Wednesday, April 30, 2008


A couple of days after Jeff died, I contacted CBC Outfront via email and made a pitch to do a story about Jeff's death. I actually have absolutely no recollection of doing this but was contacted by them and after some thought agreed to do the show anyhow. It was really hard to do but I thought it may help to 'pour it out' and as I had done a show for them previously (I did a show in 2004 about having a fisherman husband), I realized that it would provide a bit of income. I just received word from them that my show will be aired on May 6th at 8:43pm on CBC One. If you're interested, you can also hear it on Sirius Satellite radio on Channel 137 .

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

mouthes of babes

Liv said to me the other day, "You know, Mommy. It is kind of a good thing that Daddy died."

"Oh?", I said, wondering where this was headed.

"Well, Daddy wasn't feeling well, so he must feel so much better now that he's dead....and Mother Earth must be so glad to have him back with her because he has a really great laugh."

if wishes came true

I overheard Olivia wishing on a fallen eyelash yesterday, "I wish my Daddy would come back."

I tried to get her to 'tell' me the wish so I could talk about it with her...the fact that he is never coming back. But she insisted that if she told me, then her wish wouldn't come true.

I so wish he would come home too. I sometimes fantasize about it. I imagine that I can hear the roar of his truck and the thump of his boots on the front steps. I hear him slam the door and laughingly bellow, "Honey, I'm HOOOOoooome...." I launch myself at him and he embraces me while I bury my face in his chest. I laugh and cry and tell him that I love him so very much (We used to say, "I love you the whole pie!") and that I am sorry for not saying so when we were arguing and that I'm sorry for not picking him up from the boat a few days earlier and that I have missed him so immensely that I sometimes think I'll never recover from this terrible nightmare.

I've started seeing a therapist...actually, it's a therapist that Liv will start seeing next week but I went to talk to her. She does play therapy, art therapy and has a therapy dog. I think this is the ideal situation for Liv as she is not one, most of the time, to just sit and talk about how she's feeling...Hell, she's five. What five year old can articulate how they're feeling the majority of the time?

Anyhow, I was trying to put into words how I feel much of the time so the therapist could get an understanding of my state of mind. The analogy that I came up with it that I feel like a toothpaste tube. I am so full of all this sadness, angry, frustration and fear but I only have this small neck and opening to squish it all out of. When I cry, it hurts so physically and painfully but gives me virtually no relief. It's plugged or stuck and I can feel this giant amorphous blob of pain just fermenting inside and I CANNOT get it out....Maybe a ping pong ball stuck in a water pipe would have been a better analogy. Some water can seep around the ball but the majority of it is pushing the ball further and further into the pipe.....I hope this all makes sense....Who knows anymore?

Sunday, April 27, 2008

the new 'girl time'

I had planned to go on a weekend trip with the 'girls' to one of the smaller islands near here this last weekend. Jeff was going tomake sure that he wasn't fishing so he would be home to be with the kids. They would've been my first nights away from both little 'uns and Jeff ever. Yoga classes were planned. Wine was to be ingested and tonnes of unedited conversation and laughter.

Plans have had to change for me and I couldn't go. But my darling friends phoned and asked me to come anyway. Bring the kids. Just come. So we went for the day. It was lovely. I so wish we could have stayed longer. It was amazing to be with friends...and just be. I didn't have to talk. The kids were happy to play and talk with the 'girls'. Liv even opened up to a couple of them while shelling prawns and talked about how she was coping. It was wonderful to overhear this conversation....It hurts when I hear her talk about the pain but it helps her. To know that everyone was okay with this and no one was going to go 'all stiff' and make her worried about what she was saying was refreshing.

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

the best medicine is unavailable right now

I do so miss his laugh. I need to keep reminding myself that even though he had endured the loss of his brother at a very young age, the loss of his six year old son and many other painful challenges over his life, he could still find something to laugh about in most situations.

But now, when I need to hear his laughter the most, it's gone.

missing him

I miss how Jeff loved me. The comfortable knowing that he loved me...every bit of me. He thought my panic-filled neurosis were endearingly hilarious. He thought I was beautiful as even when I had just woken up or had packed on a tonne of baby weight. None of it mattered to him. He loved to be with me. He laughed at me....not in a mean way, just in a comforting you're-such-a-silly-spaz-and-I-think-it's-great kind of way.
We definitely didn't always see eye-to-eye. We had our share of disagreements, but I felt safe to not agree with him. It was okay. He loved me even when I thought he was being an idiot (or vice versa).
I am so very lonely. Not lonely for other people. Just lonely for him and our life together. We were a team. How do I do this alone? Why did this have to happen? What am I going to do?

