Tuesday, September 27, 2011

I feel like I'm dying

My brother was able to hack TJ's computer and give me his email password.  I've spent the last three hours sifting through years and years of journal entries.  I'm not even close to finishing them all, either.  I think in the last hour I read all of our chats that were saved.  Seeing our typical banter is killing me.  Reading those exchanges makes me feel like he's still here.  It's so familiar and safe.  And then I remember that he's dead.  I want to talk to him again.  I want him to make me laugh again.  I want him to make my heart race again.  I miss him so fucking much.  I want him back.  Our life together was so wonderful.  We had so much fun together.  So much love was shared.  He always knew how to make me laugh.  Reading his words to me is so familiar.  It's the closest thing to normal that I have felt since he died.  But those are old words.  I'll never see any new ones from him.  It's killing me.  Killing me.  I can't take it.  I have to try and sleep.

Monday, September 26, 2011

What's with today, today?

I made it.  I made it to Sept 25th.  I have to admit that I really couldn't picture today.  I honestly didn't know how I would make it through the 24th, so today has left me a little befuddled.  The thought of our first anniversary after TJ's death had been on my mind over the past few months, but never as much as it had been once September hit.  All month long I tried so hard to keep it out of my mind as much as possible.  Yes, Miss Queen of Welcoming Emotions wanted to avoid something... GASP!  But seriously, I knew that if I let myself think about it too much it would crush me long before Sept. 24th.  I knew yesterday would be bad enough without letting the nervousness and anticipation grow and grow into this giant scary monster of a thing.  I was so consumed with this event approaching, I really couldn't imagine living through it.  It's funny; it's as if I thought today, Sept 25th, would never come.  Not that I would die, but when I woke up it was the strangest feeling.  It's hard to describe.  In a way, it felt like the world was supposed to end yesterday, but it didn't.  I woke up thinking "hmmm, now what?"  Silly, I know.  But that's how it felt to me.

Yesterday was painful, giggly, sad, thoughtful, tearful, and everything else.  Some beautiful friends came to keep me company.  I smiled.  I laughed.  I cried.  I took lots and lots of deep breaths.  I tried to keep it together when I was around people.  Don't ask me why I bothered.  I know that I didn't have to, but it just felt like what I was supposed do.  I guess it was because I let some words, that were meant as loving encouragement, influence my actions.  So many people told me to be thankful for the day we wed.  Not to mourn that blessed day.  That it was a day for celebrating.  I felt self conscious feeling sad.  I could never forget all of the good memories.  I know anniversaries are for celebrating.  Well, yeah, any other year.  But really?  REALLY?  How could I not mourn my heart out on a day like that?  How could a day that was always filled with joy and celebration not be devastatingly awful considering that my husband is dead?  For heaven's sake.  Of course it sucked.

I actually threw up.  I puked on my anniversary.  It's funny; I really wasn't very surprised.  It could have been from any number of reasons: the anxiety, the sadness, or taking my vitamin on an empty stomach...  Either way, it seemed natural.  I know that may sound gross, but really.  While I was bending over the toilet, holding down my necklace so I wouldn't get any chunks on it, I thought "well, this is fitting".  No matter the actual cause of the intestinal disturbance, it seemed like the appropriate physical manifestation of my emotions.  Puking my guts out.  I was committing an act of personal disservice by not letting my emotions go, and my body knew it.  So, my emotions came up on their own; out of my stomach, through my esophagus, out of my mouth, and into a toilet (accompanied by some horrible gagging sounds).  That's what I get for worrying about what other people expect instead of doing what I feel is right for me.

To Avoid: Don't do what you think is expected.  Do what you feel is right and good in your heart.

And so I reached up, flushed the toilet, gargled at the sink, spit, and looked at myself in the mirror.  I took a long hard look.  And after I'd thrown up, the face looking back at me wasn't ill or weak, but strong.  I can say, without a doubt, that the symbolism of vomiting on September 24th, 2011 was immediately recognized as I looked at my face in the mirror.  I actually smiled at my reflection before turning to walk back out into the world.  Message received.  Loud and clear.  Lesson learned.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

So this is it.

