Retreating to the lady's nest...
A letter from the coroner’s office came in the mail today. I was freaking out a bit and wasn’t sure if I should open it by myself or not, but of course you know me! I couldn’t help myself, so I ripped it open expecting it to be your autopsy report, but instead, it was a letter letting me know they have your iPhone, and I need to go pick it up or else they will dispose of it. Well, at least I know where your iPhone is--been looking for it since you passed, so I could give it to your dad. (He always joked that it was time for you to upgrade so he could have your phone.) Yup, you guessed it, the first thing that crossed my mind was, “Whew, crisis averted.” I thought I was going to have a major meltdown and not be able to get on the plane to Hong Kong on Sunday. (Yup, I’m going to China and Hong Kong again on Sunday for a week.) I thought it was a little ironic since I was just talking about how the Mandy Moore character in This is Us was driving with a small clear plastic bag of her husband’s personal belongings in the passenger seat of their car yesterday, and I get a letter from the coroner’s office today about collecting your personal belongings. Like I said yesterday, it always seems better laid out and organized in the movie. She seemed to have gotten her husband’s personal belongings really quick while it literally took me three months to just get a letter letting me know they have your belongings. I’m glad you weren’t wearing your buddha and wedding ring that morning, or else I would have lost my mind trying to find it all this time and not knowing it was just sitting in the evidence room at the coroner’s office. And the letter states, “In this moment of anguish, the last thing we wish to do is intrude on your privacy.” Honestly, someone needs to write a letter to the coroner’s office that grieving loved ones shouldn’t have to wait almost three months to find out they have their deceased loved one's personal belongings. What if it was something that was important like a wedding ring or buddha that the surviving wife needs to find her sanity and feel connected to her dead husband. I even asked the funeral home whether you had a bag of personal belongings when they picked you up from the coroner. They said they did, but it only contained the clothes you wore that day and no valuables. So, I just assumed your iPhone was lost or stolen in no man’s land since I wasn’t able to find it in the house, and it wasn’t in your bag of personal belongings from the coroner’s office. Well, at least the mystery is solved. Now, I just have to figure out your password or how I can unlock it!!
Anyways babe, I feel like these last couple of weeks have been hard for me and I’ve been struggling. I constantly feel like grief is knocking at my door and I’m trying to ignore it in hopes that it will go away, but it hasn’t. I thought I was doing better, so I couldn’t understand why I was starting to feel so sad and anxious all the time. So, I guess I started “escaping,” as my therapist would call it, and drowning my sorrows by binge watching TV and drinking juice. It was my way of trying to ignore or block the pain and grief, so I wouldn't have to process or reflect on it. Grief continues to be that unwanted house guest that doesn’t know it has outstayed its welcome. Part of the struggle was the feeling that I was regressing on this journey (you know how I get when I feel like I'm moving backwards instead of forward--yup, it drives me even crazier than standing still. I would will myself to keep going forward or not move at all, and if sheer 'will' doesn't work, then I force myself to at all cost). This was definitely not the journey I would ever allow myself to go backward on--no way Jose! But I’ve come to realize (with the help of my therapist) that I'm not moving backward or regressing, it’s just time to start moving to the next step on this journey, accepting you aren’t coming home ever again. I've said goodbye, but I haven't said goodbye forever. Just the mere thought of this makes my heart race, tears start streaming down my cheeks, I start to panic, and get anxiety, kinda like how I felt the first week you passed. Hence the feeling that I was regressing; why was I feeling like I did on Day 1 when its Day 76 (I'm not keeping track of the days in my head, babe, so don't worry. I just went to the calendar right now and counted the days), so instead of processing and reflecting on what it meant, I freaked out, pushed it to the side, and closed my eyes so I would have to see or deal with it (yes, I know, like I normally do when something new and / or unknown comes along that I don't understand or scares me S***less. I know what you're thinking, "SY being SY again!" and then you would laugh at me when I refuse to admit you're right.) Anyways babe, who would willingly welcome grief back into their life with open arms?! Definitely, not me. I barely survived the first time, why would I want to go through it a second time, especially when I can feel that the second time around is going to be even harder and worst than the first time.
