I haven’t written in a couple of weeks. I could say I’ve been busy but really it is because I didn’t feel inspired to write. Writing for me is very specific. I have to feel I need to write to portray an aspect of my life that might help another. I don’t want to just write anything to have something written. There is an emptiness to that method. There was another reason hanging in the shadows and distracting me from being in the moment. I was gearing up for a professional conference that I was going to present at. Was it the presentation? No and yes. The last time I saw all of these people was 2 years ago when Tin was texting me he thought he had the flu. I wish he had gone to the doctor right than but he waited for me to get home. There is unnecessary guilt here, regardless if it is warranted, it is here. Had I only been home, had I only picked a career that didn’t take away valuable time from him. Had I only solved it sooner than he would be here and I wouldn’t be headed to a grief summit.
70. 20. 10. 65. 85. 60. 1.
East to west to north to south and back again.
The Oregon coast. The road to the Keys. New England. The Southwest. Deep South.
Roads and directions and places and, most of all...memories.Read more
I miss your touch desperately.
When you were alive my skin knew your touch by heart.
I knew how you felt.
I knew that the stubble on your cheeks wasn’t that rough;
Your shoulders were wide and your chest was solid.
Your hands were thick and strong.
I remember that your nails were always kept cut short because you thought it was gross when people were unkept.
I still know how your lips felt pressed against mine.
I still know how your goodbye kiss tasted.
I know how your “ hey, baby come here” good morning kiss feels.
I still know your kiss.
And, I miss it.
I miss it more than any words I can write.
I know how it feels to fall asleep on your chest.
And, I miss this feeling every single night.
Sometimes I miss you physically holding me so much I feel like I could crawl out of my skin.
When I acknowledge that there is nothing that can ever allow me to touch you again I feel nauseated.
Death means, never again.
No matter how much I want your touch and your warmth and your kiss, I can never feel this again as long as I live.
Physically, you are not available to me ever again.
That statement takes my breath away.
The reality of this, puts a lump in my throat and an ache in my chest.
The heaviness of this feels like it is crushing my heart.
I miss you Mike.
And, I miss your touch.
(And, this is a fucking understatement.)
It has been over 2.9 years since you died.
Since you died, I have diligently and carefully worked to keep you alive in my mind.
I have replayed our conversations thousands and thousands of times.
And, I have memorized our words by heart.
In my mind, I still talk to you every single day.
I know exactly what you’d say in our imaginary dialogues.
Except, I can not hear your voice.
Over and over again, I have watched our life together play out in my imagination.
In my thoughts, you are still here.
You are still real.
Except, you’re not here anymore…
My whole life, I’ve played it safe and small because I grew up within a family that taught me to be practical and frugal and not take risks. I’m sure a lot of us grew up in that kind of family. They did their best, but the illusion of safety and security was always a pretty big focus. Even after my mom died and it became apparent that safety from pain really wasn’t a thing, we still went on trying to be safe from pain for the rest of my childhood. Needless to say, it didn’t set me up so well for all the rest of the pain I was going to experience in life.
When Drew died, a lot of the tactics my family taught me about trying to achieve safety fell apart. It was like watching a sandcastle that I had carefully constructed for years be hit by a tsunami while I was busy putting the last touches on it. All I could do was watch as his death smashed into all of my tediously laid out walls and smartly built turrets. Suddenly, it didn’t matter how skilled I was as building walls, or how cleverly or beautifully I put them together. It didn't matter how much time and effort I had put into it all. The entire thing dissolved and all I could do was watch as the sand slowly disintegrated between my fingers and left me standing there... empty handed. Exposed. In shock.
I will never forget that feeling. Or that moment, which for me, happened in one phone call.
I went to Chuck, a few days before he died, to have a semi final conversation with him.
I hoped that we'd have more conversation, but the cancer was taking over and I knew he didn't have much longer on this earth.
Even writing those words shreds my heart, as if I'm in those last days again.
Fucking cancer.Read more
I’ve had some really weird and disturbing dreams the past week. The sort of dreams that don’t really relate to anything in my actual life but have lots of very stressful or strange things going on in them. In these dreams, nothing appears to relate to my actual life in any particular way. Nothing symbolic even seems to be obviously about my life.
They might not be welcome, and the past few nights I’ve caught myself feeling a tinge or dread when going to bed because I don’t want to have more disturbing dreams. Still though, it makes me think back and be grateful that these nightmares are just that - nightmares and not real. It makes me think back to the year Drew died, and how many nights I had bad dreams about how he died. In the dreams, he was either angry with me and leaving me, or had found someone else and was leaving. Not a single time did one of these dreams show the true reason he was gone - that he had died suddenly in a helicopter crash. Helicopters were never in a single one of these dreams in fact. It seemed as though my mind was trying to make sense of what had happened to him in the trauma of it all. So it would create these false stories that he had left, or that he was far away and not coming back for one reason or another - none of them ever death.Read more
So the feelings are the same, just as intense but not as often and demanding. I miss Clayton every day but the immediate sting when the thoughts rush forward is milder with time. My eyes still water each day but there are more days of laughter than tears. The dust has settled and now I’m feeling unsettled. A year ago I feared I would have to move out of the apartment that Tin and I shared. People don’t realize that when you become a widow most often times your finances flip. Your household income drops but all the same responsibilities are there. We, the widowed, are billed for our loss. As if life isn’t taxing already.Read more
Whispers of you echo through my years.
Echoes now, even more than memories.
The passing of Time has dulled the pain,
But it has also sullied my memory.Read more
Last weekend I was at a close friends wedding. I loved the people, the venue and the time away from my regular hectic schedule. On a beautiful hill at a colonial inn in rural New Hampshire, we all gathered under three towering maple trees to watch two friends join together.