An Unexpected Return Home

Well I made it. I made it through the first wedding since Tin passed only two months ago and it was followed by the next day being the first Father’s Day without my father. There were times I couldn’t hold back the tears and times I couldn’t catch my breath. I felt like a stranded fish. How ironic to be a crying stranded fish that needs salt water to breathe but the water is blurring you vision instead of spilling over your gills. I made it through the night with the fun songs, the heartbreaking songs that meant joy to all the others in the room, the condolences from family that haven’t seen me since Tin passed and catching myself rubbing my own palm and realizing I was just hoping to feel Tin take my hand. It’s not just losing the person it’s losing all the plans you had with that person and watching other people be rewarded with what you have lost.

The plane ride home was going well until I fell asleep. Dreams of the plane crashing, my apartment being robbed while I was gone and “Oh my God is my dog safe?”. What would I do if Roan was gone? I need to get home and the panic sets in. I move forward and jolted awake startling the guy in the seat next to me realizing I was locked 10,000 ft. from the answers to cure my panic. Of course everything was fine and Roan was tail wag crazy but as I returned home so did the stomachaches and dark clouds I had been carrying before my trip. It was an unexpected return home to realize how lonely and depressed I was. Skip it and go to bed. Work in the morning.

Now I find myself typing because of another’s return home. Tin’s ashes have been staying over his mother’s house until we could take him up to the family farm to be buried on his birthday July 15th.  Another date I’m scared to meet which is rushing towards me. Tin’s mother Judy had a stroke and has been in the hospital. Today I got the call that she is being flown up to live near Chicago. She won’t get to go to her home before she goes. Everything she has will be left behind for her niece to handle as her health shows her fate. By chance I asked (assuming) that Tin’s cousin had taken Tin’s ashes up with her on her recent visit. She hadn’t. My stomach turned and my heart dropped…Tin has been in his mother’s house in the dark all alone waiting for someone to return for him. The brick wall of guilt and wave of sadness is something I can’t describe. I left work and went to rescue him. He had wanted to come home one last time before passing but the three flights of stairs were too much and the reality too hard for us to endure that final climb. I picked up Tin’s ashes and I held him in my arms. I realized this was going to be his last visit. This was my last time helping him up those stairs. He lighter and my heart heavier on his unexpected return home.

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  • Lisa Richardson
    commented 2018-06-23 23:30:51 -0700
    Six years have passed since the last time I held my Tony’s ashes in my arms. We were sitting on the bowsprit sailing on a sunny afternoon, his favorite pastime. Cherish that memory of bringing Tin home along with all the others. They will be painful at first but oh so precious in the years to come. Although your life is forever changed, the pain won’t always be this raw. For now just let it wash over you and try to remember to breathe. We’re all here with you.
  • Cathy
    commented 2018-06-23 06:10:33 -0700
    Feeling your sorrow and pain. That first wedding 3 months after my husband died was so so hard, all the happy faces while I was crying inside. I wandered the parking lot, waiting til I could drive my parents home. Another family wedding looming which I don’t want to attend, already stressing about it. I’ve learned to do what it best for me, and not to worry what everyone else thinks I should do.

    I’ve had multiple losses, realizing we all will some day. Dates will loom large forevermore, the days leading up to them are actually more difficult than the day itself. Make a plan for significant dates, even if it is taking the day off to do nothing. One day at a time, be kind to yourself, take care of you as best as you can.