Memory Loss, Focus, and Grief Brain

I am a member of two online support groups for loss Widowed Village and Option B. Finding people who are going through the same things is comforting to me. Often in this process I feel like I am losing my mind. I have a hard time with words. I always considered myself pretty good at words and communication (in the words of David Spade and David Letterman on two separate occasions “I fancy myself quite a wordsmith”). What came so easy before, I have to think about now. I can tell you a story and forget the word “toaster” or “shoe” randomly. Words I know. Words we use daily.

FRUSTRATION

I love my job and I find that it brings me value as a person that I do not feel I have right now in my personal life. (If you read yesterday you will probably understand that). I can try to complete a task at work that I know I need to get done but the enormity of doing it can overwhelm me. My lack of FOCUS is new for me. I am usually so on everything. I always had a little bit of ADD but this is more pronounced. Working 8 full hours full throttle is just not easy anymore. I am not breaking down and crying all day. I just find it harder to remain on task. I can get on a conference call and forget who I am talking to about which topic whereas before I could never be stumped. Making lists to keep me on point does seem to help. Finding time off is important so I can decompress. I am looking forward to a few days off end of June.

I need to be reminded of plans I make so that I do not forget to be there. I almost missed something the other day because the person forgot to remind me until 25 minutes before. It was embarrassing for me at first because I felt like I was slipping. But, I have started to own the way that I am and be honest with people.

Sometimes I cannot focus on long winded explanations or stories so I may come off as not interested. It is not the case I am trying but sometimes thoughts or images come into my mind while you are talking to me and I get DISTRACTED.

I know who you are but I cannot recall right now. It is hard to place you and how I know you. Introduce yourself again.

Grief Brain is real but we should not be embarrassed by it. So what if someone laughs at your for forgetting a word like happened to me. They have no idea what we are doing to try to process everything coming at us. On top of the normal grief brain if you were to add a traumatic component to the grief it is said that is another layer of processing your brain is trying to do. I will talk more about EMDR next blog post because this topic has been coming up more. Grieving and Trauma means you are trying to go through all the files and images to put together your thoughts, sentences, words. We just have more files and images and often the ones we need are in the cabinet deep down underneath old papers. EMDR can help you tap into these older papers and file away the things you are not needing at the moment.

How can you help a grief brain person?

  • Patience
  • Email a reminder about plans or information that you did not receive back yet
  • Ask the person how they want to communicate (messenger, work messaging programs, email accounts, texts, calls, twitter, Facebook posts) we are ALL everyone one of us over stimulated with ways to communicate and things get missed. Now add to that grief, loss, trauma and its one big web of miscommunication
  • Don’t laugh when we cannot complete a thought or word we are really frustrated maybe offer the word instead and show kindness.
  • If we seem to forget a name or face of someone approaching and you are with us read our cue’s and help us out. We may have relied on our spouse to play the role in the past and they are no longer able to help us.

Pause the Grief… and Hope

All I want is to smile, laugh, and to be happy again. Someone or something to make my mind stop questioning, wondering, and second guessing.

As you marry or have a serious relationship so much is wrapped up into your coupling. When 12 years is taken in the blink of an eye and unexpectedly so is the identity you have had.  I want to allow my new self to shine through because  while I am forever altered, this new self is a good person trying to live now. Different but still kind, affectionate, passionate, loyal, independent, strong, weak, compassionate, faithful, friendly, and emotional.

Another thing about grief loss is how self centered your forced to be. I am the caregiver and problem solver usually. This focus of others to fix or help me is just not normal for me. I do not like that. I prefer to be needed not needy.

I am looking for my certainty, confidence, self-worth, and especially my relevance. Where do you put this major part of you when the person you chose walks away (and yes I know he was not thinking of me, he was mentally in anguish and it was not rational)? Tired of being sad, worthless, and unneeded. The new girl is wanting to try live, to dance, hope, wish, and scarier still dream of happiness. Fake it until you make it seems to be what riding grief waves mean.

