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Showing posts from May, 2016

the isolation of grief

deep grief is so very very isolating.  when you are in the throes of it, you cannot imagine that anyone else knows of your pain and to a certain extent that is true.  brain chemistry, timing, age, the nuances of the relationship- all of those factors make your pain experience unique.  at any given moment, you are the only one who knows how you are feeling.  others can empathize and know a taste of what you are going through, but you are the only one who feels it.  this can result in an isolation, a feeling of being cut off from society.  there are certain triggers for me, families of three, newborn babies, any married couple, these symbols are like javelins through my heart... cutting open my wounds.  a voice whispering in my ear "that was supposed to be your story, they have stolen it"  these are lies of course, as no ones joy or pain has any direct impact on my own joy or pain.  as far as i know there is no capped level of happiness that everyone is drawing from and so whe…


it took losing my own lover to realize just how profound a loss this is.

for six years, i was viewed through his eyes.  he saw me as beautiful, i was beautiful.  he saw me as a deep thinker, a great mom, and his support and therefore i was all those things.  for six years i practiced my identity through him and because of him.  because of his love, i loved, because of his joy, i was joyful, because of his grief, i grieved.

now i am suddenly lost, confused, at odds with my own being.  a girl, interrupted.  am i this? am i that?  who am i really, now that i am so so lost.

so we do these minute, selfish things to bring ourselves back to par with who they knew us to be.

i bought new clothes to be beautiful, i cut my hair to be adventurous.  it's trivial really.  these small details.  a small stone cast into the ocean as if that will stop the onslaught of the tide.  moving, moving, always moving.  whispering to me "you don't know who you are without him"

i am left her…

knowledge vs. feeling

most people know this by now but jim and i met and married within five months.  when i share that story with people they never say "when you feel it, you feel it." they say "when you know, you know"


the human experience is fraught with emotion.  they are difficult, unwieldy, and maddening.  there have been numerous times throughout this experience where my feelings have been the darkest.  abandonment, deep grief, despair.  my feelings have made me wish for death.  there have been times where i have truly FELT that it would be better to be dead.

in those times it's when i operate on knowledge.  the knowledge it won't always be like this.  the knowledge that it gets better, that there is still joy, hope and beauty ahead.  knowledge.

my husband gave in to his emotions.  everyone says "what was he thinking?" he wasn't.  there is no logical reason that one could have for going about this.  he had a beautiful life filled with much hope an…


i've started feverishly writing these memories of jim and i.  things we did, how it felt when we were together, the timeline of our romance.  there is an urgency in the knowledge that these are all i have left.  and time will continue to take from me.

how it felt when he held me and i could feel his heart through his chest.  i never felt more comfort than when i was being held, listening to the rhythm.  we were homebodies, and a lot of our afternoon when the kids napped would just be together.  he might be playing a video game or we could be in our bed with the windows open, breeze blowing in when it was nice weather.  just laying there, together, boom, boom, boom- the rhythm pounding out my life with him.  safe, boom, boom, boom. secure, boom, boom, boom.  protected, boom, boom, boom.

viewings are weird.  for me, it was important to see him one last time, for the believability aspect of everything.  the last time i had seen him before his death he was alive and fine.  i had to …


our brains are so complex, in everyday situations, much less in deep grief.  the immediate aftermath of jim's death was horrible and then suddenly i found myself not so horrible.  i seemed ok, it felt like "ok if i get enough sleep and don't drink too much then yeah, i can do this!  i feel ok, this will be ok"

then the denial wears off...  and you are just left with the sadness.  there are so many layers to grief.  and then there are layers within layers- anger, denial, sadness.  the sadness is just so heavy, so very very heavy.  you feel like you will never be whole, you feel like this is going to last forever.  the only thing i can equate it to is drowning.  you literally feel as if you are drowning.  and then as suddenly as it came over you, it stops.  the tightening lessons and the numbness comes over you.  the waves are coming more frequent now, which is kind of ironic because this seems to also be the time where i feel everyone goes "ok ship shape now, let…


the best thing about the bad days is knowing that they end eventually.

