Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Sunday, April 27, 2008
I find that the ocean makes me sad now. I don't look out and wonder where the boat is and if they'll be headed in to unload soon. I look out and I can feel his absence. It doesn't look full of sparkles and mysteries anymore. It looks grey and ominous. It's as if the sea knows he's gone. And with his death dies a connection that I always had with him. I could feel the water on the shore with my toes and know that it was connected to the ocean that cradled his boat.
Saturday, April 26, 2008
But now, when I need to hear his laughter the most, it's gone.
I think to the outside world it looks like I am functioning. I am used to doing some of this on my own because I am used to him going fishing. But I am not functioning. The pain hasn't gotten better. I am just learning how to carry it. And it sucks. It really, really sucks.
Friday, April 25, 2008
I am free to wonder where Jeff is, what he is and 'if' he is. It consumes my thoughts almost constantly now.
I have been researching various beliefs surrounding life after death. I have numerous books out of the library supporting both sides of the argument. I am looking for books that have a 'scientific' bend to them. I just find that most of the 'experiments' have places that I can poke holes through, theories that are just theories and unsubstantiated hypothesis. I realize that 'faith' is something that you can't find concrete answers for...you just have to have faith. I just don't have that now.
. His death has made me realize just how ridiculously unimportant the majority of the issues that we face in our lifetime are. Our lives are so unbelievably brief...I didn't realize how brief before. Is any of it really worth the stress and the bother? I don't think so. The only thing that is important is the love we share with each other.
My problem lately is showing that love. I love my children so hugely that the enormity of it startles me at times. Unfortunately, right now, I seem to be possessed by some angry, impatient and frustrated mother who just would rather sleep than do ANYTHING. I worry that my kids are feeling that I don't value them as much as I always have. If anything, I care MORE for them now (if that's even possible). I am just so worn out. Grief is exhausting, I'm finding.
I am trying to get back onto the rhythm we had for Liv's schooling. We still look in books to check out that various birds we see, we talk about ideas and places and Liv reads to me. But I just can't seem to record it and 'report' to her school.
My time is consumed by calling about medical insurance, cleaning out the car, getting the windshield fixed, writing thank you notes and trying to put together something edible for the kids. I have no gas left over.
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
I am SO grateful to have been lent a camera in the meantime....but I have to say, I miss the various (seemingly extremely important) functions of my dear camera. It feels like my arms were amputated. Then someone lent me one bionic arm. I can pick my nose, but I can't tie my shoelaces.....Okay, it is totally NOT like losing arms (I am so sorry if it sounds like I am poking fun at amputation) but you get the point. I want my camera back....yesterday.
I am really trying to be a bit more upbeat. Internally, it's not working. I actually think it's getting worse as the newness of this nightmare fades away and I am having to face a reality in which I am alone and having to raise our little ones on my own. But externally, I am able to function a little more effectively. My short-term memory is still SHOT but I am keeping up with housework a little better. I am trying to pay more attention to the needs of the kids as well. It's not that they have been at all neglected during this time but they are so used to a mommy who plays, creates and dances with them...Not a mommy who stares out the window and cries. It must be so hard for them to understand where their mommy 'went' after their daddy died.
Olivia is continuing to struggle. She has told me that she doesn't want to cry because she can't stop. She doesn't want to talk about Jeff or her feelings because there is no use. She says no one can help because 'no one can bring my daddy back'. I have contacted child and youth mental health and a non-profit society that deals with grief in children. Mental health has a waiting list. The non-profit society took two and a half weeks to call me back after numerous calls and then told me that they don't have anything available until September. None of the therapists in town deal with children and don't have any hints on where to look. The library has a horrible and incomplete set of books on death and grieving for young children. I have had to order a few books at the local bookstore for her. I think that there is a remarkable lack of resources for children in crisis. I'm going to continue to hunt for help for Olivia, my little bean. I hate to see her hurt so badly.
I am finding that many of the things that gave me comfort in the initial days after Jeff's death are now hard to deal with. I fervently looked through photo albums, listened to voice mail messages and examined his fishing bag. Now I find that these things strike so close to the bone. They make me cry. I know that I should cry and grieve...but it honestly causes me physical pain now. I don't think I have ever cried so hard as I do now. I am so tired of crying. I feel some amount of relief after but during it is hard to breathe, my face and throat hurt and I feel as if I could implode. I would prefer to sleep and make it all dissolve into dreams...and hopefully have a dream about my love. Even if I do wake up with a devastating feeling of loss after the realization that it was just a dream. God, I miss him.