What has worked to help me PAUSE and HOPE:

  • Yoga
  • Writing
  • Painting and Drawing (and no I am not good!)
  • Time with friends
  • Distractions
  • My job
  • The trips planned back home
  • Reflecting on who I am now and trying to find a balance between strength, weakness, grace, and peace
  • The hope that there is something good coming out of tragedy

Some days are harder than others. I try to keep my spirits up. I want to feel anything but down. Take it away for a minute, hour, day. Need me. Let me in. Give me a chance. Show me why I am here.

Grief Connections

Thank you to Ashley Kratz. She is walking in a Suicide Awareness walk on June 17, 2017 in DC. They gave her the shirt for registering. She came to on an online Grief Group (Option B: Coping with grief) and asked for names of other loved people who we have lost to suicide. I offered my husbands name. This is the first public display of his suicide. It was intense to see his name listed there. I do not know Ashley but I am so blessed for her to do this kindness to a bunch of strangers.

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The subtle shift at 6 months… Acceptance and Hope

I had been going through the motions for the last 6 months. Working, therapy, back to yoga, eating out with friends, mainly doing a lot on my own. Forcing myself to go for coffee breaks to see people. Stepping out of my comfort zone. Talking on the phone to my brothers daily who would check in. Texting a friend here or there for support.

The week before the 6 months anniversary I went back to my parents house. I was able to see people I had not seen in a while. My friends there have experienced loss of a similar nature which made me feel like I could ask questions and they understood what I was going through. Some had more experiences with depression and mental health which gave me a safe spot to talk about those topics. I was at home which has become a comfort to me. And, I had a long scheduled appointment with a medium and energy healer that week as well.

Seeing the medium for me was everything. I had no answers until he came through and told me what he had been struggling with. The hour session felt like 4 hours. His presence was obvious. I had not told the medium anything and did not tell her who I hoped would appear either.  When he came through it was very clear how he died, where he died, and who we were to each other based on what he showed the medium. He was in intense pain for a very long time. He was not able to use his words to explain what he was going through. He was suffering with internal issues that were nothing to do with me. He loves me and he is sorry he said. He told me to move forward and find happiness again. I am glad to know that he is now ok and pain-free living in heaven. He now knows how great he is and how loved. He has clarity. That is probably what made me feel the most relief. I have the questions answered that I needed. While it does not take the pain away it allowed me closure, acceptance, and hope.

Facebook Post on the 6 month anniversary (after I came back):

 6 months ago my life was turned upside down. Not a day goes by where I do not miss him. He has finally been showing himself to me and is sending me messages. I know he is ok and peaceful. I wish we could go back in time and change the outcome but unfortunately that isn’t a possibility. I told him that night I would live for the both of us and I will uphold that promise. Life for me won’t be easy but I will be fine with him watching over me. I am so thankful that I got the advice to see a medium because I have received closure that I could never have gotten without her help. It is what I already knew deep down inside and though it will Never take the pain away from losing him it will help me heal just a little bit.

Loss of a spouse is tough at any age but unexpected loss of a spouse shocks you to the core and changes everything. saying goodbye and that you love that person is pulled away from you.

Our love was special even if it was cut short. I hope I can continue to make him proud and always recall our best memories.

Half a year apart how can it be already?

 

I have not been sending him as many letters now and stopped putting up tons of Facebook posts. My thoughts have turned more inward in regards to my husband. I decided at around that same time to get moving on the blog. With his death being a suicide I always felt that I was not able to fully share my feelings. I worried that I was not keeping his privacy if I said too much. I worried that most people would not want to know or hear my posts and were ready for me to just get over it. My conversations shifted to the therapist office and to a few people who I text or call and check on me. Those people being there for me have made me continue to move in a positive way. It is not easy at all. But I do try. I have accepted the loss of my husband and I know he won’t ever come back. He is by my side and rooting for me to enter the next phase of my life.

