Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A Fleeting Glimpse

Last night, he was in my dreams.

*Disoriented as I came into consciousness, I found myself sitting still, yet in motion.  A large, comfortable charter bus seat.  I had no idea where I was headed.  I felt warmth in my left hand; the heat woven between my fingers.  Brushing the last curtains of sleep from my eyes, I studied my surroundings.  I'd been slouching, so I scooted to an upright position.  At that moment, I realized where the warmth was coming from.  It was him, he was holding my hand.  I tried not to cry when I looked in to his beautiful face.  He rubbed his thumb over my ring finger, feeling the ridges and dents left where my wedding band should have been.  "Why didn't you wait for me?" he said.  Desperate to soothe him, I started to sputter out the words... "I did, I have it, it's here with me.  I don't know how it came off".  I pulled my hand free, scrambling to reach.  I tore at the ring mysteriously resting on the finger of my right hand.  Shaking and frantic, I returned it to it's home; covering the indentation it had left behind when removed.  I laced my fingers between his, locking myself in place as tightly as I could, and looked into his eyes; "see, I never left.  I'm here.  Always"; breathless.  And he looked at me.  I can't place the expression in his face, but his eyes seemed to relax, find contentment.  Just then, I knew that it was safe.  He wasn't leaving me now.  I closed my eyes and nestled my head against his shoulder, basking in the warmth and scent of him.  Drifting back to sleep, I could feel the softness of the smile across my lips.*

I went in and out of many other dreams after this one.  None of them as powerful.  None of them as confusing.  I want it back, I want to slow it down.

Friday, November 18, 2011

One is the Loneliest Number

Tonight, I wish I could be writing something else.  I've been reading my friend Julia's blog head to toe in the past few days and it makes me wish for a happier one for myself.  I'm anxious for the time that I am able to talk about something besides my feelings of sorrow.  But I have no idea when that will be.

Over the past month or so, I've found myself pulling away from people.  When they leave messages, I don't always respond.  This is not something I am proud of, and it is very unlike me to behave this way.  I'm not doing it because I don't care.  It's that I have nothing good to say to anyone.  I haven't for the past 8 months.  Everything that comes out of me is steeped in sadness, loss, and wanting.  That has got to get old, right?  Correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm guessing I'm right.  I wonder how many people secretly cringe when they ask me how I'm doing.  It's just that life without TJ is nearly impossible to handle.  I can't pretend that I don't feel like I'm dying each time I remember we'll never be together again.  Lately, it's easier to keep to myself.  Why bother talking about the same shit over and over again?  Or worse, talking about shit that doesn't really matter.

I'm actually sick of hearing what comes out of my mouth when it's not the right time to be honest.  It weighs on me because I want to be in tune with my insides.  Stifling what I'm experiencing makes me feel even more awful, but it's not always the right time for expressing it.  This new position I'm in is fucking tricky.  I'm alone.  I'm frustrated.  I'm tired.  I'm jealous.  Often I find myself sitting still and staring at nothing.  I wish I was someone else.  I yearn for real conversations.  Serious conversations.  I don't have patience for niceties.  I want to dive head first into the reality that is loss.  I want to know everything I can about how you're feeling.  How are you experiencing this loss?  Please share with me.  I can't hurt any more than I already do.  I want to do this together.  I'm so, so tired of being alone.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Up Against a Wall

I'm always working.  Always trying to think about what I want.  How to get started in the new direction.  The past few weeks have been killing me.  The pain of missing him is too great.  I can't seem to focus on anything but the hurt.  The emptiness.  Today we celebrated my birthday with the family.  It wasn't as bad as my birthday, but still difficult in many ways.

My birthday was really hard.  The only time I felt relatively normal was in the middle of the day.  Feeling that, I thought for sure things would turn out much better than I had anticipated when I'd woken up crying earlier that morning.  But I was wrong.  So wrong.  As the light faded, so did the little bit of joy I had felt.  I spent the evening with four friends.  Two couples.  I didn't feel much like eating.  I didn't feel like talking.  Everything was so wrong.  That picture of us sitting together wasn't right.  Two couples, and then me.  I feel like I float out there on my own.  This is the way it is now.  I have to get used to it.  But knowing that doesn't make it any easier.  What makes it so difficult is that I knew what that was like.  I had a husband.  I know what it felt like and now it's gone.  They get to go home and sleep next to each other.  They don't have to climb the stairs alone to a dark room.  To pull back the covers on just one side of the bed knowing the other side will remain perfectly undisturbed.  I hate sleeping.  I just can't manage sometimes.  It's the loneliest time.  I want to feel his warm body next to me.  I want to fall asleep listening to the rhythm of his breathing.  Now the bed is large, cold, and empty.  I can never get comfortable.  I can never get warm.  I'm so lonely all the time and it's fucking horrible.

