My own little corner of the bloggy universe….

Archive for April, 2016

March 4:44

Mar 26
4:44
5 months 23 days
25 weeks
175 days
4,200 hours
252,000 minutes
15,120,000 seconds

It’s been an extremely hard week. I don’t wanna do this anymore. 😢😢😢

Mar 19
4:44
5 months 16 days
24 weeks
168 days
4,032 hours
241,920 minutes
14,515,200 seconds

There are a lot of days I don’t think I can make it thru. Then there are those very few moments that I think maybe I can. Today would not be one of those.
Someone told me the other day it was good to see a smile on my face. They’re very rare… 💔

Mar 12
4:44
23 weeks
161 days
3,864 hours
231,840 minutes
13,910,400 seconds

Longest time period of my life. I hate it….so, so much. 💔

Mar 5
4:44
5 months 2 days
22 weeks
154 days
3,696 hours
221,760 minutes
13,305,600 seconds

John’s headstone is sitting by his grave, waiting to be permanently installed. It’s beautiful; I hate it, but it’s so perfect. The font looks a little like his handwriting. Everything is entwined, which is exactly how our lives were. I feel so lost without him. It seems like it was just yesterday, yet an eternity ago. No, it’s not really getting easier. Sometimes I wonder where everyone is that said “if you need anything….” No, I don’t have the emotional fortitude to reach out for help. No, I won’t be calling you (unless your name is JoAnn or a family member’s.) No, I wouldn’t turn down a call from anyone to check on me. Yes, I’m still completely heartbroken.

I see a grief counselor on Tuesday. No, I am absolutely NOT ready for that, but I don’t think I can put it off any longer. 💔

April 4:44

I will be adding these posts to a monthly 4:44 bc I want to keep them all together. I want to be able to look in one spot & see where I’ve been, what I’ve been thinking, & how far (or not) I’ve come.

April 30
4:44
30 weeks
6 months 27 days
210 days
5,040 hours
302,400 minutes
18,144,000 seconds

I found the paper with the cost of John ‘s emergency room visit & ambulance ride. It brings back so many horrible memories & thoughts. While I’m glad that bill isn’t hanging over our heads, I would gladly pay it somehow if they could’ve saved him.

I still can’t believe he’s gone. I hate this. 💔

April 23
4:44
29 weeks
6 months 20 days
203 days
4,872 hours
292,320 minutes
17,539,200 seconds

Most of the time, it seems like things are getting a *little* easier. Then, every once in a while, a thought, a song, a memory will absolutely assault me & there’s absolutely nothing I can do but cry. Picking up an oak tree to plant in John’s memory today was definitely one of those things. Parking just down the street from where we were when I called 911 that day was another. All I could do was stand there & cry….carrying that grief on my shoulders, then dragging it along behind me the rest of the day. I’ve survived, even on those hard days I don’t think I possibly can. 💔

April 16
4:44
28 weeks
6 months 13 days
196 days
4,704 hours
282,240 minutes
16,934,400 seconds

Things have been…. not terrible the last few days. Today is a different story. I mailed off John ‘s shirts to be made into quilts. Okay, not terrible. I got the deed to the cemetery plots & broke down. I don’t want to do this anymore. It’s so hard & I miss him so much. 💔

April 9
4:44
6 months 6 days
27 weeks
189 days
4,536 hours
272,160 minutes
16,329,600 seconds

The last couple of weeks have almost been more than I can bear. No idea why, other than grief is just so unpredictable & hard. So hard.

I miss my best friend. 💔

April 3
4:44
6 months
26 weeks 1 day
A freakin’ half a year 😢
183 days
4,392 hours
263,520 minutes
15,811,200 seconds

Not okay. Never okay. 😧
So many memories, so many missed opportunities, so much lost. 💔

April 2
4:44
5 months 30 days
26 weeks
Half a year
182 days
4,368 hours
262,080 minutes
15,724,800 seconds

Half a year. Some days, I think it’s getting easier to carry the grief & some days I’m not sure I can make it thru the next moment. It still doesn’t seem real. We had so many plans & dreams. He was counting down the years until it was just us again. Now it will never be just us, but just me. I don’t like that. At. All. 😢💔

Present Tense vs Past Tense

I know, at some point, talking about John in the present tense will make people uncomfortable. Do I really, truly care? At this point, no.

However, sometimes I find myself talking about him as if he just left town. Well, technically, I guess that’s relatively accurate. When I talk to the kids about things that were IN THE PAST, ie: Dad used to do/say/think whatever…. I always use past tense. However, when I’m talking about him & the last, oh, say…year, I find myself almost always using present tense. I’ve been catching myself doing it & it’s made me stop & contemplate why. Why is it so difficult to change that? Do I even really want to?

The best answer I can come up with is that my life, as I knew it, completely stopped the day he died. Maybe to my subconscious, time hasn’t gone on bc that means going on without him. The rest of the world keeps turning & everyone keeps going on about their lives while my world came to a screeching halt.

