Friday, May 30, 2008

how to grieve 101

I don't think there are many self-help books that can truly tell you how to grieve 'properly'. I find that I question the authors experience. I dislike the patronizing tone of many of them.
I find the same is true of much 'advice'. I know everyone has the best of intentions and just wants to help....but I feel frustrated when someone who has not experienced this horror tells me to 'not cry in front of the kids', 'get on with my life', 'think of the happy times', etc. Again, I know that it is meant to help but it's like someone who's never skydived giving instruction to someone jumping from a plane. It's ludacris.
Another widow I've never met sent me a poem through another friend. I have it posted on my mirror:
Don't tell me that you understand.
Don't tell me that you know.
Don't tell me that I will survive,
How I will surely grow.
Don't come at me with answers
that can only come from me.
Don't tell me how my grief will pass,
that I will soon be free.
Accept me in my ups and downs.
I need someone to share.
Just hold my hand and let me cry
And say, "My friend, I care."
I find this poem a bit...blunt, but at the same time, it's what I feel I need.
I find my friend, Marnie, fabulous at this. I call her at any time and she's there to listen, be a shoulder and, occasionally, laugh. The other day, we were talking about how I had lost so much weight since Jeff died. We joked that if anyone asked how I lost it, I would joke that all you have to do is 'lose the husband'.
Then my darling sister (also an awesome listener) gave me a book. I am stunned and grateful for this book. I was sceptical that it would have any insight about my situation when I picked it up since it was about a widow who lost her husband in 9/11. BUT the author understands. There are whole paragraphs that I feel like highlighting because I have said the exact same thing at one point during this journey. In fact, she, as well, jokes about the 'lose-a-husband diet'. I would love to hug this woman. I want to thank her for sharing her experience. I feel 'normal' and understood. Like her, I have been struggling to find someone who I can 'connect with', that has been through the same thing. I find this feeling through the book. Thank you, Abigail Carter.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

two years ago today

It's so hard to believe that two years have passed since you were born, my little Briar Rabbit.

Mommy and Daddy are so proud of you.

You are such a sweet and funny little man. I love you, baby boy.


I measure time differently these days. Events go into two categories: before Jeff died (BJD)and after Jeff died (AJD). Often I have trouble discerning the two. I feel like that awful day in the parking lot of the doctor's office was so long ago and yet, I feel as if I only talked to Jeff a few days, sometimes hours ago.
I find it difficult to discard anything from before Jeff died. Especially anything with his handwriting on it. I find small pieces of paper with phone numbers of people I don't know and I put them away in a box of 'Jeff stuff'...I don't know why but I don't want to forget anything. How he wrote his name, the shape of his letters, etc. Little miniscule things are now bigs things. The things I thought were big before mean nothing.
I have trouble recycling the newspapers dated before March 25th. I wonder if he read them. I lament that I read these stories and learned about all these ridiculous events completely ignorant to the fact that my life was about to change so dramatically.
Time is both savoured and despised now. I want to remember everything the kids and I do together as I am the only keeper of the memories now. I try to hang onto the feeling that Jeff 'just left'. The time I had with him is special and sacred. But I hate that time consistently ticks away the seconds that are pulling me farther from the last time I touched him, the last time we talked, the last time we held each other. But I guess time also brings me closer to finding the answer to where he has gone..and if he is anywhere.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

who's the bitch?

