Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Betrothal

I pulled out a box of papers I had saved from TJ's office during the move.  I wanted to read them.  I found our engaged encounter notebooks from spring of 2005.  In these notebooks we were encouraged to cover new topics that we may not have discussed as a couple and were necessary to be open about.  At one point, we were asked to write a betrothal to each other and read it to one another.  This is only the second time I have seen his to me (since the book was lost in other papers over the years).  I am going to share it with you now because it brings me joy.

"Courtney,
Everything we have said or given to each other has led to this point, and at this point I pledge to give you everything I have.  I acknowledge and am prepared for the work we have ahead of us, and look forward to the joy that our union will create through our children.  Soon, we won't have to wonder what being married will be like anymore.  In a few short months we will officially be part of each other and living the miracle of marriage.  I promise to be mindful that it is a miracle, and to treat it as such through loving you with all that I have.
You know that I've struggled with this for a while.  It has always seemed like you have known what you wanted.  You will have it.  We will have it, not because I am tired of fighting it, but beacuse I no longer have reason to.
I will continue to love you unconditionally.  I will take care of you always and in every way possible.  I will summon up energy that I can't find for myself and use it to make sure that you never want for anything.
I will see that my finances are in order so that we can continue to build our dreams of family life.  I will support you with any other dreams you may have.  I will work so that any decision we make will be for the best.  I give myself to you and will continue to do so again and again.  If you are not crying by now, I must be doing something wrong.  The only way I can show you much I love you is through a lifetime of examples that will start now.  I love you.  Thank you for being my wife."
-TJ

I also found another entry where he writes to me "You know more about me than anyone on this planet, whether you believe it or not."  I'm so glad to read that.  I still have so many questions, but I know he is right.  I know that what we had was so amazing and pure.  I feel so honored to have shared a life with him.  I will feel honored until the day that I die, no matter what else life has in store for me.  TJ, you are my eternal love.  I hope you can feel it even now.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Don't worry, baby

I feel great today.  Last night was exactly what I needed.  Spending time with all of those important people was a breath of fresh air.  I have the best friends.  I had an amazing dream last night.  Not of TJ, but of my friends.  It was like a continuation of the night I'd returned home from.  I also woke up with the best Beach Boys song stuck in my head.  Listen to it here  I feel confident that everything will be alright.  With this love around me, there's no way it couldn't be.  TJ is telling me "Don't worry, baby."  I trust you, my love.  I hear you.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

To My Dearest Love

Hey baby,

I can't sleep.  I'm looking at a photo of us.  It's the one I was cropped out of for your obituary.   I decided to read my diary.  The last entry before your death, I was going on and on about our trip to Duck, NC.  Finally getting you there, and then for you to tell me it was time to start trying for a baby!  It was such an epic trip.  The next entry I made was on 3-10-11.  It starts with "My love is dead."  What polar opposites.  I read the entry for that day.  About how you died.  About your final moments.  I folded up a funeral program to keep at that page.  I read to myself the list of participants.  Your pallbearers.  I wept for them.  I wept for you.  I miss you so much.

I know it's got to be hard for everyone, just as it is hard for me.  We're all learning together.  I want to be around our friends.  Just to hang out.  It doesn't have to be all gloom and sorrow.  I just want to be around the people that I love.  The people that we love.  It reminds me of you when I can do that with our friends.  It's something familiar in my upside down world. 

I said to our friends after the funeral that I was afraid to be forgotten.  And I am still a little bit afraid, but, I know that I will find my new place in this world.  My place among our friends and families.  It's just something we all have to get used to.  A new dynamic.  I worry, though.  Like you were the glue that kept us all together.