I took about an hour this afternoon to go to the cemetery before our family dinner.  I needed to get outside, to see him.  I sat down on the cold, damp ground by his feet.  I just sat and stared at the grass that covers him.  Noticed the different color leaves that had splayed so nicely over his grave.  I wondered if any of our friends have come to sit by him since his burial.  Do they know how much grass is there?  Have they seen the clover that has sprouted on the lower left side of the plot?  I started to cry.  And then I spoke to him.  The darkness I've been feeling inside came out in my voice.  I wanted to scream at the ground in front of me.  Suddenly, I realized that nothing had changed even though everything has changed.   Even though I wanted to scream, I started out the way I always do; the run down.  Like he's still alive and I'm telling him what I've been up to.  It's so lame, but it helps me get started so I can dig deeper.

"I love you so much, baby.  My birthday sucked, and I went to a baby shower yesterday.  She's got the cutest baby belly.  I wonder what mine would look like if I were pregnant, too."  Then I couldn't talk any more.  I sat there in silence, tears pouring from my eyes, the pain choking the words I wanted to come next.  I don't know how such a simple thought could have eluded me for so long.  I thought to myself "I still want the same things".  I've been trying so hard to figure out what I want now that he is gone, but the reality is that I still want all of the things I've always wanted.  Finding my voice again, I told him what I want out of life.  I want to be loved.  I want to be married to a wonderful man who will take care of me and be my equal.  I want to have babies.  I want the security and comfort I know only a partnership can bring me.  And then I thought to myself "I want to scream at you right now.  What am I supposed to do with this?"  I want the same things, but how can I ever have them without TJ?  How?  I threw up my hands and said out loud "It's impossible."  I feel so old.  Thirty one may as well be eighty one for me.  There is no way I will have what I want without TJ.  It's impossible.  How will anyone ever love me as much as he did?  But I don't want anyone else.  How do I get what I want when I can't have him?  It's impossible.  I said it over and over again, out loud.  I stared at his grave and cried.  I'm so mad at him for leaving me like this.  What am I supposed to do with this?  This body?  This life?  Where do I go from here?  I wanted to yell, I wanted to demand that he answer my questions.  Just what am I supposed to do now?  Now that I've been left with nothing.

This is torture.  Knowing what I want and being pulled in the opposite direction.  Like a nightmare when you're running towards something in the distance, but it just keeps getting smaller and smaller.  Moving farther out of reach until it disappears into the blackness.  I know what I want.  I know what kind of life I desire.  But how do I get it?  How?  It's impossible.  I can't attain those goals without a partner.  And I don't want another partner.  Everything I want is in conflict.  I want a happy life with a husband and family.  But I don't want anyone but TJ.  I don't want another man.  I can't imagine getting to a point where I could love another man deeply enough to be married and have babies.

I know what I want, but I can't work towards it.  It's not something I can create on my own.  I feel cosmically fucked.  It makes me sick.

Friday, November 11, 2011


Today is my 31st birthday.  I woke in the middle of the night crying.  Twice.  Tears streaming onto my pillow as soon as I was conscious.  I'd wipe them away and try to fall back to sleep, my mind blank.  As soon as I awoke for the day, the tears came again.  For years TJ had been the first person to wish me a happy birthday.  He'd roll over in bed, prop himself up on an elbow, kiss my lips, and say it into my ear.  Today I spent 45 minutes lying in bed trying to hear him say it.  Trying to remember what it felt like to have his arms around me, his lips on my lips.  But I couldn't find his voice in my head and I couldn't remember the feeling of being embraced.  I couldn't remember what it all felt like. 

