Thursday, February 20, 2014

The death march part 3: birthday week

Zen Garden  by grizzlysghost

  Zen garden by the immensely talented and all-round nice guy, Aaron Aldrich.

So - only one more week (and a few days) until March 1.
Only three more days until his birthday.

Still the nightmares about the accident.  

Still that vivid mental image of how his arm looked in his work shirt contrasted with the smashed watch and phone that were given back to me.

Still the crying at odd times.

Still stressed about work....

... but

still .... Fine
I know I am teetering on the edge of "fine"  and "f#cked-up" though.

I know it won't take much to make me lose my balance and go tumbling down the rabbit hole.

I am hoping that there isn't that One Single Straw that floats onto my back to break me into small pieces.

But so far ......

Still fine.



  1. It's been 32 months since my husband died of a massive heart attack next to me in the middle of the night. All I want is the love of my life, my soul mate, my best friend back. Nothing is the same; nothing will ever be the same. How can it be? My heart is broken and my soul longs for his kiss. I know there will never be another love like ours for me. No, I will never be fine again.

  2. I understand this Amanda.
    “...teetering on the edge of "fine" and "f#cked-up"...”

    It’s been almost 4 years and it was a conscious effort to keep moving forward those first few years. (On auto-pilot mostly, but still an effort to keep going.) I physically ached for his touch and presence.

    It definitely is a fine line some days. Between fine & effed up.
    And still so surreal.
    I try not to keep my home or work desk a shrine, but I do keep a few photos of Dave & the two of us around.
    Some days I stare at those photos and think – “I remember that life”.
    That life that was, and my life that is.
    I’m looking at a photo of us right now on my desk. Enjoying time at a friends cottage.
    Sometimes I smile at it, sometimes I shed a few tears.

    I don’t want to go through the rest of my life miserable because Dave is gone.
    I truly don’t.
    His absence is a slap in the face and should CONTINUALLY make me realize that my time here will be just as short.
    And it did for a while, but now I feel myself back in the day-to-day grind and it saddens me.

    We are fine.
    And we are not.

    And I’m so sorry that you’re dealing with your death march right now.

  3. I love how you describe teetering on the edge of fine & f#cked-up also. Actually it sums up widowhood. I bet 95% of all the widows feel the same way. How can we not when we have loved someone so much. My husband of 31 years passed away in April 2011 & my life will never be the same. I long for him so much some days it feels as if I just lost him. Yes, you said it best. Thank you!

  4. It's been 37 months for me and I feel just the same. I carry on living even though every day is cold and empty. I admire those of us who fight their way back to the living but I'm not so emotional strong. He gave me the strength to live and without him I want the darkness to sweep me away.

  5. Still teetering after ten years...

  6. In moments when the reality slams into me again and again that my husband, the love of my life, my soul mate and partner is dead and never walking through the door again, nor holding me tight in a protective embrace where I felt the world couldn't touch me, or him lying beside me in bed after we've loved each other totally, I have to concentrate on breathing. The overwhelming grief and sadness sucks the life right out of me. No one understands the total blackness and profound sadness of that moment unless they've lived it. No one, family member or friend, has the right to tell any of us how to feel or live our lives when we've lost so much.

  7. Amanda,
    I was told at one point years ago that the word "fine" is an acronym, that stands for "fucked up, insecure, neurotic and emotional". I think of that now in response to the question "how are you?"

    I'm definitely fine since my husband died 10 months ago. Truth. If you're using it as an acronym.

    My heart breaks for you and for all of us who are enduring, hoping, at some point, to feel alive again~

    alison (Wednesday's writer)

  8. This so hit a chord with me today. Yesterday (February 19th) would have been my partner's 50th birthday - not sure how he would have dealt with that fact-but I'll never know-he'll always be 48. April 9th will be the 2nd anniversary of his sudden death-and I have moved on...and I haven't. Spent yesterday in a bottle of rye (he and I shared many a drink and conversation)... but it didn't help. Also am job hunting as I lost my job (federal funding withdrawn, so effective March 31, 2014 my position is eliminated - the same week as my companion's death - while I was planning his memorial service); also put in the position of "coming out" to my Board and staff due to his sudden death (I had kept my personal life separate and only shared that information on a need to know basis up until then). So, basically after enduring what I call the loss of the three P's - partner, privacy and profession - I've been in a fog for the last 22 months. But, life is going on...I have very supportive friends and a new "interest" (that adds so many dynamics and twists) is hard to let go - but there is no other option. I will always have a special place and special dates and memories ...and anyone that can't support me in that - well, we all know the FU phrase (let's face it, unless they've "been there" they haven't a continental clue!!). The only way I can deal with it is using the perspective that what we shared helped prepare me for the next chapter in my life - at times it is so hard to turn the page let alone start a new chapter. But...I am convinced that he is standing by me and saying "it is what it is, what we had was wonderful and beautiful and cannot be taken away; take the lessons learned and move forward to share with others in your life; the past is a guidepost not a hitching rail". Sometimes easier said than done...but, as I have put on the back of my new business cards (into the consulting business now) "The future is always beginning now"... Just had a long phone conversation today with a mutual friend of my late partner and I (we, by default, became her life counsellor). She said that all she wants in life is what we had...validation, but at the same time heart-wrenching...

    1. Anonymous --
      I just wanted you to know that I think this is beautiful. What a tribute to your Love, the love you shared, and the love he left within you.
      Thank you.

    2. What was just posted by Anon describes EXACTLY what I have CHOSEN to try to do in rebuilding my life since the life with my beloved husband of nearly 5 years ended when he passed away unexpectantly May 8th 2012.
      And it is a CHOICE...and a very very hard one to make....because I dont want to rebuild my life...I want the life I had with John and only THAT life...because that was what I had already made MY CHOICE!
      Through John's death I learned how so so precious lifeis....and how it is all so taken for granted...and how all of us that are living life WASTE it.
      John loved life! He squeezed everything out of life not knowing he would not have the life WE PLANNED.
      If I decide to live my life waiting to die to be with John, John would not be happy to see me...he would feel insulted that I did not take the years I was blessed with that he was not blessed with and WASTED them by NOT pushing through my grief NOT learning to live again in his honor,memory and spirit.....he would be so dissappointed if I CHOOSE to NOT rebuild my life as to not do so is CHOOSING to WASTE my precious life....because he would say life is too precious to waste.
      It is all so circular...and coming to this whole realization of CHOICE has been what has pulled me through the darkness most of the time. Sometimes the darkness overtakes me and I feel that life SUCKS....
      Yet I lean into and through the darkness....and then I RE-CHOOSE live life to the John would want that...and if it were the other way around I would expect him to make the same CHOICE.
      So to all of us in this most difficult life loss...we each have to find our own way yet we can be here to support and encourage.
      That is what I have found here.

  9. My Husband's birthday was Feb. 18, this is the 3rd time I've been the only one alive to "celebrate" it. It's the first year that I'm not a screaming, sobbing train wreck. I wouldn't say it's easier, just that the pain is less raw. I will never have what we had, and what losing my husband took from me, but I'm starting to have a "new normal". It's not what I had, but that doesn't mean it can't be good in it's own right. I am alive. There are days (still) where I wish I wasn't, but they are fewer and further apart. The pain is...a part of me now, always just over my left shoulder, waiting to approach, and I am learning to live with it.