The first FIRST.  In just nine minutes, it will be September 24th.  Six years ago at this time, I was trying my best to sleep.  I was way too excited to sleep knowing in just mere hours I'd marry the love of my life.  Tonight, I can't sleep for another reason.  One I could have never in a million years imagined.  This year, on our six year wedding anniversary, my husband is gone.  We will never get to celebrate again.

Our one year anniversary was a lot of fun.  We couldn't afford to do anything major, but I remember the two of us celebrating at home.  Saturday night was the evening before our anniversary that year.  We'd been home together, watching movies and drinking.  We had a serious case of the munchies, so TJ went into our tiny kitchen to poke around.  I heard him laugh, and when I went to see what was going on, he had our freezer open and was eyeing the wedding cake topper.  See, on our wedding day we just had a small one for TJ and I to cut and eat.  It was only served to the family and bridal party.  But, towards the end of the reception my mother and mother in law realized that the staff had served the entire cake, not saving any for our one year anniversary.  So they both ran around from table to table grabbing the plates with the seemingly uneaten slices.  Realizing that wouldn't work, my mother in law had it recreated for a party they had for us after we returned from the honeymoon.  After we cut it, she immediately wrapped the topper for us to have.  And there it was.  Frozen solid in layers of saran wrap, encased in a thick tupperware tub.  I told him that we had to let it thaw overnight and eat it the next day for our anniversary, but he wanted it right then.  We were both always so impatient.  So we threw it in the microwave for just a little bit so that it wouldn't melt, and had at it standing up in the kitchen.  It must have been a sad sight, but we had so much fun feeding it to each other and clashing forks when we'd dive for the same section of cake.  That's all we needed.  Just each other and some cake.  Perfect anniversary.

We never were able to do anything fancy.  We'd talked about it often, but could never really afford to go away, or do anything extravagant.  Last year we weren't able to celebrate together at all.  The week leading up to our anniversary, TJ had been sick with a bad cold.  The morning of our anniversary he was in so much pain he could barely move.  When he inhaled, his back would spasm and cause him excruciating pain.  He was a groomsman in a wedding on the 25th and so that night was the rehearsal and dinner.  I begged him to  go to the doctor.  How could he stand up straight or have any energy in his condition.  So he finally went.  When he got back he told me the diagnosis: a lung infection that caused him to retain fluid in his muscles around the outside of his lungs.  He was so completely wiped out just from going to the office and back that I had to take his prescriptions to the drug store to be filled.  The doctor gave him a pain killer, a new inhaler, and steroids.  I called a friend while I was waiting for them to be filled.  I was trying to sound normal; discussing with her the plans to meet up since her husband was a groomsman too.  But was so worried and upset that I ended up crying with her on the phone.  Finally, I made it home to deliver to him what he needed most.  He popped his first dose and we headed for Gettysburg.  The wedding weekend was a whirlwind, and come Sunday TJ was pooped from the illness and all of the excitement and running around.  He sat on the couch and told me we'd start saving right now so that we could go back to Canada for our 6 year anniversary.  We'd honeymooned there.  We could only afford to go for 4 days, and we'd always wanted to go back and spend more time in the places we found on the first trip.

We could be in Canada right now.  We could finally have that anniversary we'd talked about.  But life had other plans for us.  No more anniversary toasts to each other.  No more sweet kisses.  No more dreams of Canada.  No more dreams of any kind.  They're all gone.  Everything we ever wanted now for our lives is gone.

It's 12:07am now.  I have no idea what's in store for me today.  I don't know how I'll feel when I wake up.  I found out today that someone removed the empty Wild Turkey 101 bottle from his grave.  I wasn't sure if I could go there tomorrow, but now I will.  I need to take him some more.  I remember on our wedding day he wanted to do a round of shots with the boys during the reception.  The bartender said he couldn't serve shots, but he could serve singles in tumblers and then winked at him.  I know if he were here, he would most certainly be celebrating with some whiskey.  So, as his loving and devoted wife I will take him some whiskey.  I'll even do a shot with him.  He used to try and get me to do shots with him all the time, especially with whiskey.  I never did like it.  He would look at me with puppy dog eyes and say "If you loved me, you'd do a shot..." so TJ, I love you.  I love you to the moon and back again.  And to prove it I'll come visit you tomorrow, even though I don't know if I can handle it.  And I will do a shot to show you how much I love you.  I'll even go to the spare garage and dig out your favorite shot glass.  The one you bought at the BC ferry on our honeymoon.  Hell, after that I might just drink the entire pint.  I don't know.

