I am tired of being brave. I am tired of being strong. I am tired of being a hero and inspiration to everyone around me. You don't know how I do it? Neither do I. I wish I could break sometimes. I wish I could just stop. I wish I could take option B. But I can't. I don't know how to.
So I just cry and scream. And wonder why me. But nothing changes. Nothing magical comes from my tears to make my life better.
I only know how to feel sorry for myself for so long. Before I tell myself to man up. And go forward.
These breakdowns become very hard. I have shut everyone out from seeing the real me. The weak one who is scared and alone. The one who needs someone.
Last week I reached out to Michele the founder of soaring spirits. I was so low I just typed. I typed everything I was feeling. And the amazing thing was she got it. She understood. I'm not alone. I'm not the only one who feels this way. And as hard as it is to see now it will get better. I just can't give up.
It's ok to be tired. It's ok to give up on this day. Today. But not tomorrow.
Mike left around 3am Saturday morning, headed out to West Virginia. It's his first major solo backpacking trip since we've been together. Three nights out in the mountains alone, with no cell service. Our only form of contact has been a satellite device that lets him send me preset “all is well” messages with his location every few hours (this is proving to be a complete Godsend for quieting my mind, which is trying like crazy to create horrific stories of him breaking a leg or being mauled by a bear while I’m sitting on the couch watching TV).
I don’t have to tell any of you the sort of feeling this trip brings up. Especially if your person died from a sudden loss, while they were away on a trip. This specific trigger is one I have known I would have to face, some day.
The old me would not bat an eye over this sort of event. I am not a needy person, nor have I ever been. I can spend hours and days alone, and enjoy myself so completely in the space of solitude. For me, it is grounding. Drew was often on trips for work, long weekends or week long trips, sometimes out of service for most of the day. So I was used to this sort of thing before. Well, the old me was.
The new me though? She will be holding her breath until he walks through the door. She will be imagining all sorts of things that could go wrong. Because last time my person left for a trip, he never came back…
This week if the first anniversary of Kaiti’s husband John’s death. I am filling in for her this week, and I ask that you send her your virtual love and support as she makes her way through the anniversary of a day that altered her life. Sending much love your way, Kaiti. May John’s love fill your day in unexpectedly beautiful ways.
Over the past five years whenever I’ve done something that I believe Phil would have either actively disliked (getting a tattoo) or probably didn't appreciate (leaving his ashes in a locked safe for three years) I have used this phrase, "Well then you shouldn't have died," in a sassy justification of my behavior.
This phrase when looked at from another angle goes something like this, "If you hadn't died__________." Since Phil’s death, there have been hundreds of ways to fill in the blank. Here are a few from the first couple of years: If you hadn't died I wouldn't be harboring evil thoughts for the poor, unsuspecting fence contractor who asked me for a long term life plan, four months after you died. If you hadn't died I wouldn't be standing in the bathtub in my Ugg boots, your boxers, and a sweatshirt stomping my feet to try to convince whatever animal is under the house that he wandered into unfriendly territory and should leave immediately...at one in the morning. If you hadn't died I wouldn't have to work twice as many hours at the same time as I became responsible for twice as many household duties. If you hadn't died I wouldn't be home alone crying into Chinese food for one when the kids go off to their dad's for the weekend. If you hadn't died your shoes wouldn't need a new home, and I wouldn't be wearing both our wedding rings. If you hadn't died I wouldn't be the person who hushes a room every time she walks into it and then spends the rest of the evening wearing her best 'really I am fine' mask.