We used to lie in bed, me curled up next to him with my head on his chest and I would always say, "I can hear your heart beating." That same heart that stopped beating and then shattered mine. Oh, the countless times I would tell him how I didn't know what I would do without him. Nonchalantly he would reply, "You'd be just fine." Well, I'm not fine. I'm not even ok. Yeah, I get up every day and go to work. I come home every day and cook, clean, take care of the kids. And, every day I go to bed broken hearted. I can feel my heart in my throat tonight. I'm gasping for air as my throat constricts. It actually hurts, almost like a sore throat. I stand in the dining room staring at the wall of photographs in utter disbelief, in awe, in desperation. We fit perfectly together…my head in the crook of his neck with his arms wrapped around me.
I find the whole thing rather ironic:
I started the tradition to compete in the biathlon.
I would listen to his heart.
I didn’t go that day.
He was the good one and I the bad.
I had a dream this morning just before I woke up. I remember it vividly. I met a tall, handsome man who was kind and endearing. He made me smile. He hugged me and it warmed me. We became close and he told me he loved me. I’ve never seen him before. He was nothing like Kevin. Nothing at all.
Thanksgiving through New Year's was bad, real bad. Then the first two weeks of January was ok. I was a complete wreck all last week and through this past Monday. I thought I was going to have a breakdown. Monday I cried all day at work. Yesterday I felt a little better. Today I'm feeling good. I didn't cry today. It's the weirdest thing. I wake up in the morning and instantly I know what kind of day it's going to be. One week is good then I fall into a week or two of sheer agony. I don't know that anything in particular triggers it. Is it all in my head?
I went to dinner this evening with my coworkers. It was a late holiday get-together at Pier W. I had a really good time. Ate good food, drank good wine, and had wonderful conversation. I was tense about going because this is an event we usually take our spouses to. I didn't go last year because I wasn't up to it. I almost didn't go tonight because I couldn't bare the thought of walking in without him. I made a call to the girl who coordinated the event and asked her if it was staff only or if people were bringing spouses. I instantly relaxed and decided to go when she simply said, "Staff only." Crazy. Why would it really make a difference? Sometimes I feel so silly about how I feel :)
First, about yesterday's blog. I need to clarify that there are people who care and have provided a lot of support in many ways. I don't mean to sound ungrateful.
This is a comment I left on another widow's blog today. I thought I'd share it.
I lost 14 pounds the first week. I went on to lose a total of 45 pounds within 3 months (and I was no means overweight to begin with). I didn't eat the first 5 days. At the church, just before the funeral was to begin, I felt the need to throw up. I went to the bathroom and couldn't stop dry heaving (no food to toss up). For three months after, I threw up almost everything I ate. I barely ate. It took 7 months for me to be able to start eating somewhat normal again. It's been 17 months and I still don't sleep. I'm constantly exhausted and have regular headaches. I never really had headaches before. For 7 months I had terrible rings under my eyes and just looked awful. People told me later that I looked very sick. I've always been a very healthy and active person. In all my life I never experienced a physical reaction like that. I worried for a long time I was going to develop an eating disorder. I couldn't control any of it.
Everyone copes with and reacts to grief in their own way. My reaction was not just emotional, but very, very physical. My body has done things over these past 17 months that amazes me. I can't believe how resilient you can be and how the body learns to adapt and compensate. Like tears, for example, I could have bottled them and had enough water to last a lifetime. I didn't think it was physically possible to cry that much. I hoped that the well would run dry. But, it seems to be overflowing with a fresh supply everyday.
Friends. They don't call. They don't stop by. They never ask how we're doing. They avoid. They don't know what to say. They're uncomfortable. They don't ask. They don't share. They don't reminisce. I'm not talking about acquaintances. I'm talking about people we've known for many years. They are our children's God parents. We are their children's God parents. They were in our wedding and we in theirs. We've been friends through turbulent times and happy times. We've had babies together. We work together. And, still nothing. Not two seconds out of the day to stop by my office and say, "I see you're having a bad day."
I isolate myself because I hurt. I don't have anything to give. I don't expect anything from anyone, yet I do. Relationships have been strained, hurt, terminated. Is it all my fault? Do I ask for too much? Expect too much? Need too much?
