Five More Minutes

I want to begin this post by letting you know that I am not suicidal. I am not going to do anything to harm myself , nor would I ever. Expressing feelings and taking actions on those feelings are two different things entirely, and I know this very well, and I am very aware of this. I am saying this because I know that some of you that may be reading this are widowed by suicide, so I am sensitive to how you may hear or take the words I am going to type tonight, and I realize they may be triggers for you as well. I don't want to worry anyone - truly. That being said, there are some strong emotions that I need to get out right now, and I need to say them here, because where else can I say them, if I can't say them here?

I feel lost. Hopeless. I feel as if I have somehow gone back in time to month one or month seven or month eighteen after the death of my husband Don - those months and days where I honestly did not understand how I could possibly do this for even five more minutes, and where all I could see was darkness and more pain. The only reason that I know for sure, now, that I can, in fact, do this for another minute and possibly forever, is because I am still here. I am here right now, typing this, feeling this intense pain, which feels a lot like the pain I felt all those many months ago.

It is still so shocking to me. Still. After 3 years and 7 months, it is still so incredibly shocking and insane to me, that my husband got up one morning, left for work, and never came back home. It is still shocking to me that him being dead is forever. It's not for a year or two, or five or ten, or even twenty. It is forever. He will be dead forever. It is still shocking to me that I can go months feeling high and happy and joyful and awesome and like I have made incredible, wonderful progress in my healing - and then still - still - find myself right back in that scary, awful, bleak, horrific, giant gaping hole of hopeless, that I am in tonight. How long will this be my truth? How long will grief have the upper hand? Always? Will it always be able to take me and shove my face in it's wrath, for as long as we both shall live? How long will grief own a piece of me, and how long will I be shocked by this, as if it's a brand new thing, each and every time?

I am still here. Breathing. Living. Trying. I am creating and building a new life for myself, because that is what you are forced to do when you find yourself 39 and widowed. That is what you do when the world you had is forcefully taken from you for no reason, with no warning, and with nobody asking your permission. I know that I will be okay. I know that I will continue to create a life for myself that includes and honors my life with my forever dead husband - a life that honors me. I know this only because I have been doing it all this time.

For 3 years and 7 months, I have been making that choice, to get up each and every day, and make an attempt at life. I have felt joy. I have understood the weight of this "new joy" that exists in the "after" since my husband died. I know and I feel that everything is much bigger than it seems, and that nothing is as simple as happy or sad anymore. Maybe it never was. I know how to shape my life and I know that I am perfectly capable of doing so.

 But sometimes - like tonight - I just don't much feel like doing it. I don't feel like being inspiring, or writing my book, or helping others process their losses, or writing about my deepest and darkest emotions, or taking the pain and turning it into comedy. Sometimes, I just want to lie in my bed and go to sleep for a really long time, just so I can have five seconds where I don't have to sit inside this goddamn pain. I want five minutes where this is no longer my life. I want five hours where I'm not the girl who tragically lost her husband, before we even got to share our lives.

I have never been a drinker. I have never taken a pill of any kind to help mask or aide in my emotions. I feel everything. I choose to be that way, because I don't know how to be any other way. But some days, like now, feeling every single thing and every single emotion, feels like there is a building on my shoulder, and I have to somehow hold it there and balance it, and make sure it doesn't fall down and kill people all over the sidewalk. Some days, the very idea of simply existing for another minute in this life that I was handed, is so utterly exhausting, I cannot imagine coping with it or living in it, for one more second. Some days, I cannot think past the next five minutes. I cannot think about how much I miss our life together, or how much I miss the future life we never had together. I cannot think about the fact that I will never get to be old with my husband, or know what it's like to take care of him when he is 80, or 70, or 63, or even 50. I cannot think about what the hell is going to happen to me in the future. Eventually, the 39 year old widow becomes the 80 year old widow who never had children and has no family left that is alive, and now she is sick and completely alone. Who will take care of her then? Who will care? What will happen to her? What will happen to me? Who will care about me? If I start to go there, I will get stuck in a loop of hopeless, that I don't know how to get out of. If I start to think about those things, the panic and anxiety begin - and I don't know how to stop them.

There is an ache in my heart that never goes away. Some days, most days now, I can turn the volume on it way down, so that it doesn't disrupt my life anymore. Most days, that ache lies dormant in the background, while I take the reigns on my life. But today is not most days. Today, that ache where my husband's physical presence on earth used to be, is turned all the way up, and the button is broken. I cannot turn it down, I cannot make it stop, and I cannot listen to it for another five minutes. Some days, like today, the only thing to do, is go to sleep, and hope like hell that when you wake up, the ache has subsided.

I am not suicidal. I would never do anything to harm myself. I do not want to die. Not really. But there are some days, when I just really do not want to live either. Please don't worry. I will be okay. I have evidence. I have proof. 3 years and 7 months of proof. I can do this. I have been doing this. I will keep doing this. Even on the days when I cannot live inside the hurt for five more minutes.

Don't worry. I will keep choosing to live, because my husband doesn't get that choice. I will keep feeling the pain, because pain demands to be felt. I will keep the promise to myself - the one I made to always remember; that life is stronger than death, and love is everlasting, and time is only what you do with it.

I will not stop living life, even on nights like tonight, when I don't much feel like living.
I will not give up.
Everything that once was, can change in an instant.
Hang on.
Just for five more minutes ...


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