Sunday, October 28, 2012

2 year Sadiversary

I passed my 2 year Sadiversary in July.

But my brain, started the 2 year grieving process in June and lasted until the middle of September.

One day in June, out of nowhere, I was in a fog. I was exhausted. Couldn't remember anything. Couldn't carry on a conversation without spacing off or forgetting what I was talking about mid sentence.
I was on a slippery slope of just trying to get through every day. Giving each day the bare minimum, until it was time to go home, rinse and repeat the next day.

I swear the fog effects everything, including my vision. I can't see anything past what's in front of my face. I can't see the sunrise or the flowers. I struggle to even see spreadsheets that I have enlarged on my computer.

Then the fog is gone, and I can see again. I can see past my yard. I can see past my computer.
The fog really is the worst of all my grieving side effects.

I don’t know why I started the 2 year grieving process so soon.

I really wish my grief had a calendar, so I could see it coming, plan for it, and not be completely caught off guard.

Everything else in life has a calendar or a cycle, so why doesn't grief?

Every month, I find myself staring at the calendar. “The 27th, what am I supposed to do?? I know there is something I am supposed to do!”.

Then the 27th rolls around, and I remember what it is I forgot. The day Seth died.

The 2 year anniversary was nice. We had a small get together at my house with my closest friends and family.

I didn't cry all day / night. I enjoyed the night with my friends and family.

Surprisingly, Seth’s name didn't come up much throughout the night.
It was just a bunch of friends, getting together, for good food and drinks.
It was like my friends knew I needed them, but I didn't necessarily need them to talk about Seth.
I just needed them with me. I needed to know that my friends and family love me and support me. No matter what day it is.

This week, I found myself at a widow event - twice.

Looking around at the widows, made me realize how far I have come.
And how far I have yet to go. You mean to tell me in 13 years I will still be grieving??

I look at the faces of the “newly widowed” and my heart just breaks. I remember that first year. I remember not even being able to say Seth’s name without crying. I remember that every little thing reminded me of him. I remember not being able to drive, due to not being able to pay attention long enough to not run a red light. I remember not eating for days, because it made me physically ill to eat.

Being at the widow events, got me thinking about the first year of my widow journey.

I don’t remember very much of it at all.

I remember the detectives coming to my door, and telling me they found my husband deceased. I remember hitting my knees and screaming. 

I remember having the family together, working on Seth’s funeral. I remember Seth’s mom saying “I think the obituary should say Seth blew his head off”. I will never forget that.

I remember Seth’s family being angry at me for sticking to what Seth told me he wanted done for his funeral and with his body. Thank god Seth had told his dad the same things he had told me, so I at least had one person on my side fighting for what Seth wanted.

I remember going in to see Seth’s body, and again, hitting my knees and screaming. My family picked me back up, and held me up as I stood next to Seth’s casket.

I remember the bullet hole. When I see pictures of Seth now, I now see the bullet hole. No matter what picture it is, my brain- puts the bullet hole in the picture.

I remember standing next to Seth’s casket, as Seth’s family blamed me for his suicide.

I will never understand how someone can treat their son’s widow that way.

I remember getting to the funeral, getting out of the car, and the world started spinning quickly around me. I was insanely dizzy, and I was going down. I don’t remember if I actually hit the ground or if someone caught me. I remember trying to catch my breath, as I knew I was going to faint and remember my best friend telling people to leave me alone.  In fact, I think she was physically pushing people away from me (Thanks Jenn, you have no idea what that means to me!)

I remember talking about my last funny memory of Seth, I remember his urn was empty because we did not have his body back yet, and I remember the balloon release.

I remember everyone coming to my house after the funeral; we sat around the fire pit, listened to music, told stories, shared some laughs, and watched the sunrise. Just like Seth would have wanted us to do.

Other than that, that’s all I remember of Seth’s funeral.

That’s all I really remember from the first year, actually.

I remember planning the 1 year memorial party. I pretty much told my mom what I wanted, and she did it all. The 1 year memorial turned out amazing (Thanks mom!), but was insanely hard for me. I cried none stop. I missed Seth. I wish he was here to see what an amazing party we put together for him!

I was going through pictures of Seth, to create a slide show to show at the memorial.
And I came across this picture of Seth.

I took it in February 2010, 6 months before he died.

I forgot I had the picture.

When I pulled the picture up on my computer screen, the world froze. The hair on my arms stood up.

There it was, written “Imagine being alive”.

It was so ironic, because at the time I took the picture, Seth was mentally dead. Now a year later, I was looking at the picture, and he was physically dead.

I wonder if he asked me to take his picture there because of the wording that was there. Maybe as a reminder to himself to “Imagine being alive”.

I now have the picture framed in my bedroom. I look at it every morning.
I tell myself “Imagine being alive”.

Sure, I am alive. My heart beats, I breath, wake up every morning and go to work, carry on the best I can. Sometimes getting a laugh here or there.

But I am yet to be ALIVE.

The “alive” person I was years ago. Before bipolar took my husband’s soul. Before his death.

Every day I tell myself to be alive.

Be present, pleasant, joyful, laugh, and remember there are worst things that happen in life then dirty dishes.
I am still learning to be alive. But as long as my heart is beating, I will try, try, again.

“Hope is the last thing to die”.

PS: Friends, winterize your sprinklers and change your furnace filter. I know, it’s the husband’s job, but someone has to do it.


  1. I'm coming up on two years this December..I'm still so numb. Thank you so much...this morning I realized I don't walk this alone. <3

  2. Melinda, I am so sorry for all you have had to endure. Two years is not very long at grieving the loss of a husband. This blogging should help a lot, though. Getting it all out is the best thing. I hear you and so do so many others. Suicide is the shits. Time will help, but it doesn't commpletely diminish the ugliness of self-inflicted gun shots. I am sorry you had to see that wound. I chose immediate cremation to save myself and especially my children the last image of their father with such a wound. I am proud I spared them that, and now they can just remember him hugging them good bye that morning before school. He did love us. I have no doubt. It still hurts to think that he was hurting so much and I could not help him. Thank you for letting ME get it all out.

  3. Melinda,
    I understand starting the grieving process months in advance. My husband did not take his life, we had 2 months to prepare ourselves after a cancer diagnoses. I am in the midst of those 2 months 3 years later, it happens every year, and will forever, I'm afraid. My inner calendar goes to those days automatically this time of year, taking me right back to the days of doc appts, scans, biopsies, hospice, etc. Can't get away from it, I do hope some day it will not be as fresh as it still is now. I think/hope that the grief will ebb and flow over time, and not be as intense as it was in the first several years. I won't be surprised if it is always with me, for the rest of my life. It's not something you get over, not matter how long ago it happened. Accepting it has made me more compassionate to others on this same journey. Thanks for sharing your story, it helps to realize others are out there too.