It hurts when they do the talking and don't listen. It hurts more when they don't ask. No one wants to hear it. No one cares? For me it's ONLY been 17 months. For everyone else it's been, "What, 2 years now?" They have no concept of time. They don't count the days, weeks, months. They don't know his birthday is February 4th. They don't remember our anniversary on September 28th. And, they certainly don't realize that August 24th marks the darkest, most horrible day of my life...the day I stopped living.
You know what stinks even more? When family does it. Or, even worse, is when they're mean about it. "Get over it." "Move on already." or my favorite, "The world doesn't revolve around you."
I've made more enemies because everyone takes my avoidance personal. They don't have a clue what I'm going through. How can they? I can't even deal with what I'm going through. For the first time in my life, I can't forgive and I find myself holding grudges. Little things they say or do - or don't say and don't do - makes me salty.
My head hurts. My eyes are sore. I look old. I'm sad. I’m falling apart. I’m having a relapse. I've lost interest. I don't care. I'm waiting.
My day started just before 6am lying in bed, staring at the ceiling, tossing, turning, unable to rest. My pillowcase wet. My sleeves damp. My stomach has been twisted all weekend. Too much on my mind. Too depressed to do anything about it. Finally took a shower today. Washed my hair. It was looking pretty bad. I've never gone 2 days without showering before. Now I do it on the weekends when I'm in a slump. Showered, but still looked like shit. Or, at least that is how I felt. Gotta muster up the energy to cook the kids dinner. Lord knows I don't want to. They'll kill me if we have pizza again. Maybe I can talk them into going out to eat. That will require less effort. I wish I could take the week off work. I need some alone time. Just me. I’m tired. Haven’t slept much in the past week. Same old shit.
I saw Kevin’s sister today. As I was driving past his parent’s house she was getting out of her car with her kids and grandbaby. I waved. If Brad wasn’t in the car I would’ve cried. Just seeing his family makes me cry which is one reason why I don’t visit them. I also don’t visit out of guilt. I have a hard time being with them when he can’t. They don’t want me. They want him.
Brad had to serve mass today. I took him for the first time in many months. I’ve either been dropping him off or asking one of the girls to take him. I sat in the very last pew in the back corner and cried the entire time all while fighting a horrendous headache. I prefer to not go. I don’t believe in God and I don’t particularly care to make a fool of myself. I avoid people in an effort to avoid pain, tears and memories. I’m sure I come across as a nut or a bitch.
I wish I could be cloned. I’d leave my clone to cook, clean, work and take care of the kids while I hide.
Regrets: If I were to die today would I have any regrets? NO. I would surely miss out on a lot with my kids and there are many things I would like to do and see, but I’ve loved and been loved, I have wonderful children, I’ve seen/done/experienced more in my 36 years than many people (and others much more than me:)
Possessions: what are they really? What true value do they hold? I remember thinking when Kevin died that he will never again use his work boots, talk on his cell phone or wear his t-shirts. What value do they have for others? I couldn’t possibly sell them or give them to strangers. Even giving them to family and friends tugs at my heartstrings. I wanted to wrap Kevin’s work coat in a box with a bow and give it to his father on his birthday. Give it to him exactly as it was; worn, dirty, with his tools in the pockets. But, I just couldn’t bring myself to part with it. Maybe I’m not ready yet and someday I’ll be able to part with some of it. I’ve thought about having quilts or pillows made out of his clothes, or, putting his personal items in a box frame and giving them to family. When I die, I will no longer need the things I’ve spent my whole life obtaining. My children can do with them as they please. Hopefully, some of it will have special meaning to them or offer them some comfort. Lately, I’ve had several family members die. For a few of them I’ve been able to claim a personal item or two. I don’t care about the computers or tvs. I want their photos, items they made with their own hands and things that had special meaning to them. I particularly like things that have been handed down by generations.
Back to regret. A second thought: Will I have regret for never being able to buy that fancy house in the burbs, own fancy cars, or buy all the latest electronic gizmos? NO
Affects of losing a loved one: Excerpt from Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom: “Suddenly, with the cameras still humming, Morrie adjusted the glasses. He stopped, bit his lip, and began to choke up. Tears fell down his nose. “‘I lost my mother when I was a child…and it was quite a blow to me…’” His voice cracked. “‘…because I was so lonely…’” “Morrie,” [Ted] Koppel said, “that was seventy years ago your mother died. The pain still goes on?” “You bet,” Morrie whispered.
