Sunday, January 30, 2011

It Works

I guess that you can talk yourself into a having a positive outlook. I've been trying to give myself a better outlook and make plans for the future. It actually worked. I made a huge step for planning my future, I'm scared. I don't know if I can live happily without Chris. But, I know that he is happy for me right now and that brings a smile to my face. I know that something is missing from my life. I also know that I will never be able to get the someone that is missing back; he will be gone, but never forgotten and certainly not replaceable. Chris will forever hold a very special place in my heart. I will never stop loving him. I know that he wants me to live my life and that he wants me to continue the plans that we made and didn't get a chance to fulfill. So, here's to giving myself a better outlook. Tears are allowed, just as long as they aren't debilitating me. I will be ok.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Nie Ma

I've been brushing up on my Polish again, dreaming of the day that I take the trip to Warszawa. Chris promised me that he would take me there. I gave up my dream of taking a class there to be with him. In Polish class if someone wasn't there we would say "Nie ma", which here literally means "there is no". I prefer "on nie jest tutaj" (he isn't here.) But, that's how I feel now, with what I know now. I've been fixated on this for some time now. Thinking about the word "gone" has me fixated too. Because that is what Chris is, he is gone. Chris nie ma. How can that be? How can he be here one minute then "gone" the next? How can one crazy monster just take another man's life especially the way that he did? And for what? Because his girlfriend said Chris flirted with her? Yeah, that's a whole level of crazy that needs to be locked up for the rest of his life. 

Anyway, I think that this fixation on being gone has kept me in the emotional pit for so long. I've come to the realization that he really is gone. I know that I've had this revelation before, but something always happens where I talk myself out of it. I will convince myself that it's merely a dream, a bad dream, a horrible nightmare. But, we all must wake up from our dreams, especially the nightmares. And when I never wake up and realize that it's not a dream, that this is my life, I wonder how can I go on? That is where I am at right now. How can one be happy when such tragedy has left a horrible scar? Żałuję, że nie istnieje!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Ascending Upward

Well, I guess it's time to fasten my seat belt. I'm back on the roller coaster of grief again. At least this time, I'm ascending upwards out of the pit of despair. I still cried myself to sleep last night; it was more like sobbed myself to sleep last night. I was able to pull out a letter, read a portion of it and when I started to tear up, I simply put it back in the box. I cried for just a little while, but not hysterically. My heart still aches though. I'd imagine that it will not heal fully. I suspect that I will always have this bit of my heart missing, this piece that was pierced with a knife, I will always have a portion of my heart dedicated to Chris that will always ache.

A good widower friend recently reminded me of the quote from Shawshank Redemption: "Get busy living, or get busy dying." I haven't decided exactly where I fit in just yet. I know what I want from life, and I know that I will never have it again. I do have some realistic dreams, but there's always this shadow of sorrow clouding everything that I hope and dream for. Yet, I accept the fact that I have to wait until it is my time to go, like it or not. I don't mope around, but I don't exactly live it up either. It's hard to make decisions when you can't see through the fog. Maybe I'll take my cue from him and get busy living. I have become a master at faking my positive emotions, maybe I can fake my need to get busy living and it will just happen.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Ocean of Tears

I've been crying a lot lately. A whole lot more than usual. Last night, I was crying so hysterically, I had to take an anxiety pill to calm myself down. I don't know if it was finding his letters and reading them, or what has me in this dark, dark place. But, I don't like it. I am quite used to sobbing myself to sleep while I hold on to his pillow. But, the hysterical crying is getting out of hand. I cry everytime I think of him now. I can't imagine why at 13 months and 2 weeks I am just as bad as when this first happened. When a song comes on the radio that reminds me of him, I cry. When I see his picture, I cry. Even when I have a happy memory, I cry. I am on more medication than when this first happened and I just don't understand why I can't seem to stop crying. I don't even limit my crying to when I'm alone. I've started crying at work again, which is a very bad sign. Those shows and movies that we used to think was so funny, aren't so funny anymore.

I've laughed genuinely exactly once in the past month. And of course, I looked at the empty spot next to me on the sofa and started to cry. He should have been there sharing that laughter with me, and yes, that is exactly what I said.