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

bunny surprise

While driving home, we spotted this guy having his dinner at the side of the road. It provided an opportunity to discuss that while it was sad for the bunny's family that it died, it allowed the turkey vulture's family to live for another day....and make space for more bunnies.A topic that Olivia is rather interested since Jeff died........

I would love to see the vulture's head up close. I want to know what the texture of that head feels like. Is that weird?

adolescent chicks

I had no idea how fast chickens grew up. Gone are their sweet, fluffy, round little bodies. They've been replaced by long-necked, awkward bodies with a motley assortment of plumage. Their feet seem too large for their bodies and they are so ungainly looking. If chickens could have acne, these guys would be ripe for a visit to the dermatologist. There feet are SO big and I swear that the makers of science fiction movies use them as models for alien appendages. I still love 'em. They're just....not very attractive right now. Is that wrong to say?

beach therapy

I find being out in the fresh air to be a therapy of sorts. The kids are free to roam and play.
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 just have to have faith. I just don't have that now.
On the other hand, I don't find the idea of my own mortality to be as terrifying as I once did. Either Jeff is there to meet me on the other side, or he's not. But either way, he has gone there before me and the thought that he could be there is comforting.
. 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.
I'm sorry if this post is just a giant complaint...I just can't seem to kick off from the bottom yet. I am too tired to swim to the surface. P.S. Thank you SO very, very much for lending me your fabulous camera, Krista. I think I'm in love.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


It's going to take 10 weeks to get my camera back from the 'shop'. I am feeling very unexpressive without my camera to document our various activities. I have always taken a ridiculous amount of pictures to capture these moments for memory later. Since Jeff's death, I am even more aware of the need to record these memories as I am the only adult here to 'keep' them for the kids now.
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.

Mrs. vs. Ms.

I have started to receive mail with the title 'Ms.'. Who the heck made these rules? In my mind, I am still married. I did not get a divorce. If I could choose, I would still have my husband with me right now. I find it insulting that I am now classified as 'single'. I wear my wedding ring. I will probably always wear it...forever. I didn't leave him. He didn't choose to leave me. It was beyond our control. He is still and will always be my husband. I know that it is still very new, but I CANNOT imagine being 'single' ever again. I feel like calling these various companies and individuals and complaining. Don't call me Ms.

I'm back

at least computer-wise. My good friend, Simon, performed 'surgery' on three computers and constructed a new-to-us computer for us! It is amazing to be able to use a computer and to not have it freeze or crash in every two minutes or so. It makes you type really quickly.

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

one good thing today

Today I smiled...really truly inside smile. Not just the pseudo 'See-I'm-doing-okay' outward variety.

I had just left Jeff's workshop with a wrench to fix the hose nozzle under the deck when I passed a little goldfinch on the railing. It just sat there and watched me walk by. I was about 20 cm away from it. This was pretty cool because we've just started having these little goldfinches at our feeder this week for the Spring. The cat even gets really close to them! They are so fearless and sweet. The other day I even saw a little male with all it's bright yellow breeding plumage already intact! I can't wait to see more of them.
Anyhow, I went to the backyard to undo the nozzle. I was bent over the hose when I suddenly felt fluttering on the back of my neck. I thought it was a bug and went to shoo it away. It was the little goldfinch trying to land on my neck!! I looked up and saw it perch on the deck railing above my head.
It made me smile. It made me feel special - like only those little brushes with nature can make you feel.
*P.S. I didn't take this picture. It's one I got off the internet since my camera is still broken...I'm going to check it out tomorrow. I am feeling very naked without it.*

broken everything

I just want to let you know that if you don't hear from me for a few days it's because my computer is broken. It crashes constantly, freezes often and is a general pain in the bum. My camera isn't working either.
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 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


I'm sorry. I sat in the porch swing with a cup of camomile tea and listened to the frogs. I calmed down. I breathed. I cried and breathed. But I feel a bit better now. I feel like my last post was a bit of a tantrum in itself.
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....

bloody hell

How did this happen? How did my life become this? I still can't believe it. I still expect him to call. I still expect to see him when I go out to the workshop. I still think I can smell him, hear him, feel him in the night...But he's not here. I just can't fathom that he's gone forever. He's never coming home to me. He will never leave notes on the bathroom mirror for me to find after he has left for work. He'll never sing songs for me into the answering machine. He'll never brush my hair while we watch tv or go out to buy me dark chocolate after the kids have gone to bed. He'll never scratch my back. He'll never wake up with me in the night when I am freaking out about some natural catastrophe that I am sure is about to strike. He'll never buy me 'happy socks' (the rainbow striped socks that he bought me to cheer me up). He'll never sing Olivia to sleep or rock Briar in the rocking chair when he wakes in the middle of the night. What am I going to do without him?! I am so lonely for him. I don't want anyone else around. I just want him. I want him to make it better. To make this hurt stop.

