There are days when this new life feels so connected to past lives. Days when I swear I can feel the joy of all our loved ones radiating through from some other realm. Usually, it’s the days I let go of trying to make everything go right and perfect and remember to just live and have fun. In those moments I can feel their presence, and I can feel healing happening within the joy.
A few nights ago, we had our first Halloween party at the house. Me, my new partner Mike, and his daughter Shelby, now almost 12. Her mother loved Halloween, so it’s become a connection to their past life that we still celebrate in a huge way.
Shelby still talks about one amazing Halloween party they had when she was 5. Each of the past few years since I’ve met Mike and moved into their lives, I’ve listened to her recall the stories of that party with such fondness. And each year I’ve felt sad that I didn’t plan a party for Halloween.
This year was different though. A few weeks ago, I decided to finally have one... to create new memories that honor the old memories...Read more
This time last year I spent wishing my life away, wishing that it was all a mistake. Wishing that people were playing a cruel joke on me. Imagining that this wasn’t my life but that I was living someone else’s life and that the real me was still living a happy and blissful life in love where nothing had changed. Each day was spent running on adrenalin and sleep was non-existent. Spending my nights writing endless letters to him, begging him to come back, writing about our memories. Pleading for him to walk through the door. Driving around late at night searching for him and when exhaustion kicked in I would lay awake in bed and scream for him. The longing I felt and the pain in my chest was so intense I thought it would never leave. So I thought of ways I could join him, ways to try to see him again, to speak to him, to hold him. This time last year was the darkest time of my life.Read more
Day of birth. A day to celebrate life, at least it use to be. The person I was prior to grief made a big fuss over birthdays. Now I only wish I could fast forward past the day all together. Escape the impending date somehow.
He would have turned 30.
I would have thrown a surprise party, filling our home with orange helium balloons, but more than that, fill his day with love.
How painful and unfair it is now that this day is no longer a celebration of life but rather a life lived…
The impending day is a punch in the gut and I feel sick at just the thought of it. There is nothing I can do to escape it as much as I try.
This week I am angry but at the same time I feel numb!Read more
There is no reason a child should experience the heartache of losing a parent at a young age. I will never forget having to tell my kids that their daddy was gone. Less than one month after his death my daughter graduated preschool. I can’t even begin to explain how heartbreaking it was to have to sit there and watch her sing her songs and recite her lines with this empty seat next to me, knowing her daddy should be sitting there. The whole graduation was really a blur to me. I just checked out. I had no choice, I couldn’t feel anything. I was just a body sitting there. I remember trying to pay attention but the loss was too much to bare still. I could feel people staring at me, their pity they felt for my family. I just wanted it to be over and go back into hiding.
Last week, a little over a year later my second youngest son graduated preschool. Same school, same building, same idea. This year though I saw it, I felt it. I allowed myself to be present in the moment. This year there were still tears of sadness for a moment at that empty chair. But as a family we smiled more, we embraced this accomplishment. My son was given the brightest star award, he is a shy little boy who is so kind and loving and has come so far in this last year. He makes me so proud and I know his daddy will always be with him.Read more
I figured I'd keep with the currency theme for my post title...
There are two things I've noticed in widowhood - how time becomes quite elastic and how quickly you can find yourself in another stage, another headspace without even realising it.
A while ago I wrote about avoiding going back to work. I've tried to find the post, but in my pre-coffee haze and with that elastic time thing going on, I can't find it. Must be older than I think it is, although I swear it's only a few weeks....
One thing I've struggled with is how to manage John's understanding of Ian dying. Of having a daddy, but having no memory of him.
We're a family of faith, actively involved in our church community so that gave me a bit of framework to use. We talk about daddy going to heaven, as opposed to other explanations. When ever I've been talking to John about Ian dying, I have kept that explanation consistent.
Recently John's been showing an interest in our wedding album. John was 4 months old when Ian and I married, so he's in the photos. And he has taken to saying that is when Daddy went to heaven.
I've got photos of John with Ian after the wedding up around the house; photos where John's obviously older than in the wedding photos.
I'm in that lovely crunch time in semester where I have assignments and other assessments coming out of my butt and I seriously question the sanity of going back to school. Ok, I'm always questioning the sanity of that choice!
Which has had me thinking in the last day or so as I worked on cost accounting exercises - would I be doing this if Ian hadn't died?
Initially I thought no.
This week has sucked.
Restriction in mobility.
Kid who's acting up.
Change over to summer time so sleep is out of whack.
Pain meds making my brain addled, so I've not been able to study effectively for an exam I have in about 24 hours. Economics is just plain not computing.
Frustration I can't stand long enough to be able to get the house cleaned properly (though glad I spent money on a robo-vac).
I'm sitting here incapacitated, writing my post while implementing the RICE acronym for injuries.
On Saturday while working in the garden as John played under a sprinkler, I tripped over something I knew was in the lawn. Because I've not yet got to mowing, the stand for my sun shade has been hidden by the long grass. Whilst trying to avoid the spray from the sprinkler, I leaped and landed awkwardly on the hidden umbrella stand, resulting in a very badly sprained ankle. My initial fear was a broken foot or ankle because of the lovely sequence of crunches I heard/felt while going down. My first thought was "SH*T - this isn't good".
I asked John to bring one of the phones to me, but he struggled to find one. I was eventually able to crawl into the house and call my step-mother for help. John meanwhile was back under the sprinkler because he's 3 and loves the water.
Right from a young age, Ian encouraged co-sleeping with John. Ian always wanted him close. It was a habit I personally wasn't keen on, but let it slide. Once they were both asleep (like in this photo), I'd take Ian's glasses off, and move John to his crib.
Since it was the easiest way to calm John, I maintained that habit once Ian got sick and John and I spent the first few weeks of his illness camped out at my parents place.
And it continued once we came home. If I'm exhausted and John's not going to sleep, if he's in with me he drops off more quickly than left on his own.
But in the last few nights, he's moved himself to falling asleep in his own bed, without necessarily needing me cuddling him like his dad did, and staying there for most of the night.Read more