Maybe I can't seem to let go of this pain because I feel so robbed of my own life. Chris brought so much to my own life that once he was a part of it, I couldn't remember or imagine a life without him. Now, I'm faced with a future that I'm so uncertain of. Chris and I had so many plans for our future, how can I possibly go forward with any of those plans without him? I've thought of plans for my future, but I'm so scared to make them because life is so unfair. I'm so scared to live my life because my life is in ruins right now and I don't know where to begin to put it back together at.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

It's Not Contagious

Since I've lost Chris, I've lost friends. Yes, I've gained some friends too. But, so many friends have distanced themselves from me. I don't know why. I don't know if it's because I'm not a couple anymore and can't be part of the couple's club anymore, or what the reason is. But, it is a bit hurtful.

Recently, I had another experience where I was hurt and felt isolated because I was a widow. I won't go into the details, but I really felt "different" because I was a widow. (BTW - I hate being a widow, I hate calling myself a widow, but unfortunately that is what I am.) I sometimes feel like I am a pariah because of my marital status. Trust me, I don't like it anymore than the people shunning me do.

I have some news for these people: widowhood is not contagious. You will not and cannot contract it from being near me or even in the same room as me. You will not and cannot contract it from talking to me, in person or over the phone. And you will not and cannot contract it from reading my blog. Plain and simple, it is not a disease, you cannot catch it, and it will not rub off on you.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Where Did It Go?

Where did that glimmer of happiness go? I felt it; it was right at my finger tips. But, now it's gone. I had finally reached the point where I decided that I wanted to live, and I wanted to be happy. I know that Chris would want me to be happy. But, where did it all go?

I want to remember the happiness that Chris brought to my world and not the sorrow that is left. I will always feel some sorrow when I think of what we both lost. But, I want to remember the good that he brought to me. I do feel so much warmth in my heart when I think of him. I want to feel that all the time. But, it seems to go away quickly because I quickly remember that he's gone and I will never get him back.

I found a shoebox full of letters that he wrote me. I thought that there were actually shoes in the box and not his letters. I was pleasantly surprised when I opened the box. I decided to read one of the letters. I thought that it would be ok to read. But, I wasn't prepared to read about his plans for our future, our future that we will never have anymore. The letter mentioned that when he got home he was going to fix the clasp for the attic door that has needed to be fixed since I bought the house. Well, the door is being kept closed by all of my shoeboxes and the very shoebox that held that letter. So now, every time I look at the attic door, I think about how he was supposed to fix it and never did. I also think, "how can I ever get anyone else to fix it?" Because nobody else can ever replace Chris!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Why I've Reverted Backwards

I've been trying to figure out why I've been going backwards in my grief. Then it hit me...my therapist quit. She didn't quit me, she quit working for the doctor's office. But, I feel like she quit me. I feel abandoned. I know that it's not personal. I can't take it that way. But, it feels like it. I didn't get a call from the office or her letting me know that she was leaving. However, my doctor did tell me that she wasn't going to be there anymore on my last visit. So now I have to start all over again with another therapist. My doctor will fill in for her until she can find another one that she think will be a good fit. Which is fine. However, it still stinks; I liked her, and I trusted her. I don't know why, but it has brought back the fresh feelings of Chris passing away. And now, I will have to start all over with someone new and bring all the fresh feelings of grief to the surface again.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Another What If Day...

I keep wondering what would have happened if I would have left work early and I was the one that was killed instead of Chris.  I wonder would he have been able to handle it?  How would he have coped with it? Would he have the strength to survive?  What would he be doing at this very moment?  I have an inkling as to what he would be doing.  I know that he wouldn't be dating.  He would always tell me that no matter what happened to us, he would never marry again.  I believed him.  That is one of the reasons that I don't ever want to date again.  I certainly don't want to ever get married again.  When I say that he was my first love, he was.  I truly never knew what love was until I met him. 

I have an inkling that I know what would have happened to Chris if I walked in on the attack and he survived and I didn't.  He had suffered so much loss in his life, that I don't think that he would have been able to suffer any more loss.  I am barely surviving.  I really, truly never thought that I would live this long.  But, by the grace of God, I have.  Really, it's not because I'm strong, it's because I'm a coward.  It's because I'm too afraid that if I don't survive, I won't be reunited with Chris in the end.  So, I have to put on a brave face every day and face this horrible world alone and just wait it out.

Yeah, I'm having one of those days again...

