Dear Cavs,

Our playoff season started the day my five week old daughter, Elly, passed away, twelve days later my husband also died suddenly.
Your road to the finals, so fraught with emotion was also the start of a very difficult, seemingly impossible journey for me.

I started watching at game five... when we were down 3-1, I thought for sure that we would lose that game- when we won, all of a sudden- I cared.  When so many lights had gone out for me there was all of a sudden very small glimmer of hope and dare I say satisfaction possibly ahead.

It would have seemed from the circumstances that I shouldn't care whether we won or lost, so many things in my life didn't hold their meaning anymore- but I did.  I couldn't help it.  The enthusiasm was infectious.  These games gave  me hope.

I watched as you won game five and game six and I'll never forget seeing Kyrie on the bench after six holding up his seven fingers.... Here we go.

I almost regretted getting invested as I sat and watched seven.  My emotional vulnerability is high right now and I couldn't imagine having to deal with another loss for Lebron, another loss for the team, another loss for Cleveland, and another loss for me.  But when you won, when we won, there was restoration, there was joy.  I know you will never know all that your victory brought to every individual, but know that it brought a hell of a lot.

In a season of my life where so much has been lost to me- thank you for bringing this home.

With all appreciation,


I started traveling.  Never before have I felt such an ache for something that no longer exists.  If I thought being at home surrounded by all his things was difficult, this is harder.  Death, of course, is the ultimate finality.  The thing is, I have to face the finality of it over and over again, in each and every action.  The viewing, the funeral, sorting through his clothes and shoes and books and music.  Facing it in making new memories and experiences without him.  Every time I had to navigate handing back a snack while going 80 on the expressway- facing it over and over.  I wonder if the grief runs out once you are done facing new experiences without him.....  Until you hit the big milestones- first tooth lost, first homecoming, first wedding, first grandchild.

There have been moments of missing home so acute that if I would have had a way to physically get there without uprooting my kids in that moment- I would already be back.  The sheer intensity of it is beyond words.  Our bodies and minds very quickly learn to forget pain, it's why women have more than one kid.  Insulation.  Sometimes I try to avoid the pain, but for the most part I've stopped as I've realized- it hurts worse that way.  A needle dragging through my skin as I writhe around instead of sitting still.

Pain is the ultimate human unifier.  All of us are in it, experience it, live it out at some point in our lives- after all every human relationship ends in pain even if you manage to live a perfect existence to that point.

There is no avoidance, no going back.  My home is undone.  My safety zone in turmoil.  For five beautiful weeks I lived my dream.

Thus we never see the true state of our condition till it is illustrated to us by its contraries, nor know how to value what we enjoy, but by the want of it.
Daniel Defoe, "Robinson Crusoe"


to my love,

i hope you know how much i miss you.  the words, of course, fall short.  but there they are, just the same.  i told addy that you and elly can live in our hearts forever, but this of course is a lie.  death is permanent and there is no living to be done once the breathe leaves our bodies.  you are not living on in our hearts, minds, or souls.  there is no living to yet be done for you.  instead we are left with our memories which time will eventually dull.  numbing ourselves to the very sense of you.  it is that way for me with my mom, my memories of her are stunted and few and we had eight years together.

does it bother you to know the only real remembrance your children will have of you is seen through my eyes and my hearts?  the sharp reality of their dad is forever lost to them.

people are trying to instill hope in me in regards to my future.  i know they mean well but it is coming off condescending.  no one but my own being knows my pain.  i am not here holding auditions now that the lead actor has fallen out of play.  i am broken, a child being told she can't have her dessert and instead of sampling her dinner, i just stand there and scream "i want dessert, i want dessert!" my fists too tightly clenched to be open to anything.

you were my great love, my kismet, my constant.  i stand here now running around in what feels like a great circle, always ending up at the same place, why why why why why why why.  trapped in the bars of my own mind.  we started cognitive behavioral therapy in my counseling today.  i'm working for release from this prison, see.  i started with one phrase, the biggest one of course. :he should be here: i am to replace it with :i want him here, i am sad he is not: already today i had to tell myself that, what? a hundred times?  and of course this will eventually dwindle.  the grief, they tell me, is not forever- i wonder if our love will be?

is love truly eternal.  are we eternal?

i miss being in your arms so very much.  am i still yours? do we still belong to each other?  i was listening to drake on my run the other day (i know i know, can you believe i'm bringing drake up to you even after you're dead?  you would be appalled, i know this) and this line literally stopped me running,
you never see it coming, you just get to see it go
i miss you love, i'm so sorry you went.
always yours,

holy shit.

does this get easier?  it has to get easier eventually right?  i don't think i can do a lifetime of this.  i've been prepping my house for some work which means organizing/cleaning out some of jim's things.  my master bath had to be redone because you know real casual like in between two of my immediate family members dying i also had a huge plumbing leak.  i moved back into my bathroom today which meant sorting through all of his stuff.

