A Widow Wedding Anniversary

It has been six years since my husband's sudden death. 

Next week, October 27th, is my wedding anniversary. 

Again. 

It will be my seventh time going through our wedding anniversary without him here. 

It will be our "would have been 11 years" anniversary. 

I don't feel comfortable saying "it's our 11 year anniversary." 

Because it's not. 

He's dead. 

I'm alive. 

And the law says you can't be married to a dead guy. 

And really, 

it would be kind of creepy to be married to a dead guy. 

But here's the thing ... 

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Tiresome Grief

I’m just so tired.

 

Sitting here with all this week’s feelings, thoughts and words ping-ponging around my brain, that one just keeps rising to the top.

 

Grief is a heavy, heavy stone to drag around, and I’m tired. That sinister companion has changed so much, not just in my daily life but how I think about life altogether. 

 

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Unanswered Questions, and Other Stuff~

I guess one of the fallouts of living in the widow hood, is that we end up in our heads way too frequently, asking questions of ourselves, and of life, about life, ruminating on life in general.

The inside of my brain is a continual hamster wheel.

These are some of the things I wonder, the questions I ask, of myself.  Mostly rhetorically, because as soon as I find one answer, I ask another question within that answer.

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Go, Go, Go

In the past 30 days, we’ve had a birthday party/ family reunion, visits with friends, Sarah’s sister in town for a few days, Shelby’s best friend at the house after school for five days, a fall festival, halloween costume prep and decorations, dress fittings, tuxedo fittings, counseling appointments, extremely busy days at my work, extremely busy days with Sarah’s work, loads of homework for Shelby, Sarah’s birthday, concerts, trips to grandparents’, airport pickups, and all of the other general day-to-day minutia.

Vegetable harvesting, clothes washing, house cleaning, grocery shopping, dog walking, dish washing, dinner making and such all need to happen at least a few days a week.  Somewhere in all of it, at least a few hours of sleep need to happen.  

In the next 30 days, we have my birthday, a trip to a haunted house with one of our other widowed friends, Halloween (our favorite holiday), tuxedo pickup, a wedding rehearsal, the wedding itself, my parents’ anniversary, a trip to Canada for Camp Widow, Shelby’s 5K run, and best of all, the 3 year anniversary of Megan’s death.

 

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Missing That Hug

I wrote this post a few days ago in the middle of the night.  I'm posting it just as I wrote it on that night.  Read on.

*****

I think I must be the only person in the world to experience anxiety attacks while I am actually asleep. Seriously. It can be 4am and I can be in the middle of what I would hope to be a solid 8 hours, when suddenly I find myself awake and gasping for air. Gasping. No joke.

Such was the case this early morning around 4am. I woke up suddenly with a tight chest and a disconcerting inability to take in air no matter how hard I tried to inhale deeply through my nose AND mouth. Technically I was able to get the air in, but it just didn’t feel like it was enough and that sent me into panic mode. (No comments about heart attacks etc please. I assure you that my heart is working properly, and if you send comments in that direction I will just start panicking more.) By 5am I was trying to sleep sitting up in the hopes that it would help me breathe. By 6:20 am (the current time right now as I write this) I am two Ativan deep and soaking in a tub while trying to talk myself down from the proverbial ledge.

I have no idea why this happens to me. 

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Finding Myself Somewhere New

Mindfulness has always been something important to me, in one way or another. Usually, art and creativity have been my way of being mindful - my form of meditation. In the first few years after Drew’s death, I created deeply mindful photographs which helped me reach that meditative space. I don’t think I knew it at the time, but they created a spiritual connection for me. A deeply focused time of flow where nothing else but the present moment existed. In fact, the first few years after his death were some of the most deeply spiritual years in my life.

I think I lost that when I moved to Ohio, without really realizing it, and I’ve been trying to re-establish it ever since. I was so busy just trying to figure out this new life in a new place, that I got completely derailed from any deeper internal/spiritual connection. Photography was no longer working the same way for me. Being in a new and unfamiliar place made it too hard to connect into that flow with my camera. I've had trouble finding using any other creative stuff to get that connection for long either. So, I’ve felt lost and not even sure exactly why until recently. Not knowing what wasn’t working. Not knowing what was missing. But knowing something was indeed missing...

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Views from Auschwitz

Part of me is happy Linzi wasn’t here with me in Poland for this trip. Today we visited Auschwitz. It was emotional. It was eye-opening. It was heavy.

 

I don’t think she could’ve handled it emotionally. She was such a compassionate and loving woman. The pictures of the victims made her look extremely healthy by comparison.

 

Auschwitz was a mixture of emotions. I found myself in awe of the magnitude of this tremendous event and the true scope of it all.  It’s hard to fathom something you’ve only read about it in books. Seeing it in person perhaps isn’t even enough to let it sink in.

 

There were three times I was caught off-guard, dumbfounded, and with no response other than to let fall the tears down my cheeks with futile attempts to suppress them.

 

I walked past the pile of prosthetics of disabled veterans, killed by the very country they’d fought for years prior in World War I.

 

I remember walking past the pile of suitcases and bags, packed by unsuspecting multitudes of people who were told to pack for new settlement, paradise even, via propoganda. I noticed their names were written upon them, along with some letters and various numbers. What they stood for, I could not be sure, but one thing it reminded me of that I often forget when reading about these events: 

 

They had names.

 

All of them. To me or anyone really they were strangers...but to someone, they were a mother, a father, a sister, a brother, a relative, a close friend, a confidante. They had names.

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Word Jumble

Days like today. 

All is fine. 

I have not much to say. 

Birds are singing,

sun is bright, 

autumn has brought her glory. 

Im not feeling particularly sad.

Im in love.

Finally. 

Life is life again, 

and Im not just existing,

anymore. 

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Breaking Home

If you’ve been following the slow-motion event that is the foreclosure on my home here in Hawaii, there is an update. The commissioner who was appointed to handle the auction did a site inspection today. I am waiting to hear the dates for the two open houses she is required to hold, probably in November. Soon after that, auction will be scheduled and held. After it is confirmed that it was sold by the court…that’s it. We vacate.

 

Even though I knew it was coming, I still collapsed in tears today. This has been my home for 16 years…12 of them happy years with my husband. And I am grateful I’ve had nearly five more, and much of that time has been shared with my boyfriend…who is being extremely gracious, generous and supportive, by the way.

 

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Nine D's and a C~

Words. I think about words in this widowed life.

How can I, how do I, describe this widow life?

What word best describes this widow life?

It’s difficult to find that one word, isn’t it, because there are so damn many that apply, to this widow life.

Dislocated. Discombobulated (that’s my fave), disoriented, disengaged, disturbed, disconnected, disrupted, displaced, disorganized.

Clearly, I like words that begin with the letter D.

Also, one C word works well. Confused.

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