i haven't slept much this week.  i've struggled with shutting my mind down at night, relaxing.  in turn it leads to bad days, me snapping at the kids.  everyone is struggling through this.  nugget has been so fussy all week and i took him to his ENT apt today- turns out he has another ear infection and will need (very minor) surgery.

and i just got so angry.  so angry that my husband isn't here for his son's surgery.  that he couldn't stick it out to make sure his family was ok.  the feeling of complete abandonment is very real.  this broken heart that i am left with after i entrusted it to someone else.

and yet- i am not abandoned.  not even in the slightest, the absolute beauty of the human spirit is so clearly shown in crisis.  i have been surrounded by love since this happened.

there are these constant reminders that show up.  messages, cards, support.

after i had addy, i listened to flor…
marriage is such an interesting facet of our lives.  the intertwining, the compromise, the sometimes very real struggle, and the love.  i was sitting in the social security office today staring at a document that said "the marriage ended with death on April 28, 2016." and i realized... i'm not married anymore.

i had thought about it, obviously at different points throughout these couple weeks.  the brain can be extremely pragmatic even under the most trying of circumstances.  the day Jim died, i remember bringing up life insurance, canceling his cell phone, etc.  it's a survival tool... your brain will lose itself in grief if there is no logic to the unraveling.  
but to see it, legally defined, was so very very striking.  it will be one of those moments that will always be with me in the after haze of these weeks.

the hospital i delivered elly at required a blood work up and "light" physical pre-testing before my c-section.  my delivery was scheduled for m…

you will know the absence by the void.

my brother in law was the first to describe the void to me, the night my husband passed we were outside late, sitting on my front steps in the cold air.  he remarked to me that we will always feel the void.

it's true.  my waves have subsided for the most part.  the numb replaced with a genuine contentment, if not at times, joy in my life.  embracing my life, while sitting in the sadness.  but his void remains and will always be there.

when elly died, in a very real and physical sense, a part of me died.  that absence will be felt forever, a brutal scar across my heart.  when jim died it was just this incredible loss. in a way, my entire life as i knew it died.  and i mourn the death of that in a very real way, the death of my future as i had planned, of a job that i enjoyed, of being a "normal" family.

elly will forever remain a part of me, a part of me that no longer exists here in the physical world
jim will forever be a void, a void in my life that no matter how or if…

the path.

have you read the children's book "we're going on a bear hunt" it's an old one, this family encounters all these obstacles on a bear hunt and each time they say "we can't go over it, we can't go under it, oh no we've got to go through it"

that's where i'm at.  there is a path laid out in front of me, a path to healing, to being made whole, but it's going to hurt like hell to get there.  i can literally see the pain waiting for me and i'm scared.

scared of what it's going to be like when i clean out his drawers
scared of what it's going to be like when i give his stuff away
scared of what it's going to be like when i find a job
put my kids in daycare
go to bed alone every night and wake up alone every day
being a single mom

the beginning of grief is akin to what i imagine drowning to feel like.  in between numb these waves of intensity hit you with the force of a storm.  it's physically painful, when elly died…


most of my life feels like a nightmare right now.  i wake up and live a day filled with loss and then sleep a night filled with nightmares.

elly would have been two months old yesterday.  i thought about the monthly pictures i was going to do with her- taken with her bunny lovey and wept.  i thought about how she won't get a first birthday party, or ever get to run or walk, won't say momma, won't wave out the window while her sister and brother go to school...  and then i thought about how i could have born all of the weight of losing my child if only my husband would have stayed.

that morning when he walked out, we didn't touch each other.  i was preoccupied with getting the kids breakfast and assumed he was pulling in the trash cans.  i don't know why things didn't go differently- why i didn't say something or pull him in for a hug or why i didn't hear the car door slam.  the why's in this situation could swallow me, very easily actually.

i keep …