Will I ever be organized again? I used to pride myself in my abilities to do two or three tasks at once and complete the majority of the jobs I set out to finish each day. Our house was clean and non-gooey. I was creative and did a tonne of projects with the kids without losing it over ridiculously stupid minutae. I got frustrated occasionally but not....constantly.
Now....well, now things are messy. I can't complete things without losing some pertinent tool needed for the task only to find it later in some odd place like the freezer or my underwear drawer. I can't concentrate during phone calls and have lists of 'to-do's that don't get completed for weeks. The house is in disarray and I have a sneaky suspicion that it smells of dog...or chickens. I am a frothing spazzing mommy who loses it over such stupid stuff that this little voice in the back of my head is constantly saying to me, "She is only five. She's going to hate you when she's 13 because of this. Why does it matter that she speaks babytalk all the time? You can get sleep when she's older and over the trauma of Jeff's death. He'll stop nursing one day and you'll be able to sleep in the fetal position rather than like the statue thingy on the front of boats that has it's chest thrust out for easy access. He'll stop clinging to your leg and pulling your pants down at inopportune moments if you pick him up. Why are you such a freak? God, you're an awful mother. Jeff would be pissed if he could see you screaming at the kids for bringing the dogs up the stairs after a rain storm with muddy feet when you only shampooed the carpets last week....etc."
I am left wondering if I will ever be able to be the mom I want to be. If I'll ever be able to mow the lawn, put up shelves, take care of sick little ones in the middle of the night, deal with Jeff's company crap without being pissed at him for dying and leaving me to do this all by myself. He was the mentally stable one *snicker* and I needed him to be my 'rock'. I feel like a flaming lunatic. I want organization and sanity back. I want to be able to concentrate. I want to be able to have the drive to do all the projects I need to complete and not have a list that never seems to end.
Fuck, will it ever get better. Also, sorry for my potty mouth. It's another post-death side-effect that is unsavory, yet strangely satisfying. I always could swear like a sailor...but not when kids or grandparents were around...Now, they are just words. Words that seem to release some anger or frustration each time I say them. Is that weird?

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


So it has been determined that I am allergic to a certain antibiotic used to treat strep throat...

I know this now because of this....

but not just my stomach. My scalp, the palms of my hands, my thighs, my arms, pits, etc....everywhere....

I tried to treat it with antihistamines and anything I could find in the way of home remedy on the internet. I came up with a recipe of:

3 cups oatmeal
1 cup baking soda
1/2 cup cream of tartar
2 tbsp basil

added to a lukewarm bath.

Don't try it. It doesn't work. It does smell nice, though. ;)


Hopefully, computer problems are a thing of the past and I can return to my favourite release. Journaling aka blogging.
I am feeling a bit better at the moment. Every now and then I get a 'flutter' of hope. Hope for what, I don't know....Hope for being able to support the kids financially and emotionally? Hope to feel 'whole' again one day? Hope that I won't always be plagued by these feelings of unease regarding my beliefs and where Jeff has 'gone'? Hope that one day the last moments of his life won't play out over and over again throughout my day and through my dreams? Anyhow, the flutter is new. I hope it stays. I need to feel it now and then. Liv has finished her 'school year'. It is a relief in the sense that I don't have to worry about remembering and reporting all her activities and achievements. My memory is too messed to do it right now and I have trouble getting everything done.
I have had a wonderful opportunity offered to me. It will provide me with a way to pa the bills and continue to homeschool. I am so excited about it. I'll let you know what it is when it's in full swing....

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

from the strangest places

I've been reading so many books. Devouring is more like it. I am trying to find answers. Unfortunately, the answers I'm looking for never come in books. I'm still trying, though. So many of the books that claim to have knowledge of what happens after death are ridiculous and silly. The ones that claim to have scientific 'evidence' of some existence after death and not 'scientific'. I kind of feel like I've hit a 'dead end' with these types of books. I have, however, begun to read about Quantum Physics (aka Quantum Mechanics). I've been interested in this subject for quite some time but my short forays into studying it before have been fruitless. I am now finding new meaning to many of the principles of Quantum Physics. It's hard to explain as I cook dinner and have two little ones running amok around my legs, but I have to say that I am intrigued...maybe a bit obsessed at the moment. I am hoping that all this 'research' provides me with some sort of answer. Even a glimmer of a possibility of a survival of some form of consciousness.....

Sunday, May 18, 2008

nearing bottom?