I don’t feel like I’m accurately getting my point across. It’s in my head; I know what I  mean,  but sometimes there just really aren’t the words to explain it to someone else. Unless you’ve experienced it & if you have, I’m sorry. I’m sure you understand what I’m trying to say.

All I know is that anyone that has listened to me talk about John like he’s just in the other room, thank you for not questioning why I’m doing it that way. It’s just how it is, at least for the present.

Real Talk 101

WARNING: This will probably be one of the realest posts I’ve ever done. Ever.

 

I’ve heard many opinions on grief & the journey it presents.

I’ve heard there are not just 5 stages, but multiple stages & those stages are never linear.

I know anger is one of those stages, be it one of the 5 or one of the multiple. I’ll be honest here. I’m angry. So very angry.

I’m angry at John for leaving, even though I know it wasn’t ultimately his choice. I’m angry that he didn’t take better care of himself after he was diagnosed with diabetes 5 years ago. I’m angry that, since then, we argued over his food choices. We argued over him drinking Coke. We argued over his lack of exercising. I was angry that he was gaining weight & he didn’t seem to care. I remember telling him once that I couldn’t do it for him, but if he wanted to be around for me & the kids, he needed to make some changes. I’m angry that it was too little, too late.

I’m angry at God. I’m angry that He allowed this to happen. I’m angry that He took my best friend. (If you EVER tell me God had a purpose for this, I may have to unfriend you & punch you in the throat. I will NEVER accept that there was a purpose or a plan for losing my husband & my kids’ dad entirely too early.) Jer. 29:11 used to be my favorite verse. “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” I don’t see how this could ever be for good, & what happened to my future? It’s gone; just like that. I’m angry about that.

I’m angry at his doctor. I’m angry that, even though his dad died at 44, John had high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, a mini-stroke, NO ONE ever mentioned testing his heart or checking to see if he had heart disease. HOW do you miss that?!?!?!? There are 5 red flags RIGHT THERE!!!

I’m angry in general. I’m angry that *I* have to try to be everything to the kids now. I’m angry that I have to be in charge of everything. I’m angry that I have to figure out how to be alone. I’m angry that I dreamed about someone else last night – knowing in my dream that John was dead & that’s why I was even talking to this person. I’m angry for the kids, bc they lost so much when they lost their dad. He was the most involved father I’ve ever known. As my oldest said, he was their training wheels, their support system, their hero.

I’m angry at myself. I’m angry bc one of the last things I told him before EMS came was that he needed to call his doctor first thing Monday bc something wasn’t right. I’m angry that I was too frugal to spend $2.00 to ride the elevator to the top of the monument instead of walking the freakin’ 330 steps up & then down. I’m angry that I was upset when he asked to stop outside the next place bc he wasn’t feeling well & all I could think about was being so miserably cold. I’m angry that I didn’t tell him I loved him. He apologized to me for not feeling well & messing up our anniversary plans. Read that again. HE APOLOGIZED TO ME & all I said was, “it’s not your fault.” I’m angry that I didn’t recognize what was going on. (Yes, I know. Hindsight is always 20/20.) I’m angry that I missed his symptoms back in freakin’ August. Would it have made a difference? Who knows? I’m angry that I watched him walk to the ambulance & that was the last time I saw him, except from the hallway of the cath lab where he was being worked on & already sedated & intubated. I’m angry that all I was concerned about was them checking his blood sugar – I never thought about it being something else. I’m angry that he was already gone by the time all the kids got to the hospital. I’m angry that there was no chance to fix it.

I’m angry that I didn’t get to tell him I loved him.

When does this anger stage end?

Loneliness

One of the worst things about having to walk thru grief is the loneliness that accompanies it. I’ve had people tell me they just don’t know what to say to me. I get that. I don’t know what to say either.

The worst loneliness doesn’t come from outside, though. It’s completely inside – I have no companion, no sidekick, no partner, no best friend, no lover, no one to cuddle up to at night, no one to snuggle with during a movie, no one to warm me up when I’m so cold I can’t stand it, no one to text random little notes to, no one to hold hands with, no mate to bounce ideas off or get his opinion on things, no adult presence who knows me as well, if not better, than I know myself, no one to always be there to comfort me when I’m upset. John was all of that to me. My identity was solely wrapped up in him. We were truly halves, & when we were together, it made us both complete.

Trying to figure out who I am now is practically impossible. I am paralyzed to some extent by the thought of doing the rest of life without him. We had plans & dreams – especially after the kids were grown & out of the house. We just bought a vacation package in July bc he wanted us to start travelling together.

I know I still have a houseful of kids, & the older kids that are out are still involved with what’s going on. It’s just not the same. There are so many things I can’t (or won’t) talk to them about, bc, if nothing else, he was still their dad. I could tell him anything & know he would be okay with it. Several times he asked me what I was thinking. If I was struggling, I’d simply ask if he wanted honesty or what he thought he should hear. He ALWAYS wanted honesty, whether it would be something he really didn’t want to hear or not. He could talk me off a ledge faster than anyone, even if he put me on that ledge to begin with. Maybe talk is the wrong word; he could HUG me off a ledge faster than anyone.