I started to believe in hope for a future for me. And some days it is easier than others to buy into! As a matter of fact I am writing this a month later on Memorial Day weekend. This is a time of thankfulness to those Veteran’s who fought for our freedoms. And also a time of friends, family, picnics, the start of summer fun. For me it has been lonely even though I went to two parties I went alone.

I am homesick and missing my family. I am texting a friend that I would like to be able to hang out with in person. Do you have that friend who helps you see differently and expand your mind? It is not the friend you cry to, it is the friend who helps you move through with laughter, positivity, creativity, and just being there. It is not the friend you thought would be the one to listen or even come to you in this time of grief, but this person helps you in ways they do not even realize. Most of the other people have already stopped checking in with me at this point.

At month 7 my resolve, strength, resiliency is being tested as I navigate the new ocean of Widowhood. My need to be in control has been tested and shifted since the day I found him. Most of what I am doing is navigating a whole new ocean that I have never seen before. Nothing is black and white anymore, there is so much grey.

I am looking forward to a trip home in 3 weeks as I so desperately need some me time. I am very hard on myself to figure everything out quickly. I know that it sounds like a lot of pressure and it is but there are reasons. Talking to another grieving widow she said how she also wants to move forward fast to get past the sadness she is feeling all the time. It is a process anyone grieving would want to move through quicker. I worry if I stay standing here I will not continue to improve and maybe I will get worse… life is short and fragile and fleeting and I worry I will miss something special if I stay stuck.

Letters from Months 3-5 anger, bargaining, depression

1-22-17 3 months and still raw

I cannot fathom how it is 3 months that you are gone. It feels like forever since we touched each other, kissed, heard I love you out of your mouth. But it feels like yesterday that I found you there lifeless. It is the most confusing, difficult, traumatic thing. I cannot explain the waves of hell I feel most daily. The physical and emotional pain is unbearable. I can only imagine yours was way worse as you suffered in silence alone and in pain. I am sorry you felt I was not someone you could open up to. I would have done anything to help you. ANYTHING.
I miss you today and everyday.
I have moved into a new house this past week. We have been busted our butts to get things in order and to also honor you in the meantime. Leaving our house was a must do. It was ours and I will never feel anything more for that space other than that it took you from me. I hated that I had to spend anytime there at all after you left me. I am trying hard to not be afraid but everything about this experience terrifies me so much. If I think about finding you too much; I can get close to a panic attack. I am trying to be gentle with myself but since that was my last image of you it is hard to not try to want to recall it. But the haunting image is the one I wish never to see in my mind, dreams, or life again.
Do you know now that I love you? Does it become clear now how many people are hurt and sad losing you. Do you know how many people wish they could have taken away your pain, been a person you confided in? It has been hardest on you for sure but we all feel pain. We want you back. We love and miss you.

2-18-17 When the Anger had set in…

I am so angry I could not write for a while. I just want to yell at you. How did you not consider me? How did you not know I loved you? How did you not see you were my world? How could you not tell me the issues you were facing? I would have done ANYTHING to give you help.
NOW we both lose each other. Forever. Dead. Forever changed. We lose.
You may be free but I am in torture daily.
WHY when it could have been worked on?
WHY
WHY
WHY
I miss you…
No goals, dreams or hope remain… I’m A Fraction of who I was, barely surviving.