Good God! This passage hit me like a ton of bricks. I keep telling myself that with time the kids and I will heal and this pain will go away. But, it never goes away. We will all be affected by this for the rest of our lives.
“Everyone knows they’re going to die, but nobody believes it.” Morrie Schwartz
“Once you learn how to die, you learn how to live.” Morrie Schwartz. This is so true. Death is a dirty word and everyone is afraid of it. People live their lives day in and day out and never really think about death. How many people die without a will and trust? Without life insurance? When the topic does come up there is instant uneasiness. And, to top it off, everyone wants to defy it. I am a different person because of experiencing death. Also, I can usually spot a person who has experienced death in some way. They have a different attitude and a different outlook on life. I don’t mean to make a generalization, however, because I do know some who fall into a depression that is outside the scope of the normal grieving process.
Suffering: I sit on this plane surrounded by strangers and not one has a clue that I’m suffering…not even the man next to me. How audacious of me to think that no one else on this plane is suffering, too.
“Each night when I go to sleep, I die. And the next morning, when I wake up, I am reborn.” Mahatma Gandhi
Metaphor: I look to my left out of the airplane window and the sun is shinning brightly. It’s almost blinding and it takes a moment to remember it, for in January in Cleveland it doesn’t visit often. Then I look down and see nothing but a thick layer of white clouds. On the ground it appeared that the sun was not there. But, as we ascended into the sky, it became evident that just because we couldn’t see it from below, it is, in fact, still there. The season will change and the sun will shine again just like my life is temporarily blanketed by a thick layer of clouds. But, above that layer of grief and sadness is happiness waiting for the new season to come so that it may emerge on my face and in my heart again. When will winter end? Something tells me not in March.
Regrets visited a third time: Earlier I said I had no regrets. That’s not true, in a sense. If I were to die today, I would die without having forgiven.
Poem: “Love After Love”
The time will come
when, with elation,
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror,
And each will smile at the other’s welcome,
and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you
all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,
the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.
Thoughts and emotions evoked by a book, “The Time Traveler’s Wife” by Audrey Niffenegger: I am reading this book about time travel and it makes constant references to dates in the past, i.e. Saturday, October 26, 1991. Instantly, my mind travels back in time…
• We married almost a month prior
• We lived in our rented house on the second floor on Searsdale in Old Brooklyn
• Kristie was a mere three months old
• I was only 18, young, and unaware of what my future held
Then the time traveler talks about going back in time and seeing his mother who was killed in a car accident when he was only six years old. Boom. It hits. What I wouldn’t give to be able to go back in time. Even if I couldn’t change anything, just the thought of seeing him again is magnificent.
Business meeting: On Wednesday, I sat in a room with 23 other people from 8am until 5pm and almost cried 5 times before lunch. Finally, I went to the restroom and let it out. I was then able to get through the afternoon.
I went to the cemetery today for the first time in two weeks. I've never gone two weeks without going. I always visit the cemetery the day before I leave on a trip. Tomorrow morning I'm flying to California for work and I'll return on Thursday evening at 8pm. Going away causes a flood of feelings that I'm just too tired to explain.
His grave is my grave, too. One day I will be layed to rest on top of him. My name is etched on that stone. My date of birth is there, too. I've already paid for my date of death to be placed there when the time comes. Should I live 50 more years, should I remarry and be married to that man longer than I was married to Kevin I WILL be layed to rest with my love. He is the father of my children and love of my life. That is where I will go.
Today has been a sad day. I bought a beautiful spring wreath and put it next to the stone. It's really out of place among all the winter wreaths around, but I don't care. I needed something pretty, something lively.
I hate that place. I hate it more everytime I go there. I despise it. It makes me angry that I have to go there.
I should've cremated him
I should've picked a different cemetery
I should've picked a different spot
I should've bought a tall stone
I should've bought a black stone
I should've had his image engraved in the stone
I've had a very busy week. So busy, in fact, I literally have not had time to blog. Not only that, but since the holidays have ended I have been feeling a lot better. I find myself more inspired to write when I'm feeling down (in this blog, anyway). I'm up at 5:30am because Kristie's new puppy was crying in his cage. Kevin would not have liked this dog. He was a big dog person and I don't think a wiener dog would've appealed to him.
