Wednesday, October 14, 2009

My Own Private War

I had a flashback this week. Out of the blue, as they always come. Knocking me over as only the force of a tsunami wave can.

You know the kind.

I was driving home from work and it had been a good day. Several good days, in fact. Maybe that should have been the warning. But who wants to keep looking over their shoulders, waiting for the next wave to hit? Not me. I want to keep marching ahead. But I also want this war that grief is waging against me to stop. I feel very much like a soldier who's been in a terrible war.
I've heard that soldiers sometimes have flashbacks of their time at war.
I hate these flashbacks.
One moment I was driving my car, heading home ..... and the next moment I was watching myself standing in the ER the day that Jim died, not quite realizing what the hell was going on or why everyone was flying around when I just though he had a bad case of acid reflux.
It took less than 10 minutes for them to discover that I was quite wrong and he had a torn aorta. I was still trying to digest all of this while the nurse very coldly told me that if I had children and family I'd better call them right then.
I'm not quite sure how I finished the drive home during the flashback. I don't remember it. I do remember coming into the house and heading straight to my bedroom to let the tears out and to let the words out on my blog.
Michele and Michelle write about their "death march". I didn't really get that until today. And then suddenly I knew exactly when my "death march" starts .... on Thanksgiving, and when it ends .... December 18th. I remember it from last year ... my first time to experience that march.

So I wonder if the flashbacks will start coming again as the march gets closer and closer?
All I can say is ... I hope not. But we never know .... do we?
Some waves we can see coming and steel ourselves for them.
Some waves just come out of nowhere .... like the flashbacks, which are an all together different kind of wave. There's nothing we can do to prepare ourselves for them .... we just have to get through them.
And so we do.
But not without the pain.

I'm borrowing the ending of my blog post to end this post today because I can't think of any other way to end it:

"I want this damn pain to go away. I want my heart to stop hurting from missing him every moment of every day.
I want ..... too much.
I want .... what I can never have.

So I write.
And I scream on the inside, "Damn it, God!!!!! Why did You allow THIS to happen to US? Why HIM? Why not ME?!"

And all I hear is the deafening roar of ..... silence."



  1. I know this pain, and I feel for you .....its not any kind of pain you would wish upon your worst enemy.Yet we go on........we dont have a choice.I have two wonderful and amazing boys ages 13 and 9 and they need me..........I just wish that I was able to give them all of me .....I just wish things could go back and all be right with the world .....but I know it cant I go on. Thank you for being able to share.

  2. Janine,

    thanks for sharing your pain, we understand the flashbacks, the waves of pain. For me when I watch certain episodes of Grey's Anatomy it takes right back to the hospital where I sat vigil with my husband for a week. Yes, waves come and go but I believe with each week, month and year we see more hope for our own purpose and dreams.

  3. Thinking of you Janine and sending you a big hug. It just sucks and I'm sorry it hurts so much. I think the intensity of it is what is so surprising. It just takes your breath away. It comes back though, and miraculously we keep breathing in and out...even when we're sure we don't want to. Hang in there, love is all around you.


  4. I find the intensity so painful - unlike anything I've ever felt before. It gets to the core of our being and doesn't let go. And how can it come crashing down just like that? How is it that by the drop of a hat, our world can turn upside down just when we think everything is okay, at least for a day, an hour, a minute, or even a moment? But then somehow, we shed a few tears (or a lot), get past it, and move on at least for a little while.