Wherever you are right now, baby, can you please help me?  Talk to God for me?  I wonder if you're watching me right now.  Typing at this little table in my nightgown.  Tear streaked glasses and ratty bed head hair.  I bet you would tell me I looked sexy, just to make me laugh.    You always did know how to make me feel better.  So, do it now.  Make me feel better.  Help me to step out of my own head and not analyze everything to death.  Old habits die hard.  You always said that once I calmed one worry I'd find another.  I'm just so afraid.  I don't know how to not be afraid.  I need you to show me.  I need some peace.  Can you do that for me?  I will love you forever and ever if you do.  Of course, I'll love you forever and ever anyway.  Help me find my way.  Be my guardian.  Be my guide.

I love you more than life itself.  This new life is hard to live right now.  Teach me how to make it better.  Lead me by your example.  Help me to be like you always were; calm, cool, collected.  Smooth as silk.  And tough as nails.  I love you, TJ.  I love you.

Forever yours,
Courtney

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

I'll Be All Right

I recently began reading a book that was given to me about the grieving widow.  It's called "I'll Be All Right" by Paulette Shockey, Ph D.  I'm about half way through it now.  I find that parts of her book are difficult for me to relate to my own processes and feelings.  I opened this book knowing everyone's grief is different.  But, at the same time, I was longing for some connection.  As I forged ahead, I did discover a few passages that I could connect with.  Things I was experiencing, or feelings I was having that I didn't know what to do with; and still don't.  But, boy, she nailed it.

I'd like to share those passages with you now.  All credit on the following passages goes to Paulette Shockey, PhD; excerpts from her book "I'll Be All Right" published and copyrighted in 2004.

"Gradually my friends and others close to me returned to their normal lives surely thinking, and even expecting, I would soon do the same.  I didn't and couldn't.  I no longer have a 'normal' life.  When the numbness began to wear off, my comforters were no longer close by.  For them, this time of grieving was over.  They didn't realize that for me it would never be over, at least, not completely.  Meanwhile, the reality of the situation slowly dawned "I am alone..." "

Paulette later goes on to discuss how to handle this type of change in dynamic with those around us.  She says:

"It is important to find several friends who will allow you the luxury of grieving and 'talking sad'.  You will need to share honestly with them that you just need someone to listen long enough to allow you to 'think out loud'.  Assure your supports that you are not obsessing or looking for answers.  The listening friend only needs to nod and speak a few 'uh huhs' from time to time.  Most of our friends just don't know what to say when we bring up the subject of our husband.  So, tell your friends what you need to hear or what you need from them.  Because your grief work will extract great energy from your supporters, remember to share with only a few very close friends who will promise to listen, and not try to give answers".

I am happy to say that I have been in contact with Paulette directly, and I have a feeling she will become someone I can 'talk sad' with.  I feel that having her to talk to will continue to help me through this process.  Between her, and all of my friends and family, I already have so much support.  I love all of my friends so very much.  They are the most amazing people.  I am so very blessed to have been able to surround myself in love.  But at the same time, I fear that I may become a burden.  A Debbie Downer.  Of course, this is to be expected; my sadness, that is.  But as Paulette said, for those around me, my grief is very draining for them as well.  I have already learned this and it is something that I've been trying to work on.  Feeling that need to reach out, but not wanting to drain those that I love.  It's a fine line to have to walk.  I concentrate often on how much I choose to express, and to whom.  I'm sure this will get easier with time.  And easier as my grieving process continues. 

The more I work at this, the easier it will get.  It will take time.  A whole lot of time.  But I know I can make it.  It's just trial and error at this point.  I'm going to make mistakes.  I will find myself doing things that won't work for me.  I will say things that don't come out right, and may offend.  I will stumble.  But I will learn.  And I will grow.  I just need to make it known, to all of you out there, that I could never do this without your love and support.  As confused as I am, there is no question in my mind about the love of my friends and family.  I need you all desperately, and I want you to know it.  Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.  With all that I have, I love you.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Give us a cuddle?

So, every night over the past 5 years, TJ and I would fall asleep holding hands.  This was our compromise.  He wasn't much of a cuddler.  In fact, he even hated the word 'cuddle'.  As well as 'snuggle' and 'spoon'.  I could bet that if I said any of those words, I wasn't getting any action or contact that night.  He was so funny about it.  I'd look at him and say "Can we cuddle?"  His reply?  "We can if you don't call it that."

