I want to preface what I am about to write by saying this blog may be hard to read.
I never want to deter people from reading what I write, but I will be honest and say that this past week has not been easy…And therefore what I have racing through my mind tonight will not be the most positive. Honestly, the thoughts running through my head are difficult to process myself…The truth is I have been in a funk each of the entire past seven days, and it has been an uphill battle trying to dig myself out. I escaped to Hocking Hills last weekend in hopes that being away for the one-year anniversary of my husband’s death would help me get through it…And while it did help me get through the date itself, this past week I have spent crying more then I have in months.
I have been so frustrated with myself this week. Tears have consumed me, sleep has been fleeting, and each morning I have been faced with the inability to get out of bed and lack of interest in everyday activities that I usually thrive off of. Instead of schoolwork while Ian is at preschool, I have been sleeping. I only worked out twice this week, when typically going to the Y has become a part of me and Ian’s everyday routine. I’ve consumed wine this week more than usual. And I am frustrated with myself because I have felt like in one week, I have regressed emotionally back to those early days and weeks without Nate.
One of the hardest, most brutal lessons I have come to learn after losing Nate, is the grieving process is totally and completely out of my control. My husband has been dead for a year…And although I have woken up to that reality for a full year and a week, it is almost like for the first time all year, I have spent the past week processing that fact.
There is no happily ever after for Nate and I. We did everything right in life…Became best friends…Worked hard for the life we built…Got married…Had a beautiful boy and built a beautiful home…And guess what? All of those things we did “right”? For our future? They played no role in the fact that he died at 36…In a matter of 45 minutes, he was taken from me and my son and our amazing family and friends with no forewarning. Nothing. Lights out…
He isn’t coming back.
I want with every fiber of my being to just feel him again. To hear his voice…To see him walk in the front door and give me a hug and kiss…To watch him with our son…To bicker about football and stay up late with on weekends watching Shameless. I ache for his phone call around 5:35 every night to inform me he is on his way home…Or his frustrated voicemails around the same time letting me know I missed yet another call. I miss those cool, fall, weekend mornings, sleeping in, knowing my husband greeted the day around 6:30 every morning and would be there when Ian woke up, allowing me to sleep in until whatever time I pleased. I miss walking downstairs each of those mornings and seeing the two of them snuggled under the pink, “family air loom” blanket on the couch watching Tom and Jerry. I miss spending the nights cooking out, or cooking in. The two of us elbowing one another in the kitchen, both reveling in our passion of cooking and impressing one another with our culinary skills. I miss all of it. Each and every fucking second. But most of all? I. Miss. Him. His kisses. His hugs…His everything…Because he was quite literally my everything.
Trying to wrap my mind around the fact that I haven’t seen him or heard him in a year is so painful.
The past year, I have prided myself in being able to still feel grateful for the love and happiness that surrounds me even though my own love died. I have made a conscious effort to remember that although the chapter with my love has ended, all love hasn’t…And to continue to try to be happy for those who have been blessed with the ability to live a life of normalcy, with the ones they have chosen forever with. I wouldn’t wish what happened to Ian and I on our worst enemy. No fucking way. However, when I log onto Facebook and see wedding announcements, pregnancy announcements, it is a strange sort of feeling I get. Like, that used to be me…Used to be us. Hand in hand, walking together with the future looking so bright…And it is so hard because somedays, I remember those days as if they were yesterday…But more often than not, these days? They seem like a lifetime ago. Most days, I am wrapped up in my “single, widowed, mom, fulltime student, living with her parents, trying to get my shit together” life, that when I see a newly married couple or pregnancy announcement? I feel alienated from the fact that I once had that. A life of bliss, excitement and simplicity. If it weren’t for the living proof of Ian, some days I wonder if my life with Nate would seem like a dream. And for the first time in a long time, I find myself boiling over with jealousy for those who are still able to lead that kind of life. I hate jealousy. I have never been a jealous person, so then I end up feeling guilty for feeling jealous…And it’s a cycle this week that is driving me crazy. I wouldn’t wish the current state of my life on anyone, but damn…How some nights I wish to be living someone else’s life. Because my life? It is really hard. It is hard feeling so sad…Feeling so much…And weeks like this week? I am just tired…
After talking to my friend Ashley last night, who also happens to be a widow, she helped me to remember something that took a little weight off of my shoulders…This widow life fucking sucks. And it is ok to not always be positive. Because death is sad. And the grieving process is not always pretty (side note-everyone needs an Ashley. She has been my widow Yoda throughout this whole journey). If there is one thing I have learned this week as I try to dig myself out of the dark hole that is currently consuming me, is that there shouldn’t be any shame in having bad days or weeks…The important thing is getting back up and remembering that the good days are worth fighting for, no matter how many bad days are in between…I am allowed bad weeks. I am allowed bad days. I am allowed to cry and be angry at the world. I am allowed to be jealous. I am allowed to drink the wine. And I am allowed to write about it all, no matter how others may feel reading it…because at the end of the day, the good days, the bad days, they are all a part of living a life of grief and loss. They are my truth…And from the moment I started writing about my journey in widowhood, I vowed to always be transparent with my experiences.
This week has been shit. My husband is still fucking dead, and I HATE IT. How’s that for transparency?
So, I am going to give myself these next few days to feel all of it. I’m giving myself a free pass to feel sorry for myself, ask “why us” along with all of those unanswerable questions, drink all the wine, mope, and be a couch potato with my kid…And then on Monday? I am going to try my damndest to start fresh. And remember that even though these things are helping me survive the year anniversary of Nate’s death…It’s the working out, getting school work done, writing, eating healthy, reading, biking, that will help me survive in the long run. Its those things that Nate would be most proud of. It’s those things that will get Ian and I to a future where happiness outweighs the sadness, and that is built on the foundation of daddy’s love and hard work. And its those things that remind me that I still have a life worth living, and a little boy who still needs me.
But for now? I am going to pour myself another glass of wine and get through today.