‘Twas the Night Before the Wedding…

Can this be the only time I write this blog?  The night before my wedding?

Because I don’t believe in divorce.  And I sure as FUCK don’t want to be widowed twice…

So tonight, before I marry my Sexxy Chef, I’d like to make sure this is the only time I write, on my widows blog, that this is the night before my wedding.

I am full of conflicting emotions.

Excitement to be his wife.

Sad to let go of the name I’ve had for the majority of my adult life.

There was a conversation between my future sister-in-law and me tonight while we were decorating.

In the “memorial” for those who have passed… we included Mark.

She asked, somewhat hesitantly, “Is Ryan ok with this?”

Yes, yes he is.  He’s ok with it. He knows that I’m not coming into this marriage fresh and free with no past. He knows that part of my heart forever belongs to Mark.  He’s ok with it because Mark was my past and he is my future.

I don’t stop being a widow because I’m getting married.

I don’t just turn off the feelings about my dead husband because I’m about to have a live husband.

Changing my name doesn’t change how I feel about the men I love.

But I am blessed to have someone who loves me enough to walk through fire with me, to weather the grief storm with me, to build a future on a foundation of love with me.

So on the night before my wedding… sleeping alone in my bed for the first time in a long while… I get to reflect on how lucky I am to have loved, not once, but twice, enough to wear the title of wife. How lucky I am to have been someone’s happily ever after. How lucky I am that tomorrow, I get to marry the man I will spend the rest of my life loving.

Part of my vows to him:

I can’t promise to love you for the rest of your life, but I promise I will love you for the rest of mine. 

I will love Mark for the rest of my life.  I will love Ryan for the rest of my life.

My heart is big enough to love them both.

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The Damned Parking Spot… and other triggers…

I pulled into the parking lot at the pizza place. I had just under 20 mins to get my pizza and get back to work – half hour break does not give me much time to clear my head.

I looked down at the parking space. It had one of those concrete barriers in front of the store-front protecting the walkway and the pizza store.

I could faintly read the letters “Video Update Parking Only”

Oh fuck I gotta tell Mark this….

Oh wait.  I can’t.

Sadness washed over me.  Not the deep, broken, painful grief storm that hits me when a trigger gets me, but the sadness of “oh yeah… that’s gone” and the reminder that for a moment, I forgot and I wanted to tell him something.

Something he’d think was funny.  Something he could relate to but no one else in my life could.

A Video Update store I’d never been to but I knew where it was now. It was on the cusp of his territory as District Manager.  He managed from Williams Lake to Prince Rupert and I’d never been to the Williams Lake store.

And I saw it… the faint markings of the remnants of a business that died out in 2010… well actually before that. 2010 was when the company that bought out Video Update finally went bankrupt.

It was the faint markings of a life gone by.

I let the sadness wash over me, then I picked up my pizza and headed back to work.

At work, I was dressing the wound of a patient who was from my home town. We talked about the places we knew. We talked about how much it changed. We talked about how it was not our home anymore.

And then he started talking about his medical history.  About how he used to be diabetic but he wasn’t.  How he had had a pancreas transplant. How this had happened at Vancouver General Hospital 20 years ago.

And all I could think about was how 6 year ago, I was told it wasn’t a possibility. That maybe somewhere, some one had done it, but it wasn’t really possible.

And in the middle of wound care, my most favourite thing in the world to do in nursing…

I fell apart and had to leave the room.

I lost my mind and started crying.

Because 6 years ago I was told that it wasn’t possible and what if it had been and it would have saved his life?

It’s all a moot point now.  But at that moment, on that day, my heart broke again.

And instead of the wave of sadness like at the pizza joint… I was hit with the deep ugly sobs that always result in me looking like I’ve smoked a lot of pot.  Bloodshot eyes and blotchy face and cannot hide that from anyone.

I’m happy for the gentleman who is living his best happiest.

Life is full of triggers.  Some will be a gentle reminder….  some will be a brick wall I run into full force.

I’m grateful that I loved well enough to still grieve that hard.

6 Years

I’ve reached a point in my grief where I feel as though I don’t have the … right? to grieve anymore.

At least not publicly.

Or even in my home in front of other people.

Especially not my Sexxy Chef.

Except I still grieve.  And I try to hide it.

6 years ago, Mark went into the hospital.  At this point, 6 years ago, we had come through a surgery that was his only hope.  He survived it.  He was stable, but still incredibly fragile, medically speaking.

At 6 years… the grief is still there.  I still hurt.  I still miss him. I still think life is INCREDIBLY unfair that he is not here to be a part of everything that goes on. I still wonder what he would think, how he would feel with all the changes in our lives.

Luke is now Leah.

Andrew has had 2 girlfriends.

Katie has a son.

Kyle has 2 boys.

I’ve become a nurse.

And we live in the place I swore I’d never move to.

But after 6 years, I wonder what words to use to describe the things that hurt. How many ways can I say I miss him? How many ways can I say it’s not fair? How many ways can I say I hurt because he’s not here?

