So I suppose I made it through the first year. "They say that's the toughest part." Well, who's they and do they know what the hell they are talking about? Are they experts on grief or is this saying based off of probabilities? Can we measure our grief in probabilities and responses given in simple questionnaires? Is that how we measure the loss of a loved one?
I have always been a person who pushes back. I like to tow the line and push boundaries. I like to make people question their actions. I want to know WHY! Do we do things because it feels right and is good for us or because that's what we are expected and supposed to do?
I admit that in some respect it all makes sense. The first birthday, first anniversary, the holidays are all difficult. I do hope that the "seconds" are easier than the "firsts". The part I struggle with is that in talking to other widows sometimes the second year is the hardest. Sometimes the holidays and anniversaries don't get easier. What happens as your children get older? What happens when your children leave your home? What if you decide to blend your family? When they say the first year is the hardest, I must ask how do they know?
I know that life has changed and the normals are no longer normal. I know what society says I should be doing and how I should be feeling. My question is, why do we believe the first 12 months is the harder than the rest? Who is making these blanket statements?
It's been 365 days since you took your last breath with me. I sit here at the kitchen counter thinking of what I want to say, frantically searching for the appropriate words. Writing and deleting, striving to do you justice. Describing the last year is damn near impossible to do in a few words, paragraphs or even pages.
I hope that you're proud of us. It's the only thing I yearn for and hope to achieve. Lucas, Reed and I have all grown immensely in so many ways without you over the last year.
Lucas has matured in time and also by circumstance and his wealth of knowledge astounds me. Reed continues to hit milestones left and right and exert his strong willed personality.
I know you've seen the tears, the anger, sadness and joy that the three of us have shared each day together. I know you've heard us at night tell you we love you. I know you've heard us singing in the car to you. I know you listen when I talk to you. I know you've heard all three of us say that we want you here. That we don't know how to go on without you. Know that we are going forward. We are learning every day how to keep going.
We will continue to talk to you and tell you good night. We will continue to blow you kisses and pray that you will be waiting for us to rejoin you someday.
We love you so much. More than I'll ever be able to adequacy express.
Rachel, Lucas & Reed
When it was suggested that I start this blog I wasn't exactly sure what it was going to look like, what was going to happen or even if I was comfortable putting myself out there. I have come to terms with most of those things. I do not worry about what people will say. I do not worry about judgments. I do know that this will be hard for some people to read. The intent is not to hurt. It is to welcome you into our lives and follow our journey with us as we navigate through our grief and newfound normal.
My life has gone many places at this point that I never anticipated. It is easy to drown in the sorrows and get lost in the grief. This blog is to share with you our family and friends, my fellow widows, fellow mesothelioma patients, and anyone else who can gain something from our story.
Thank you for all of your continued support! I am surrounded and uplifted everyday by amazing family members and friends!
I am ALL IN.
I feel like this is Deja Vu. I can't sleep. I can't rest. I can't shut myself down right now. The only things my body wants to consume are packed with sugar. I'm tense. I'm anxious. There are bags under my eyes. This is an exact repeat from last year. This is deja vu.
Why? Is this what "this" is going to feel like every year? Is death going to haunt me every single April at this time? I suppose it is. I supposed it will. That's what an anniversary is, right? You have to take the bad with the good. I am tough. I will survive. It is all coming back though. I feel like I am reliving this weekend all over again. The Sunday that I never left my husband's side. The Sunday when I saw him draw his last breath. That fateful Sunday that is burned in my memory and haunts me at night.
It is really unbelievable. How could a year have possibly passed? How is it that the world has not stopped turning? How is it that time continues to tick on?
Because that is what happens. That is the cycle of life.
As the one year date approaches I feel the need to not stop moving at an all time level high. In the past several weeks I have rearranged every closet in my home, except my own. (Daniel's work shirts remain hanging to the left as I enter my closet. I keep thinking I am going to remove them, but honestly they are not bothering me. They remind me of him each morning. I like to touch and to see them. His smell does not linger but I can look at his shirts and they trigger many memories. Good Memories. )
I have redecorated Reed's room. I have organized my shoes and cleaned out my clothes. I have traded my childrens' rooms and moved all their furniture on my own. I have added some shelving. I CANNOT stop moving. I was so tired last night, my back was aching but I must keep going. I must keep busy. Why? I think I'm afraid I will fall apart. I feel more emotional than normal. I feel a little like I'm spiraling again. The next few weeks are going to be near impossible but I'm going to grab onto Lucas and Reed and not let go. We will get through this time. After all, we are survivors.
Meet the Author (me)
Driven by a need to help others. I have known from a young age that this is what I wanted to do. This is my very real, somewhat sarcastic, look into my newfound widowhood. I hope this site will help you as much as it helps me.