At night, I'd want to be all up in his business in bed.  If I'd had my way, I'd be inches from his face, with my arms and legs tightly wound around him.  I could never be close enough to him.  I used to tell him that I wished that while I held him close that it would be enough for me to melt into him and come together as one.  I know that sounds corny now as I type it.  But it's true.  No matter how close, I wanted to be closer.  It was this deep need inside me to be near him.  To touch him.  To smell his breath, his skin.  It was, and still will remain, the safest place I could ever be.

I miss him desperately.  I really don't know how I'm going to make it through without him.  He was always what I wanted.  I couldn't have dreamed up a better man.  Sure, he had his faults, but we all do.  I'd cherish now all of the things he used to do that drove me nuts.  I would gladly endure the way he'd smack his lips while he was eating.  Or the way he'd leave the TV on while we were trying to fall asleep.  And even how he'd goose me on a near constant basis.  Or stick his finger in my arm pits, or my belly button.  Or in the crease of the back of my knee.  He would tell me how cute my 'butt chin' was (IT'S A DIMPLE!  You can barely see it.  Sheesh!).  He'd put his finger in the tiniest dimple and then rub his finger in there.  He teased me constantly about that.  Oh, man, and he'd always forget to turn the oven off after he'd made dinner.  He'd be so ready to sit down and eat, I'd be clearing the plates and starting the dishes when I'd notice.  Then he'd brush it off and say he'd meant to leave it on.  Always joking around.  When he'd smack his lips, I'd try so hard not to say anything.  Occasionally I'd glace in his direction.  But if he caught me, he'd lean over and talk with his mouth full "Oh, baby, I luff you scho musssh" and try to kiss me.  Ew.  But I giggled and squealed when he'd do that.  I secretly loved it.

The way he was with me was like none other.  I feel like I knew him better than anyone.  I can't stop crying.  These memories both bring me joy and immense sadness.  He'd think I was crazy for saying I wish he were around so that he could annoy me.  But I do wish for that.  I want him back.  I need him.  I don't know how to do this.  I just don't understand why.  All of those plans.  All of the visions of how our life would be together.  How beautiful our children would look.  How silly we would be when we were old and gray.  All gone.  In the blink of an eye.  Our future is ripped from us.  Now all that I have are the memories.  I know, in time, they will be only filled with joy.  I long for that time.  The time when the fear and sadness will fall away and leave my happy memories to thrive in love.  But the fear and sadness are here to stay for the near future. 

I pray for peace and strength.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

No More Romantic Comedies

So, I went to the movies last night.  I love movies.  I love going to the theater.  I've been once before now, and it was relatively fine.  The first movie AD, I had a moment in the beginning action scene.  While scenes on the screen were blowing up and people were kung-fu-ing, I started to cry.  Only because TJ wasn't next to me.  We mostly went to the movies together, and when we did we would raise the arm rest and he'd put his arm around me.  I could lean in to him and put my hand on his thigh; we could sit together like we always did on our own sofa.  But that was the only hard part of my first movie theater experience AD.  This one last night was very very different.  I saw a romantic comedy, and it was hilarious.  I really enjoyed it.  But I didn't laugh much.  Only because this is the very first time I could relate to the only single girl.  She was single, had bad luck with men and had to become the maid of honor amoungst all other married women, and some of them with families.  Seeing her pain on screen in certain scenes was way too close to home.  That longing in her face for that which she did not have.  Her fear of being replaced and forgotten.  Watching others evolve when she was stuck.  I know I'm making this sound like a depressing drama, but there were moments.  In those moments, that is what I saw.  And that is, for the first time since I was 17, moments I could relate to.  It scared me.  I know that it was just a movie.  And it was hilarious.  But those parts made my skin crawl.  Like I couldn't sit still.  Sometimes I'd put my hand on my chest to try to calm myself.  Lean back and close my eyes for a second.  Seeing those flits of emotion on screen  made me so uncomfortable. 

