuff to do at home but for the most part, my next 3 weeks are my own.

I snuck out of the bedroom. I wanted a few minutes to myself to write this post and I haven’t managed to get them today.  It’s been a busy day.  My friend from Vancouver Island was up visiting this weekend.  My daughter was over printing pictures of my grandson. The drive to the airport was just over an hour and when I got home, there were extra people in the house.

It’s hard to just feel when there are people around.  My house was too people-y.

On the way back from the airport, I had a cry. I talked to him. I yelled at him.I raged against the unfairness of it all.

I was supposed to have 50 years with him and I got barely 14. Not quite 13 married.

There’s a part of me that still rages about that.  Because, yanno, I miss him.  I miss his smile. I miss his laugh.  I miss the look in his eyes when he thought I wasn’t noticing.

But there’s the part of me that doesn’t.

I have a beautiful life in so many ways.

I’m going  back to school – and able to make a difference in other people’s lives.

I’ve met people who are amazing and fun and make a HUGE difference in mine.

I’ve got a new love who loves me intensely.

I’ve got a good life.

And none of it.  NONE of it would have happened if he was still here.

I miss him. I miss my Mark with so much intensity that I don’t know how to breathe when I think of it.

I miss him.  And I’m grateful for every. single. day. I got with him. He taught me so much and allowed me to become more myself than I would have been able to without him.

I wish I could be celebrating the end of an amazing day with Mark. I wish he were here to see his grandsons.  I wish, with all my heart, that we had gotten those 50 years.

But as the saying goes… if wishes were horses…

I can’t change the past. I can honour him, honour our life together, do good for other people, but I can’t change the past.

Happy Anniversary my Love.  I will love you for the rest of my life. You left me with beautiful memories, four amazing children, and a lifetime of love. I was your happy ever after. I got the fairy tale of “until death” and I wouldn’t change a thing. I’d love you and walk that journey with you again if I were asked – even knowing that our paths would diverge.

I love you.

Juxtaposition of Past & Present

How is it possible to feel such joy and such pain and sorrow at the same time?

How is it possible to look into the eyes of my present and possible future and melt with love then be devastated by a memory of the past that is no longer?

How is it possible to be so very happy and so devastatingly sad at the same time?

I have found love again. He makes my heart sing. He’s understanding, kind, caring, considerate, and he is willing to do whatever it takes to be there for me while I grieve intensely at this time of year. And when he was talking about me to someone he works with, his word were “I can be her next chapter, she already had a great chapter before me… I get to be next” (or something along those lines.  I was so shocked and so much more instantly in love with him when he said that that I don’t remember his exact words)

And… I want to tell Mark.  I want to tell him all about this new guy. I want to tell Mark how the new guy makes me feel. I want to snuggle up and see him and tell him all about the things that make my new guy so amazing. Because Mark would understand.  He’d be happy for me.  He’d want to hear all the details. He’d want to meet the new guy.  Because he was that awesome.

How do I reconcile the absolute joy I have found in my new love with the devastation of not having my husband?

It’s a strange juxtaposition. One I never expected to be feeling or working my way through 3 days before the 4th anniversary of his death.

I’m devastated and sad and grieving.

I’m happy and in love and enjoying life.

What. The. Everloving. Fuck?

Stages-of-Grief

Not a Hummingbird but a Butterfly.

Happy Anniversary to my Love, my forever 49, my sexxy redhead.

I spent a couple hours today at a waterfall.  I have made it my mission to spread some of his ashes at places where he might have wanted to fish.  I want to leave a piece of him in all the spots he would have liked to spend time at.

I feel closer to him beside a river.  I feel his presence more than at any other time, when I’m by the water.

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I stood on the shore of this creek, at the base of the waterfall, talking to him for about an hour.  Yelling at him.  Crying big heaving sobs that threatened to tear my soul out.

Asking, forever the question… WHY?  WHY did he have to die?  WHY did I have to do this on my own?

The only answer I can come up with is… so he didn’t have to suffer anymore.

He was in pain a lot of his last couple years.  Especially with the heart attacks, the ankylosing spondilytis, and then the last 6 months in the hospital due to pancreatitis.

He hurt.  All the time.  Every day.

And I get to be alone, so he doesn’t have to suffer anymore.

I always said I’d take the suffering, take the pain for him.   Well… I have.

I get to deal with, not the physical pain, but the emotional pain of not having him physically here.  And in trade, he’s pain free.  He’s not hurting anymore.

When I thought I was done crying, when I knew I was done yelling, I walked back towards my truck and sat beside the creek in the sun.

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And of course started crying again.   And as I was crying… not a hummingbird, but a butterfly stopped and sat on my bag.  It moved too quickly and flitted off again before I could take a picture.

Usually he comes to me in a hummingbird; today he was a beautiful dark brown and orange butterfly.

I smiled… thanked him for showing me he was with me… and cried some more.

And the butterfly came back.  Flitted around my head.  Slowly enough that I could see the colours, feel his presence, wash over in the love.   And just know that he was there.

I have been asking him for several days now, to come visit me.  Show me that he’s there.  Show me that he’s around.  Begging him before I fall asleep to visit me in my dreams, wake me before he goes so I’ll remember him.  And each day I wake up from a dreamless sleep.

He’s listening though.  He just waited until I needed him the most.

Not a hummingbird, but a butterfly….

Happy Anniversary my Love.  Thank you for the visit, the cleansing tears, and the beautiful afternoon by a waterfall.

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His Life Meant Something

Working in the field I do, I don’t work with the same people forever.

Being deployed means I’ll end up working with and meeting a plethora of people from different backgrounds and different lives.

And none of them know my story.

How do I express to people that I’m not an only parent by choice?  How do I tell people I just met… “Yep, I have 4 kids, a grandbaby and a half and a dead husband” without the expressions of sympathy?

Expressions of sympathy are the best way to get me crying.  But people like to do them – a lot. “You’re so strong for talking about it.”  “I’m so sorry” “You’re too young”

Yep. Yep. and Yep.

But his life had meaning.  He loved to fish the waters we’re working to protect here.  He loved this area.  He was an amazing dad who loved his boys and dammit they deserved to have more than 11 & 12 years with him!!

But I have conversations with people and over and over I get to say “My husband died 3 years ago”  “my children have no living father”

And if the conversations get deeper… then we get to bring up how my 4 children have 2 different fathers and… THEY’RE BOTH DEAD.

FML.

But his life had meaning.   And he was (and still is) important to us.   So I NEED to honour him.  I NEED to remember him.  I need to tell stories and bring up memories and share experiences because he fucking MATTERED.

I just wish it didn’t shatter me so much every time.

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