Friday, April 18, 2008
The basement is in disarray from my little flood and there is chicken bedding littering the stairs. There is paper work seemingly everywhere that I have to fill out regarding Jeff's death and the changing over of car insurance, etc. from the two of us to only me.
Life seems to be in chaos. I can't seem to get anything done. At least, anything that stays done. I clean the kitchen and within minutes it's messy again. I wash the floor and then someone comes over and wears their muddy shoes in the house. I try to organize some of the paperwork only to find that I need some other piece of paperwork and have to get it from some office. I forget to pay attention when they tell me and then it just all seems like too much.
However, I came home yesterday to dinner on the front porch. (Thanks so very, very much, Michelle!) It's wonderful because I keep forgetting to take things out of the freezer for dinner and when I look in the fridge, I just stare into it's depths and forget to plan dinner. We end up having scrambled eggs.
I am still so wonderfully awed by people's assistance. I know it won't last forever but it is so comforting knowing that for the time being we'll be okay...at least food and bills wise....mentally, I just don't know.
I find accepting help still very hard. I try to do things to cheer Liv up and have the three of us looking forward to something but then find myself worrying that someone else might not like that we spent some money on paint. I had this when I bought the paint for the playhouse the other day. I felt apologetic and felt that I needed to explain to the hardware store man (he knows us) why we needed paint. Do I need to justify it? Probably not. But I am always worried about trying to make sure that I only spend money on what someone who gave us a few dollars would want us to spend it on. Smiles from a confused and sad little five year old are worth it, right?
Liv is having a hard time now. She has nightmares often and is rather fearful. She is worried that something will happen to me or that I won't return to pick her up from playdates with her buddies. She says she can't sleep because she just ends up crying since she 'misses Daddy so much'. Out of the blue, she'll ask "Why did Daddy die?" "How did Daddy turn into ashes?" "Who is going to fix my watch now?" When we go to the doctor, she wants the doctor to listen to her lungs and heart to make sure she's okay. Oh, I so want to make it better.
I end up sleeping...or trying to sleep with a child in each arm while I lay on my back. They wimper and cry out in their sleep and Briar often wakes up and calls out for Jeff. In fact, he calls out for Jeff quite often now. It's strange because initially I wasn't sure that he would notice too much because Jeff would fish away from home. I thought he'd be used to Jeff be gone some of the time. He starts crying out for Jeff though and calls for him for long periods of time....during the day as well. I try to explain that 'Daddy's gone'. A one year old has no idea what this means. Liv gets annoyed and covers her ears and screams "Daddy's DEAD! Daddy's DEAD! Daddy's DEAD!" It's as close to living a nightmare as it can get, I think.
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Everyday I try to come up with something new to write on the blog....something non-death. But sorry, I have 'nuthin' at this time. I keep meaning to take pictures of the chicks and write about my love for those funny little puff balls. I want to write that I finally got my garden planted (I really did). But, I'm sorry, my mind is consumed lately. I hope you can handle it for awhile. I'm afraid that I am just too down and it stills feels so fresh.
By the way, for any of you who have been concerned about my mental welfare, Liv and I will be speaking to a counsellor in the next while....
Never have I cried over a toothbrush, a phonebill or a two by four. Now the toothbrush means that mine has been replaced by a new one, while his will remain the same forever. The phonebill has recorded each phone call from and to the boat and now will cease to record his phone number. I can see that his last phonecall was to me. The two by four I didn't want to use because he had put it in the workshop. He had intended it for some purpose that I am unaware of. I am still nervous to use it in case he needs it. But he's gone. He doesn't need it anymore. There are so many symbols of his absence.
I am having trouble with the 'pity look'. I know people feel badly and don't know what to say....but the 'pity look' makes it all worse. I don't want to be pitied. I don't want to talk about it. I just want you to get on with your stuff. I may join in or I may stare into space, but don't give me the 'pity look'. It makes me want to puke, or scream, or cry. It makes me feel violent.
I thought that things would be getting a bit better by now. Is it possible that they are getting worse? The acute pain and shock of it all is wearing away. In its' wake, it leaves this awful tangible ache. It's like being covered...no, smothered in a blanket of sadness. This metaphor may seen overly dramatic, but it's true. It's hard to breathe at times beneath this all encompassing bereft feeling. It's a physical ache at times. During the day, it's bad, but not as bad as when the kids are in bed. It's awful during the day to try to stay calm and 'normal' with the occasional cry. But at night, it wraps around me and drowns me. As a friend of mine who lost a child said to me, I have become a 'mommy by day, a mourner by night'.