3-7-17 Trying to accept but still shocked

I know I have not written to you as much as I should.
I am having a very hard time with missing you, sadness, loneliness. I worry that you died not knowing how loved you truly are. You meant more to me than anything monetary, the dogs, the cats, or anyone else in my life. I thought I told you and you knew but now everyday I question 11.5 yrs of my actions and words. I am so sorry for my failures.
Things are so hard. I am so TIRED all the time. I fake smile when I have the strength to muster that even.
I put time and effort into the decorating and shopping but it’s just to make sure I keep going. If it was not for the dogs and cats… I don’t think I would get up. It is hard to work a full day.
I am also struggling because I feel like there is a whole part of this that I cannot or won’t talk to out loud the way I probably need to. I am trying to respect your feelings, your privacy, your legacy. Too many do not understand suicide. As much as I read I still struggle to understand your frame of mind. I am so sorry that your time was so dark. I wish I could fix it for you. I wish you would have allowed me in. Told me you were considering hurting yourself that you were dark and in need of help. I would have moved the world to help you. I cannot get past the part that you died not knowing my love for you.
I know you made a comment that I would be fine without you. How wrong you are. I am a mess without you. I am in so much pain.
From my Facebook post:
The steps of grief and loss are like layers in an onion to me. The more layers you deal with (affairs, funerals, donations, anger, blame, guilt, trauma, fear, loneliness, stupid comments) the closer you get to the hard middle. The hard middle part is the true feeling of knowing he is gone forever and he won’t come back and we were both cheated out of many amazing years together. When that is what your left to focus on your true pain and tears come when they want to. This is the worst part.
I know I will never be able to make you proud of me. I failed you.

3-20-17 Time stopped for you.

Today I set my own watch:
Watches have played a role since you passed away. 3 of his 4 watches stopped and needed repairs since he died… The only one that worked was the one he was wearing when he left this earth forever.

Watches… oh it used to piss you off that I could not set my own watch. How I could not feel and hear the click one/ or click two in order to change the date and time. How a smart girl like me cannot set a simple watch on her own….

Today I set my own watch.

3-22-17    5 months…

Today I read through all of the letters that I have sent to you in the past 5 months. There was a resounding theme of wishing it could be different, bargaining, sadness, pain. It is sometimes hard to get through the day but I do my very best to try to keep a nice home, join in things, and honor your memory. You should be here. This should not be the new normal. My mind still has not accepted it fully. You should be here….

Puzzle Pieces

This is another post of my process which is why I am going back in time to January.

1-8-17

On Friday I accepted the offer to sell the our dream house. Sorry but I would NEVER stay there without you. I told you that when you decided to tell me that I would be better off with a different husband who went out more and the time you said we would be fine without you. You tried to put me on the spot with no surrounding info. You put guilt on me with no context. A guilt I am unlikely to ever get over.