3 years ago, someone asked me why I was still grieving so hard over him.

3 years ago.

Which makes me wonder – how many people look at my life, my new love, my ability to move forward and walk through and would see me grieving hard and ask me WTF? Why are there still tears? Why are you still sad? Why are you still grieving so hard?

My only answer is that I grieve as hard as I love.

I loved him enormously.  I died when he did. But I’m still here, breathing, living, growing, moving forward in my life.

So after 6 years, I don’t know if I have many new words to describe how I feel because he’s not here. But the ones I have are still very important.

I love him.

I miss him.

Mark in Fruitvale

 

 

Cutting all Ties…

Shortly after my Mark died, I fell in love with the man I thought was going to be my Chapter 2.  I was in love with him. He seemed to be everything I wanted. He presented in a way that promised love and understanding and a future.

He did not.

He was, for lack of better words, jealous of a dead guy. He felt as though I was always putting the dead guy first. (Bear in mind, the dead guy had been dead just over a year when we got together).

Against my better judgement (and an actual question of “do you really think we should do this?”) we got matching tattoos.

They’re gorgeous. Musical and heart-y and romantic and lovely.  And did I mention matching? And we’re not together anymore.

He felt I owed him money. I paid him $400 every 2 weeks for a year or so, then $200 every 2 weeks for another year or so.  Ended up paying him close to $16,000.

I told him that I was done paying for things that I didn’t feel were my debt.  That I needed the $200 every 2 weeks to buy, oh, I don’t know… groceries.  (I had resorted to using the food bank because I couldn’t afford to feed my kids – yet he could).

He said fine.  Actually he said a whole lot more than that… but that was the end of the conversations.

The man who told me he had loved me for 20+ years, the man who promised to love me no matter what, the man who was supposed to be my best man at my wedding, the man who promised me that no matter what, we’d be friends…. cut me off. Blocked me on all social media sites. Refuses to answer any phone calls or messages I send. (Not that I’ve sent many – mostly about mail he still gets here).

Apparently my friendship was worth $200 every 2 weeks to him.  Nice, eh?

So anyhow… I’m left with this tattoo. This lovely, gorgeous, incredibly designed tattoo that matches that of a man who broke every. single. promise. he ever made to me.

Before I get married next summer – I’m getting it altered.

Today? Today was stage one.  The lines are done, one element is mostly complete, and this little heart at the bottom of the tattoo that I tried to make uniquely my own (but he insisted they match) has been obliterated.

Today, I truly cut the last of the ties I had to him.  Because I’m making my tattoo, my own. Not matching his, not similar, just mine.

It’s tempting to send him a picture.  But in the end, it only serves the purpose to hurt him – and I’m not playing that game.

Widda peeps? Don’t get a matching tattoo with someone who you’re unsure of.  Really that applies to all peeps – but especially widda peeps who’s brains are fried from the trauma of the death of their person and who are desperate to feel that connection again.

Because at some point… you’ll end up having to have it covered/altered despite how much you love the tattoo – simply because you no longer love the guy.

(Not entirely true, a part of me still loves him… just not a big part)

But wait until you’re completely sure.

When the tattoo is done – I’ll post before, during, and after pics.  But for now… I’m in the process of cutting the last of the ties.

That moment when…

… Christmas is coming and the stress of missing him is getting harder to handle.

… you’re focussed on everything Christmas and every single moment is blocked off between Christmas crafting and school stuff.

… you’re getting more and more on edge… snapping at those you love.

… your amazing fiance calls you on what is really bugging you… pokes the “Mark box” you’ve been trying to keep closed inside your heart and emotions.

… you fall apart… in his arms…

… he just lets you cry

… he spends time doing all the amazing things that make you feel incredibly safe and loved…

… he tells you he loves you and that it’s ok, the grief storms will always be there and he’ll be the shelter you need.

I finally told him about my nightmares. And the visitation.  And he held me while I cried.

I am so very grateful for the man who will weather my storms.  I am so incredibly lucky to have found a man who loves me to pieces…and picks me up and puts me back together when I fall apart.

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Changes

There have been big changes in my life recently.

I’ve got a new Love, he’s amazing, he’s incredible, we’re perfect on so many levels its scary.

He brings joy to my life.

I slow him down, he speeds me up, we complement and balance each other well.

Today… he moved in.  Fully. Completely.  All his stuff here.  And he’s here.

There’s a light sabre in my house.

A storm trooper helmet.

A whole lotta New England Patriots swag.

Clothes and stuff that aren’t mine.

It… feels weird and awesome at the same time.  Very much a “hey this is it. we’re TOGETHER” moment walking in the door and seeing his stuff.

Before, there was a transience to the relationship.  He was here, but essentially living out of a suitcase.  He was wearing the same clothes for 4 months.

It felt… however much we talked about a future, that there was an option to go back.

Now there’s not.

He’s here.  And I have a future with him.

He loves me, I love him, and he respects and honours the love I have for Mark.

I am amazed at how my life has changed…

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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