I have strep throat. Like I've never had it before. I can barely talk....and the talking I can do is unintelligible. Damn it. It seems like everything is going wrong. I am so trying to not keep score but I can't figure out what lesson I am supposed to learn that I just haven't got yet. My new computer is having serious issues so if you don't see an update for awhile, that's why.
I have reached a period now that all I want to do is scream and cry. I know I wanted to do it before, but it's different. Before, it was pain and confusion and it's pure sadness. Nothing has worth. Nothing is worthy of anything. Only the kids. If it weren't for the kids, I don't know what I'd do somedays. Just sleep. Somedays, it's even hard to focus on the kids. I just want a break. A place to sit and cry and not have to worry that someone is going to fall or someone is hungry or someone is hitting someone else on the head with a metal truck.
I just want this to end. I want to go back in time where I was with Jeff and we were our little family. Or I want to go forward in time to know if he is still here. I miss him so fucking badly. I hate this so intensely and I don't understand it. How can he be gone?! Who am I without him? We were a team.....husband and wife. I knew him so I feel like I don't even know myself. My mom says that she feels like she's 'lost me'....I feel like I've lost me too. I feel like a shell with empty eye sockets.
At least nothing scares me anymore. It's all bullshit. This, all this, our lives, our wants, our dreams, our love, it's all temporary. We're but a 'flash in the pan'. We don't matter. It's hard to feel this way so intensely internally but when I go out, I have to live in the 'land of the living'. I feel like I have to pretend to care and want and feel. I don't feel. I don't see. I don't want.
The only things of importance are the kids. I don't want them to feel the burden of this pain and state of mind I'm in. I want them to have hope....even if it doesn't exist for me anymore. I just wish that I could sleep. The quiet state of sleep. I do have nightmares about Jeff but at least he's in them. I try to save him all over again. I try and it never works. I can never do it. But he's there. I can hold him one last time in my dreams. I can feel his face and smell him. He's there. And then he's gone all over again.
When I try to sleep, I do inventory of every part of his body. How his beard felt in my hands. The width of his hands. The way his eyebrow grew funny over his left eye. The shape of his calves. The callouses on the bottoms of his feet. The hair on his chest and the cheek he had to 'shave out' to make it look as if his beard didn't grow up the majority of his face (which it did). I just truly can't fathom my existence without him. I know this is all boring and repetitive for people reading this but I am so lost. I want him back. I want to hold his hands. I want to know he's with me. I know he'd tell me to 'get up' and 'calm down'. I know what he'd say, think and do. Does that mean he's 'with me'? Because it's not good enough.
I look at pictures of us together and I want to scream at myself, "You fucking idiot! It doesn't last! You look so smug and pleased and it's all shit!"
I can't handle other people's drama. I now hear they are beginning to complain that I haven't started to dole out Jeff's 'stuff'. I feel it's thought that I am sitting here going, "Bwa haa haa! No one is getting anything! It's all mine! Mine I say! Bwa haa haa!" I'm not. I am trying to remember to brush my teeth, feed the kids, hold my head up and not freak out. If they'd call me and ask. If they would have called me and told me how they were feeling, I would have tried to make her feel better. I would have worked something out. I would have found something of his for her until I am ready to go through it. I can't right now. I am savouring any stupid 'delusions' I have that he is still here and is going to need his tooth brush and boots where he left them.
Fuck! I hate it all!!!!!!!!!!! I don't want this crap. I don't want any of this. I want to be left alone and to lick my wounds and to not be judged or have drama inflicted upon our family. Everyone has an opinion. What I should or should not do. What 'we' were like. If it is as important being the second wife. How our age difference plays a part. Like it's some soap opera and not our lives.
Yes, I am his second wife. Does that mean we didn't love eachother in some fucked up way? Yes, I'm 13 years younger than Jeff. Does that mean we didn't mean the world to eachother? Yes, Jeff was stressed out before he died. We were having financial problems that we were dealing with as a couple. As a couple with two young children. It was something that happened. Something neither of us were happy about and we were trying to deal with it. It was our stuff. It wasn't something that was caused by either of us directly. Circumstances beyond our control for the most part. Deckhands driving the boat up on the rocks. Fishing declining. Jeff without work for six months. We hadn't told anyone because we were working it out.
I despise how Jeff's death has made other people believe they are the 'authority' on Jeff, our life, circumstances, etc.
I can't take it and I am so close to just doing what Jeff always tried to get me to do....Just say it. Just say what I am feeling. Screw everyone's feelings and dramas and do what I need to do. ....Problem is, without him around, it doesn't matter, does it.

Saturday, May 17, 2008


Late last night, I came across this post. I have been following this woman's story for the last few weeks and have been amazed at her writing clarity and the honesty with which she writes. She's four months or so ahead of me in the learning experience of grief. I know she says that this is all new to her, but she has been a source of comfort and understanding in the last little while that I haven't been able to find elsewhere. She knows how it feels. She lives it like I do. I know we're not the same, I know our experiences are different...but my heart hears what she says and weeps with her....and understands. With her recent post, I feel like standing on my chair and yelling, 'Yeah!! That's right! You go!' (Even though the 'you go' part makes me feeling ridiculous, I didn't know how to express it another way....)
I think I need to find a support group for young widows. I am so not negating the pain that older widows feel as well. I just need to find someone else who can understand the feelings that go along with raising very small children when the love of their life is dead. I need to hear how they are coping and how they explain to their little ones what is happening. My friends and family are fabulous and they all try and I so appreciate it....but I need to find someone who truly knows. Someone who I know does not judge how I am dealing with this nightmare...Someone who knows that it is hard to remember to brush my teeth sometimes and that feeding the kids scrambled eggs for dinner is coping. Someone who doesn't think that I am taking Jeff's death too hard.

