Saturday, February 20, 2016

Life is the mother of all eff you's

Life has a real way of sneaking up on you.  We most days wake up and give little regard to exactly how much time we have left in this life.  We just get up and get on with our day.  We give the occasional thought to when we might die or maybe how, but generally speaking I think we try very hard to not think about it.  Who wants to acknowledge how fragile and short life is?  Who wants to think about how quickly life can forever change, from one breath to the next?  Nobody likes thinking about how the death of a loved one will leave a sorrowful void in their lives.

Unfortunately, death is the one thing all of us who were born share in common.  We all die.  We begin dying the moment we begin living.  Ironic, no?

I've spent the last month trying to remember my words and force my thoughts into cohesive and coherent sentences.  This is the best I could come up with in a month.  Don't judge me.  I've also spent the last month eating girl scout cookies for dinner more times than I'd care to admit.  Don't judge me.

This last month we suffered a catastrophic loss.  My ex husband had been suffering from congestive heart failure for some months, we knew he wasn't well.  I can promise you that it still came as a complete and total shock when he suffered from a massive heart attack.  Or whatever they "think" it was.

Some days I wake up and for just a moment I forget he's gone.  So fucking cruel when reality bitch slaps me with the reminder.  I still expect to hear him walking through the door every day around 6pm.  Another bitch slap when I remember he'll never walk through the door again.

I've recently come to the realization that death (not to be confused with the act of dying, that shit CAN hurt!) is painful only to the living.  Once you're dead, you're pretty much never going to hurt again.  Your problems are over, no more.  No more suffering.  No more worrying.  No more heartache.  No, that gets transferred to those living that get left behind.

I've also learned that grief really does come in many different forms.  I was completely caught off guard by just how angry I was.  The anger hasn't completely abated, but it has greatly diminished over the last month.

I've spent the better part of the last month being angry.  At not just him.  Angry at myself.  Angry at the doctors.  Angry at myself.  Angry at the people trying to help me.  Angry at him. Angry at me.  Angry at world.

That first wave of grief was so powerful and so overwhelming.  For my kiddos, especially.  My poor baby girl hurts so bad, and there is little I can do to comfort her.  Her sobs are so painful to hear.  My heart breaks for her with each and every tear she sheds.

Denial is also a bit of a dick punch.  Even though you know they're gone, know know, you still hold out hope that it was some sort of cruel joke or hoax.  It's irrational, for sure, but it's a powerful feeling nonetheless.   I was still deep in my secret realm of denial at his memorial service.  I held onto that last flicker of hope until I received his death certificate.  My small flicker of hope was momentarily fueled when vital statistics still hadn't received his death notice, a two full weeks after his death.  Surely this meant he was still alive.  And then I was handed the death certificate.  And then I had a monumental breakdown in vital statistics.  Those poor folks must get that sort of thing a lot, because she seemed prepared for it.  Thus began a new wave of anger and tears.

Oh my dear God the tears.  You wouldn't think the human body could produce so many tears.  I'm surprised my kiddos and I didn't drown with how much we've cried.  Stock in Kleenex is definitely up this month.

Oh, and because anger can't travel alone, guilt rides bitch to anger.  *sigh*  Guilt is simply agonizing.  Truly

It's not been a fun trip.  Each day is a new adventure in remembering how to live.  Some days are good.  Some days are horrible.  Some days I wish I could stay in bed and just make the world stop and recognize the loss we're suffering and wait for us to catch up.

I still cry more than once a day, more often than not.  I sometimes yell when nobody is around.  I sometimes yell when everyone is around.  I remember something that happened 15 years ago and laugh uncontrollably.  I look at pictures and imagine I can hear his voice in my head.  I write.  I delete.  I rewrite.  I color.  I talk.  Like, a lot.  I avoid.  Like, a lot.  I fake smile.  More than I real smile.  Like, a lot.  I rely on others to distract me enough to get me through to my next sleep.  I listen to music and occasionally dance it out.  I spend a lot of time in my bed, curled up under the covers.  I hold my kids and smell their heads, like I did when they were babies.  I memorize their smells and their sounds and their faces.  I recognize now just how very precious that is.  I do my very best to just keep going and to keep propelling myself forward, always, never allowing myself to stand still for too long.  I make sure my kids are taken care of and have a shoulder to lean/cry on.  I don't exactly make it to the shower every single day, but I do make an effort to not let it get too bad.  I go outside and get enough adult interaction to remember that I hate adult interaction.  I get all some of my bills paid.  I've even gotten back to baking.  I actually cared enough to put deodorant on more days than I didn't.  You're welcome.  And I finally took down all my Christmas decorations (Ok, before you judge me for that, a LOT happened very shortly after the start of the year and, well...). 

Some days I feel like I'm handling this like a total rock star.  Some days I feel like I'm a total failure.  But, I do know that I'm doing my very best.

Death is hard, especially on the living.

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