It’s Your Birthday.

I’m writing this a day early.

You see, tomorrow is your birthday.  But it’s also date night. And while it’s your birthday, you’re DEAD and I have date night with my LIVING fiance.

I had to think this morning. I had to count the number of years you’d been gone vs how old you were when you died in order to remember that this would have been your 54th birthday.

It’s not that I don’t miss you – I miss you with every fibre of my being. It makes me cry when I stop and think about it.  I keep myself so busy that I don’t have time to stop and think a lot of the time.  I don’t want to miss you that much when I’m snuggled up to him. I don’t want to be laying in bed with him and wishing it were you.

I don’t want to be sad about you and have him make jokes to cheer me up when I just want to miss you.

I need those things to be somewhat separate. I need to miss you when I miss you and love him when I love him. They do intersect – he’s freaking amazing when it comes to my grief over you.

But there’s a shame, a guilt about missing you when I’m so happy with him. I don’t want to make him feel bad for not being you – but I don’t want him to be you – I want him to be him.

But it’s YOUR birthday tomorrow.  My 5th without you. My 6th without you at home. Actually my 7th without you at home – you were with Wade on your 48th, remember? You spent that birthday with Wade, the next birthday in the hospital and then you were gone.

Happy Birthday my Forever 49 Love.  You are missed. You are loved. You are always remembered.

 

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End of Another Year…

Here I am, 6 hours away from the calendar flip over from one year to the next.

I am alone, sorta.  Hanging with my youngest son and his friend.

My Sexxy Chef is working, my older son is with his girlfriend.

While my Sexxy Chef will be off work in about 3 hours, I’ve volunteered to DD to help raise funds for my roller derby team.  We’ll spend maybe half hour, an hour together on our first New Year’s Eve together.

I will spend the evening with my daughter.  My oldest is in another town, and I’ll send him a text around midnight.

This is not the New Year’s Eve I anticipated.

I accept… that the Sexxy Chef has to work. I accept it. I understand it. I understand that the nature of his job means that he can’t join me in volunteering because of tomorrow’s work schedule.

I accept that.

I don’t like it.

I have spent too many New Year’s Eve’s alone in the past 5 years.

Before Mark went into the hospital, New Years was puzzles. Drinks.  And after I met Kathy it was a party.

It was surrounded by people.

This alone thing… feels weird.

New Year’s 2012 – Party at the Dunlops’
New Year’s 2013 – New relationship, don’t really remember New Years – was in a relationship that ultimately failed and posted *nothing* about what was going on on Dec 31, 2013
New Year’s 2014 – single, quiet evening.
New Year’s 2015 – single, went to a party. Won (?) mother of the year award by dragging my kids to said party (it was kid friendly) and let them have a couple drinks.  Sent them home, stayed and tried to make myself feel better about my life by hooking up with a random.

This year, I’m in a fantastic relationship with a man I love.  I am looking forward to our life together.

I’ve cried less over Mark.

I’ve cried more intensely over Mark.

I’ve found someone who will hold me and keep me together while I fall apart over Mark.

Christmas came and went… no tears shed, although it felt like I was going to on several occasions.

So another year has gone by.  Every year marks one more that I’ve been without him. Every year is one closer to longer without him than I was with him.  That frightens me.

It’s been almost 5 years since he got sick.  4 1/2 since he died. And while my future looks fucking amazing… I miss the future that isn’t.

But it’s a happy New Year.  Despite being mostly alone, I’m surrounded by people who love me… I am blessed with many friends and a whole ‘nother family.

I hope your New Year shows promise of joy and laughter.  If you’re reading this, fresh out from the loss of someone you love, know that it doesn’t get better, but it gets different. The pain you feel now will become a part of you, and you will feel joy again. It’s not the same as before…there’s always a thread of sadness and missing your person that will run through everything, but it becomes a part of who you are and the laughter and joy will be genuine.

You’re not alone, no matter how alone you feel right now. There’s a whole community you can reach out to – starting with me.  And I can help you find someone closer if you’re looking for someone in your time zone.

Happy New Year to all my widda peeps and to all the friends and family who have been there for me the last 5 years.

happy-new-year-wishes

How are You Feeling?