He never complained...and I mean he really never complained. I did all the complaining for us. I've read that many widows idolize their deceased husbands and never say anything bad about them. They also tend to forget the bad times, or at least not bring attention to it. Kevin and I were like your typical married couple. We fought every now and then. Usually it was something little and over quickly. Every once and a blue moon we got into a full blown fight. But, mostly, we got along and did everything together. The last 10 years of our marriage was the best out of the 17. Which, by the way, he died one month before our 17th anniversary. He passed away on August 24, 2008 and it would have been 17 years on September 28th. I never felt so cheated in my life. Now, I've celebrated two wedding anniversaries without him.
One thing I was proud of was that we had been married so long and fully intended to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary someday. We defied the odds. I got pregnant my senior year, we got married in Sept that same year and I was only 18. Through all the criticism and dirty looks we stayed married and had four great kids. I loved being married and even made comments that I was so grateful to not be back in the dating scene again like some of my friends. At times (when I thought there might be a God) I felt like I was being punished for being too vain about my fortune. I used to brag about Kevin all the time to friends and coworkers: he was loving, caring, fun, a hard worker. He cooked, cleaned, helped the kids with homework, coached, volunteered, etc. He was just a truly wonderful person.
I don't believe it 'was his time' or that 'God needed another angel.' I do believe that he had bad genes and died because we were both unaware of his lurking condition. Almost seventeen months later I look at his pictures and stare in amazement that he's gone. It's just too surreal. It's unlike anything I've ever experienced before and I don't think I'll ever get over it. Time will make things better, but there will always be a huge hole in my existence that causes a certain feeling of emptiness.
Three months after my loss, a coworker lost her husband to cancer. Four months later, another coworker lost her 30 year old husband to a brain aneurysm. She left him in the living room watching tv on a Sunday evening and went to bed. In the morning when she woke, he was not next to her. She found him dead on the couch. I am thoroughly convinced that a loving and forgiving God would not cause so much pain and suffering. What would the purpose be? I understand that it's something for people to hold onto. Religion is something to guide them in life with morals and values. But, there's no way a being that is supposed to have so much power and be so wonderful would not stop earthquakes that kill millions, diseases that eat away at people and force them to suffer terribly before dying, and allow wonderful husbands to die so young when their wives and children need them.
Lately, single parenthood has been HARD. I get up at 6am, get the kids to school, go to work, and I never get out of work at a decent hour. Rush home to cook dinner, clean, taxi kids to and from practices, grocery shop, pay bills, balance the checkbook and a million other things before I finally lay back in bed at midnight. There are lots of single moms out there who don't have help or have very little help. They manage. I too manage, but the whole time I think about how Kevin would've had dinner ready by 5pm, not 8pm. I think about how he would've taken Brad to basketball practice while I ran to the grocery store. I think about how we split everything and worked as a team. I just want to scream.
"Life lives, life dies. Life laughs, life cries. Life gives up and life tries. But life looks different through everyone's eyes.”
It's rather funny...the perception our society has of happiness. Why is it that people have to be married or dating to be viewed as happy? I have no idea how many times I've heard people say (I'm guilty, too), "He's going to be a lonely old man someday." Yeah, so? Not everyone is destined to be married or live with a significant other. My brother is single, has never been married, and is smart enough to know he never wants to be.
I actually enjoy my freedom right now. Don't read too much into that. Trust me, if I could have it back the way it was I would. What I mean is that I just couldn't share my whole world with a boyfriend right now. (Which by the way I hate the term 'boyfriend' because it sounds so high school.) What I mean is that I can do what I want, when I want, and I don't have to answer to anyone. I can focus on me and the kids. If I want to travel, buy a dog, go shopping, buy pizza for dinner everyday of the week, or not shower for two days, I can. Right now I don't want to have to share. I want to be selfish. Besides, there aren't too many guys out there willing to take on a widow with four kids, two dogs, two cats, and ten pairs of running shoes. I guess maybe it's a step in the right direction to even consider it. Ooops, there I go again equating happiness with love.
