Eight days until TJ's death anniversary. I didn't think things could feel worse, but they do. I went to shop for his grave stone tonight. They're more expensive than I'd expected. The one that I want, with no flair and no flash, will wipe out all there is left of the life insurance that I have. I have no job and I'm about to be flat broke. And I want to go back to school full time? Hah! I'll be up to my eyeballs in debt all over again. Not only that, but this time I won't have TJ to comfort me, trying to keep things positive. And not just surviving without his moral support, but being single. I'll be broke, sad, and alone.
I've always worried about money. It was as if as soon as we were married neither of us had any at all. And when TJ died, after all of our bills were paid off and I had a little to travel with, I still operated as if I had none. I didn't shop til I dropped, I didn't party. I used it as sparingly as I could. I never wanted that money. I wouldn't have traded TJ for all of the money in all of the world. Having it was a reminder that he was gone forever. "Oh, your husband died? Here's $____. That should do it!" Fuck, man. I remember the day that I got the check in the mail. I opened the letter with shaky hands and I guess my mom saw the blood leave my face because she guided me to lower my head and I just sat there. With my head between my knees, elbows resting on my thighs, I cried and cried. I couldn't breathe. All I could manage to choke out after a few minutes was "I don't want the money. I don't want the money." Over and over again I said it.
Now the worry and desperation have exploded back into my life. When I got back from Oregon I applied for two jobs. I just pray that one of them comes through, and soon. Once I pay for the headstone, that's it. I've got to have something coming in to pay the few bills that are due each month. And so here I am. Back right where I started, except I have less. Less love, less support, less hope. Could things get any worse? I have no idea. Anything is possible now that TJ has been taken from me. All of the optimism I could muster over the last 11 months, 2 weeks, and 7 days has winked out. It's all gone; my husband is gone, the future I wanted is gone, the little nest egg to cushion the blow is gone. I have nothing left in me to give.
But having nothing left to give seems to be illuminating a very important point right this very second. I realize that as much as being broke scares me, I wouldn't change a single thing that I've done since TJ died. I have no regrets about quitting my job and traveling. I did exactly what I needed to do. I am overjoyed that I really and truly listened to myself; took care of myself. I'm in a pile of shit now, yes, but I wouldn't change a single thing leading me up to this point. I have had the luxury of having no regrets at all since TJ died. I loved him the best that I could. I made sure he knew it every second of every day. I did everything I could for him. And since he has died I have done everything I can for myself. I owe it to TJ, and to what's left of my sanity, to try and remain calm about this money situation. Freaking out won't put cash in my pockets. I am actively seeking a way out of this hole having applied for those two jobs. I have to be satisfied with that for now. I know that's what TJ would say. He always told me that as long as I was taking an active role in my life, there would always be that comfort. He'd say you can't control anyone but yourself. And as long as you were doing everything possible, it would be enough. I'm trusting your wisdom, baby. Let it be true.