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.

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Dreams and Visits

He’s all around me lately.

I had several nightmares last week.  In one of them, I watched him die again.

Why can’t I have a dream about him where we’re happy? Why do I have to watch him die over and over and over and over?

I wanted to talk to my Sexxy Chef about it, but this is his crazy season and he’s distracted with work.  So I’ve left it… for now.

And then, last Saturday, I’m in bed.  By myself. I can hear the Sexxy Chef out in the living room. I know my boys are in bed at the other end of the house and that there’s no one else in the house.

I’m curled up under my covers… reading…and suddenly… someone sits on my bed. There’s *no one* else around. I’m not gonna lie. I was a little freaked out.  Because I’m not sure that it’s him. I mean… it must be. I don’t think I have any other spirits hanging around. So I closed my eyes… put my phone away… and said “Good night Mark.”

And went to sleep. Dreamless, peaceful sleep. First time in a week.

I see him, in the corner of my eye lately. I see him around me.  I’m hoping it’s him. I don’t know for sure…but I’m hoping. I don’t feel like it’s another presence…but I’m not 100% sure it’s him, either.

I miss him.  I miss his presence. I miss his smile, his laugh, his outlook on life. I miss the way he could calm me at a moment’s notice.

I appreciate that he’s come visiting… it makes me smile.

But could I have a happy dream please?

Mark in Fruitvale

 

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.

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to the newest member of my family!!

My daughter gave birth to a beautiful little man on December 21. He is my second grandchild.

This is also my fourth Christmas without him.

It seems so unreal that he’s not here for his grandsons…

I don’t even know how to fathom that.  He wanted grandkids. I wanted more kids, he kept saying that we’d wait for grandkids.

He’d play Santa.

He’d play with them.

He wanted grandkids so very badly.   And he’s not here… Zeddicus Wellington

 

I’m told there will come a point where the pain, the stabbing reminders that he’s NOT HERE will eventually subside and be replaced with joyful memories and gratitude for a happy life shared.

I’d like that for Christmas this year please.

That’s all.  All I want is to smile because it happened, not cry because it’s over.

I want to remember him and honour him and be joyful in the life we shared… while I’m living an amazing life I’ve built.

It hurts… as much as I am joyful, as much as I am in love with my grandsons, it hurts that I can’t share them with him…

I am a Grandma without a Grandpa.

At some point, I’d really like to have my life be about all the things it IS, not what is NOT.

Peace

I am not at peace… not yet… not all the time…

But it is a happy beautiful Christmas this year.  I got a grandson. I got to be there for his birth.  I got to be with all of my children, and my children’s grandparents for “our” Christmas – which we did 2 days early – and I got to see my older grandson over Skype.  And I’ve found 2 dimes from him these last few days.  So I know he’s been around.

It is, it was a beautiful Christmas.

I still miss him.  I still miss our life. And I miss the Metalhead Poet.

But it is an amazing Christmas – even if it didn’t feel very Christmas-y.

Christmas Sucks

The good things about this Christmas:

  1. My daughter
  2. My daughter’s baby that’s due a few days ago and will be induced in 2 days.
  3. My sons.
  4. Most of my family together (only one missing is my grandson)

Things that suck about this Christmas:

  1. Lack of decorations
  2. Lack of places for me to be (and by that, I mean have privacy, have time for me, have time to grieve or cry or be angry.
  3. Sleeping on a couch, in a living room, when everyone gets up stupidly early.
  4. It doesn’t feel like Christmas.  At all.  None of it.

I wake up in a mood every morning.  I wake up teary and full of emotion and full of grief and I have to swallow it down because I have no where to express it.

I can’t cry in privacy.

I can’t grieve in privacy.

I’m with people from the moment I open my eyes until the moment I shut them.

I’m around people all. freaking. day.

There’s no where, not really even the bathroom (only one bathroom, pregnant person in the house and 3 other boys/men) so no extended time in there – and besides, no bathtub to just relax in.

I can’t curl up on a bed – the only one here belongs to my very pregnant daughte.r

I can’t curl up on a couch or a chair and have no one sitting with me, there’s one couch and that’s it for seating.

So I’m awake, with insomnia, at 2am.   She’s probably going to go into labour tomorrow, if not, she’ll be induced the next day, and I’m going to be exhausted.

This Christmas feels wrong on so many levels – I don’t even know how to express it.   I am doing nothing in terms of what I normally do.  There are no traditions.  There is no Christmas joy.  Just people going to work and waiting for a baby.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m excited for the baby… but I feel lost without Christmas.   And he’s dead and he’s not here and so this Christmas the absence is felt SO much more strongly.

I get a grandbaby.  I have to trade my Christmas traditions and my Christmas joy for that.  And that’s mostly ok.  But it’s not.

