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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That Moment When…

You have a meltdown because it’s the day before your husband died.

You fall apart completely because it was the day that your husband decided he wanted to turn off the machines.

You sob uncontrollably because you can’t shut the memories off and they just keep hitting you over and over like you’re in an angry ocean that keeps slamming wave after wave into you.

You are a snotty, teary mess because it’s 4 years since he died.

And you’re doing it all in the arms of someone who is new in your life, and he’s perfectly ok with it.

That moment when you think… just for a moment, that the person holding you might actually be perfect (he’s not, not really but for that moment it felt like it)

And after, when you’re blowing your nose and apologizing for turning a lovely sexy romantic morning into a grief storm, he tells you that it’s ok, that you need to go through the emotions, feel them, express them because if you don’t you can’t heal.

It’s that moment when you feel, for the first time since your husband’s death, that you have solid footing under you again.

Turn On the Light

19 Days

19 days.

In 19 days I will have been a widow for 4 years.

19 days.

The blanket of sadness, the heaviness of grief, it pulls me further down each day.

19 days.

My world changed forever that day. Everything I am, everything I wanted in my life, it all spun out of control and flipped me upside down.

19 days.

There’s a new someone in my life. He makes me smile.  I’ve smiled more in these last 5 days than I have in a long time.

19 days.

Each moment that I get closer to that point brings me further from him. Brings me further from being Mrs. Mark Smith.

19 days.

Each day I spend with the new someone… brings more smiles and more joy.

19 days.

The grief does not end.  It does not stop hurting. The wound may have started to heal, but it still reminds me, if I move the wrong way, that it is very capable of being ripped open at any moment.

19 days.

Interspersed with the grief is the joy and anticipation of what’s new and exciting.  The anticipation of what may be.  The now of what is.

19 days.

Nothing will stop the passage of time. Time will keep moving me towards June 26.  And I will, one day, one hour, one minute at a time, remember and grieve over the loss of an amazing man, incredible father, and wonderful husband.

19 days.

Nothing will stop the passage of time.  Time will keep moving me towards June 26. And I will, one day, one hour, one minute at a time, enjoy the fuck out of the smiles I’m getting with my new someone. I will enjoy the hell out of the joy he’s bringing to my life.

19 days.

In 19 days I will grieve, hard and heavy, over the loss of my old life.

20 days.

I will wake up on day 20… and embrace the new.  Because as much and as hard as I grieve over Mark… I want joy in my life again.  And joy and grief are not incompatible.  I can live an amazing life, experiencing them both.

Tucked In MY HeartNew BeginningsMoving on

Hospice Training

If you’re new-ish to my blog, or haven’t read that far back, I’m in school to become a Practical Nurse.

This involves working with people who might die.   Just in case you didn’t know.

As an LPN the primary areas we work in are Long Term Care, Palliative Care, Post-Natal Maternity and Med-Surge.

2 of those 3 involve the likelyhood that someone will die.

So we need to know how to handle that, how to manage that, how to be a part of that.

Enter Hospice Training.

It started at 9am.  Tears started about the same time.  I brought Bailey’s for my coffee.  Drank it all.  Cried for 3 freaking hours.  Still teary.

But yeah.  Lets talk about death. Dying.  The dying bill of rights.  Grief.  Mourning.  Bereavement.

Lets do this all in a class.

And lets watch Jane fucking break down over and over and over and over.

Other people cried.  In parts.

I cried the whole time.  And after.  And honestly if someone were to look at me sideways I’d probably start crying again.

But yeah.  It was like having a wound…and someone sticking their finger in it and twisting it around so that they could say “HEY! This is how it HURTS.  Now you KNOW how it feels!!”

Fuck you.

And fuck you again.

But I will have a bit of a better idea how to help people through the process when it’s time. And hopefully, I will be able to bring an empathy to the dance floor that another wouldn’t have had.

But fuck me.  I haven’t cried that much for a very long time.

After class?   I went and drank.  Had some serious laughs. Had a good time.

But I still want to cry.  A lot.  Because that class brought up SO much emotion.

Fuck I miss him.

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Grey’s Anatomy

I have been watching this show since inception.

After my husband had his heart attacks, he couldn’t watch it anymore… too much close to home.

After my husband got sick, I kept watching it.

And then my husband died.

And then they killed off Mark Sloan – an entire episode of watching a major character die.  And then another episode of the lead up to it.  And they turned off the machines, withdrew life support and watched him die… exactly the way my husband died.

And I kept watching.  Because they wouldn’t do that again, would they?

And then Derek died.  Meredith had to decide to turn off the machines.

Fuck, again?  Another major character.  Dead.  The same way my husband died.  Hooked up to life support, care withdrawn.

So for the last 3 or 4 weeks, I’ve been watching the ENTIRE series.  All of it.  Including Mark Sloans death.  And Derek’s death.

You have to ask.. why watch a show that brings up so much pain? Why watch something that causes me to relive those moments?

Why hurt myself that much?

Because I need to feel.

Because every time I watch a character I love die…. I’m reminded that it’s ok to feel.

It’s a form of therapy.

I’ve had one other revalation lately.

I want a Derek. *jump to 1:39 for the part of the scene that I’m talking about*

I want to be loved enough (again) that being together – finding a way to be together despite differences and arguments and stresses – being willing to WORK on those things because the love is more important than holding onto a grudge or a hurt or a mistake or 10.

And I keep watching Grey’s Anatomy, because despite the fact that it is a fictional show with fictional characters, that kind of love exists.  I lived with it for 14 years.  And I know I can have it again.

And I still torture myself by watching Grey’s Anatomy.   Because watching Grey’s means that I can’t hide from the grief.  I can’t pretend it doesn’t still exist.  I can’t ignore that a part of me is still missing, will forever be missing even when I find my Derek again.

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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It’s not About “Thinking Positively”

Someone asked me how I was doing today.

I told him how my week was going.

He said… well… just “think positively”

It’s not about thinking positively.

How can I positively reframe my husband’s death?  How can I think “positively” about an event that altered my life irrevokably?

It’s not about thinking positively – it’s about accepting the feelings, feeling the feelings and moving through the feelings.

I’m positive I won’t die because of this.

I’m positive I’ll get through this.

I’m positive the rest of the world will go on.

But I miss him like crazy and no amount of “thinking positively” is going to change how much it hurts that he’s NOT HERE.

So… the positive in today?

I didn’t throat punch a guy who lives with his parents, probably hasn’t had a real relationship… ever, and has NO CLUE what it’s like to have your life, your identity, your everything stripped from you in one last breath.

So that’s positive.  I didn’t even rip him a new one.  Or cry.

I managed to keep a smile on my face while I finished out the last 20 mins of my day.

That’s thinking positively, right?

Grey's Anatomy