All of these feelings I've been having are so foreign to me.  And to see it portrayed in front of me, and recognize it for what it is, was too much of a reminder.  I was trying so hard to keep it light after I left my seat.  I tried to recover.  But I have a feeling I did a poor job of it.  I was too quiet.  I caught a huge case of the giggles just after the movie, but when it was no longer funny I couldn't stop them.

Throughout this entire process up to date, I am learning.  Constantly learning.  About myself, and everything else in between.  And last night I learned a new lesson.  I'm sticking with action movies for a while.  Where shit blows up.

Friday, May 20, 2011

You know I'll wait...

Today started out wonderfully.  First off, I slept for 7 hours straight.  This hasn't happened in about a month or so.  Secondly, I had a dream about TJ that didn't involve anything bad!  This is huge for me.  I've been asking him and asking God to give me sweet dreams, and I finally got one.  It seems simple, but it means the world to me and I have been playing it over and over in my head again.  Especially the end.

I'm walking to the entrance of Holiday Cinemas.  I see TJ standing there in the glass lobby waiting for me.  Running up to meet him, we buy our tickets and peek in to the theater.  Enlarged to Show Detail 2 is playing.  We're late.  We've missed most of it, so TJ and I decide to leave.  Since we're driving seperately, I think we're catching it at another theater and head over there.  But no TJ in sight.  I buy my ticket and text him to find out where he is.  As I'm watching the movie alone in the theater, I see myself.  In the film.  I'm singing along with Nick Hexum at a show in 2000.  But I'm singing a newer song that wasn't around at the time.  "For you I'd wait forever.  Because I know that one day, we'll be together.  Maybe it's because you know I'll wait.  You know I'll wait.  I'm still waiting."  It's one of my favorite songs to sing.  I love the lyrics, the bass line, and it's totally in my range, so I can sing it really well.  After the movie ends, I head home to my parents house.  TJ is here waiting for me.  I find him in the breakfast room shutting the windows for the night.  As I walk towards him, he puckers up.  Before I open my mouth to speak I give him a peck; "Where were you?  I texted you to see where you went..."  "My cell phone died."  (Typical.)  Then he started to tease me like he always did; "I see how it is, you just run off and have fun without me."  I turn, following him with my eyes as he walks past me toward the kitchen.  I watch him slide up onto the counter to sit.  Smiling, he opens his arms for me to come to him.  I go stand between his legs, leaning against the counter, and nestle myself into my right place.  My safe place.   I feel his strong arms fold around me to hold me tight.  I look up at his beautiful face, and we kiss.

Man, I am crying right now just typing this.  I miss those arms.  I miss that stunning face.  I miss those lips.  Nothing could put me at ease like his lips.  This is the first dream I have had since he died that was like our life before.  I'd only had one other positive dream about him, and that was the night before his birthday.  But in that dream I never saw his face or heard his voice.  I knew he was there, but I never saw him.  This was completely what I needed.  To interact with him, and in a positive way.  All of those divorce dreams, the rejection from him.  It wasn't us.  I know it was my unconscious mind trying to deal with the absense of him.  With the abandonment, albeit involuntary on his part.  But this.  This dream.  I am so thankful.  I just had to get it down.  Now I have something to go back to.  Now I have a new hope to rely on; the hope that this will be the first of many good dreams to come.  I may not be out of the woods as far as nightmares go, but now I know it's possible to have good dreams, too.  Ok, brain, let's even out the score.  I'm routing for team Happy.  Good always prevails over evil.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

To share...

I saw my cousin today.  Growing up with her and her sisters was like having sisters of my own; before my own sister came along.  My sweet thing.  But my cousins and I, we grew together.  I miss them.  The eldest of "the girls" from "the mountains" messaged me tonight after our visit.  I responded to her message just now, and in rereading it I decided I'd like to share it here.  My response to her is nothing new, not to me anyway.  And I'm sure I've said these things in other posts.  But it gives you an idea of where my head is tonight.  Where these tears are coming from tonight.