I do not like to see people, go out, be touched with hugs. It is really hard. I am a different person.  I will NEVER be the girl you married again. My heart is not able to be repaired. All of my dreams, goals, love was tied up in you. I am not mad do not get this wrong.
I am voraciously reading about Suicide. As much as I can handle before the bad dreams come. I just read one that while helpful broke my heart more. He is a suicide attempt survivor. I wish you were too…
Reading it I missed things that I thought were just you being you but in fact you were depressed. I have not had experience with depression. I have not had experience with people who do not talk about their feelings. The only person I know with a severe depression speaks about it so I did not know. I am so sorry for not seeing it for what it was.
  • You slept a lot and had a lot of headaches but you always did so I did not think much of it.
  • You pulled back from doing anything with me. I was begging for you to join me in things but you were not really doing anything with me. You pushed me away.
  • You seemed distracted in the last few weeks – preoccupied
  • You seemed dark in the last few weeks
  • You seemed paranoid in the last few weeks
  • You seemed to be done with me. I thought you were going to give me divorce papers maybe but not a dead husband.
20/20 Vision is what happens after the occurrence of this type of Trauma and it’s maddening. It makes me sick to my stomach. I replay every single word you have ever spoken to me, 12 yrs of knowing you. I wonder if you were this way as a child but I am so afraid to ask your mom anything.
I know too based on everything that you did not want to die. You were trying to self soothe/heal. You were for a while trying to and hid it.
I believe you like the survivor I read about did not want to die. You wanted to end your pain that was deep inside for so long. Maybe you felt like if you came to me it was a burden but I would give ANYTHING to have you replay this and come to me or anyone for that matter. Your life mattered. You meant everything to me. Maybe I did not say or show you right all the time but do not for one second think I do not feel it. The pain I have is unbearable too but different than yours. I am so sorry you struggled alone in silence. I have help. Maybe you did not know how to talk to me, maybe you felt I would not listen or would judge you. I am sorry if I was not a good wife. I wanted to be nothing more than that. I was ready to settle in and be with you with no more big projects and just enjoy the life we had built..
You cannot handle this type of thing alone, it needed to have a mental health professional and a doctor involved. I should have asked you the right things but I did not know enough, I did not know. I am sorry. So very sorry.
My thinking is you had planned this a while but were ambivalent at the same time. I asked you about things when you seemed off and you backed me off and pushed me away.
The pills- you were taking them without a script – who gave them to you? You were running low and cutting them and withdrawal on those leads to suicidal thoughts and negative thinking. I know this played a role. I found them after.
Me- a person is not enough to keep you alive when the pain you were feeling was so strong … Your loved ones are not a thought to you in those moments is what some say…. however the survivor attempt by Ben was different. He actually waited to see if his wife would call and when she did not he pulled the trigger. It is interesting because it is said that your not typically thinking but as I read from him maybe not in that last/final moment that one is where your wanting pain to end… maybe he just had a different thing going. She had left him and he wanted her back. Perhaps you wanted to escape me as I was another problem for you. You did say my negativity was not good for you once. and then you said i was too positive and everything was always happy. Confusing…. What role did I play. Was it because of me not being what you wanted in a wife? Was I not enough? I think you forget how much I was desperate for your affection, how you pushed me away.
I was there. I was asking maybe not the right way or question but I was trying. I feel like I was given nothing really and I am stuck putting together puzzle pieces to make a whole picture. My guilt I am not supposed to have…. but I have it.
​While you may say all the why’s and stuff are speculative, I am smart, I read, I see things at least in hindsight. I think I am pretty close to the truth. ​The worst part about being a suicide loss survivor is losing the one person you love so much in the world and the guilt you feel for your part in killing the one person you love so much. Talk about a horrible feeling. I am lost at how to move forward.

12-28-17

 I have written many letters to him in the first 5 months after his passing. Some are very short, some are just to say hello, or send a picture, or just to yell. This is the one where I got very real and it shows a lot of my process, the things I was feeling, waves I was riding, and even how it affected my body, sleep, etc. It is not the easiest to read back even for me because I was in a very different place in Dec compared to now in May. This was a critical part of my journey where I got out a lot of feelings to him.

