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

A Myriad of Emotions

I’m happy.  Ridiculously happy. And I feel like crying.

I said to the Sexy Chef when we were shopping for groceries… “I don’t like always being the sad one you know.”

It’s exhausting. I’m sad.  I’m happy. Every damn thing is tinged with sadness. Everything.

At this moment, I want to take my Sexy Chef to bed.  I want to rock his world.  And I want to bawl.  I feel broken and brittle and like I’m going to fall apart at the slightest thing.

I don’t like feeling like this.  The joys of widowhood are that I am forever fighting with the sadness.  I LOVE my sexy chef. He brings such joy to my life.  He’s kind and considerate and loves me for exactly who I am. I want to revel in that. I want to lose myself in him.

Fuck widowhood. Fuck having to forever have that golden thread of grief running through every damn thing I do.

I want to feel joy with the blissful ignorance of someone who hasn’t known loss.

I want to lose myself in a moment without the knowledge that life can change in just one moment.

And in the kitchen, he pulls me around, makes me look him in the eye and says to me… “You’re ok.”

And for one second, I can, I do, lose myself in the moment and forget that it might change when I blink.

For one second… I am lost in the love of a man who loves me for me.  The good, the bad, and the broken.

One DayTurn On the LightIt's Going to be Ok SomedayKintsugi

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. 

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

I Watched You Die Again Last Night

I went to bed (alone) like I do (almost) every night.

I kissed the pendant and said good night to you again like I do every night.

I asked you to come visit me in my dreams like I do every night.

I woke at 630am, having not dreamed of you again like I do every night.

I forced myself back to sleep – it’s the weekend and I have been ill and I need the rest.

I woke 2 hours later, gasping, in tears, because I had just watched you die.

In real life, you died from complications of pancreatitis.  You made the choice to let go. We said our good-bye’s and loved each other the best way we could one last time.

In my dream, your heart stopped. I called 911 but they were stupid on the phone and I had to scream at them that you were having a MYOCARDIAL INFARCTION!! And they still just pretended they didn’t know what I was talking about. They didn’t send help.

Your heart stopped.  And I couldn’t get it going again.

I was surrounded by all my new friends, with all my new knowledge, and it wasn’t enough.

I watched you die again.

And then I woke up, alone.  Again.

It’s your birthday in 4 days.  Could you not have brought me a dream where you were happy?  Maybe have me “join” you in your memories of your last birthday with Wade?

I watched you die again last night.  And this morning, it feels like it did the first time.  Except I know how I’ll live without you.  I’ve been doing it for almost 4 years.

Mark in Fruitvale

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.

IMAG0026

How Old Was He?

Such a simple question.

How old was he when he died?

I’m sitting in a coffee shop, connecting with a new friend.  She’s just recently lost her partner. I had met her before he died, and was looking forward to getting to know her.  Then he died.

She’s a nurse.  I’m a nursing student.  It gives us slightly different perspective on death and the process.

But now we both belong to the club that no one wants to.   And we’re talking about her loss, we’re talking about my loss and then she asks:

“How old was he when he died?”

I had to think.  I’m 42.  It’s been almost 4 years since he died. So I was 38. He was 11 years older than me.  Which made him 49.

I had told the joke may times about how he was going to be 50 before I turned 40 but then the fucker died at 49 and got the last laugh.

And I had to run through the process of how old was I.  How long had it been.  The whole gamut.

For a minute… I forgot how old he was when he died.  Just for a minute.

How could I forget?  WHY didn’t it just come to me as quickly as breathing?

I don’t know.  But for a moment, I panicked because I couldn’t remember how old he was when he died.

He would have been 53 this year. But he is forever 49.

Mark & Wade