"I am really getting a lot out of writing. It helps me get what little I can out of the many thousands of things swirling around in my head. If I can get one thing out into the blog, that's one less thing clouding me. I'm so overwhelmed with loneliness. It's so strange to be so immensely sad, and yet eternally grateful at the same time. I'm so upset that he's gone. Forever. But what would life had been like if he never was? If we never were? I loved him fiercely, and he loved me too. He used his last few breaths to tell me. I'm balling now, too. It's just getting harder and harder. The numbness has worn off. Now there is just pain. But, TJ loved life. Loved learning. Loved looking towards the future. He said to me this past new years day "Courtney, this is our fucking year!". He was so excited to be on this path we'd worked towards for ourselves. Trying to make a baby, getting debt under control, looking for a new place to live; entering a new phase of life to share. And it's all gone. All of it. TJ was my future; he was my life as I knew it.  And it died with him that day. It's fucking horrible. Yet, I know the greatest disservice I could do to TJ, to our love, would be to remain stagnant. So, TJ was the reason I got out of bed everyday before. And TJ is still the reason I get out of bed every day. It hurts, and it sucks, and a lot of days I don't want to move at all. But I do. I have to make little steps forward. I know I will make it out of this. I have to make a new path. It's going to be hard as hell, but not impossible. I'm clinging to that. And trying to imagine TJ as my cheerleader, just like he always was."

TJ was always encouraging me to be better.  Not to change me, but to help me grow.  He was always reading something.  How to books.  Self help books.  He was always, always trying to become a better man.  I admired him for that.  Admiration isn't even the right word.  It was so much more than admiration.  It gave me hope.  Hope for the world.  I know that sounds dramatic and broad, but it's true.  Life IS beautiful.  Life IS worth living to the fullest.  Life CAN be happy, joyful, and all of the other wonderful things out there to be had.  TJ wrote a song in college just before we started dating.  It talked about being cool with yourself when you died.  His fellow bandmate (who gave me the only copy of the recording two days after TJ died) told me that I inspired that song.  That TJ had just gotten out of a dysfunctional relationship with another girl, and that I was the person who showed him that it didn't have to be like that.  This friend said to me that when TJ was writing this song that he said "Courtney, she's different.  She doesn't play games.  She likes me for me."  It makes me happy to hear that.  That just being a good friend, I could show him that other possibility.  And who knew we'd fall so in love and end up having the life that we had together.  TJ is my inspiration.  He always will be.  I want to be cool with myself when I die.  I want to know that I did everything I could to learn, to grow, and to make a happy life for myself.  It seems so far away right now; a happy life.  But it will come.  Because TJ showed me how.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Wanted: Therapist

So, it's time to find a therapist.  The numbness is definitely gone.  Gone gone gone.  I feel every ounce of pain.  I hear his voice in distress.  The morning plays out in my head almost constantly.  I see him as clear as day; hunched over and desperately trying to breathe.  I hear his gasps for air as if he were right here next to me in my ear.  I have full blown melt downs at least twice a day.  They started last week.  The numbness I had been feeling up until recently didn't take it all away.  I was sad.  Teary.  Weepy.  Whatever.  But these new fits are unlike anything I have had since the day he died.  These are full blown hysterics.  Sobbing, wailing, shaking my head.  Huge tears plopping down from my cheeks and chin.  All I can say is "my baby, my baby, oh, my baby" and shake my head 'no'.  The fam witnessed one of the fits for the first time tonight.  I've been having them in private (just because it happens that way).  But tonight, I was not alone.  Mom held me on my left, Dad held me on my right, and Liv held me from behind.  All just holding me while I sobbed and gasped.

