Monday, July 28, 2008


We're all home from our week away. The kids spent the weekend with my mom and I headed up alone to the town where Jeff and I met. Fell in love. Had history and many stories. Our town.
The last time I was here was the day before Jeff died. I picked him up and brought him home to go to the doctor.
I avoided the dock where the boat had been docked that day but visited many of the places that contain so many memories...the lighthouse we went to so often in the middle of the night when I had finished my shift....
The pub where we met, that I worked at for so many years and the scene of many of our hilarious stories...
Went to some of the beaches with friends...
Watched some old favourite activities...
And scoped out various things that I remeber looking at with long ago...a different life, it seems....Now all alone.
I felt the lack of his physical presence constantly. I went out dancing with felt fake and forced. I enjoyed seeing friends. Trying to laugh. But I carried this cynical angry feeling with me as I watched everyone moving and laughing. I tried to pretend to be feeling the same things. The joy. The lack of loneliness.
Don't get me wrong, it was soothing to be there. Like coming home. Feeling wrapped in the familiar. So many memories to relive....
But feeling the hole where all the memories of our future together should have been...
I sat in places that he and I would sit and talk. Crying. Wishing he was with me. Wishing I could have prepared myself for the loneliness of my life without him before he was gone...and it was too late.

I know nothing could have prepared me in all actuality...But I would have sat here with him longer. I would have held his hand harder. Now there is just me. Just me and this lighthouse. In the wind and the sun. Not in the dark watching the strobe of light from tower, listening to the melancholy sound of the 'can-boy' off in the distance while coccooned within Jeff's arms and his jacket.
I saw some of the fisherman and boats that we knew. It was comforting to share the burden of the loss of Jeff with someone else. To have someone who missed him too be close to me.
Someone that I hadn't seen in about six months asked me how Jeff was. Fucking painful and awkward. I didn't want to do this. I didn't want to have to tell the story yet again. But I did. I tried not to cry. I told him it was okay. He didn't need to apologize for not knowing. But I just wanted to leave. I wanted to curl up in my bed with my sweet little ones and sleep. Forget. Disappear.
But this difficult encounter was made up for by the constant presence of loving friends who I am so very grateful for...
The reconnection with dear old pals who I hadn't seen in awhile...
And the comfort from those who miss Jeff so very, very much as well.

I will go back 'home' soon now that I've 'ripped the band-aid off'. Liv wants to get up there too and see people we're close to. I want to bring my beloved Eli up there for one last visit to the village he and I spent so very many years in to get his big old paws sandy on the shore he loved to tear around on and to sleep on the lawn of our favourite restaurant while I eat my lunch on the porch.
It was a wonderful, bittersweet weekend. I'm glad I went...It was another 'first' I've conquered without Jeff. I am hoping that subsequent trips won't as painful.


Crash Course Widow said...

Yes, subsequent trips will get easier...but they won't all be easier all the time, and there can always be a kamikaze moment (or hours, days, etc.) even when you thought you were past it.

But definitely HUGE pats on the back for you for going to such a loaded place for the first time, much less for having to break the news AGAIN to someone about Jeff's death. I had to do that with someone about 4 months after Charley died, and I couldn't do it; a good friend of mine had to do the "good widow" duties of explaining what happened, taking the person to the race track and cemetery, etc. I just couldn't do it again.

I hope you have a peaceful return back to your house, without many fresh onslaughts. Returning home from a good but still difficult trip is so much worse when you have a few really rough days or weeks upon your return.

Hang in there, Jackie. Thanks for the pictures and sharing your stories about the place where you and Jeff met and fell in love.


Rach said...

Well done you on going to the place of so many memories - what a gorgeous part of the world.

Welcome back - I have missed you this week!

Krista said...

This was so beautiful, Jackie. I am so glad for you that you took this trip and that you're able to so eloquently put the thoughts and feelings about it all down here. Talk to you soon, K

Ashley said...

I just wanted to say hello and delurk. I found your blog through Matt's and I started follwing your journey. I have no words of wisdom or anything useful to offer but wanted you to thank you for sharing your story. You are so open and honest and real and I'm sure your kids will love having a record of your stories about Jeff some day.

I hope I'm not intruding but wanted you to know there is a stranger out there (actually over on the mainland) who is silently cheering you on.

Hawkfeather said...

powerful stuff.
that feels so empty to say..
honestly- it all feels so empty to say.

There isn't anything i can say- the hopes to comfort another- to some how lessen their burden- hinder the hurt in their heart- even if it is in passing.
I don't think I could touch any of this if i tried-
on some level i wouldn't want too-
it seems wrong to wish you well-
to wish this away- like robbing you of something so important.

But I appreciate reading it- i appreciate the way you share so much- so beautifully.

Melody said...

another stranger who wants to thank you for sharing your story.

there are no words. all i can say is how sorry i am for your loss.

Queen Mimi said...

Long time no visit. I've not been by in awhile and wanted to see how you are doing. I must say how Beautiful you look in that last photo. This is a tough Season for you, but you are weathering it well. I'm still rooting you on, praying for you and wishing your pain to lessen. God Bless!

13mimosa said...

I think you're terribly strong and brave, although I'm sure you may not think of those as words to currently describe yourself. I can't imagine for myself what you have experienced and you make me look at things differently. I wish I personally could make a difference to your every day - but in lieu of that my words can only say that I think you're amazingly well.