I am finding myself grieving for the fact that I didn't get to say 'good-bye' to my love. It is a blessing that he went so fast...for him. I am so glad that he didn't struggle with a long battle against some awful disease....but for me and the kids, I wish we had even had a few minutes...a day or a week, to say "I love you and goodbye." I wish the kids would have been able to see him in a different state. I hate how seemingly violent the end was. It wasn't calm and horribly sad. It was fraught with terror and screaming. I didn't get to say goodbye. I didn't get to hold his hand. He died in my arms but it wasn't like in the movies. I get taken back to those moments so many times a day. I see it all over again and again. I try to block them out but they seep around the corners of other thoughts.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

the birds and the bees

Olivia drew my attention to the scene unfolding on the back lawn the other day. There, I found a sight I've never seen. At first glance, it was one bird laying on the ground. We quickly realized that one bird was pinning another down. Liv thought the top bird was killing to bottom one. I absentmindedly told her that I thought they were mating, not thinking if she even knew what 'mating' meant. She said,"Yes, the top one is the daddy." I just can't remember having a conversation about 'mating'....Weird.

For some time, Olivia has been very interested in bees. One of her favourite errands to run is to pick up some honey from the local apiary. Unfortunately, they won't let her go see the hives (I can understand why, though). So we decided that the only compromise other than getting honey bees ourselves (which is NOT going to happen) we'd get some mason bees. They're pretty cool. I am excited to see the cocoons once they are in the little house. In the Winter, you're supposed to take the house apart and clean the little cocoons and the trays. I know Liv will find this very cool.


Okay, I was so obsessed that I had this dress done by 9:30 am. Liv loves it. I am grossly exhausted and tired. I took the kids swimming to atttempt to tire them out so we could all have a nap....It didn't work. Swimming was revolting (I saw some kid with a six inch greener hanging from his nose which he promptly flung into the pool). I couldn't enjoy myself while attempting to scan every inch of water around us so as not to be contacted by the vomitous slime. Now the kids are wide awake and I am tired and crabby.

I don't know why that happens to me. I get SO consumed by some thought that I cannot sleep until I have done it. One of Jeff's favourite stories about me was the time he bought me a label maker and I could not sleep the entire night as I thought of all the things I could label. I was up ridiculously early labelling everything I could think of.

Anyhow, back to the dress. Is it cute? Do you think I could sell a few?

what am i DOING?!

It's 4:46 am and I was up with a small child for an hour or two....I used that time to brainstorm ideas for money making to support the three of us. Anyhow, I ended up getting a little too inspired and had to get up to check out my fabric stash and to look online for patterns for a certain dress. If I manage to get one done in the next few days, I'll post a picture....What am I doing?! Go to bed! GO to bed!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

ham & homeschool

I don't know if the kids are feeling a little happier again or if I am just noticing their silly antics more, but I love to see them ham it up. Briar's sense of humour seems to be growing and he either gives or receives giggles constantly lately. Liv loves to be rewarded with a laugh and definitely puts on a good show. These kids have Jeff's love of laughter and I am So thankful for it. Life is never dull around here.
I am trying to get back on the 'homeschool horse'. As our learning consultant once said to me, 'kids are learning all the time' but I do want to be actively participating in that learning as well. So today, we updated the 'seasonal tree'. We put up our renditions of some of the leaves ffrom local trees. Liv still is not ready to part with the birds we made for the tree. I think we may have to add some more....goldfinches, etc. I must say that I love the seasonal tree. It is a fun way to notice our surroundings and to change up our living space as well.

who are you?