I had known from the beginning that I would be totally open to therapy.  I also knew that I didn't need it yet, and that I felt like I would know when.  Well, tonight I realized that it's time.  It's time for help.  I was never opposed to therapy.  I just wanted to be seeking it rather than doing it just to do it.  At this point in my journey, I am aware in ways I wasn't before.  A new stage of grief.  Or whatever the hell it is.  It sucks.  It sucks hard.  And I need help.  Not just from a therapist, but from everyone.  I'm no longer self conscious about reaching out.  So right now, without fear, I encourage you to do the same.  Talk to a friend you haven't talked to in a while.  Call your Grandma.  Hang out with your Dad over beers.  Check up on that cousin you were so close to but time has changed the relationship. My Auntie M told me when I was 23 "I think about you every day, and then I realized there was no way for you to know that.  I mean, how could you know if I didn't tell you?  So I am telling you now."  This has been an adopted motto of mine ever since.  How would they know if you don't tell them?  And with that in mind, reach out.  And reach out to me if it strikes you; even if you don't know me and just stumble on to this blog.  Even if you know me better than the back of your hand.  Send a text.  Send an email.  Post a comment on this blog.  I have been open.  And I have been strong.  But now is the time for me to try something new.  I recognize this new phase of my journey.  I am ready to step forward. 

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Embrace

Tonight is a sad and lonely night for me.  Today felt pretty ok for the most part.  It's just the night that I can't stand.  I still can't believe TJ is gone.  When I remember it in my heart, I feel sick to my stomach.  I have no idea how to keep doing this.  Every morning when I wake up I can't imagine how I'm going to face the day.  And every night I pray that I can sleep and sleep for ages.  I don't seem to have the nightmares of abandonment anymore.  But I don't dream about him.  It sucks.  I want so desperately to have him in any way that I can.  I fall asleep holding the arm hole of his long sleeved fleece.  Like we're holding hands.  It's obviously not the same, but it is comforting in a way.  I try to pretend that my face is cradled in his chest and that I am resting on him.  Tucked in for the night.  Nothing works.  I miss his touch in the worst way.  He had the best hands.  His hands were beautiful.  His nail beds were perfection.  I would hold his hand and just look at it.  Look at the size compared to mine.  Look at his skins darkest brown against my porcelain white.  They looked so good together.  While we held hands sometimes I would lift his to my lips and kiss his fingers.  He never minded.  I worshiped every part of him.  It just made sense to kiss his immaculate hands.  I told him how beautiful his hands were to me.  He never did tell me what he thought about when I said those kinds of things.  The smallest details would catch me.  The perfect symmetry of his eyebrows.  His long lashes any woman would die to have.  The slightest little dimple in his chin.  His ears were perfect, too.  Detached lobes.  I liked touching them gently between my thumb and index finger.  They were so smooth.

Nothing that I look at now compares how beautiful he was.  Nothing that I touch has the same warmth as he had in his hands.  Each embrace I encounter isn't quite right.  I hug often.  It's one of the things I like to do the most.  But no matter who I hug, it's not the same.  I don't expect it to be the same.  But it makes me wonder.  It makes me wonder how long it will take to be embraced and feel safe again.  Instead of wishing for more.  Wishing for TJ.  Always wishing for TJ. 

How did this happen to us?  I just don't understand.  We had such an amazing connection.  Such love.  Such passion.  Such joy.  And now it's gone.  All gone.  In an instant.  It's nights like these when I can't imagine being happy ever again.  How could I when I feel this bad?  This lonely?  This desperate?  I am in a constant state of unrest.  I just can't relax.  I can't breathe sometimes.  It catches in my throat.  Or feels like the wind gets knocked out of me with just a single thought.  A single image relived inside my head.  The morning TJ died.  The pain is crippling right now.  I can't even see out of my glasses.  They are entirely smeared with tears.  The salt from them fogs as it dries.  I'm glad I'm so familiar with "home row" or else I wouldn't be able to communicate right now. 