he should be here, he should be here 

addy's dance recital was saturday.  she was as ever, adorable.  and she did great.  i am relieved to see dance over though.  i usually worked monday nights and jim would come and meet me at dance and then i'd leave - go to work and he would go home, finagle the kids and rock a bedtime.  it was never the easiest task and i was always so grateful to him.  if i didn't work, i'd pull into the garage and honk... he would run out to the car (already changed into his sweats) and greet addy and ask her how dance was.  my counselor told me it was probably so difficult because it was a scheduled connection.  other times, moments are just random happenings in my life with no real connection, but dance nights... dance nights i always saw jim.  he loved seeing addy after dance, in her leotard, hair in a pony, eating her sucker... always proud to see her dad.

one time during the year she didn't listen during her class and her teacher talked to me about it.  all i had to do when we got home was mention to jim "addy had a hard time listening in class today" and she broke down, so contrite with her dad.  he was her whole world.  it's hard to describe their relationship... when addy was born i was jealous of it.  i had never seen jim act anything even close to interested in another girl and then this little pink thing took up his entire life it seemed.  it took us close to nine months to get to a place of understanding the dynamic of the three of us.  and then we had it.  this beautiful mesh of family and love.  she was the light of his life and i was the ignition of it.

going through this stuff is weird.  it's not like a huge emotional thing where i am crying over toothbrushes or his floss.  it's just, i'm low on patience- especially with my kids.  my one friend said that made a lot of sense because all of my patience is probably directed at myself and allowing myself that grace- i just don't have any left to give.  then after i am done sorting through whatever it is, i usually have a huge breakdown.

right now i am over a month into this and it doesn't seem to be getting any easier.  actually i would say harder because i just keep thinking "shouldn't i be feeling better by now? everyone else is"  it's like i am over here still spinning in place and everyone else is running down to the finish line.  i don't think i'll ever get there.  the tears don't stop, the heartache doesn't stop, it just runs me down.  every day.  for all of our free will, we actually have very little control.  i can't control how i feel, only my reactions, i can't control what happens to me, only my reactions.

at a certain point i mean truly, it's fuck the reactions right?  i want control.  i want to go back in time, this is not the life i wanted to live.  sometimes i get a glimpse of peace. but it's not here right now.  right now is sorrow, right now is pain, right now is awful.

jim jim jim. i miss you love.   each second of each moments seems too long to bear without you.
you don't get to see it coming, you just get to see it go 

the physicality of grief.

i can relate to those people that have phantom limb pain following amputation.  when elly died it felt as if a limb had been cut from me.  i kept staring at my arm wondering why she wasn't there.  i had carried the child for nine months and then held her almost continually for five weeks... other mama's out there know, in the newborn phase, you don't go more than a couple hours without holding your little one.

the hours ticked by... one hour without holding her, two hours without having her, three hours... until a brutal 24 hours had ticked by.  i remember being desperate to hold anything, a baby doll, a stuffed animal.  anything to fill the void, my body felt empty, deprived of the warmth and love of my beloved child.
when we started taking addy and lane out again i remarked to jim that it was like we were forgetting something.  i would start to say "don't forget the baby carrier" and cut myself short before the words even started tumbling out of my mouth... it was the whisper of a thought cut short.

when jim died, it was even worse.  i am still carrying the physical effects.  july will mark six years since we met.  six years of being inseparable.  our entire marriage consisted of seven nights apart, four of those were when he traveled for his previous job.  the day before he died, we were sitting out in the garage, me on his lap and i was rubbing his thumb with mine.

12 hours later he was gone.

my hands are lost, clumsy in their motions without jim's head to rub or hand to hold
my lips are confused, wondering where their counterparts are
my eyes are sad and wandering, looking for their match in his green

my entire physical being is thrown into shock.  sad and pathetic without it's constant, it's homing beacon, guiding it in its motions
it is as if my sun is gone, and i am left still orbiting, thrown out into a dark and distant space, without any light to guide my way.

maybe you will always be, just a little out of reach

yesterday i found a souvenir from our honeymoon and i cried so hard i was hyperventilating.  i was home alone, my two children in the room next to me and my chest hurt me so bad i would have thought i had gotten kicked.  the air was knocked out of me.  i had to get on the phone with someone right then, the pain too great to bear alone.  all i could say was "it hurts, it hurts so badly"

the intertwining of our neurological, physical, and spiritual aspects is so apparent during grief.  everything is so separated in our culture, even down to "classes"

math, science, psychology.  they are all taught separately, as if they had nothing to do with each other or they didn't impact each other.  i will tell you in this- there is no separation.  grief has taught me the constraints of our knowledge are a lot tighter than we believe them to be.

there are no explanations, no reasoning, no making it better

"it hurts. it hurts so badly"