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, 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 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

if I could turn back time

Okay, maybe quoting Cher is cheesy but I so wish that I could start again. Relive it all. Memories are just not enough when you are only one of a pair who remember. Jeff was so gentle and sweet with Olivia always. She loved her daddy so.
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


I can't keep my mind on the ball. I am always off in some far away land or 'zoned out' as Liv is fond of saying. I overfill the bathtub causing a flood in the spare bedroom downstairs. I call people the wrong names. I book two important appointments at the same time on the same day. I can't remember my phone number. I can't remember if I fed the dogs today, yesterday or two days ago. It's lucky that my kids can tell me when they're hungry, I guess. Please come back brain, I miss you too.
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.

one good thing

I haven't really been paying close attention to my 'one good thing' task lately. Yesterday, however, was such a beautiful day. I haven't felt like planting the garden since everything exploded but I know that I would regret it in the Summer.
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.

clean sheets

I did manage to wash my sheets....and I feel okay about it. Jeff loved the smell of the sheets dried on the washline. I figure that this is a positive way to remember him too - with the smell he loved.
I did keep one set of sheets stored in the closet and the others I washed. I also continue to sleep with his clothes.
Isn't it ridiculous that I am now writing posts about my laundry habits and which articles of Jeff's clothing I sleep with? It must be royally boring. Sorry.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

to believe or not to believe

I have always wondered, "What happens to us? Is there really something out there?" I am a sceptic - a sceptic who is open to the possibility, but a sceptic none the less. I don't believe in some man sitting in the clouds watching over everything we do. However, I think there is a possibility of some 'higher' power that we don't yet understand. I believe that EVERYONE has the right to believe what they think to be matter what it is. We will all find out in the end, I suppose.
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

melancholy bed linens

I have been sitting in the rocking chair in my room for a period of time each day staring at our bed and crying. I am trying to muster up the courage to wash the sheets. I tell myself, "Jeff would laugh at this. He'd think I was being silly and sentimental. They are just sheets. They aren't him." But he slept there. There are 'Jeff germs' on them.

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.

the less desirable traits

Jeff's snoring drove me insane. I'd rage when I tripped over his shoes at the front door. His horking in the shower revolted me. I'd be spitting mad when he'd fart and pull the covers over my head while I slept....Now those annoying or bad habits are treasured memories. Who would have thought? They were all signs that he was home and with us. Now I would be overjoyed to awoken in the night to the cacaphony of his snoring. I'd pick myself up from the floor and run to find him. I'd try not to complain when he horked.....I may even not complain for one or two 'dutch ovens'.
I wish I still had these things to rage against....instead of raging against the loss of him.

Friday, April 11, 2008

The anti of social....

I am struggling. I am struggling with the loss of my husband. I am struggling with how to help my children through this horrifying time. I am struggling with accepting help. I am struggling with the feelings that come along with accepting that help and hoping that people understand how thankful I am. I am struggling with my feelings of not wanting to be around...or talking to people. I know that everyone is there and that they just want to wish me well. It warms my heart. But I am not wanting to have this inevitable conversation with everyone (and believe me, it happens with everyone):

Me: Hi.
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

one good thing...or five

Who knew that five fluffy little bodies could bring such joy and giggles back into this house? If it only lasts an hour (which it won't - it will last much longer), it will be worth it. The kids are overjoyed to have our little buff orpington chicks home. We have sat gazing at them for hours today. I wish that Jeff could see how the chicks light up Liv's little face. She is like a little mother hen....extremely protective. She has become the 'ruler of the chickens'. She wants to sleep next to the chicken box. They are extremely cute.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

guilty conscience

I can't help myself. I have been beating myself up....and I think I deserve it.
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


Jeff is home....I so wish I could say that for real. His remains are home.
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

My sweet little ones

Oh, I wish I could take the hurt away. I yearn to heal the hurt you feel for the loss of your daddy. The anger you feel, Olivia, that Daddy didn't fix your watch that morning like he told you he would. The sadness you feel that Daddy isn't there in the night to soothe your fears of the things under the bed by snuggling you under his strong and comforting arms. The frustration you feel when I am unable to fulfill your constant pleas, Briar, to 'See Daddy'. I am trying to help you through this, my little ones. I am sorry that I stumble and fall and don't really know what I am doing. I am trying so hard but I didn't ever prepare myself for this...this horror.
I wish I had taken more notice of the stories he told you. Of the songs he sang you. Of the secret jokes you had. I thought we all had forever. Now I know you'll forget and I am worried that with only me to remember, it will cease to mean anything. This breaks my heart because he loved you both more than the sun, the moon and ALL the stars. He would have protected you from any forseable pain. He would have moved a mountain to see you laugh. I don't want you to forget his love, his laugh or his devotion to you. I will try to remember every moment for you....I only wish it were enough.


