The heart knows...
I had a feeling it was getting close. So, I looked up how long Mike has been dead. And, there it was, 1,000 days exactly. I KNEW it. And, I didn't know it because I am some sort of math whiz. Nope. I felt it in my heart. And, the computer confirmed what my heart already knew. Monday August 12th, 2019 I will have lived ONE THOUSAND DAYS without Mike.
I knew that this day would come. And, I feel dumbstruck. I feel nothing and the weight of everything - all at once. Early on, I didn't know how I would live without him. For months, I literally took it minute by minute. I would fight to breathe from moment to moment And, sometimes breath eluded me. Then, after a while, I broke the hours up into quarters and I survived them as they came. Then, eventually I just got through each half-hour without dying. And, then after many months I lived from hour to hour without him.
Sometime after the first year, I found a way to make it through the day without a lot of preparation or thought. I just made it through because I had no other choice. I lived without him. And, as each day drew to a close, I was genuinely shocked that I actually made it. Every night, as the moon came out, I broke into a loneliness that I was sure would swallow me whole. But, I survived. And, now, today as you read this, I have survived outliving Mike for 1,000 days. I feel like someone should be dripping praise all over me. I feel like I should be awarded a medal or something. But, there isn't a badge of honor for this type of thing. There is no ceremony. No one knows. Not one person, besides me, is aware that today Mike will have been dead for 1,000 days. Grief is like this. We achieve many milestones alone. We celebrate in our own hearts. And, we feel the emptiness and aching in solitude.
Well, it’s that time of year again. I’m here in Texas, with Sarah and Shelby, to celebrate you. This is what, year...five for me? That seems crazy. We went to your grave today, and it’s I guess looking good as ever. The little heart shaped rocks, the trinkets...the helicopters; they’re all still there. Your mom had some pretty nice flowers set up too. Lilies, I think. I dunno. I’m pretty sure you don’t care all that much, considering that it’s been 7 years, and your loved ones are still making it a point to come by and “tidy up”.
Anyway, you should have seen it tonight. Your parents are totally loving having Shelby around. Playing ping-pong with her, your mother showing Shelby around her business, rendering Peanut both in awe of all of the scientific equipment, and speechless, your dad and I telling “dad jokes” to her, and even letting her drive the farm vehicles around. It’s almost like Shelby is their granddaughter.Read more
Does anyone else feel like they pay less attention to deaths these days? Hear me out. I’ve noticed this trend, at least in me, of learning of a person that might have been significant to me has died. I note it, give it a quick “that sucks, for their widow”, and go about my business.
Tim Conway (a comedian I grew up admiring), Bart Starr (a legendary quarterback that I was a fan of), or Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca!) have all died in the past month or so, and I kind of shrugged it off. I didn’t write out some long, heartfelt facebook post about how they meant the world to me. I didn’t really even “mourn” them. I acknowledged the death, thought about their widows for a second, a promptly moved on with my day.
Death happens now. It happens to young, old, married, unmarried, long-term, sudden, the worst of us, and the best of us. It just “is”. It’s not discriminatory or choosy. It’s random. When those deaths occured, they were just one each, in a line of billions over the millenia.Read more
My new year begins each April 21.
That's the date of Chuck's death.
It's the only new year that carries any meaning for me.
What do I care about January 1?
April 21 is the day my life incinerated and I was eviscerated.
So it stands to reason, at least in my mind, that this is the day where I look back, and, insofar as I'm able, look ahead.Read more
This isn't going to be an upbeat blog.
No apologies for that, but fair warning.
I don't have it in me today.Read more
Well the past two weeks I have been absent from blog writing. The first anniversary of Tin’s passing was quickly approaching and I honestly was scared. Scared to think about it. Scared to talk about it. Scared that when the day came, it would make it more true. For the first few months, holidays, birthdays I felt like it was a short enough time span to still be a dream yet the passing of the first anniversary meant it really wasn’t a dream. It wasn't a nighttime nightmare. It was reality...Read more
This Sunday it will be 6 years since Chuck died.
Just writing that number leaves me breathless, and not in a good way.
How can it be 6 years?
Though it might as well be 6 centuries. That's how it feels.
So, my thoughts on this fractured time as they meander through my mind...Read more
I did it. Maybe I didn’t outwardly realize I was doing it but I did it. I ignored the rising flood.Read more
As the first anniversary of Tin’s passing ebbs closer, I find myself at the gate to the last season of the firsts.Read more
Anniversaries are, in general, a prompt for looking back. They’re an annual reminder to be reminded of the past. While oftentimes, an anniversary is also a milestone, it still remains that, simply put, an anniversary measures the passage of time.
They don’t really MEAN anything to widows. Our person is neither more, nor less dead on their death anniversary than they are on any other day, but damned if we aren’t reminded of the fact that they ARE dead a whole hell of a lot more.
Interestingly, other dates tend to morph into this reminder as well. Shelby’s upcoming birthday? I’m always reminded of the fact Megan isn’t there to see her reach twelve years old. Halloween? Megan loved halloween...she would enjoy being here. The anniversary of the date I was discharged? Oh wow, now I remember how I met Megan a few months after that.
That’s the thing, it’s like I can’t have an anniversary or holiday anymore without feeling the pressing need to remember Megan and either A) remember how she was on that day, or B) point out the fact that she’s not there.
But today’s anniversary? It’s different.Read more