All I know is that I miss you.  I've never felt so empty.  Please help me get through.  I just can't imagine how it's possible.  So just do something, ok?  I love you.  Oh, baby, I love you.  I will love you forever.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Now I'm just plain ole Delusional

What on earth made me think last night that feeling sick all week was actually helping me?  Cause it's not.  I'm so pissed that I'm sick.  I can not handle this right now.  Thankfully, this evening, I am feeling the best I have since last week.  Physically speaking.  The only way this illness has helped is that it allows me to sleep and sleep and ignore the fact that Saturday is coming fast.

If I hadn't gotten sick, I would be so much better off.  I had all of these "feel good about myself" activities planned this week to prep for the "dreaded anniversary" quotations quotations ranty rant.  I had appointments.  Acupuncture.  A hot stone massage.  I'd made a list on my last day in AK of all the things the girls had inspired me to do.  Here's that list I made:

When You Get Home:
Buy new linens- make your room your own
Get your own towels- fluffy, absorbent, extra long
Get crafty: sketch pad, colored pencils
Yarn & buttons for the girls
Have photos printed
Buy some nice frames and matte them appropriately
Poster board & Glue (for my goals poster I have to create!!)
Common Market for tinctures and other homeopathic remedies
Research Cuts (for my hair- which I did, and had chopped just last Friday before I got sick.  Ugh)
Research classes for crocheting (I got the schedule!  Now I just have to book it.)

See, now isn't that a great list?  I haven't gotten hardly any of it done, since I only had one flippin day home before my immune system decided to shit the bed.  (Not literally- it wasn't that kind of flu.)

Plan A: Be happy, keep busy with constructive things, take care of myself, create a content barrier before the "dreaded anniversary".

Actual turn of events: Be jet lagged, get hair cut, feel happy for a few hours, wake up sick, feel miserable for days and days, no happy buffer created, just fear that breeds like this stupid germ inside my body.

I want that shot from the book about Louis Pasteur when the soldiers march through the syringe into the little boys body so they can battle the germ enemy and win.  I want that.  I don't want to be sick any more.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Fever-Induced Deliriums

I've made it home from AK.  I thought my first post would be all about my trip, but as soon as I got back I came down with something awfully nasty.  I'm not sure if it's a bad cold or the flu, but I have had a fever, chills, and all that goes with them for the past 4 days.  And it's still kickin.

Last night, while I was trying to fall asleep, I could have sworn I was looking at TJ.  He was lying next to me in bed, exactly where he would have been all of the nights we spent together.  He was always on my left side.  I know I wasn't dreaming, but I did have cold chills and a fever.  And the nyquil was kicking in.  I remember smiling at him, and reaching out to touch him.  That's the last thing I remember before I fell asleep.  I guess it was a fever daydream.  Since I was definitely awake when it happened.  It seemed so clear.  He was right there with me.  But I know he wasn't.  I need him so badly that my mind manifested him from nothing.  He was lying on his right side facing me.  He looked like he always did before he fell asleep.

Our 6 year wedding anniversary is this Saturday, the 24th.  Thinking about it makes me want to puke.   Our anniversary last year was shared with our friends who's wedding was the 25th; TJ was a groomsman.  Because we weren't able to celebrate together, we talked and talked about how this year we'd do something extra special to make up for it.  Not ever dreaming that this would happen to us.  So last year was it.  Our last anniversary together.

I don't know how to cope.  How do I make it through the anniversary of the best day of my life without the one who made it the best day of my life?  It makes me want to scream at the top of my lungs.  It's almost been a blessing to be so sick since I got back.  It has given me something else to think about besides the wrenching pain that will cripple me in just a few days time.  I can't imagine going to the cemetery.  As much as I feel compelled to go, I don't want that to be our new tradition.  My lying on top of the dirt that holds his body.  I just can't take it.  The weight will crush me.  No matter what I do that day, nothing will take the pain away.  My good friend said to me "Wherever you go, there you are".  It doesn't matter what I do.  The pain will always, always be there.  There is no escape.

