Friday, May 30, 2008
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
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
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
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. ;)
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
Sunday, May 18, 2008
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 fear...now 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 well....now 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
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
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.
Anyhow, back to the dress. Is it cute? Do you think I could sell a few?
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
Monday, May 12, 2008
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
Saturday, May 10, 2008
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....to laugh and to sleep. A laugh and a nap.
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
Wednesday, May 07, 2008
Tuesday, May 06, 2008
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 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
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.
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 cracked....by 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
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 heard....by 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?
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.