I want to know who the jackass in my head is who keeps 'whispering' Jeff's name to me. Sometimes while I am completely engaged in some task this torturing jerk will mention to me "Jeff's dead." as if I didn't know. It want to vomit as these words hit me. I know it's just me telling myself. Maybe it's my subconscious' way of coming to terms with this awful reality. I don't know but it repeats like a skipping record at times when I least expect it. I worry about my sanity. Is this normal? ...My 'new normal'?

canoe love

I wasn't going to write about our little canoe adventure for Mother's Day. I thought I'd leave that to my sister....But I just can't wait to get out there again. I loved it! I felt so calm and relaxed. The kids didn't want to stop and I just peace. We're hoping to make it an annual tradition now. Kirsten and her little family are meeting some friends up this weekend to go on another little trip around the lake....I think we may crash their party and go along as well. I'm sure they won't mind!

Monday, May 12, 2008

what a difference a week makes

Can you believe these are the same ducks???? One week!!!!

the chicks belong outside

I am getting very, very impatient to put the chicks outside. There is a fine dust - thick, fine dust over everything in the basement from the cedar shavings being shuffled around by the girls. There is constantly chick feed on the floor from little hands spilling their offerings to their fine feathered friends. They have begun to spill their water in their little box. I think they are telling me that they want to spread their wings and be on their own....a chicken teenage rebellion of sorts. I am HAPPY to comply!
I am, however, still nervous about Freckles reaction to them. He just stares and salivates. I think my yearning to have them 'free-range' will have to wait for a bit until I can somehow persuade him that it isn't the best idea to chase the chickens....

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened.


Saturday, May 10, 2008

Mother's Day

Last Mother's Day, Jeff sent me a beautiful dozen red roses in the morning. In the evening, he surprised me by coming home from fishing. He had said at the time, "See! I'm learning!" because for previous Mother's Days (when he had forgotten) he had protested "But you're not MY mother!" It was one of those things that you getting testy about but laugh too....Like how he gave me a tool box for my 25th birthday wrapped with toilet paper.
I loved that about us. We had a normal marriage. We had great times and difficult times. But always, ALWAYS we would laugh about past issues. Our arguments of today would be fodder for tomorrow's laughter. I miss that. I can't laugh about anything anymore. Nothing is worth the effort. Nothing is funny without him.
That's what I want for Mother's Day. To laugh and to sleep. A laugh and a nap.

missing and waiting

I found these pictures on the computer the other day. I had taken them last September when the kids were waiting for Jeff to get home from work. Liv sat there for SO long waiting impatiently for the sound of his truck. When he arrived, two kids, two dogs and a wife spilled out the front door all laughing and jumping up for a hug. It was one of those golden late Summer evenings and I could swear it was only days ago.
I think I'm doing the 'denial' thing now. I know he's dead. But I can't reconcile the image of his cold body at the funeral home with the strong, loving, happy husband that I know. I really feel like he'll come home soon. It's as if my heart doesn't know. Is it because I am still so in love with him? Is it because I was used to him being away for periods of time while he was fishing? Is it because my heart does not want to know?
I find myself having to go through every plan we had and remind myself that it isn't going to happen. We're not going camping this Summer. We're not going to replace the deck. We're not going to drink the last remaining bottle of champagne we had left from our wedding together. We're not going to have the vet come to the house to have Eli put down and be support for eachother when it comes time.
Today, I painted the garage doors that he built. I felt close him by seeing where he put every screw and cut every board. I could imagine him in the wrokshop puttering away at something while I stood on the step stool painting. We'd be talking about something - the kids, the ridiculousness of professional wrestling, the price of fish, how much gas is in the lawn mower....We'd just work side by side and I'd be happy. But instead, I painted and thought of him. I wondered at his skill and I wondered what he thought about while he did each individual part. I chastised myself for not doing it with him and soaking up the last few weeks I would have with him. The washing of the dishes and the running to the store could have waited. I would be with him.

There are so many things I would ask him. There are so many questions that I now have for him. I really thought I had forever to ask. Some are the simple, "Why won't the cordless drill battery pack hold a charge?" Then there's the, "Why do you want to lay in a puddle in the rain?" He had told me he wanted to find a puddle to do this in. I laughed. I never asked him why. Or maybe, I did but I don't remember the answer. I wish I could go back and find out. I think I may have to try it myself. Maybe I'll find the answer while laying in a puddle. Maybe I'd find a connection to him in that mud puddle.

I just really, really want to feel close to him right now. I need him to be here. I need to know he is close.