I've been having melt downs all week long.  Fits of rage and tears that literally double me over.  I walked past his photo yesterday and said "hey, baby" in passing.  When it hit me I couldn't move.  I just began saying it over and over again while I cried.  I touched his face in the photo and said "hey, baby" again and again.  Knowing I'd never get to hear him reply.  Knowing I'd never get to greet him with a loving and excited "hey, baby" ever again.  It's all over.  I just can't cope.  I feel like it's going to take me with it; the pain and sorrow of it all.  It's hard to keep fighting.  It seems so much easier to give up.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Out of the Mouths of Babes

I spent some quality time with my two favorite little girls tonight.  At one point, the eldest was sitting on my lap asking me to show her a photo from my phone.  My main screen is a picture of TJ from our honeymoon.  He's standing with his back to me, with his head turned right so you can see his beautiful profile.  On the beach in Victoria.  She said first "Oh!  TJ!  Is that you're beach?"  "Yes, Cadence, that's our beach".  "Did you play there?"  "Yes, Cadence, we played there".  I could barely get the words out.  Fat tears streamed down my face.  That most certainly was our beach.  The first we'd been on together.  On our honeymoon.  I'd never thought of it that way, but she was right.  It was our beach.  Our honeymoon was just perfect.  I love that they remember him.  It makes me so happy to hear them say his name.

Today is six months.  Six months... it seems so long.  It feels like an eternity since I last felt his touch or heard his voice.  I don't know how on earth I made it this far.  At the same time, it feels like an instant.  I blinked and six months passed.  They are a blur to me.  I can't tell you what I did to fill my time.  Each moment blends into the next.  I don't know how I have managed to survive.  I remember thinking to myself, just the day after he'd died, how I was going to live even one more day?  How I would make it through another second without him?  He was my air.  I feel like I've been holding my breath for six months.  Just stale air that I hold on to from his last breath.  I don't know what I'm doing.  I don't know where I'm going.

One thing that I do know right now is that I can't stand to be plugged in.  I've decided I've had just about enough of social networking.  No more Facebook.  No more Twitter.  It's just too painful.  Seeing everything move forward while I stand still.  Longing to talk to someone who seems too busy and too happy to talk to about my feelings.  I don't want to bum anyone out, but I just can't help it.  And I rejoice with those I love and their good fortune.  But at the same time, it's a painful reminder that things aren't right for me.  That things will never be the same again.  The worst is watching plans unfold that I'm not included in.  Am I too sad to invite to happy occasions?  Am I not wanted?  Or just not thought of?  And so many invitations as an afterthought.  The "oh shit, I guess she saw that on Facebook/Twitter, I have to invite her now".  The saddest part is, I am completely desperate to be included that I don't even care if I am an afterthought.  And that is some bullshit.  I'm willing to overlook the hurt, and cling to the human contact that I seek.  I have to stop doing that.  I deserve better.

Those sites are excellent for keeping in touch, but it's all too much for me now that TJ is dead.  Each time I log on, I feel my heart sink.  I don't need it.  I can't deal with that now.  What everyone else is doing or planning is really none of my business, anyway.  But it's out there for all to see and I can't avoid it if I'm still logging on.  So I'm shielding myself from the longing and the letdown.  It's funny that my idea of "going back to basics" is plain old email.  It's a new age.  Instant everything.  I've got to do myself a favor and back off.  No matter how temped, I must resist.  I owe it to myself.  I need as calm a mind and body as I can get.