Did I ever tell you how Kevin left for work before me every day? He started work at 7am and I started at 8am. He got up earlier, kissed me goodbye in the mornings and headed off to start his day, but, not before scraping the ice and snow off my car for me. It's been snowing lately. The snow is still on my car when I go out to leave for work.
I wish I could hate him
I wish I could forget about him
I wish I could stop thinking about him
I wish I could move on from him
I wish I could get over him
I wish I could see him again
I wish I could talk to him again
I wish I could kiss him again
I wish I could hold his hand again
I wish I could press my lips against his forehead again
I wish I could say I'm sorry
I wish I could take back some things I've done
I wish I could turn back time
I wish I could have been with him when he died
I wish I could tell him one more time I love him
I wish I could stop crying
I wish I could sleep
I wish I could be happy
I wish I could comfort the kids
I wish I could live
Many widows say they dream a lot in the beginning and they’re usually good dreams. The websites, pamphlets, and books all say pretty much the same thing about dreams. There appears to be a common pattern. This is one area where I don't fit the mold. I've only had a few dreams about Kevin and I haven't had one in many months. The few I had early on upset me a great deal. It was as if I were outside looking in. Kevin was there, but he couldn't see or hear me and I could never get to him. One dream like this took place in the kitchen of the home I grew up in. I haven't been in that house in at least 10 years. Even though the dreams themselves were not bad, they made me cry for a day or two after having them.
One dream I remember vividly. I was crying uncontrollably and Kevin was very calmly just holding me real tight. We were sitting outside on steps behind a restaurant on a warm day. A place I didn’t recognize or had ever been to. He never said a word. It was as if he was saying, "It's ok. Let it out. But, don't worry about me. I'm ok." I felt a little better about that dream because there was contact.
Most nights as I turn out the light and lay down to try and get some much needed rest I ask for a dream about him. I want to see him, hear him, and touch him. Since dreams usually feel so life-like this would provide some comfort, I think. I also tell him how much I miss him and love him. I'm not sure why I say this out loud because I don't believe he is aware.
Another commonality when someone loses a loved one is that they claim to feel the deceased’s presence. Many people have asked me if Kevin has sent me a sign or if I've felt him near me. Honestly, not once have I ever felt his presence. From the moment he left me I never again felt him around. It was like he was instantly gone and that was it. I don't attribute that to my belief that there is no God or afterlife because I was somewhat of a believer at the time of his death. It wasn't until a few months later that I had lost all hope in there being a God. I had my doubts before, but Kevin's death sealed the deal. I don't know if someday I will change that, but I am so completely convinced that He doesn't exist I really can't imagine ever believing otherwise.
I have become accustomed to being alone and that scares me.
I've come to realize that I now have two very distinct time periods in my life, before Kevin died and after Kevin died. When I look at pictures of myself I automatically think "that was before he died, look how incredibly happy I was." Or, "that was taken after Kevin died. My eyes show my agony and lifelessness. What a fake smile." It's a reflexive reaction. Uncontrollable. Whenever I recall events, places, and people I relate everything to Kevin’s life or death.
I posted a question on The American Red Cross’ page on Facebook asking about proper protocol for CPR. A few people responded, but a husband and wife sent me private messages to my inbox. I now wish I hadn’t asked because the husband’s response has made me very upset. On FB I didn’t state why I was asking the question. But, when the wife sent me her message I told her I asked because the EMS and police would not breathe into Kevin’s mouth when he collapsed. They also would not allow my sister-in-law to do it. I didn’t find this out until a few months after Kevin passed away and it’s bothered me terribly ever since. Here is some of what the man said in his message…
"Hello, my name is Kelly H. My wife Angie H told me about her emails with you, we both talked a while about it. First of all I am sorry for your loss. I was a cop for 10 years in Tennessee. Now when it comes to police officers, they are first responders, they are trained that it is an option to give mouth to mouth during CPR. Let me tell you something though, they also cannot keep anyone from giving correct CPR. It appears that what happened was wrong, they should not have kept anyone from helping him at all. If a cop does not give first aid to someone he/she is responsible for their actions, too often people do not question them or hold them accountable. They walk away scott free from nearly everything. Perhaps the reason you feel haunted is because you feel wronged, or you feel that your husband was cheated of his chance at survival. Perhaps he was, the reason I say this is because if someone keeps a person from getting the correct care then they are responsible for the outcome. In the squad rooms or yearly in-service training that police conduct in order to keep up their certification CPR is generally covered yearly. I'll tell you first hand that you'll here them joking around making comments about not giving anyone aid or just half way conduct it because they don't have to, they don't want to endanger themselves with exposure to diseases. There are great cops out there who will help anyone at any given time. I don't know what will help you rest easy, but I personally think at my level of understanding of the situation, that it was wrong for them to keep anyone from rendering mouth to mouth. I am up early today for some reason, and I was thinking about this so I felt I needed to say something. Perhaps you have survivor's guilt, perhaps you feel the situation wasn't quite right, maybe that not enough was done. I hope one day you can have peace. Sincerely, Kelly Hewett"
As you can see from his message, it makes me feel as if someone intentionally or maliciously did not do everything they could for him. I try not to dwell on the what-ifs. I know the past cannot be changed. I know he will never come back to us. I miss him with all my heart.