On my FB memories today, I had a survey come up from 2009. Here are some of the things that really hit home for me:

  • 8. Assuming you have a crush on somebody, what is it exactly that you like about him/her? If you don’t have a crush, what is the one quality that the person absolutely has to have?
    He understands & accepts me, no matter what.
  • 11. Do you worry about finding your soul mate and getting married?
    Nope, already did
  • The one you can stand for the longest amount of time:
    John
  • You absolutely couldn’t live without:
    John
  • Has the prettiest handwriting:
    John – when he thinks about it.
  • Never gets sick, damn them:
    John probably.

Was our relationship perfect? No, of course not. We tried really hard to make it the best we could & it was a constant work in progress. The last 6 months or so before he died were about as perfect as we could get. Yes, we went thru a lot of hell trying to get it back to that point.

I miss him.

Random Thoughts

…in no particular order…

  • Even after sleeping all night, I am still exhausted
  • Grief sucks. It sucks the life right out of you.
  • Grief comes in so many different forms.
    • Grieving for a friend & the loss of a relationship, that was never really a true relationship
  • I brought a box home from the gym last night to pack John’s shirts in to mail to a friend to make us quilts.
  • I have no idea when I’ll get it to the post office.
  • I don’t even know HOW to mail a package – John always did it for me.
  • I need to call the attorney.
  • I need to get all the tax info into the kids’ FAFSAs. Ugh…
  • I talked to a friend last night that lost her husband 7.5 months before John died.
  • While it was good to talk to her, we both struggled to not cry. (She had just gone to a visitation for a 3 mo old baby – her late husband’s best friend’s niece.)
  • There are so many things I think about on the hour & half drive to take K to school (& back). Too bad I can’t remember them when I get home.
  • I want to feel like I’m living, rather than just passing time.
  • Peppermint mocha creamer is amazing.
  • I need to do a phone dump to get all my pics/vids off so I have space in my phone again.
  • I found another no-fly song – From the Ground Up by Dan & Shay.
  • On the other hand, I can listen to You Should Be Here by Cole Swindell – at least sometimes.
  • Two mornings in a row, I woke up with that song running thru my head.
  • I should make a list.
    • I should actually read & DO the list once I have it made.
  • I need to purge my closet. & the rest of my clothes. & the T’s clothes (although Taryn has been working on hers already.)
  • While I don’t want to do anything about it, I really don’t want to go on without John. It’s so, SO hard. I miss him so much.
  • I miss the conversations, his presence, his touch, his voice, his laugh, the plans & dreams. We were great dreamers. Not so great in the practical application.
  • I need to get life insurance. I don’t even know how to do that.
  • Grief sucks. 😥

The Glaringly Obvious Absence

Before, I never really realized how much food is attached to memories. It has hit me multiple times in the SINCE.

Tuesday night, the T’s & I cooked dinner after practice – hot dogs, mac & cheese, “baked” beans…. The 3 of us sat at the table & ate. No biggie.

Wednesday, Tahni & I made lasagna & crescent rolls. The 5 of us sat at the table to eat & I felt like I’d been hit by a Mac truck. John wasn’t there, where he was supposed to be, thanking me for cooking & going on about how good it was. I struggled to hold back tears. His absence reaches out & smacks me right in the face every time we do this. Unfortunately, I think my people would revolt if I said I was never making lasagna again.

The thing is, though, during the week, John & I pretty much went our separate ways. He got up super early to take Kiernan to school then go on to work. In the afternoon, I left to pick up Kiernan & go to the gym. John would swing by the gym to pick up K & take him home, so we got a couple of minutes of “hi, how are you? See you when you get home.” By the time I got home, he was usually napping in his chair while watching TV & so there wasn’t a whole lot of interaction. We always made a point to go to bed together though.

Not a lot of opportunity to connect there.

All of our reconnection seemed to occur over food. On Wednesdays, since no one had to be at the gym, he would usually say, “Let’s go get something to eat.” That was our “date night” most weeks. Rarely, we would just stay home.

The weekends are the worst. That was completely our time. We would take Tahni to practice, hang out for a bit at the gym, go get breakfast – usually at McDonald’s bc I loved it, maybe do some errands, & go back to get Tahni. We would either cook together the rest of the weekend – grilling or such – or he’d want to go out again, just the 2 of us. It was our time to reconnect & gear up for the week ahead. (I have yet to eat McDonald’s breakfast – it was hard enough the first time I took the T’s. We sat at “our” table without even thinking about it, but John wasn’t there. We try to sit elsewhere now.)

Another of the biggest reminders that he’s missing, is the lack of text conversations. We rarely went a day without multiple texts. Sometimes, it was simply, “Hey, how’s it going? Are you busy today?” “Hey, our song is playing.” “Hey, I miss you. Wish you were here.” “I love you.” “Guess what?!?!?!?”

I still have all his texts saved on my computer & they’re still right there on my phone too. I don’t know how many times I’ve picked up my phone to text him, only to be broadsided with his glaringly obvious absence.