Friday, May 09, 2008


Kids do disgusting things. Olivia once put some greenish coloured internal organ from a rodent in her mouth after she found it on the steps...A gift left by the cat. Briar has licked that slime that runs down the upper lip of a cold laden child before you manage to get a tissue to it. Both make me feel slightly nauseated.
But this. This grosses me out so badly. I came into the kitchen to find Liv filling the popsicle makers with milk. Milk! She insisted that she wanted milk popsicles even during my protestations. So I let her do it with the stipulation that she eats them all....No wasting milk. (Now that I've been a nursing mother I feel quite strongly about milk wastage).
I thought it may teach her a lesson about....I don't know what. I just thought she'd learn that milk popsicles are gross.
Turns out they both like them. It turns my stomach. I have to not watch.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

where did he go?

I met one of two doctors who did chest compressions on Jeff while I did the breathing. It was by fluke that I had an appointment with him instead of my regular doctor. I was so glad to be able to thank him for what he tried to do that day. He told me that it's been on his mind often since that day. He's only been with three people when they died since he became a doctor in the early 70's. He was saddened by how young Jeff and our family were. I found it somehow comforting to know that he had been thinking about it too and that those terrible moments aren't only carried by me.

I asked him if he believes that there is anything after death (as I ask everyone lately....I think it's probably weird and too personal but I find a need to know where everyone stands....Even though I don't know where I stand...). He wasn't sure either but he told me about a woman who came to him last week claiming to have had a 'near death experience'. There seem to be so many parallels between most of the stories that I hear about NDEs. I do, however, wonder if these parallels can be explained by the effects of oxygen deficiency on the brain, optic nerve, etc. I read the books, "Life After Life" and "The Afterlife Experiments" and one by some coroner but I just see so many flaws. It would be SO nice to be able to just blindly believe. As a good friend of mine says, "You'll never know until it's over, so why not just choose to believe and find out then if you're right" (or something to that effect).

I do have trouble believing in many of the religious ideas that I was brought up with. If there is 'something' out there, I sometimes ponder the thought that it could be residual energy. They say energy 'goes on forever'. Similar to how after a star ceases to exist, but it's light remains eternally as it travels through the universe, does something like that happen to our energy. Or is our energy primarily physical? I'm mean, when we die, as our bodies decompose after we die is that energy just transformed into fodder for worms; or is there a mental energy or consciousness that 'survives' in some form?

I know there are so many phenomena that are difficult to explain and people love to explain them in terms of either religion or paranormal but I wonder if these things are just huge coincidences. There are things in my life that have happened that have given me a chance to pause and wonder but I still question it all. I'd LOVE to believe that there was something more at work. I really, really want that faith.

I realize that I sound like a fruit-loop with all my wild ramblings here but I am floundering. I never worried so much about it all. I was okay with thinking there was a possibility of anything. Now I don't want possibilities. I want to know.

I will say that I am no longer afraid of death. I was terrified as a child of death. I'd beg my parents not to get cremated. I would bring dead animals carcasses with me to church in the pockets of my coat and then bury them in the backyard under the lilac. I was horrified if someone I loved said "goodbye" instead of "see you later" because I was convinced it meant it was the last time I'd see them. Now I don't find it scary at all. I figure if there is something after, Jeff will be there to greet me. If there isn't, then he has done it before me and I am no longer afraid. He essentially 'cleared the cobwebs ahead of me' (thanks Krista!) and no matter what happens he did it and I know that it is safe now.

P.S. The goldfinch with it's breeding plumage is back. I took these pictures through the window today. Isn't it beautiful?

Also, I finally put the last of the flowers from Jeff's funeral in the compost. I know he never saw the flowers and they are actually a reminder of his death, but again, it seems to mark the passable of time that I am being forced down and away from him. That and the 22 toilet paper rolls that we've gone through since then.....Okay, I have lost it.

Coop Deville...eggs

The chicken coop that our absolutely fabulous friends made for us arrived yesterday. It's beautiful! I don't know who loved it more - the kids or the chickens....or me. The kids loved hanging out with the girls (let's hope) in their soon-to-be new digs. The chickens loved pecking around and stretching their legs. I love the idea of not having chickens living IN our house. I am a bit weary of vacuuming up all the cedar chips that get tracked up from the basement on socks with each visit to the brooding box. We'll be putting them out a little more often as the weather warms up but bringing them back inside at night until they are ready. It's sort of like 'hardening off' seedlings before planting them outside, I suppose.