Four years ago I wrote this post about how I was feeling, 2 days before Christmas, 6 months post-loss.

Yesterday, when the post popped up in my “On This Day” memories feed… I looked at it and thought how drastically my life has changed in the past four years.

Four years ago I was devastated, and trying to put on a “happy” face for my children.

Three years ago I was in a new relationship… it was our first (and only) together, and we had been fighting and it was MISERABLE.

Tree Decorating night  2013

Two years ago my boys and I made our Christmas together. We created happy-ish memories.

christmas-tree

Last year, I was in Edmonton, welcoming in a new life.  I was witness to my grandson’s birth, spent a Christmas with all my children (although missing one grandchild), and while there was some misery/crappy bits about it, being able to be there for my daughter and enjoy the time made it incredibly awesome.

This year?  This year I’m engaged. I have two days, one of which I’m spending with my lovely little grandson, to complete Christmas crafts, do my Christmas baking, finish decorating the tree (and house if I want to go there), and get things cleaned before my future in-laws arrive. There is SO much joy in my life right now.

It’s amazing how much life can change.

And yet… there’s still part of me that misses… that’s teary… that wants to succumb to the sadness.  I won’t.  Not this year.  But I may take a few minutes… just on my own. To remember.

Christmas is Hitting Hard

I almost managed to stay cheery.

I almost managed to get/stay in the Christmas spirit.

I almost managed to avoid the lead blanket that is starting to envelop me.

I almost.

It’s starting to hit… the lack of desire to do anything holiday-ish.

The lack of desire to finish the decorations.

The lack of desire to finish the Christmas crafting.

The lack of desire to do anything but sit on my couch.

I was hoping that this Christmas would be different. I was hoping I’d not get into a funk.

But here I sit.

Funk-a-fied.

Staring at an undecorated tree.

Staring at Christmas crafts that need to be completed.

Staring at the Christmas movie playing on the TV.

With a complete. lack. of desire. to do anything.

This is not where I want to be this Christmas.

This is not who I want to be.

I want to be happy and Christmas-y and bouncy and in love with life.

I know that a big part of me IS in love with life.  I have an amazing man who loves me, wants to marry me, and loves our life together.

But the fucking sadness of Christmas… ugh. It’s dragging at me.

So I’m watching cheesy Christmas movies and hoping the spirit will rise up..and I’ll get the damn tree decorated.

Because.  Christmas.  The most wonderful time of the year.

IMGP5737Christmas 2012 – first one without him.

Stupid Balancing Act

I’ve noticed something about myself recently.   I’m pretty sure it’s not a new phenomenon, but it’s been very evident over the past 4 or 5 months.

Its been especially noticeable to me in the last few weeks.

I put most everyone before me.

I will shove whatever’s going on with me aside in favour of what’s going on for everyone else.

I stopped blogging, for the most part, because I was afraid of hurting someone.  I stopped posting pictures of me and my husband because I didn’t want to upset someone.

I never asked him what he was feeling about it.

I never asked him if it WOULD hurt him.

When we first got together, I asked him if he was strong enough to handle my grief.  I asked him if he was able to deal with the fact that I WOULD cry over my husband.  I asked him if he would be able to handle seeing me upset.

He told me he would.  He did research.   He has given me no reason, through words or actions, to believe anything different.

But then… somehow, somewhere in MY head, I became afraid.  I worried that my posts like the one the other day about how I want my life back would make him think I didn’t want the life we have and are building.

The reality is that I need to express my grief.  I need to cry. I need to blog.  I need to talk to my widowed friends.  I need to go to Camp Widow and run my regional group and I need to be a widow.

It doesn’t change the fact that I am also his girlfriend and for the most part, that’s where my life is.

He’s my Chapter 2.  He’s my “and then.”  He’s my future.

And I still grieve over Mark.

I was trying to balance things that didn’t need balancing.   I was stuck in my own head and that is never a good place to be.

A conversation with him cleared things up.

You’ll be hearing from me more often.   That much silence means I have a LOT to say. :p

I’m done balancing.  I’m going to work more on communication.

Mar & Jane Wedding

 

Chapter 1

 

Chubb Lake April 2013

 

And then… chapter 2. 🙂