After our income fell drastically, we moved into a one-bedroom apartment at a great location; it’s only a 20 minute walk to Anisha’s school. However, it is not a big, character home like the ones her two best friends live in. Recently she said, “I wish we lived in a big house like my friends.” I can’t describe how hard the reduced income has been on me. For me it’s a lot harder than for my daughter because she doesn’t know any better since she doesn’t recall our previous home. I know I should not compare families. Various parent friends have told me, “Nothing good comes from comparing your family to other families. I know all of this, yet I still get frustrate when I see, or at least I think I see, other people enjoying easier lives.Read more
It is easy enough for most of us to identify with our own, “widowed” side of the story. We’re the ones left behind when our partner dies. We are all suddenly single parents, sole breadwinners, alone, scared, and confused. It doesn’t matter if we’ve had years to accept the impending death, or minutes.
But, what if we were on the other side of that coin? What if we knew we were the ones leaving others behind? If we knew that our children, partner, friends and family were going to have to be without us? What if we had to trust...REALLY trust that when we were gone, it would be horrible for our loved ones, but everything would be alright?
Even more risky, what if the riskiest thing we had to do was the one thing that kept us around longer?
This is what I’m thinking about this morning, after talking with an old friend yesterday.Read more
I’ve had very few visitors since Tin passed away. I don’t know if the reason is avoidance, being unsure of how I’ll be with guests or just that life goes on and we become too busy for the little things. Approaching the first anniversary of Tin’s passing, as the warmer month’s and spring break approaches, I’m starting to get the calls to stop in for a weekend.Read more
Last week, I wrote about dealing with fear. More specifically, the fear of more bad things happening. Of the feeling of waiting for the other shoe to drop. I think it’s normal when you’ve experienced any major loss to begin to fear another one coming. So for the past six months or so, I’ve been having an increasingly big fear of someone else in my life dying or some other horrific thing happening.
Since writing last week’s post, I feel a little bit better about all of this. They’re still there… but it felt kind of like giving myself permission to have those feelings by sharing them aloud.
I think that’s the great thing about sharing our fears and struggles… it takes some of the heaviness out of it. It gives us permission to feel how we feel. I definitely felt a weight lifted off having shared those feelings out loud. And maybe even more importantly, it helped me to accept that I felt that way.Read more
In July, it will have been 8 years since my husband's sudden death from cardiac arrest bulldozed into my life.
There are so many days when I trick myself into thinking that Im really okay now and maybe this wont affect me anymore.
And then I get knocked over by something such as this .......
On Wednesday, I went to the gym (YMCA), where I have been exercising with a pool workout routine, 4 to 5 times per week. On Wednesday, I did my workout routine with my water weights and laps and such, then went out to the adjoining room for my favorite part - the post-workout hot tub sit. While sitting there with the water jets on my sore joints, one of the older ladies walked in from the pool area. She had left the class early because her chest felt tight, she was really hot, and she "didn't feel right." That's pretty much the only "warning" my husband gave , according to the staff at Pet-smart , where he collapsed that day while working his part-time job and his volunteer work with animal adoption, almost 8 years ago now. He told his manager casually, after coming out of the restroom: "I dunno, I just don't feel right." The manager asked if he wanted to go home. Apparently, Don being Don, said "Nah, I''m fine. Ill stay until my relief comes." Half-hour later, he was lying on the floor, in cardiac arrest.Read more
This past six months or so I’ve been noticing a bit of a looming feeling in the background of my mind. Things in my life are relatively dialed in for the time being. I have a new life, a family, a routine of day to day things. I have dealt with enough of the bigger stressors that I now have more time and energy to tackle and explore smaller things like organizing the house and my own mind better. Essentially, the fires have been put out and I feel like it has opened up some space to explore a little. For me though, that also comes with an incredibly challenging sense of doom.
When things start to feel calm and in order, I start to get scared. I guess I start looking for what’s going to go wrong. I’ve had that feeling my whole life really, not just since being widowed. My mom died when I was nine. I struggled with depression for about 2 years after that, with no one to really talk to about it. My dad fell into drinking pretty bad when I was in my late teens and thru my twenties. Then he died when I was 27. Three years later, Drew died suddenly in a crash.
From the time I was nine years old, I have not gone more than 7 or 8 years without something catastrophic and life altering happening to me. Much more of the time, it has been every couple of years. It is currently nearing year seven since Drew died… so I guess it isn’t surprising that I am dealing with these feelings of impending doom.Read more
I miss him, I miss him, I miss him.
Why did this have to happen?
How do I come to a place where things make more sense?
How do I blend my life today with the life I never finished?
Why do I get to keep living and he doesnt?
How will it ever be okay that he won't experience new things?
Will the missing of him ever get less intense?
How do I stop being terrified about things that havent even happened yet?
Will I ever be at peace with death itself?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
I have always hated change. Especially when something would change drastically or quickly, and I didnt have much choice in the matter. Like that time when I was about 7 years old and we went on a class field trip to a Maple Farm, and I somehow ended up with a gigantic ball of maple syrup in my long, curly, gorgeous hair. And then my dad, for reasons I cant quite remember (maybe my mom was away on business or something), took scissors, and CUT OFF MY HAIR so that it went from being down to my waist, to just below my ears. He couldnt get the huge ball of syrup out, so he cut it all off without telling me first. It was just suddenly gone.
Or that other time when 3rd grade ended, and the town decided that the street we lived on would no longer have bus pickup to school, and that instead we would be "bussed" over to the new school that was on the other end of town, because we were considered part of that district or county or whatever. So with no notice at all, I had to leave all my friends and go to this other school that I didnt want to go to.
There are so many other examples, but these two were the first that came into my mind.
So you can tell Im not bitter about them or anything.Read more
I have watched loved ones turn into corpses, and, I somehow managed to survive. Being alive means I get to watch an amazing little girl grow up, but each and everyday, I daydream of what life would be like if Anisha’s mother and grandparents were still with us. I try to look on the positive—I am the ONE who gets to raise an amazing little girl! I get to feel her hand on my face in the morning, “Dada, wake up! I’m hungry.” I get to hear her say, “Daddy, look at my new dance move!” or “Daddy I wish I could hug you forever and never, ever let go!” I try hard to remind myself of the precious joys of watching a girl who is a blend of my wife and I mature. I try, yet I still feel this never ending abyss of pain, fear and anger.Read more