I am a bit nervous of Freckles reaction to the chicks and their new home. He is very curious of the chicks while inside...but outside, I couldn't tear him away from the coop. I am hoping it's just something that he'll learn to accept or the girls aren't going to be able to go free-range much with him around. He's a pecker-head at times. I wish I had Jeff's booming voice. He could put that dog at a standstill. Eli couldn't give a damn about the chickens. I didn't think he would. He's such a good dog. I wish I could clone him or somehow 'un-neuter' so I could have another generation of him....Could I really handle another running, jumping, swimming, ball possessed puppy, though? Hmmm...Not now.

In the light of the heat lamp, I didn't realize that our chickens have blue eyes. They're actually kind of pretty.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

six weeks

My dear sweet Jeffrey,

It's been six weeks since you died in my arms. It feels like an eternity and no time at all at the same time. The years that stretch out before me without you in them are so painful to comprehend. We had so many hopes and plans. We had been through such a hard year as it was and it kills me to think that you died with all these worries.
There are so many things that I wish you were here to share with me. Liv is reading! I am amazed. She is such a little inquisitive thing. Liv's swimming continues to improve and she is definitely a 'little fish' as you called her. She misses you so very badly. I wish I could take away some of the hurt for her. She loves to hear stories about you and remember the things you did together.
Briar is talking so much recently. It's as if he woke up one morning and decided it was time that he talked. He says, "Listen me!"and "I thirsty." He sometimes will create four words sentences! It's all so amazing to me. He still hops everywhere. I find his gregarious personality so much like yours.
How are they still learning and growing when everything is so broken? I really wish I could break free from this nightmare and be the mommy I wanted to be. I can't be that without you. We were a team. Now I'm a one winged bird. How can I teach the kids to fly if I can't do it myself?
I am realizing how much I took you for granted. I always thought I was the one who did the majority of the work around here. Who even cares now? Was it really a contest? I do realize how much you did do around here. The fence in the backyard is down. The faucet in the front yard is broken. The new garage doors are still unpainted. The engine light is on in the car. The drywall remains unputtied in the basement. The deck boards are sagging and need replacing. I can't keep up to all these things. I am planning to fix the fence in the next couple of weeks myself but how can I do everything myself now? I am mentally and physically exhausted and the thought of having anything to do other than feeding and bathing the kids fills me with dread.
I think this experience has forced me to grow in ways that I told myself I was so evolved. I am realizing how much ego I did carry. How much resentment and anger fueled me. Things that didn't mean anything to me before mean even less to me now. In fact, almost nothing is important anymore....only the kids. We all die anyway and we can't take anything with us. The only thing we leave behind are the ones who love us and their memories of us. Can anything else matter?
I wish you were here. I still can't fathom the finality of your death. I always think I hear you or smell you. It's like a punch in the gut everytime I realize that it's not you. I am constantly searching for possible signs that you could still 'be with us'. The sceptic in me is too strong, though and every coincidence can be explained. I wish I knew....I guess I'll never know until my end.
I miss laughing with you. Everything was worth a chuckle in your eyes. I can't see through those eyes anymore. Nothing's funny and I miss the joy you brought to our home. I feel this oppressive sadness in the house since your death. Is it me or can other people feel it too?
I love you, Jeffrey. I will never, ever stop loving you. You were my everything. How can I be anything without you? My 'other half'.
I will try to do my best for the kids on my own. I will try to be strong and to protect them as you would. I will try to hold everything together. I will try to become whole again. Please, if you are out there somewhere, hold me when you can and tell me it's okay.
I love you the whole pie.


Monday, May 05, 2008


I have the stomach flu now too. I feel awful. It's actually hard to not feel sorry for myself and wish that Jeff was here to watch the kids while I barf. How am I going to do this by myself? I am so exhausted. Trying to comfort small children in the middle of the night while you ralph is so hard to do....I wanted to scream to just 'go to bed'! I can't. They are scared and there is no one to calm their fears but me.

I am feeling enveloped by this black hole of hopelessness right now. It doesn't feel like any of this will get better. It actually feels worse as the shock and fog wear off. I have nothing to look forward to. I am alone with two little ones who need me. I can't be there like I used to be. I am too wrapped up in my sadness. I can't shake it. I so need Jeff to just old my hand or tell me it'll be okay one day. I am terrified.