I keep telling myself that I’ve barely scratched the surface and that this is a marathon and not a sprint, but I keep wanting to believe that my pain and grief can’t go any deeper while I’m racing to the finish line as fast as I can so this journey can end and finally be over. But, grief keeps knocking me down, and it continues to win each time we battle. Okay fine, I'll admit that I haven’t written as much lately because I’m not ready to say goodbye forever. Okay fine, the truth is I'm scared to say goodbye forever. How can I say goodbye forever to the love of my life; to the one person that knows my soul inside and out, better than I know myself. The only way I’ve been hanging on to my sanity and functioning is believing that you’ll be coming home from your business trip soon. If this is taken away from me, I don’t think I could breathe or survive--I will probably go back to my crazy lady rants and never come out of it. Going back to my crazy lady rant scares the S*** out of me, but my therapist says I need to start confronting it or it will haunt me (Okay, she didn't say it like that, but that's how I'm interpreting it). I have to start forging a life and routine that doesn't involve you. Currently, I'm just camping out on the side of the road where it forks between hope and acceptance since I'm still doing everything the same just without you. I'm not trying to establish new routines that doesn't involve you. I haven't gone through your things, and I continue to grow more and more comfortable with them around since having your things around make me feel that you'll be coming home soon--even your dirty laundry from when you were alive is still where you left it. When I look at your dirty laundry, I always tell myself to wash them so I can donate your stuff, but they're still there, exactly where you left them. My therapist wants me to start small (baby steps) by getting rid of one thing that belongs to you each day. Well you know me babe, I don't do anything small or in baby steps, it's all or none!! So, this will be a hard homework assignment. It's a good thing I'm leaving for China tomorrow. That was my excuse, I can't start until I come back. But she insisted that I start before I leave. Well, I'm a procrastinator, so nothing has happened yet. But honestly, I’ve been giving away your stuff to people mentally since you passed, I just haven't actually given anything to anybody for reals yet. For example:
So, my mind knows you aren’t coming home, and it starting putting imaginary post-it notes on your stuff that I’ve mentally given away, but alas, my heart keeps me from actually giving it away since you’re coming home soon, right?!
Anyways babe, I’m going to take a page out of your playbook and retreat into the mancave (or the lady’s nest in my case). Escaping by binge watching TV and drinking juice isn't a bad thing. I'm just not ready to say goodbye forever yet. So, for right now, I'll continue camping on the side of the road at the fork and ignoring grief when it's pounding at my door. (Did I tell you?! I'm camping in an airstream; maybe that would entice you to come home now!!) Anyways, I think I deserve a break from all this processing and reflecting. It's a journey, a marathon, and sometimes, you just have to stop and smell the roses. Why rush the process when you are happy where you are. Let's see how long smelling the roses last before grief finally breaks down my door and hits me like a ton of bricks. So wish me luck!! I love and miss you so much!!
P.S. You know you can come home whenever you want, right? I'm not quite sure what's taking you so long to come home. I might have to start looking for the S 2.0 I keep talking about if you don't come home soon!! (Yes, I know, threatening you never works!!)
4/4/2018 12:59:14 am
Here is some unsolicited advice: slow down. Slow down and feel this stuff. Stop trying to rush through and get rid of stuff, take off your wedding ring, accept that this is your new reality. Ease into all of this. Wear the ring until it feels right. But don’t rush. You need to allow the evolution of all of your feelings and allow the scab to form, the scar to form and eventually this will be part of you, but for the better, for your growth.
4/4/2018 04:21:40 pm
Jaimie - you know me...do I have a "slow" speed? I know...but honestly, the only thing that is speeding away if my mind...it's just how my mind works....it's always racing ahead of me....cause it only knows how to get the job done!!!
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A grieving widow who is trying to find meaning and purpose from her tragic event.