I was sitting at a red light today and I got that feeling of emptiness. That feeling that comes over me when I think about him being gone. Not just gone, but dead. He’s lifeless. He was so wonderful and he’s gone. Why did this happen to him?
Work has been a little tough lately. It’s been hard to concentrate and be productive. I’m tired. I’m worn out. I need a vacation by myself. No kids. No work. No worries. Just a little me time to get away, relax, and find myself. I lost myself 16 months and 14 days ago. Oh, that’s another thing. I’m always counting. I count how long ago he died. I count how long I have to live without him. I count how old the kids were when it happened and how long he’ll have been gone at certain life events of theirs. For example, when Brad graduates from high school Kevin will have been gone six years. SIX YEARS. I can’t even comprehend six years.
Yesterday I was looking at my Kevin wall. I have about 70 pictures of Kevin on a wall in my dining room. As I studied every detail of his face, eyes, nose, mouth, smile, and ears I realized he will never get old. Should I live 40 more years I will be old and time will be evident on my face. He, however, will never change. What do I do when I've run out of pictures of him?
[The photo above is of Kevin and Bradley at the biathlon in 2007...one year before Kevin died in the biathlon in 2008 while Bradley waited at the finish line for him. They were always partners.]
I'm having one of those teaser weeks. The infamous period from Thanksgiving through New Years is a treacherous time for widows. It was worse this year than last. This week, however, is a good week. I've felt not-so-bad and have cried only a couple quick ones. This is a much needed break, but I always feel like these weeks are a farce. I know that it will end soon and I'll fall back into a slump for a minimum of a few days. Every time I have a good week, like this one, I think that maybe I'm on the road to recovery and things are getting better. Then I realize it’s the same vicious circle I’ve been stuck in since the 7th month. (The first seven months were just complete agony with absolutely no good days).
I’ve spent the last two days helping my oldest daughter, Kristie, withdraw from Notre Dame College and enroll in the local community college. I hope she’ll be happier and thrive. She just wasn’t doing well away at school with the pressure of an athletic contract. I don’t know what her reason for all this is because she will not tell me. I could take a guess at it, but at this point it doesn’t seem to matter. The decision has been made and it’s not such a bad thing. I’m just glad she didn’t come home for Christmas break and say, “Mom, I’ve decided to drop out and lay on your couch forever.”
Meanwhile, Zack is failing 9th grade and all I can see in my sunny (but short) upcoming summer is summer school. Poor kid. Poor me.
Being a widow with children is heart-wrenching, exhausting, and super tough. I am grieving and trying to cope all while I worry endlessly about my four kids. My oldest is struggling. She's angry, mean, sad, and failing her freshman year at college. All of which are not typical characteristics of hers. Today she abruptly announces on Facebook that she's not going back to school. I know this is a hard time for her. She's lost all interest in running and school. Of course, she hates me. I really feel she needs some help, but she refuses. I don't care where she goes to school I just want her to get a degree. However, I don't think she'll be successful in school while feeling this way. I don't know what all the contributing factors are. I'm sure Kevin's 'death' has a lot to do with it. There may be other issues, but I'm clueless because she will not talk to me about it. I'm not disappointed in her which is what she probably thinks. I'm just terribly sad that she's struggling and I can't help her. I want her to be happy and it makes me hurt when she's not.
