I drove home from the apartment yesterday having spent the day waiting for the new furniture to be delivered and coming to terms with the fact that there was suddenly an offer on my house and I accepted. The loss I've suffered suddenly felt brand new again.
On the ride home, I was on maybe the fourth hour of steady crying and trying to breathe with a chest turned tight and claustrophobic with fear. I remember coming to a rolling stop somewhere south of Longview and looking over at the traffic speeding easily by in the other direction. Only a small strip of grassy median separated me from that traffic and the thought crossed my mind that ending this kind of pain would require a quick left turn, a bump or two over the median and to launch the car into the oncoming traffic.* There was even a big semi coming. The thought did not recur and did not last long (and hasn't recurred since, I swear). Maybe a few seconds. But it was there. And it scared me. I knew at that moment that it was time to be honest about how much help I needed. I began to send out requests for help.
I continued to cry and a recurring thought I battled the rest of the way home was "I am no one's most important person". I am no living person's mommy, kid or wife or daughter.
I thought for the millionth time about chosen family then. About how maybe I don't have a living mom, dad, or husband, but I do have sisters and brothers. Maybe not siblings by blood, but I have them. And though they have Most Important People (their kids, spouses, parents) who am I to say where I rank on their list of MIP's?
I thought of the actual blood family I haven't had the chance to become close with over the years but who love me still. From afar. Without reservation. I am someone's cousin, someone's "auntie", someone's niece.
I thought of how even when Dave was alive, there were other people on the planet I loved almost as fiercely. I couldn't really rank them with Dave. There's no ranking when it comes to love.
The next day, today, has been hard too. But I sat down in the midst of my darkest feelings and thoughts and wrote up a help request to my closest friends. I wrote them a list of tasks that I have to complete before the house closes and asked them to let me know which ones they could help with. All the while, I was battling the fear that my needs are so numerous right now that they will overtax my loved ones' energy and get in the way of their needs. But then a sister reminded me of the way that they can each pick and choose from the list I'd made to suit their needs and that asking for help was so important.
And the help came flooding in. Along with the help came relief and a glimmer of hope, a reminder that although I am no one's mom or daughter or wife, I am loved and cared for. And I'm not alone.
Then, I cried some more but the tears and sobs came from a place of utter gratitude and relief.
* I urgently wished to be with Dave again and for my old life to come back. I urgently wished for a little break from the seemingly unbearable pain I feel when the grief monster strikes. I think this is very different from actual suicidal thinking. Suicidal thinking is believing that dying is the only way to solve your problems or end your pain. My beliefs about life after death aren't even enough to convince me I'd be with Dave if I died, anyway, so dying isn't something I think will solve my problems and I would NEVER put my loved ones through such an ordeal. Especially, now, knowing exactly what it feels like to be left behind by your MIP. In addition, losing Dave has made me ultra aware of the gift of life. I get to live and experience things and Dave doesn't. I will not waste that gift. Dave would KILL me if he knew I did (ha ha). I just needed to be honest about the depths of the pain I experienced so that others can feel connected to my experience. If I'm not honest, I don't honor how hard this is or how real this is. Forgive me in advance for making anyone worry about me more than they already do. I wouldn't have mentioned it if I didn't think it was important to.