This fucking sucks.  I am angry.  I am lonely.  I am terribly afraid.  I miss his loving arms.  I miss his beautiful hands on me.  Why can't he just come back?  Why do I have to do this alone?  Why was my future ripped from me?  I have so many questions.  All of them I may not ever have the answers to.  How in the hell am I supposed to survive like this?  This isn't fair.  We were supposed to grow old together.  We had so much more to do.  I feel like I'm just going through the motions now.  Every day just doing what has to be done and that's all.

I loved him with a strong heart.  My goal was to make him happy.  To do anything that I could for him.  I hope that I made him happy.  I tried so hard.  I tried so hard to give him everything he needed and more.  I would have done anything for him.  I just can't believe this is happening.  This is supposed to happen to old, sick people.  Not my baby.  Not my young, beautiful, smart, funny, charming, brilliant husband.  Not my baby.

Right now I am inconsolable.  I'm just going to have to curl up with his fleece, cry, and pretend like I do every night.

Monday, May 9, 2011

How Does it Feel?

I am officially out of Winterspice Drive.  "I'm done done-dee, and gone gone-dee" -Chad Sexton.

I feel like I should be rejoicing at the feat of packing a 5 bedroom home in 7 days.  But I don't know how to feel.  Something is nagging inside of me.  I can't put my finger on it.  These past 7 days have been extremely taxing, emotionally speaking.  Going through TJ's things and constantly stumbling upon other hidden items of his has been so hard.  I found one last notebook today and flipped it open.  I read something aloud to my mother because she's not as used to his handwriting as I am.  It was his feelings about himself and his weight.  He was pretty hard on himself in the entry.  I know we all have those moments.  And typically when we write it's at the worst of times. These writings don't reflect how we feel on a daily basis.  After I read it, I paused for a long while and sighed.  I started putting his clothes that I didn't want into a bag for Goodwill.  My entire body felt heavy.  My veins seemed filled with liquid cement.  Slowly starting at my legs and moving upwards to my head.  I wanted to lie on the floor.  Just to curl up next to his clothes.  I couldn't figure out why.  And then I realized that, even though I knew he had those feelings a long time ago, what I read made me sad.  TJ was the most amazing person I will ever know.  He was smart, funny, handsome; a go getter.  He was constantly learning.  I can't tell you how many instructional books I packed up and hauled here to my parents house...  He blew so many others out of the water with his lust for life.  Including me.  I see immense value in life itself, but have never really known what to do with mine.  It was so much easier to put all of my focus on TJ.  To make him happy.  To support him in his passions.  It made me unbelieveably sad to read his writings.  To see the pain and struggle he experienced within himself.  I spent every day we had together showing him love.  Reminding him of the man that I saw, the man that he truly was; my love.  My inspiration.  My partner.

I can't help but wonder about his feelings.  Where ever he is, does he look at his life as a whole?  Would he be satisfied?  I know he was taken all too soon, but because this was it, would he be proud?  Would he feel all of the love around him?  I pray he does.  He meant everything to me.  My memories are all that I have.  It's just not enough.  I want to hold him.  I want to stroke his eyebrows.  I want to hear his voice in my ears.  I know he wasn't done.  And neither am I.  I can't seem to figure this alone thing out.  I know it's still early, but damn.  These things take time, or so I'm told.  I just can't see the end to the suffering.  That is exactly what it is.  Suffering.  Longing.  Loss.  I'm all alone now.  I have to start all over.  My future was with TJ, and that future died with him.  It's up to me to paint a new picture.  I'm not sure what will be in it, but I hope with every part of me that I can find happiness again.  I can't remember what it feels like.   

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Fight the Urge

I have a new feeling.  Something that has never before presented itself in all my life.  I have an undeniable urge to withdraw.  To take my kittens, move out into the woods and never look back.  This new feeling struck me in church today.  Mother's Day.  Looking around at all of the happy families over the past two days.  Watching the husbands smile at their wives.  Watching the children playing.  Seeing the family units move together.  Synchronized.  I know that is not what is meant for me.  And something that I can not have.  At least not now.  Now that TJ is gone.  Everything I saw for myself, for us, is gone.

