It's been a while since my last post. It's not that I haven't had anything to say, really. I've just been so tired. Emotionally and physically. Some new events have taken place. TJ's uncle died unexpectedly on July 4th. Heart attack. He was just 54. The funeral was today.
Last night was rough. Knowing what I'd have to do, and the fear of the unknown kept me up most of the night. My stomach was upset the entire time. Of course, the obvious reason for stress was knowing I would be attending a funeral only 4 months after my husbands. But not knowing how I would feel. How I would react. I loved Uncle Spud like my own. He was my family, too. The friendliest guy you'd ever meet. I remember when I first met him. I went to shake his hand and he pulled me close for a big bear hug. Those must run in the family, bear hugs. He was always so glad to see me. The same greeting each time; "Hey baaaby, how you been?!" Or "Hey baaaaby, how you be?" My response was "I be good" and I'd giggle as we embraced. He'd always slip TJ money into his pocket when we would part ways. I could hear him say quietly "go have a good time". He was so loving and so generous. Being an ob/gyn was always a fun topic when it came to TJ and I starting a family. One thanksgiving after we'd been married a few years, Uncle Spud looked at me and said he was going to put his mojo on me so I'd get pregnant. TJ, being funny, lunged in front of me like a slow motion action flick saying "noooooooo!" As if he were taking a bullet from me. We all had a good laugh about that. But I think my fondest memory of Uncle Spud will always be the memory of TJ's funeral. I'd been sitting next to my father, and my in laws during the service. And when it ended, I had to follow TJ's casket down the aisle to exit. My dad had to leave me to be a pallbearer, and so I was walking alone. Tear streaked glasses, tissue in hand, I tried to make my legs work. It took all of the strength I had to make them move. To take each step forward. Just when I thought I could walk no further, I felt two big strong arms wrap around me. I looked up over my left shoulder and it was Uncle Spud. I let my legs give way, and said through my tears, almost in a wail "Oh, Uncle Spud!" As I let him hold me up, he said "Don't worry, I got cha baby. It's gonna be ok". I felt so safe. If it weren't for him, I don't know how I would have continued that walk behind my husband's casket. He guided me out of the church and shielded the crowd from me. And then once he was sure I was safe and secure, went off to find my coat. He tried to give me his, but it was freezing and I knew mine was around somewhere. I wore his long black dress coat until mine surfaced. He always was so kind and loving. I will miss him dearly.
The service today was beautiful. A full house. Part of the sermon really was so appropriate. For all of our family who is grieving yet another loss of a young life. The preacher said "Life sneaks up on you, catches you unaware, and slaps you in the face." His context was to always look to God in that situation. To never curse God, but to turn to him for strength. I'm not so sure about that part. But, to hear that kind of honesty about life was refreshing. It wasn't all about God and religion. Just the simple fact that life can do that to a person for no particular reason. The saying "everything happens for a reason" I believe in half heartedly. TJ's death was a moment when life snuck up on me, caught me unaware, and slapped me in the face. I don't feel like he was taken from me for any particular reason. I don't feel like I'm being punished. I don't feel like TJ was taken for a higher purpose. It's just life. And death is a part of life. I know TJ was taken from me. But I have nowhere to point my finger. It just happened. It sucks. And no amount of anything will bring him back to me. It is one of life's biggest mysteries. The unknown is so hard to comprehend, and to accept. I will never know why he was taken from me when he was. I have given up on that question. It's just a fact that he is gone and he won't come back.
I don't mean any of this in a negative way. I consider myself very spiritual and I have settled on a scientific theory I'd heard TJ speak of many times. The body is energy. And it is a fact that energy never dies out. It merely is redistributed. TJ is not gone. TJ is not just in the dirt. TJ's energy has been redistributed, back into the universe to continue on. I was with him in that ambulance when he first lost his pulse. I was with him in the hospital room when the nurses and doctors stopped CPR. I feel that along with my many years of learning from TJ that I was also fortunate enough to absorb that positive energy that he released back into the world.
TJ will always be with me. He is a part of me forever. His memory, and his energy. I know that I can not have him the way our life was intended. But when I feel like I don't want to move, when I feel like I don't know how to live, I turn to him. To TJ. I conjure up the strength to keep on living for us both. To be the woman he knew I could be. To create the life for myself that he would want me to have. To find the happiness he knew I could find. I am eternally grateful for our time together. And those times together will help me to continue to take those steps forward.