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.