We painted the new playhouse today. I think I totally over did it. Marnie helped for the majority of it. After she left, I worked on it with Olivia. Briar rode in the backpack for much of it but screamed in my ear the whole way through. Liv's new outfit is covered in paint. Briar's coat has hand prints on it. I have paint in my newly dyed hair. Normally this wouldn't bug me....at least, it wouldn't cause me to feel like I'm going to fall over the 'edge'. But tonight. Tonight it did. I swore. I said 'shut up'. I said things and spat while I said them. I stomped my feet and basically had a temper tantrum....over paint. So not the mommy that I had hoped to be. Where did that mommy go? My poor, poor little ones. I called my sister. She came and made dinner for them while I had a bath. Thank you, Kirsten. I do NOT know what I would do without you. I'm a spaz and I'm sorry.
Will I ever be a truly functioning human being again?
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
She looked like a little princess that day...and everyday.
I love him so...I wish I could hold his hand one more time. Kiss him one more time. Look into his eyes and tell him that I love him 'the whole pie' one more time.
Monday, April 14, 2008
My one good thing today came in the form of an insect. I was making toast this morning and it dropped from somewhere above me onto the counter. We all sat and looked at it for a long time. Liv counted its' spots and declared that this was how you tell the age of a ladybug. After a little while, she told me that the ladybug was a 'present from daddy'. There were ladybugs all over the church on the day of Jeff's funeral and one clung to Liv's funeral program for a good fifteen minutes. They will always remind me of that day now but to Liv they remind her of her daddy....and that is good. I just wish it was a more positive memory. But my one good thing is how she can turn something so hard into something so beautiful. Kids are amazing. Liv is truly amazing.
Olivia and I planted the majority of our seedlings, the scarlet runner beans around the base of the bean tepee, and laid boards in a grid pattern in the veggie garden. Olivia and Briar planted sunflower seeds (Jeff's favourite) in the front yard.
My great friend, Marnie, and her little ones came over for a playdate. She mowed the lawn, her husband dropped off a new playhouse for the kids AND she helped scrub the deck and tidy up inside while the kids ran around outside. Although, I haven't felt social at all, it was so nice working beside someone and not having to talk. I wasn't so alone but didn't have to discuss the minutiae of my emotions, etc. Definitely a good thing.
Sunday, April 13, 2008
BUT I am having a harder time believing now. Not because I am angry at some possible higher power for 'causing' Jeff's death. Not because I think that higher power could have changed the coarse of events if I had prayed or gone to church. I just think that the whole idea of life after death may be a 'fairytale' that we tell ourselves and others to comfort ourselves when thinking of the possible finality of death. I think that there are amazing occurrences...but they can all be explained as coincidences. I SO hope I am wrong. I would find the idea that Jeff is still with me so comforting. I would love to KNOW that he is here. But that would take faith that I just can't seem to muster right now.
How do we know????
Saturday, April 12, 2008
I 'saved' the sheets from the bed in the spare room because of the same reason. They are folded neatly, with his towel he used that morning, the clothes he passed in and the clothes I was wearing that day in my closet. Do I need to add the sheets from every bed in the house? No, but it is hard to do.
He slept with Olivia for a time the night before as well because she was crying. I'm having a hard time washing her sheets too.
I sit in the chair and tell myself, "You can do it. They should be washed. You have other things that Jeff touched too." Then I sit there and sob.
I usually wash the sheets once a week. It's driving me nuts....But I don't want to wash him away.
Everything that changes in the house takes me farther away from him. I have a hard time dusting because I heard that dust is made up of 85% skin cells....some of those cells are Jeff's.
I have a box of hair in my closet along with the clothes and sheets that I'm hoarding. The day he died, my sister and I scoured the house looking for hairs in the bed, the bathtub and on the floor. I didn't want to lose anymore of him.
Am I crazy? Please tell me that I should wash the sheets. Tell me it's okay. He would want me and the kids to be on clean sheets, right? I'm just being silly and sentimental, right?
I think I've lost it.
I wish I still had these things to rage against....instead of raging against the loss of him.
Friday, April 11, 2008
Them: Hi! How ARE you doing?
Me: As good as can be expected. How are you?
Them: How are the kids?