And for the first time I can’t articulate clearly how I feel.  Because I KNOW I should just be happy and grateful for the things I have – but FUCK!  Christmas joy is what keeps me from wanting to die from missing him so much.

Seriously.

The baby’s not here yet.  Maybe that will change after baby gets here.

IMGP5742

Still Grieving

I’m sorta dating a new person who is big on open & honest communication.  Who doesn’t get easily offended at me saying no or telling her how I feel.

We haven’t had sex.   There’s some discussion around sex that we had to have, so I brought them up.

After a while, December hit me.  If you’re a widow, you get it.  The “fuck he’s not here, my life isn’t what it’s supposed to be, I miss him, I miss the traditions, I miss being part of a ‘couple’ and this fucking HURTS” feeling.

So middle? Towards the end? of the sex conversation I pop up with:

Topic change… December sucks. In general. used to be my favourite holiday season, but now it’s not. It is, but it’s laced with pain and memories and sadness. and to top it off – the day he made the decision to turn off the machines was the 25th of June, and he died on the 26th. which means Dec 25/26 is exactly 6 months. So alway reminds me of 1.5 years, 2.5 years and in this case… 3.5 years. So my emotions are all over the place, one moment I’m feeling fantastic and sexy and flirty and the next, without warning, I feel like I’m back at square one again… except now I know that it won’t last for weeks on end and eventually I’ll feel good again. But December sucks because of all the all over emotions that show up at random times and in random situations.

Most people… a lot of people? I don’t know how many people.   But Death is an awkward subject for society in general.  And so there’s a lot of people who would run at that point.  Or change the subject.  Or blow it off with a “yeah that sucks”  “sorry to hear”  “it’ll be ok – you’ll get through it” offhand comment that would invite no further conversations.

However, this incredibly lovely person responded with:

My friend, you are still in the active grieving process – something that can take up to 5 years for a major loss such as yours. he was your world. He was your partner. You had a good relationship from what you’ve told me. up to 5 years for the grief to ease and move into the background. It will never completely go away – there will be moments, days, special dates, that will catch you again – moments that know the wind out of you or threaten to drown you in another wave. And then it will leave you as it found you. But you aren’t there yet. You are still moving through the process of profound grief. be patient. Ride the f’n ride and know that this sucky shitty icky place isn’t forever. Continue to tell his stories. Continue to honor him in whatever ways feel right for you. Allow yourself to be right where you are – don’t fight it or judge it. embrace the ride. it is necessary to get to the place where he becomes a comforting presence in the background of your life. One that brings you warmth and fuels the smile in your eyes adn you can feel the joy for having loved and known him.

Which set off a grief storm.

My silence (we were on text, I had put my computer away, can’t type on my phone when I can’t see, can type with my eyes closed on my computer) prompted another message where she apologized, thought she might have overstepped.   She hadn’t.

She did something that I wish society would do:  She validated my ongoing grief.

I’ve been told that I’m grieving too hard still.  That I need to let go of my past.  That because I’ve been with someone new, that I love again that I should be “over” it.

But I’m not.  I loved him for 14 years.  I was his wife.  I am his widow. He is not replaceable and I will not just put him on a shelf in the back corner of my closet and forget about him like a doll I loved when I was a child.

Regardless of where this relationship goes, where it takes me (we’ve already discussed that we’re on different paths in life) I am going to revel in the fact that I can just be me… in all it’s happy, in all it’s sad, in any confusions I may have… and that I can talk about those things without fear.

And that.. that is the most amazing gift.

Turn On the Light

Grief X 2

Seriously.

This sucks.

First set of tears this season was yesterday when my daughter gave me an early Christmas present:

Katie Pregnancy Test

I had posted about it… then lost the post.  SO if the post magically shows up…well… yanno how heartbreaking it is for me to be a Nana without Grandpa here with me.

So tonight is Christmas Eve.   Christmas Eve has traditionally been for me a fun night of wine, wrapping and staying up too late and being exhausted.

I procrastinate.

A lot.

Last year was much the same – lots of wrapping.  Mike & I were fighting, so it wasn’t full of love and laughter so much as just get’er done.

But the next morning… oh my gawd… the next morning, I was awakened by a song that just filled me with love.. filled me with joy.   One More Sleep

Even now… that song makes me think of him, makes me think of our Christmas together.  I was so looking forward to a good Christmas this year…

Then our life fell apart.

Everything ended.

So this Christmas?

I get to grieve not only my husband not being here to celebrate the little man who’s going to turn 1 on his Auntie’s birthday (how cool is that!!) and sesame growing inside my daughter.. but I also get to grieve the loss of the man I was hoping to spend my life with.  And I get to listen to him doing his Christmas stuff with his kids.   And I get to grieve the loss of another love.

Grief sucks.

Loss sucks.

Death sucks.

Christmas?  Christmas doesn’t suck.  It’s just lonely this year.  *sigh*

Tree Decorating night  2013 Pictures 025