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

A Huge Leap

I finally washed all of Chris's clothes.  For those of you reading this that are not widows you won't understand.  The pain of it is that those clothes were the last things that I had that touched his body.  The last things that held his DNA.  And now there is nothing but memories of when he wore each item.  Even though the memories are good, they still bring tears to my eyes.  I cry because he will never wear those clothes again.  I will never make new memories with him wearing his best in show shirt again.  He will never offer me his favorite sweatshirt when I'm cold.  I will never see him wear his favorite jeans again.

The other significance to washing his clothes is that I did not put them away in his dresser drawers.  I put them away in storage bins.  I gathered the clean clothes from the closet and drawers and put them away as well.  This was another huge leap in acceptance that he is not coming home.  Yes, I have "accepted" it awhile ago.  But, I never really believed it.  This step made it all too real. 

I know that many people think that I should have done this months and months ago, but I did it when I thought I was ready.  After I did it, I realized that I really wasn't ready.  But, what is done is done.  The next step is to let his brother have his clothes.  I'm not quite ready for that step yet.  I'm not ready to let go of him.  I feel that having his "stuff" close to me is the next best thing to having him close to me.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Baby Steps

I still haven't washed all of Chris's clothes.  I'm too afraid of washing him away.  But, I made a promise to his brother.  I promised that when I was ready to give away his clothes, I would give them to him.  I intend to keep that promise.  But, I'm not ready to let go of Chris just yet.  I know that he's not coming home, and I've accepted it.  But, having his things here is the next best thing to having him with me.  If I can't have him, at least I can have the clothes that touched him.  And I understand that I'm being selfish by keeping him all to myself and I'm sorry for that.  But, I'm trying.  So, I bought a couple of storage bins today to put his clothes in.  And hopefully, I will have the will power to finally wash his clothes.  I will put a few of my favorite pieces of clothes away for myself.  I wear almost all of his "big shirts" and his sweat shirts; so, I will probably keep those.  But, I want to keep a couple of his t-shirts and a dress shirt or two.  And then maybe just a pair of jeans. 

It may not seem like a big deal to even buy two storage bins, but it was a huge deal.  It's another form of acceptance that he truly isn't coming home.  I sat on the couch today and thought "he's gone, how can he just be gone? How can my wonderful husband not be here anymore?"  It's inconceivable.  It's not real, it's not my reality.  This is cannot be my life.  My life should not consist of baby steps like buying storage bins.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

The What If Game

For the longest time I played the "What If" game.  What if Chris would have set the alarm that night?  What if Chris tripped the alarm?  What if I would have left work two hours early?  What if I would have left work a half hour early?  I even wondered what if I hadn't cleaned off my car?  That would have saved me five minutes... What if... What if... What if...The what if game is a dangerous and stressful game to play.  Besides, nobody wins.  The only trophy that you are left with is major anxiety.

Something did happen shortly after I hit my one year mark.  I don't know exactly when it happened, but I woke up one morning and I stopped playing the what if game.  It wasn't even that I refused to play it.  It was almost as if I put it away in the attic and it's now collecting dust along with all the forgotten games of yesterday.

But lately, it's been creeping up.  Almost like those old cartoons where it grows arms and legs and just sneaks up on you.  However, it's disguising itself.  It's clever, it's still the "what if" game.  But, it's slightly different now.  It knows that I don't want to play by the old rules, so it's changed.  Now it's tapped into a new fear.  What if people stop remembering Chris?  What if people stop talking about Chris?  What if people won't say his name anymore?  What if Chris is forgotten?

I want people to talk to me about him.  I want people to say his name to me.  I set up a memorial page so that people can remember him and share stories and pictures about him.  But, I'm afraid that people are forgetting him. I want to hear about the crazy stuff that he did before we met (know that he did some crazy stuff.)  I want to see pictures of him from when he was a teenager.  I want to know all about his life before I was a part of it.  And I want to share the life that we had with the world.  I don't want Chris to be forgotten.


Say Chris

The time of concern is over. No longer am I asked how I am doing.
Never is the name of my partner mentioned to me. A curtain descends.
The moment has passed. A life slips from frequent recall.
There are exceptions … close and comforting friends, sensitive and loving family.
For most, the drama is over. The spotlight is off. Applause is silent.
But for me, the play will never end. The effects are timeless.

Say Chris to me.

On the stage of my life, he has been both lead and supporting actor.
Do not tiptoe around the greatest event of my life. Love does not die.
His name is written on my life. The sound of his voice replays within my mind.
You feel he is dead. I feel he is of the dead and still lives.
You say he was my partner. I say he is.

Say Chris to me and say Chris again.