I also think to myself "who is reading my blog?"  It's so hard to tell.  Do the people that I really hope are reading this actually read it?  Am I helping anyone else?  Another widow?  Does anyone who reads this understand me at all?  Are they able to mentally put themselves into my shoes?  I think my grief may be too much for some.  And that sucks.  I am desperate for contact.  For care.  For companionship.  To be quite honest, I don't know how much more I can keep this up.  I hate reaching out now.  Life goes on.  Others grieve in different ways.  I don't want to make anyone uncomfortable with my grief.  So many people tell me to let them know when I need them.  I just can't always do that.  I don't always have the strength or the confidence.  What I need now, more than ever before, is reassurance.  To me, it makes all the sense in the world.  And yet I'm constantly searching for it.  I feel so much better when other people share with me their thoughts about this incredible loss.  I want to know how you felt when you heard the news.  I want to know about moments when a memory pops into your head and makes you feel happy or sad.  Please don't misunderstand.  I don't thrive on misery.  Rather, I feel so much more connected in the basic human sense knowing I am not alone in my grief.  I respect that others may not be comfortable being so openly raw.  But when you have the strength to share with me, I feel honored.  I know it's not easy to share.  It's not easy to face this tragic loss.  But showing even a glimpse of reflection reminds me that this pain is real, and completely warranted.  That I'm not the only one feeling it.  I'm so afraid that he will be forgotten.  When people don't talk about him, I'm so afraid.  He was such a force, I'm sure that could never really happen.  But when people pretend that nothing is missing, it's becomes a very real fear for me.  Denying his impact seems criminal.  Wow, I'm being brutally honest tonight.  I'm saying a lot of things I was too afraid to say before.  I'm so scared to lose anyone else.  To say something that might offend someone I care deeply about.  To cause the people I need the most to pull away.  But this has always been inside me.  It was bound to come out eventually.  It's how my mind works.  It can't be helped.  And, personally, I don't think there is anything at all wrong with my innermost thoughts.  They seem perfectly logical to me.

I don't write about anything lightly.  Each of these entries take anywhere between one hour and three hours to complete.  I go over and over them, making sure I'm being as clear as possible.  And as true to my thoughts as possible.  I take great pride in my entries.  It's literally a part of me.  It's my mind.  My heart.  I hope that is obvious.  So if you ever find yourself stinging, know that I love you.  There are countless times that people say or do something that stings me, but I know it's never done intentionally.  And so it is the same for me and what I am putting out here.  I share my personal truth.  If my words sting, I hope that you understand that it is never my goal to hurt or upset.  It's just very important to be honest with myself on these pages.  No progress will be made if I lie.  Especially to myself.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Everything is mounting...

It'll be six months in two short days.  I'm not ready.  I miss everything.  Right now, I miss the attention.  He thought I was beautiful.  He wanted me.  He loved spending time with me.  I find it hard to believe that any other person would love me so much.  Could want me so much.  I'm so lonely.  Lonelier than I ever could have imagined.  Time makes everything worse.  I want to feel special.  I want to feel loved.  I want to feel desired.  I had it all, and in the purest, most loving way.  Having that, and then having it ripped from you, is indescribable.  I love TJ to my core.  I will forever and for always.  I love him with a fierceness that can never be put into words.  We were great together.  We made each other feel good.  Feel wanted.  Feel loved.  I can't feel any of that anymore.  We deserved all that we had together.  We made each other happy, and then some.  Everything was going so great.  Everything was looking up.  I can honestly say, without a doubt, I was the happiest I had ever been in my life just before he died.  Now it's all gone.  In just 15 minutes, it was taken away from both of us.  We were going to grow old together.  We were going to love on each other, make babies, cherish and worship each other for years and years.  To learn and grow together for years.  I'm so lost.  I feel no connection to my former life without TJ.  I don't remember what it feels like to be wanted, to be admired, to be loved.  I want to feel him again.  My entire body aches for him.  Always aching.  I can't imagine feeling satisfied.  Safe.  Content.  He's gone.  It's all gone.  And all that is left is pain.  Sharp.  Real.  Unrelenting.  I just need a break from this pain.  Just some reprieve.  I know I have to ride this out.  It's going to take years and years to learn how to live with this pain inside me.  I just wish I could take the edge off.  This pain is crippling.  It's just too much.  So much pain.  I could cry rivers that flow into oceans for him, I love him so.  Tears are streaming down my face.  Fat round droplets rolling down my cheeks and plopping onto my night dress.  All for him.  I love you, TJ.  I weep for you.  Every day, every minute, I miss you.  My heart feels like it will burst.  I have so much love for you still inside me.  It is stuck.  It has no outlet.  So my tears flow freely tonight, just as they do every night.  Please help me.  Please.  I'm begging you.  I can't take this life without you!