Me: Oh. They're okay. They're up and down.
Them: Well, they were there, weren't they? or That must have been so hard. or How are you coping? or I understand. I lost my dad last year.
And then, it ALWAYS comes around to me having to relive the moments that led up to and the minute detail of the loss of Jeff. Even if I'm not asked, it eventually gets there. It's all I think about. It's always on my mind. The look on his face. The sounds. My terror. The kid's confusion. The doctor's words. It's ALWAYS there. I don't want to talk about it too. It's like some sudden and awful elephantitis that has sproated from the side of my head. It's impossible not to acknowledge it....but I don't want to. I don't want to talk. I don't want to visit. I can't help but to mention it and they can't help but to ask....even in round about ways.
I so appreciate everyone's concern and thoughts and help. I just can't talk right now. I am totally fine with everyone reading the blog to check up on 'how we are' but I can't respond to your calls right now. I just need to be an introvert for awhile. I'm so sorry. Please try to understand.
Thursday, April 10, 2008
Wednesday, April 09, 2008
I wonder if Jeff knew I loved him. I worry that he didn't realize how very important he was to me. He always said, "I love you." when we hung up on the phone....even if he was angry. I didn't. My petty little gesture haunts me.
It was Jeff's birthday nine days before he died. I had plans to do something great. Something fun and creative. I was going to do something with the photos I had taken of the kids days before. I even had the card! Liv and I made devil's foodcake cupcakes. Briar promptly threw all but two of them in the dirty dish water....I didn't remake them. I didn't give him the card. I didn't even give him a gift. He was upset. I thought I had time to make it better.
The night before he died he said to me, "You know you're my best friend, right?" I just said, "I know." WHY? What was possessing me? Why didn't I tell him that he was mine too that time? Why didn't I hold him just a little longer that night?
These moments replay like a squeaky hamster wheel as the moments pass through my head over and over again. I stare at the ceiling in the dark taking stock of all the awful thigns I said and did. I always thought I was the 'evolved' one. The 'mature' one. I was wrong. I was so wrong.
I wish I could go back and tell him how I really feel. Tell him that I was so lucky to have him. That he taught me so much. That I was so happy to have him. Tell him I have always loved him....that I was an ass.
Tuesday, April 08, 2008
I am struggling with this. It is so surreal to me that the shirt that he discarded on the floor the night before he died smells so intensely like him. His scent also lingers in his mack jacket that hangs over the baby gate....but his body ceases to exist. His body is contained in a small box that now resides on the bedside table. But I can still smell him in his clothing, his truck and his workshop. He's here. But he's not.
Jeff's sister bought me a locket of sorts that contains a small portion of his ashes. Olivia wants to wear it....and sleep with it. She told me that she knows why it is shape like a tear drop. She said, "It's because you cry all the time now."
Sunday, April 06, 2008
I know it all is normal to feel this way....but sometimes, I could throw something or scream. It makes it hard to go out when I am so consumed with this rage and I just want to express it....to whomever innocently happens upon my path.
Will it go away? Will I ever feel normal?
Saturday, April 05, 2008
Friday, April 04, 2008
Thursday, April 03, 2008
Please, do know, that I am SO thankful for all you amazing and kind people out there. I am so thankful for the supportive words, donations and purchases from my Etsy store. I don't know how I would have survived without the help from family and friends in the last week with the planning of the funeral, the care of the children, the dropping off of food, the find for the kids, etc. I am warmed by the love everyone is sending our way.
Thank you. Those words don't seem enough. But thank you.
Wednesday, April 02, 2008
People tell me that I sound better. That I have lost the bereft monotone sound in my voice....Where has it gone? I can still feel it.
I am not in the numb state of shaking shock, but I am so lost. scared. lonely.
I keep thinking that no one wants to hear about it anymore. No one wants to have the 'downer'. That I am expected to hold my chin up and at least not whimper and cry out.
I took the kids out to the store by myself today. I sat in the car at the parking lot for a long time just breathing and telling myself, "You can do it. It's okay. The kids are here and you can't lose it."
I made it through the first store. I did a second store, but halfway through, I almost lost it. I was standing in the line-up to pay and just wanted to scream, "This is all bull-shit!" The never-ending rows of meaningless crap, and stupid elevator music. The people worrying about who goes next in line. The stuff. It just all doesn't matter. It bothers me normally but today, I couldn't take it. Our families are more important than this ephemeral crap. My husband was more important. I can't get him back. I think I'm losing it.