Liv went to a birthday party yesterday. Mid-way through she was found crying by my mom. Liv said, "Everyone here has a daddy. I don't and it's not fair." What am I supposed to do?! I want to make it better. I will NEVER be able to make it better and that is excruciating. This isn't fucking fair!!!!!!

Sunday, May 04, 2008


I've decided to remove my previous post. Through the day, I began to wonder if I was being hypocritical by posting about what I thought was going on in her mind as she had done by posting something that she knew nothing about. It felt good to write it. It felt good to post it. It feels good to remove it.
Instead, I think I'll write this:

Man has the power to choose his own attitude. No matter what anyone would ever do to him, regardless of what the future held for him, the attitude choice is his to make. Bitterness or forgiveness. To give or to go on. Hatred or hope. Determination to endure or the paralysis of self-pity.


ducks and mudpuddles

We went to the closest Waldorf school to celebrate their Mayfest with them and to see the Maypole dance. We stuck around for a few hours and absorbed the amazing atmosphere. I find it so calming and condusive to 'real' play. I always find it so inspiring. Unfortunately, the morning weatehr wasn't very cooperative and we actually left before the dance began. I was disappointed (as we all were) but we went on to B&P's farm.
They have so many new babies and it is always such a warm and welcoming place to be. Brent is a really good friend of Jeff's and I find it very comforting being near people who were close to Jeff as well.

Briar and Liv had a blast. Playing in mudpuddles, naming and holding ducks for hours, collecting eggs from the large assortment of birds to try in our incubator. Unfortunately, Liv's dove egg was accidently Briar. She was pretty upset. So we took some goose eggs and a chicken egg home. What'll we do with geese? Drop 'em back off at Penny's, of course! ;)

It was a nice mellow day....I do, however, spend most of my moments either thinking "I can't wait to tell Jeff about this!....Oh, I can't" or remembering things he said or thought regarding everything we come across. These memories make me smile. Sad smiles. I miss him so badly it hurts.

Friday, May 02, 2008

tongue tied

I intially started this blog as a way to connect with family and friends that weren't in the same town, province or country. I wanted to give them a glimpse into our daily lives so that we didn't all feel so seperated from eachother.
Then I changed it up a bit when I started to focus more of my blogging on my crafty interests, homeschooling and other family goings-on.
Now, I use it as a outlet to relieve some of the pain I am feeling. When Jeff first died, I hrdly had any conscious thought of what I was writing. I just poured it out. I didn't care what anyone thought or felt. It was mine to feel.
Suddenly, I am overtaken with feelings of hesitation when I post. I am concerned that I will upset or offend someone with my feelings or thoughts. I have posts in my draft box that I so want to post....but don't because I don't want to rock anyone's boat. The problem I have is that I need this space to let it out. I could write it in a journal or just send these messages to friends, but it somehow feels cathartic and therapeutic to pour all this sadness, pain, anger and frustration out into the void and have it people I don't necessarily know or by the loving ears (or eyes) of friends.
I have considered ceasing to post. I have thought about embedding a password into certain posts so that it is not available to all eyes. But some part of me just wants to be able to say what I have to say and be done with it....and to not worry about everyone else. I don't know what I should do. I want to say what I have to say. I want to be authentic. I want to feel the somehow healing effects of just 'spouting off'. Is that wrong? Should I worry? Should I just close my mouth and open a journal?

love notes

I am finding that one of the best things about having a little one who can read and write is the notes. I want to frame them all.

the best slippers ever

Our floors are cold. So cold that I recently developed chilblains. I ordered the three of us these awesome felted elf slippers from Mamayaya's etsy shop. They are so cozy and warm. They're also fabulous for 'skating' in the house. Briar was so taken by Liv's posing of the slippers that he insisted that I take some photos of his toes 'as naturel'. So sweet.

the chicks

I thought I'd post a few pictures of the chicks before they are indeed 'pullets' (chickens under one year old).
The kids love them and like to pretend that they're parrots. I am pleasantly surprised by Briar's gentle touch with them. He does occasionally made-handle them a bit roughly but mellows out when reminded to use gentle hands.

We've all been hit with an awful cold bug. Lots of dry coughing and tissues (is it possible to use more than we have been lately?) And now, on top of the cold, poor little Briar is battling the stomach flu. It sucks.