Friday, July 1, 2011

if wishes came true

Written one month after Jeff died in 2008...

I overheard Olivia wishing on a fallen eyelash yesterday, "I wish my Daddy would come back."

I tried to get her to 'tell' me the wish so I could talk about it with her...the fact that he is never coming back. But she insisted that if she told me, then her wish wouldn't come true.

I so wish he would come home too. I sometimes fantasize about it. I imagine that I can hear the roar of his truck and the thump of his boots on the front steps. I hear him slam the door and laughingly bellow, "Honey, I'm HOOOOoooome...." I launch myself at him and he embraces me while I bury my face in his chest. I laugh and cry and tell him that I love him so very much (We used to say, "I love you the whole pie!") and that I am sorry for not saying so when we were arguing and that I'm sorry for not picking him up from the boat a few days earlier and that I have missed him so immensely that I sometimes think I'll never recover from this terrible nightmare.

I've started seeing a therapist...actually, it's a therapist that Liv will start seeing next week but I went to talk to her. She does play therapy, art therapy and has a therapy dog. I think this is the ideal situation for Liv as she is not one, most of the time, to just sit and talk about how she's feeling...Hell, she's five. What five year old can articulate how they're feeling the majority of the time?

Anyhow, I was trying to put into words how I feel much of the time so the therapist could get an understanding of my state of mind. The analogy that I came up with it that I feel like a toothpaste tube. I am so full of all this sadness, angry, frustration and fear but I only have this small neck and opening to squish it all out of. When I cry, it hurts so physically and painfully but gives me virtually no relief. It's plugged or stuck and I can feel this giant amorphous blob of pain just fermenting inside and I CANNOT get it out....Maybe a ping pong ball stuck in a water pipe would have been a better analogy. Some water can seep around the ball but the majority of it is pushing the ball further and further into the pipe.....I hope this all makes sense....Who knows anymore?


  1. Hey Jackie,

    What do you feel like now? Let me know if you hae time.



  2. A lot of the emotions related to my grief have been hard for me to get out as I grew up with the good girl role in my family, and I was not really allowed to express anger or cry as a child. In my marriage it was the same way. So I tend to intellectualize all my feelings and to get my gut feelings out has been so difficult. I wish sometimes that it was easy for me to scream my anger and just bawl for hours. Mostly I have written my feelings with abandon to elicit my feelings, and this helps some. But here I am 2 1/2 yrs out, and I have a new phenomenon, where my gut overpowers my head and kicks me in the stomach with strong feelings of sadness and loss. I made all these plans to go to a friend's son's wedding, but had to back out the day of as I was overcome with sadness that I would be going alone without my spouse to a wedding for the first time. I would have cried all day at the wedding! I had no clue that I felt this way. And I sense that others don't understand--that I should get over it. But my friend understood. I think a therapist would be very, very helpful and is a great idea. Blessings.

  3. Wonderful Jackie. You are such a good mother doing everything you can possibly do to help your young children deal with this gigantic loss. The pain is so very acute as an adult, I wonder how children even begin to deal with it.

    My very first wish every single day for the last 16 months is for my husband to return. Oh, how I wish this could happen for all of us. Just one more hug, one more kiss, one more conversation......

  4. Yes -
    I spend part of each day imagining that, his return or the things he used to do and say. The smell of his neck, the feel of his hair in my hands, the way it used to feel when we fell asleep always with our feet touching.
    The wish never goes away.
    Your description of the physical pain is so clear. I describe it as the heart attack that never comes. Just this rising tide of emotional and physical pain that builds and builds and then just stays. As you say crying doesn't relieve it, nothing does. It just goes away and then returns again at a later time. Sometimes that is ten minutes later, sometimes hours later and once in a blue moon - a day passes and then you remember a day has passed and it returns full force.
    How wonderful that you are giving her the space to talk with someone that will help her.

  5. Maureen,
    I am doing so much better now. There are certainly days that I feel......overwhelmed with what has been lost. But so much of the anger and sadness has left....the loss remains. But it doesn't overtake every waking moment anymore.
    I wish you the best.


  6. Anonymous after Maureen,
    I'm so glad that you enough strength (because yes, it is strength) to know that you could not ..... so would not, attend that wedding. We all need to know how very important it is to be .... for the lack of a better word .... selfish for ourselves now. Now, more than any other time in your life. It does not matter one iota what anyone else thinks. We can't control that and we never could, even with a live spouse.
    Everyone single one of us needs to know that it's 100% fine to pull into a driveway, sit for a minute, and then pull right back out and go home. This is a battle for your emotional, as well as physical, well being. And each and every one of us knows for a fact that grief can cause so much physical harm to our bodies.
    So back out of commitments. Don't go to parties, weddings, or , God forbid, funerals. Not until YOU are ready. Those who love you will be patient. Just give them this line, "If I can be there, I will. If I can't, I won't. I can't give you any more than that. For now."
    You did a very good thing for you, and I'm proud of you. And glad that you shared it with us.

  7. speaking of weddings.... I am 'supposed' to go to my step-son's wedding in December, but really feel I cannot go. Everytime I thought about it, I became stressed and depressed, you see, I live in Malaysia and he is in England, but has decided to get married in Florida, at Christmas time.... I just cannot imagine travelling all that way on my own, and leaving my home at Christmas time..... I just cannot do it, and since I have tried to explain this to his Fiancee
    - and hope she understands.... - I have felt much better, more relaxed and calmer.
    You see, I felt that I 'had' to go, because it was expected of me, so I was going to please others not because I relly wanted to go.
    I stll feel guilty not going, not being there for him, but I have to do what is best for me, and making myself ill worrying about going to Florida was not good. I think that if we have to be selfish to be happy - then so be it.....