12-28-17

I have so much to tell you lately. I am just going to type and do so fast to try to get it all out. I spent the day today working as best I could and reading a book called Dying to be free written by Kurt Cobain’s cousin Beverly, it is a healing guide for families after a suicide. So not lite reading but I need to do it.
I am trying my best to understand what you may have been feeling. I can only imagine your pain. I think I missed things I should have noticed and for that I am sorry. I know you felt you could not talk to me. I am sorry. I would have loved to help you. I think your the best man I know. If I never said it right or enough then I am sorry. You are so cute and funny and your smile was the best I have ever seen. Your eyes so blue and you made me so happy when you would look my way. I was the luckiest girl until the day I lost you to suicide. I wish I could turn back time and be less busy and more supportive so you could have felt like talking to me.
My stomach is a mess these days, my body is not right. Everything hurts.
I am constantly exhausted and I get out of bed but I really do not want to. I shower everyday so I am not weird widow girl.
My Mom and Dad miss you so much I worry for their health. We cry a lot. I am at their house with the dogs and have been for a while. I will not go back to the other house until I have to and that will just be for the week to pack it up and get out. I hate that place. It is cursed, confining, and claustrophobic with tainted memories.
Your mom is missing you I got her a nice necklace for Christmas engraved with your name on it. I think she loved it although our tears were so extensive I cannot say what it looked like on her. Your mom and dad purchased a Pandora charm for me for Christmas and it was “from you” It said for my “beautiful wife forever and always”. They felt like it was something you would want me to have. I think that is the point that I lost my mind. The despair, the heartache, the pain. The tremendous loss missing not just my husband but my best friend, lover, hero.
I found out about the smoker. your wonderful I am so happy you did that for him. I just wish you could show him how to use it. He was so moved by this. I am not shocked you are the most giving man I know. I just wish you had let him or one of us in so you could continue being the amazing man on earth that you are surely in Heaven.
I hope you understand I never wanted to do anything without you. I do not want to have a house, 5 animals, 2 cars, a job, friends, picnics, bbq, breakfast, coffee anything without you. YOU WERE ALL I WANTED. US together, our future enjoying the pool, the house, the fire, the tub together. the calm of the winter in our space. That was so what I was looking forward to. We were going to build fires and swim together for many years. When did you decide that you did not want that or me or us or life?
I did not give you enough and I lost you because of it. I know you were hurting now and that it was not about me but I also think I did not tell you enough that I want you, need you, love you. I may have said it but did I not show it enough? I should have dropped everything and just been with you. None of the other stuff mattered. I miss you tremendously.
I am researching and reading. I am trying to find the knowledge to begin to possibly understand your pain, to begin to maybe someday consider forgiving myself for my part in your suicide, to maybe be ok sometime in the distant future.
It is difficult to believe how solitary this act is. The writers say you only think of yourself and not how it will affect your family.  You think of your pain and despair. They say you did not want to die just stop hurting and that you felt like a burden and that your family would be better off without you.
Oh baby I just wish we could have talked. If me, the job, the stress of the house or anything could have been a factor we could have fixed it. If you family stress was a factor we could have fixed it. I would have been your biggest helper to get you counseling/meds. I would have helped you. I would have done anything to have you be here. I wish I could know your ok.
T went to a medium. Did you come through with Nonnie? I want to believe it so badly. Because he said you are ok, in heaven, with Nonnie holding her hand. That I should not feel guilty that you had things in your mind. Was this you?
Scared, I admit I am afraid of so much right now. The unknown of your mind. The things I may have missed because I was selfish and did not mean to be or know. The fact that T maybe did hear from you. The fact that he may not have is even more scary. The fact that others get signs and I have not gotten one. The fact that a sign could come and it may be mean or scary. That maybe you are mad at me or wanted out. I know I go back and forth on what I read and then when I can comprehend. On one hand I know it is not my fault on another hand it feels like I missed signs, or did not provide emotional support you needed. Life is once, that is scary because I cannot ask for a redo. You can’t come back so I can do better.
Sorry, Mainly I am just sorry that you were in pain. Sorry that you were in turmoil. Sorry that you had to kill yourself. That must have been so scary. You went this whole battle alone and then you masked it. Sorry that you felt the need to deceive instead of get help. I am sorry for all of it. I will always feel sad, guilt, sorry, sorrow, despair, helpless.
All I would want to tell you is I LOVE YOU and ALWAYS HAVE AND ALWAYS WILL. YOU ARE THE BEST MAN AND ALWAYS WILL BE! I wanted nothing more than you. I wanted to connect with you all the time. I was so scared to let my guard down sometimes to let you know I guess. You did not always make it easy to approach you.
I wish I could say the right things then and now. All I have is I never wanted this. I hate the life I am forced into. I want you back and I want another chance. I want to get you help. It is too late. I cannot get those things. So all I will do is remember you and love you intensely and try to understand the unnatural, difficult experience you were dealing with. Because to love you is to want to know you are ok. I will try to be sure you are pain-free and ok now. I will not cry for my shitty life I got dealt but rather for the fact that you did not get to live yours and the short time you had you were in excruciating pain.
I miss you.

Encountering those BIG milestones …early

Within 3 month of my husband passing away I would encounter his birthday, my birthday, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New years. A lot of grief books zero in on how to get over these BIG MILESTONES in the first year or so after loss. They are times where you should be together with a day off or a special dinner.