I've never had the desire to be completely alone.  Please don't misunderstand; I love my family and friends with all my heart.  This is not something I see for myself.  It's just a new emotion.  That it might be easier to get away.  To be alone.  To sit in silence and to be.


Recently, I have experienced an unnecessary amount of drama and stress.  I feel that this, too, is a contributing factor for my new desire for peace and quiet.  If all there is is me, then I don't see how it could be stressful.  Sure, I'd get lonely at times.  But I am already lonely inside my own mind.  The ones who love me can do all they can, but I will still be alone.  And I am ok with that.  I want those I love to try.  I don't want them to give up on me; even if I do pull away momentarily.  I need all of them.  Almost desperately so.  Which is why this shift in focus is so foreign to me, and scary.  I don't really want to be alone, but I can see it has it's perks.

Working on the house for upwards of 11 hours a day for an entire week has taken it's toll.  I am beyond exhausted, and I just don't see how I can keep up.  I am so close to being finished.  Once it is done, I feel like I can finally relax.  Get back to taking care of myself.  I have been pushing myself to emotional limits with this move.  Going through TJ's things; being in that house where we shared so much love.  It hurts my heart.  But it just has to be done.  There is no getting around it.  I'm tired of pushing.  I need to rest.

 

Monday, May 2, 2011

Crying Over You

I feel asleep in tears last night.  Thinking about that morning.  They way he looked in the hospital room... it makes me cry every time.  I remember every detail of the entire morning.  The last thing he said directly to me was "I love you".  And the last thing I said directly to him was "Oh, baby, I love you, too".  That amazes me even now.  To know that the last things we said to each other was out of love.  So many people don't get to have that.  TJ could have been anywhere.  But he was with me.  And I with him.

I remember everyone's face that morning.  I remember everything anyone said to me; TJ lying there in the darkened room.  Sometimes when I close my eyes I see him, and it's the image from that morning before they stopped CPR.  It's awful.  Sometimes my mind just plays that reel.  Without even noticing, I relive that morning in my mind.  It just plays out.  I can't stop it.  I hear his voice.  His labored breaths.  I see him.

I just stopped typing to cry.  My mother stood by me and I rested my head on her chest.  She was playing "My Heart Sings" by 311.  She was singing along.  He'd be so proud of her.  But as I cried into her chest, I could hear her heartbeat.  It was so soothing.  And then my mind snapped back to that morning.  Hearing the swishing of the ultrasound machine.  Praying it was his heart working on its own, only to find out that it was the work of the nurses and doctors.  They were tremendous.  They worked so hard.  I am so thankful for that.

Today will be filled with more financial corrections, negotiations, etc.  Tomorrow, and the rest of the week, will be filled with packing up our home.  It will be very emotional, I'm sure.  But I know I can do it.  And that will be one less thing to think about.     

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Small Post.

My parents and my sibs are total rock stars.  They have my back.  Nothing can take the place of TJ, but his back-ups are badass.  I am extremely proud of my father.  My mother is the fiercest mama bear around.  My sister's hugs soothe me.  My brother's reassurance lightens me.  My other brother's advice saves me.  My other sister's support and concern make me want to invent a way to send hugs through the phone.
Everything makes me miss TJ.  These past few days have been emotional purgatory.  I would give anything to have him for even 5 more minutes.  To really kiss him and to feel life in his lips.  I can say, without a doubt,  that this is the hardest thing I will ever have to do.  I tell friends that nothing really scares me anymore, because the scariest thing has just happened to me.  I am living it.  But with that realization comes a type of freedom.  It's hard to describe it.  But in a way it is freeing to no longer have to worry about things that don't really matter.  To feel ok to only look out for numero uno.  This is the reality check of all reality checks.  I know I can make it through.  I've got the power of two.  He is helping me.  I know it.