I can't help but feel angry these days. I am consumed by anger and frustration. I am so bloody mad at Jeff. Why wouldn't he let me take him to the doctor earlier? Why did he leave me like this? I asked him so many times to take care of himself...He has such young children and a wife who is home with them. I am so lonely for him and I am so mad that he's gone!!!!!! I am furious that he left his small children to try to recover after this trauma. I am livid that I must carry all this out alone. What was he thinking? Why did he do this to us?
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 whomever innocently happens upon my path.
Will it go away? Will I ever feel normal?

Saturday, April 05, 2008

I dream of Jeffrey

I had a dream of Jeff last night. He had left a message on my cellphone singing me the song we had danced to at our wedding ('Into the Mystic' by Van Morrison). At the end, he told me that he didn't have much time and to call him back as soon as I could.
He met me at some farm somewhere. He told me he had been fishing. I was laughing and crying and holding him. I was telling him that I had thought he was dead and had had a funeral for him and Oh! how I had missed him. He held me and laughed while I buried my face in his chest. I held him and hugged him and I swear I could smell him. I was so happy.
It was amazing and wonderful. I didn't want to let him go.
Then...I woke up....the world came down crashing again. Olivia was having one of her recent nightmares and was crying out for me. For a moment, I was so happy thinking what a wonderful mistake it had all been....Then, I remembered. It was just so real. I hope I have another dream like that of him soon.
I'm going to call my dream my one good thing today. I can't find much else. I feel so alone without him. There are so many things I want to tell him.

Friday, April 04, 2008

chickens & soap

We had a bit of a better day. I am trying to find one good thing each day. Today it was chicks. Liv asked me to get her some birdseed to fill the feeder she and Jeff had made a week before he died. I stopped at the local feed store and found these little ones. People walking by must have thought I was deranged....I watched them laughing with tears streaming down my face for a good twenty minutes. I'd laugh because they were so funny falling asleep where they stood. Then cry thinking of the chicken coop plans that Jeff had made sitting in his workshop. Laugh at their jostling for heat under the lamp. Cry thinking that Liv was so excited to get chickens and now we weren't. Laugh as they gobbled up their chick food. Cry because I am so sad about everything. Laugh because I knew Jeff would want me to. Cry. Laugh. Cry. Laugh. Anyhow, I ended up ordering four Buff Orpington chicks. I decided that we need something to look forward to around here.
Also, I embarassed myself at the bank today. I think it's a bit funny but at the same time, I am sure it's odd. I am paraphrasing the conversation here:
Bank lady (who now knows who I am because of my grief stricken arrival a few days after Jeff's death): "How are you?......"
Me: "Okay. I can't use the soap."
Bank lady: "What?"
Me: "I can't use the soap because I know that Jeff was the last one to touch it and I don't want to wash him off."
Bank lady: "Oh."
Me: "Sorry, that was weird. I just told the bank lady something weird."
Bank lady: "That's okay."
Me: *shuffles away feeling like a moron*
Anyhow, I have had a few tears today but not as many as yesterday. I know this is going to take awhile but one breath at a time, right?
P.S. I do use some soap. Just not the one Jeff last used. I don't want you to think I'm gross.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

thank you

I had planned to thank each of you personally....a note in each of your comments, a thank-you note to those of you who I know the address of, a phone call....I just can't today. I'm sorry. I just need some sleep.
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


I am really trying to stand up. I am trying to breathe. I am trying to take one step after another.
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.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

your hands

One of the things I will miss the most about you is your hands. I used to tell you that if elephants had hands, they would have hands like yours. They were so large, warm and capable.
You could deftly mend a net, build a toy of wood, and seemingly move mountains with your strong hands. And then you could cradle a baby so gently, hold me so softly and comfort me so sweetly with those same hands.
I know every callous, every crookedly mended bone, every hang-nail and every hair. I held your hands so long that mine now feel so empty. Whose hands will I hold now? Who will show me reassurance and comfort just with the touch of a hand?
You have my initials tattooed on your ring finger because you couldn't wear your wedding ring while at work. I think I was more touched by the permanence of this than by our own wedding.
I know have your wedding ring on a necklace around my neck. My own wedding ring that I have never removed since you put it on is a size 6 1/2. Your size 15 ring is a comforting weight around my neck.
I miss your hands. I miss you.
Thank you so much for all the words of support and comfort from you all. I do read them and would so love to reply but I just can't right now. You have all touched me so deeply and I can't express how comforting to know that there are people thinking of me and my little family. Thank you.