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. 

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Father’s Day

I made it through Father’s Day.  I made it through the day mostly because I had been riding on a derby high from 3 bouts in 24 hours.

I got home, emotionally crashed, and slept.

The missing him, it’s visceral. Every day that goes by is another day further from him being on this Earth, from him being at my side, from him getting to see his children and grandchildren.

How do I explain to his grandsons who he was and how amazing he was? How can I get them to understand?

Short answer… I can’t.  They’ll never know.

The countdown of days is on. I had a breakdown on the way to school yesterday. The weight of the day of his death gets heavier with each day. I know… or at least I hope… from past years, that it will lighten up again after the 26th, but for now, I’m simply walking through my days, hoping I don’t crash and burn.

I miss him.

The Flashbacks

Nursing is a profession where you get intimately acquainted with your client’s body.

You learn about the things that most people are too embarrassed to talk about.

Colonostomies. Bowels. Urination. Elimination.  Wastes.

The upside to this is I’ve watched a lot of it while Mark was in the hospital.  The downside is that every new topic that comes up results in yet another trigger.

Today was dialysis.

Sitting in a hospital waiting to find out what ICU he’d be heading to because Lions Gate didn’t have dialysis.

Watching his blood circulate when he was on dialysis.

Off dialysis.  Back on dialysis. Off again.

Wondering if he’d have permanent kidney damage.

So many triggers.

So many flashbacks.

Good thing is I’m going to get all out of the way before I see an actual patient.  Bad thing is… I’m having them.

Memory is fine.  Recall is shot.  Until I step into class and something triggers me.

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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Widowed Twice

I can’t imagine.

I literally cannot imagine going through it again.

The shock.

The pain.

The numbness.

The numbness wearing off.

The pain.

OH my gawd the pain.

I can’t imagine being in a place where you’re happy, your heart is full, you’re moving forward…. and just like that…. the rug is yanked out from under you again.

I can’t imagine.

And yet… a member of the widowed community… has had that happen.

She found her chapter 2.

She was engaged.  Blending families.  Looking forward to a life of love after the loss she experienced prior.

And just like that, her fiancé died.

My heart goes out to her and her family.   I can’t imagine.  But I can offer her love and support.

It's Too Late

The Anger Surprises Me

After 3 years… the sudden onset (or maybe not so sudden, I just try to ignore it until it spills out) of rage.

The fury.

HE LEFT ME.

HE DIED.

Exacerbated by the other changes in my life… my job ending, career change, the ex moving out, my daughter moving to Edmonton…

And then the anger hits because someone wants something from me…

DON’T THEY GET THAT I’M BARELY HANGING ON?  CAN’T THEY FUCKING SEE I’VE HIT THE EDGE AND THEY’VE JUST PUSHED ME ONE LAST FUCKING TIME???

Of course they can’t.  Why would they?  I’m good at seeming OK.   At times, I genuinely am ok.  Sad about the man moving to his own place.  Angry at him for not fighting for me.  Excited about the change in careers.  Looking forward to a new challenge…

WTF ARE YOU DOING WHY WOULD YOU ASK ONE MORE FUCKING THING OF ME!!!

Yeah.  Just like that… happy… relaxed… slightly on edge… and *BOOM* I’m a fucking lunatic.

Let’s add in just over a week until my wedding anniversary, my period is about to start, I’m exhausted, I’m processing new changes, I’ve got money stressors (it will all work out, it will all work out) and teenagers.

But the anger surprises me… because it’s not their fault.  The fault lies in the situation which I have no control over.

He died.

He left (after I left him – but dammit he wasn’t supposed to LET me).

She’s building a life for herself.

The boys are growing up.

Can things just STAY THE FUCKING SAME long enough for me to catch my breath? Please?  Just for a while?

tired of being a fighter

Reason for Everthing

I’ve been in Squamish for the past 2 days.

Well, sorta. I’m an hour north of Squamish in the rain forest.   There’s a massive fire up here and I’m part of the team that is working to put it out.

I’m living in a camp. It’s nice. Camping, but food is supplied and cooked, there’s showers and bathrooms, and a place to hide out from the rain if it happens.

But I’m *this* close to Squamish.

I went for a walk this morning before work started – sat on the river and meditated.   Realized that this was one of the rivers Mark fished.

For the first time… there wasn’t an overwhelming sadness, a grief storm, there was only a tug of longing that made me wish I could be sitting there with him.

Wouldn’t it be nice to be camping right there? Quiet and peaceful and listening to the river?

I miss him. Every day. I don’t have a day that goes by that I don’t think of him or what our life could have been.

And I wish, every day, that I had gotten to share my life with him.

But I loved him to his last breath. And I know he’s still with me. I know he’s still around, checking up on me, loving me.

There was a post on Facebook by a widda sister who had someone tell her that “things happen for a reason” and a lot of the other widows agreed that that was one of the most insensitive, throat-punch deserving comments that could be made.

I believe that things DO happen for a reason.   I may not like the reason. I may not WANT the reason. I may not SEE the reason, but there’s always a reason.

If my husband hadn’t died, I wouldn’t have reconnected with Mike. If I hadn’t reconnected with Mike, I wouldn’t have loved him and his kids. If I hadn’t loved him and his kids, I wouldn’t have moved to Quesnel. If I hadn’t moved, I wouldn’t have found the job at BC Wildfire. If I hadn’t had the job with BC Wildfire, I wouldn’t be in school. If I wasn’t going to school, I wouldn’t be working towards nursing.

Everything happens for a reason in my life. I truly believe that. I met Robert and Patricia and Ellen and they inspired me to be better, be more, be who they were for me.   And because of where I am in my life and my job situation – I can be.

The relationship with Mike – I love him and I miss him. But there’s things *I* need to do, things I need that I don’t know if he can give me – at all, or just not now. There’s a reason we’re not together, I’m just not sure what the reason is. (yes we can go on all the reasons that things failed but they are not the *reason* why we’re not together. There’s another reason, a deeper reason why all the minor reasons caused the relationship to end) I want to get back together with him – but I think if that were to happen right now, we’d both end up miserable again. There’s some things we both need to do.   My TimeHop showed me a status that I made a year ago about how grateful I was that he had the faith and the conviction that we’d end up back together. That he’d held on to that belief for so long. I have a hard time believing that he held on to that belief only for us to not end up together.   There’s a reason for what’s going on right now.  I just don’t know what the reason is, yet.

The broken-ness is healing, I think. I’m at just over 3 years, and a lot of the broken parts of me feel whole… some of them for the first time ever.

I don’t know where my widowed journey will take me – if I will always identify as a widow. I’ve met a couple widows who don’t identify as widows any longer. They’ve remarried and they say they are a ‘former widow’ because of it. For me, that makes no sense.   But for them, it makes perfect sense.   And so, I don’t know.

But I do know that I get to find out.   There’s a reason for everything… I just have to be patient and wait to see what it is.20150727_071513[1]

The view as I sat contemplating my world, my widowhood, my life….