With counseling and meds the middle two have been doing better these past few weeks. I knew the storm wouldn't hit right away. They all seemed to cope pretty well for several months. I'm sure what was really happening is that they were in shock. Even though I was forgetful, couldn't eat, couldn't sleep, and lost 40 pounds in the first 6 months I think I'm not doing as well now as I could/should.
My youngest has been the one to show the least effects. I don't think it's because it's not affecting him, rather it hasn't hit him yet. Some people don't truly react until years later.
If it weren't for the kids I would have been gone a long time ago. If it weren't for the kids I would lay in bed all day. If it weren't for the kids I would never cook, clean and buy groceries.
If it weren't for the kids I wouldn't have a living piece of Kevin. If it weren't for the kids I would be alone. If it weren't for the kids Kevin's legacy wouldn't live on.
On Tuesday I talked about how surreal it is to refer to Kevin as being dead. It happened again this morning. I ran with several of my running buddies and we started talking about the kids, how they're doing, and the weight I've lost. I swear it's as if I'm hovering overhead listening in on someone else's conversation. I hear the words coming out of my mouth, but it's as if someone else is talking. I'm not sure if I've said this before, but I hate the word dead. It has a new meaning to me and that word has been banned from my vocabulary.
I have his pictures everywhere: at work, in the kitchen, in the dining room, all around my computer, in my purse, by my bed, etc. Instead of bringing comfort they really cause pain. It hurts to look at them.
His birthday is in a month. He would've been 42. Isn't that crazy? 42? Just this morning I was thinking about how much he was cheated. He will not be here when the kids graduate, go to college, get married, have kids of their own and reach other milestones.
When I visit the cemetery, which is often, I ask myself why I go there. It's not like it makes a difference. It's not like he knows I'm there. I have bad visions and memories when I go there. I think about him being in the ground and how he looked in the casket. I want to stand there and scream at him for this...even though it's not his fault. I would give anything to see him again. Just one hug.
Someone (whom I will not name or go into detail about) asked me to a New Year's Eve party. I had two other party invitations, but I chose to go with this particular person. Long story short, I was stood up. No call. No text. No Facebook message. Nothing. So, I stayed home, washed laundry, and watched a bad movie. It didn't upset me in the sense that I was stood up or my "night was ruined." Instead, I just couldn't help but think that Kevin would've never done that. He was such a gentleman, so sweet, so giving. He was my partner in everything. He loved me and wouldn't do anything to hurt me. I sure hope NYE isn't a sign of the year to come. 2009 was just awful. Almost every day of 2009 was bad. I am very optimistic that 2010 will be better. I'm not sure what better means, but I'm just hopeful it will not be as hard.
I really want to be happy and re-enter life. I just can't. It's too hard right now. This is all getting pretty tiring. I'm sick of being sad. I'm sick of being...not me. I don't like not having that special someone to share things with. I'm not used to it.
It's interesting how mourning is like wearing many hats. At times I'm a shopahaulic. Other times I'm depressed. Some days I want to be alone and not be 'bothered' by anyone. Most days I try to stay busy constantly. Once in a blue moon I just want to stay in bed under the covers and not have any responsibilities. It's a true emotional whirlwind.
Oh, woe is me. blah, blah, blah!
I do have some good qualities. I like to smile and laugh. I can be fun when I let my guard down. I'm not always full of self-pity. Wait, I take that back. My feelings are not about self-pity. I'm not searching for people to feel sorry for me and I'm not seeking attention. I'm just verbal and need to express myself or I'll go off the deep end.
Exactly one year from now I will turn back to these early 2010 posts and evaluate the progress I've made, if any. I sure hope I'm in a whole new place 365 days from now.
By the way, I am not single. I am a widow. There's a difference!
Life after the sudden death of my best friend of 20 years, husband of 17 years, and father of our two daughters and two sons.
The day the earth stood still
On August 24, 2008 Kevin kissed me goodbye and left with two of our four children. After meeting several family members, they all began the biathlon that became a yearly family tradition. He had a heart attack and collapsed on his bicycle one mile before the finish line. He died instantly.