Hey Babe -
I’ve been watching a lot of TV these last few days - I guess my anxiety level has come down and I’m able to relax a bit more than the last couple of weeks. Whenever I get angst, I can’t stop moving, hence all the organizing, purging, and furniture assembly! I feel like I’m going through something right now; don’t really know what it is - but I’m overly emotional and your death is hitting me very hard. I was literally in tears on and off throughout the whole day today, even when I was showering. I realize that the trend is not crying in the shower on fridays at the gym; instead, it’s just crying in the shower. I think the car and the shower is the only place where I can’t keeping busy or distracted, so my mind is free to think and process whatever it wants.
Everything just feels more real and I’m growing more and more comfortable in my new reality while my heart continues to grieve and feel the pain so much harder and deeper. It’s like I’m living in two realities. One where the world sees me as being okay and back to myself and the other where my pain and grief is so unbearable that I’m in tears when I’m alone and in private. I started crying myself to sleep again, somehow it soothes me and helps me sleep when I’m able to let it all out. I think about us a lot and you’re constantly on my mind. I think about how senseless your death was. How it makes no sense at all. How did my perfectly healthy husband die so suddenly for what seemed like such minor signs and symptoms. I want to be so mad at you for not listening to your body and for not thinking of me when you decided not to go to the doctor, but I also know that you would never choose to leave me and the life we built willingly. If you knew the outcome was going to be catastrophic, you would have done something about it. You were taken against your will for no rhyme or reason and that’s just something I have to learn to accept. I can question the universe and curse it, but ultimately nothing changes. I can choose to let it eat me alive and swallow me whole, or I can choose to grieve and heal and eventually move on. I have to learn to accept this tragedy as part of my being, a permanent emotional scar that resides deep in my heart that nobody sees or knows or feels or understand the depth of its pain but me. It’s a part of my story now. I can’t fight it, I just have to learn to accept it; make it a part of me. I may not welcome it with open arms, but it’s something I will have to learn to accept and live with for the rest of my life; whether I like it or not. I don’t have a choice in the matter. The only choices I have are how to pick up the pieces and glue them back together. What do I want my life to look like now that you are gone and I’m alone.
This was never the life we planned for ourselves. Most of the time, I still can’t believe it’s real and I’m living it. That this is my story and my new reality. The pain hasn’t gotten better or smaller with time. Time doesn’t heal s***!! Time just moves on and I just learn to cope with the pain better. I hate it when people tell me, “Time heals!” I’m sorry, but it doesn't so please shut the F*** up! I think the next person who says that to me, I will probably punch, especially when they are comparing to a elderly parent or grandparent or a loved one that’s not their spouse or child. It’s not the same as losing your perfectly healthy 49 year old husband before you turned 40! A senseless and untimely death of a spouse or child is unnatural; it disrupts the natural order of things. So, don’t compare my pain of losing my husband to the pain you felt losing your 85 year parents or grandparents or aunts and uncles who died of a natural and timely death. Trust me, it’s not the same. I lost my 89 year old grandmother and that was the biggest loss in my life at the time, and time did heal that wound because she was 89 years old and she wasn’t my life partner. I didn’t spend 24/7 with her and we didn’t have all these plans that were abruptly stolen and taken away from us. I wasn’t left to pick up the pieces of my life that’s now unrealized and unfulfilled. I didn’t even get to say goodbye and I was there to witness every grueling minute and second of your last breath. You didn’t even make it to the hospital. You didn’t even get a chance to fight for your life. You were taken in an instant; quicker than I could snap my fingers. In an instant, my whole entire world turned upside, and I have no clue where to go or what to do next from here.
I watched two episode of Grey’s Anatomy today. The one from last week hit home because it’s about how your life can change and break into a million pieces in an instant, and they also brought up Meredith’s status as a widow. They don’t talk about it much on the show, which makes sense, she’s a professional, independent, type A woman (like me), and we don’t talk about our pain or grief in the workplace. We just show up and perform, and we leave our baggage at home where it belongs. That’s how we cope and deal with our grief and pain. But they show her carrying around Derek's scrub cap with her at the beginning of the show and puts it away in her drawer when she returns home from work next to their post-it note wedding vows. They close the episode with her saying how all the cracks and scars are always with us, they make us stronger, they make us something new. She reminds us that it’s these scars and cracks that have made her who she is today. So, yes, it hit home! Something the therapist has been trying to reiterate is that this pain will never go away. The scar and crack in my life from losing you will always be a part of me and my story; something I will have to learn to live with and manage for the rest of my life. (Even if I don’t want to believe it or accept it, so far, she has proven to be true.) And, I have to believe that this tragedy can and will only make me stronger; giving birth to a new me that I may not know or want to know yet, but she is waiting to emerge and break free. I refuse to have you die in vain by not learn some massive lesson the universe is trying to teach me. I know in time, this new me will emerge and I will learn to love her like you loved the fearless and fiercely independent girl some 14+ years ago. I will make you proud Babe, I promise. I will not be a victim and I will not be helpless. These were the two things you refused to ever let me be in all the years we were together. Maybe without knowing it, you were preparing me for this; a life without you.
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A grieving widow who is trying to find meaning and purpose from her tragic event.