It hurts to bury his memory in silence.
What he was in the flesh has now turned to ash.
What he is in spirit, stirs within me always.
He is of my past, but he is part of my present. He is my hope for the future.
You say not to remind me. How little you understand that I cannot forget.
I would not if I could.
I forgive you, because you cannot know.

I strive not to judge you, for yesterday I was like you.
I do not ask you to walk this road. The ascent is steep and the burden heavy.
I walk it not by choice. I would rather walk it with him in the flesh.
I am what I have to be. What I have lost you cannot feel. What I have gained you cannot see.

Say Chris, for he is alive in me.

He and I will meet again, though in many ways we have never parted.
He and his life play light songs on my mind,
sunrises and sunsets on my dreams.
He is real and he is shadow.
He was and he is.
He is my partner and I love him as I always did.

Say Chris to me and say Chris again.


(This poem was rephrased and based on the book “Saying Olin to Goodbye” by Donald Hackett.)

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

I Hate Being Sick

Another time that I really miss having Chris around is when I'm sick.  I have nobody around to make me feel better.  I have nobody around to make me soup.  I have nobody around to tell me that everything will be ok.  Chris would still cuddle with me and wouldn't care if he would get sick as long as it would make me feel better.

I don't get sick very often.  But, if I get sick enough to make a doctor's appointment, all I want is Chris.  And right now I'm sitting here in bed crying because he is the only thing that I want right now.  Somehow, I think that I wouldn't care how sick I was as long as I had Chris by my side, I would be ok.  So, I'll just add this to the long list of reasons why I miss Chris.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Happiness Is Overrated

I don't see what the big deal is with being "happy".  It's so overrated.  I'm fine with being content.  I was happy once upon a time and I just can't see being happy with anyone else.  Yeah, I suppose it would be nice to be happy.  But, what I had with Chris was something special.  He was the first person that I truly wanted to share my life with.  He was the first man to last past the dreaded three month mark.  I don't know if I'll ever meet anyone that will do that.  He was the first man to truly make me happy.

I'm not delusional, we had our moments where we weren't happy all the time.  But, those moments that we spent making up were some of the most memorable and happiest moments that we spent together. Even some of the fights, when he would start yelling at me then he would run outside and yell at me as loud as he could "I fucking love you, do you hear me?  Do you think everyone hears me?  I fucking love you!"   I smile when I think of our times together.  Just thinking of some of the silly things that he would do makes me happy and brings a big smile to my face.  That is all the happiness that I need right now.

Of course, having Chris here with me right now would be even better than the happy memories of him.  But, I stopped believing that that miracle will happen a long time ago.  So, I'm content right now.  I'm happy with my memories.  If something should come along and bring some happiness to my life, so be it.  Right this very moment, I am making the best of my life the way that it is.  I have accepted what has happened, I may not like it, but I have accepted it.  I've decided that I'm not moving on, but I'm moving forward with time.  I don't have to be happy, I just have to be content.  At least I'm not sad and miserable all the time anymore.  If happiness happens to come my way, then I'll open the door for it.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Holidays

The holidays can be rough even if you're not a widow.  But they are always rough if you are a new widow.  This is my second holiday season, but it felt like my first because last year, I was completely numb.  Also last year I was living with my parents during the holiday season and I really couldn't "escape".  I did leave for a little bit to go to my house to take my presents there and pick up some items.  But, I couldn't be alone.  Although, it needs to be said that I have a wonderful family and they made it as best as it could be.

This year was different.  The fact that Chris wasn't around was more real.  My family was wonderful, again.  Maybe even more so this year.  And, this year, I am even closer to his family.  I don't think of his grandmother as an in-law, I think of her as my own grandmother.  She has been wonderful to me beyond words.  I feel so blessed to be surrounded by the family that I have.  My parents spoiled me with unbelievable gifts. Yes, I actually cried because of their generosity and love.  Even his grandmother spoiled me with the most thoughtful gift that I will cherish for a lifetime.  I cannot express in words how much love I feel for my family and Chris's family. 

This New Year's Eve, I was in bed and asleep by eleven.  I thought "What's the point of celebrating without Chris?"  And really, what was the point?  I have nobody to kiss, and don't want anyone to kiss except for Chris.  To be awake would just be a reminder of what was missing in my life.  So, I wanted to treat it as just another night and day.  Today was nothing special to me because what was special to me is missing; so now everything that was special is nothing special anymore.