I had the strangest dream last night, too.  I'm sure that doesn't help.  TJ was in it, the star.  He was with me every second but I knew he wasn't alive in the dream.  He explained to me that in order for him to move on to become something super natural he had to find another man to take care of me.  I was so confused because he was there, and why did he have to find someone else?  But I knew he couldn't stay.  I followed him around like a puppy as he talked with different men in the places we went.  I'd hook my arm in his while he chatted.  I remained silent, hoping he couldn't find anyone suitable so that he could stay with me.  Right before I woke up, he'd found someone for me.  And so I cried.

I've done the math.  This will be the first birthday without TJ in 16 years.  16 years of him wishing me a happy birthday.  12 years of him kissing me after saying it.  5 years of snuggling in bed and kissing me.  I told my family last night that I just want today to be over with.  I want to pretend like it's just another day.  Maybe if I don't make a big deal out of it, it won't hurt as much.  But it'll be impossible to forget that he's gone.  And that I'll never hear him wish me happy birthday ever again.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

All I Ever Wanted

A family.  My own family.  I almost had it.  I was so so close.  I had a husband who loved me more than anything in the world, and we were trying to expand.  It's all I've ever wanted; to be married, to be a mother, to be content.  When TJ and I had been dating for just one month I told him I wanted children.  I've wanted children for as long as I can remember.  When my sister came along it was the most amazing gift.  To be able to help raise her, to take care of her.  To feed her, to coo at her.  To make her giggle.  Even before TJ I knew what I wanted.  And when TJ did come along, it made my dream that much better.  Knowing he was the one I wanted that life with.  He made that life dream perfection.  All else was secondary.  It was the two of us, loving each other the best way we could.  And it worked.  As soon as we were married I begged for them.  He wanted to wait to settle in more, to have some more time together.  It was so hard to accept.  But I wanted him to want it, too.  So I waited.  Sometimes not so patiently.  Our friends would get pregnant and I waited.  I got used to waiting.  After a while, I tried to forget about it temporarily.  To enjoy what we had.  We had a great marriage.  We had lots of fun together.  I tried to remind myself not to push any of that way.  To not wish the day away on a future I knew would come soon enough.  Finally, the day I'd waited for my entire life came; hearing him say those words... that he was ready to start a family with me.  I think it was the best day of my life.  And so that was life for the next 8 months.  Paying attention to my ovulation schedule, propping a pillow under my butt after sex.  Eating healthy, taking prenatal vitamins, exercising, one cup of caffeine a day.  I know I could have continued to have a drink or two here and there, but I didn't want to risk it.  And then came the disappointment.  Every month tracking my schedule, waiting to see if I would be late.  Paying attention to everything my body did or didn't do.  I would constantly press on the sides of my breasts to see if they were sore.  Was I extra emotional?  TJ did his research, I wasn't surprised.  He had questions for me; had my sense of smell changed?  Reasons why my breasts would be sore or at what time the morning sickness might kick in.  Watching him so excited and prepared made me so happy.  This was really going to happen for us.  Finally.  All I'd ever wanted and it was almost here.  I took pregnancy tests every month.  I bought the early result fancy ones just in case.  And every month, nothing.  Always the little minus symbol, or the blue line, or the pink line.  Or the pink negative.  So many different tests, so many different ways for it to tell me that my dream hadn't come true yet.

All of it is over.  Gone.  And I thought seeing a negative result each month was the end of the world.  Now I have nothing.  No future with TJ.  No family of our own.  I don't think I'll ever get to be a mother.  I talked after TJ died about adopting or going to a sperm bank on my own, but I don't want to do this alone.  I want a happy family.  I just can't see it happening for me.  I feel like I"m being punished.  What could I have ever done to have been dealt this blow?  I wanted TJ.  I wanted his babies to grow inside of me.  I wanted to watch him put together the crib.  I wanted to watch him playing with them out in the grass.  When I tell my friends that I won't have that, they tell me that you never know what the future will bring.  That is true.  I just can't see it.  I have this horrible feeling that I don't deserve it.  That the universe it trying to tell me something by giving me what I wanted and then taking it all away.  I almost had it all.  Almost.  This is the fucking worst.  I would kill to be a mother.  A mother to our children.  It feels completely hopeless.  Like I don't even have a uterus or something.  I already feel barren.  So completely empty and useless.