We tried our best to celebrate him with friends and cupcakes and singing happy birthday to him. I knew it would be one of the last days I would stay in our house. For my birthday I made a decision on where to move next, purchasing a place. For the holidays I spent them very small with my immediate family only. Over those early months I was not seeing many people and I was staying in at my parents house in one small room most of the time. We were surrounded by Hallmark movies, wine, and in the safety of my childhood bedroom.

I found out of all of the big days the hardest so far was New Years when the ball dropped. It was a moment of complete and total sadness. I entered was thrust into 2017 whether ready or not and knowing that he was no longer going to be written into the story.

I will soon encounter our engagement anniversary, wedding anniversary next month in fact, and those will be two other BIG MILESTONES. The one that scares me the most of all however will be the one year of his passing. I know that day will be very difficult and will make sure I am not working and have time to reflect. October is not too far away.

I continue to do my best and to live but there are BIG DAYS that knock you down and some of those are just a random Friday like I had this past week. There was no holiday attached to Friday specifically but it was the start of Memorial Day weekend. A weekend of family fun, pools, sun and I was facing it all alone in a new home.  Off I went to the parties solo and put myself out there as the new me, WIDOW.

Lost Still, Love & Letters Month 2

Your waves come in and out so fast that sometimes even a few moments apart your letters look like two different people wrote them. You can see that from the two on 12-11-16. That week was when things were coming at me from all directions. I had come back to the our house from my parents so there was a lot of intense emotions. I was struggling and worrying about moving. I am sharing the past letters because my hope is you can see my progress as the months pass and the therapy takes shape. The work I put in has allowed me to even re-read these and post them.
11-28-16
I meet to get our dream home on the market tomorrow. I am so sorry but I could never be here without you. I am so sorry I did not make you happy enough to stay with me. I miss you so very much. My heart is broken open. I am going to do the suggested EMDR therapy tomorrow in the hopes to be less afraid at night and of the images of your body. I am so afraid. I replay everything.  I love you and miss you.
Today I saw a couple of homes. I worry to make the wrong choice for the dogs and me. I think I will have to make the choice with myself in mind and hope the dogs like it 🙂
The one house has two downstairs bedrooms to allow our parents to come by and stay easier. However the yard is small.
The other house is under an acre barely and in the other subdivision.
Which should I go with?
12-6-16
Last night I tried to tell you something. I literally stopped myself in my tracts as I was saying it out loud. I do not recall what it was but how stupid I cannot tell you now. It is maddening.
I demanded to go first I told you this. Why don’t you ever send me a warm feeling or happiness. Are you mad at me? You left so fast and so completely.
I signed the documentation to put our house on the market yesterday. Our dream home means nothing without you. It is a reminder of you dying there, you not being happy and in turmoil. I would never want to keep it. I will miss the land, the creek, and the fireplace for sure. I will miss you in it. But I will not miss the horrifying experience of searching for you. The worse experience of my life was finding you. I placed an offer on a new place but really could not care less what happens.
I miss you and nothing will ever be right again.
12-11-16
This has been so hard. My heart is broken into A million or more pieces. I feel bad for you not for my pain. I want to help and take your pain away. I wish I could have known. I love you so much and the hardest thing is to know that I did not help you, save you, know you were hurting. In a million letters I could not explain enough my love for you. I never knew one could hurt as much as I feel the pain. I never know that one could cry one second and remind oneself of the amazing man you were the next, only to cry full tears the following second.
I cannot possibly have told you right how much I love you because having lost you I feel so much deep pain that I do not think a person has the words to even explain in times of love.
Your presence is not felt which I am sad for because I want to know that you are seeing me, my pain, and that you know without any doubt that the love I have for you was and is so extremely deep. I would give ANYTHING to turn back time, to have you back but we know bargaining is BS, just like ANGER. it cannot ever happen it will not ever work. The fact is I am saying it so you HEAR it. It is no BS. I love you and have loved you more every day since the day I met you. I miss you and have missed you more with every day that you are gone. No matter what I was capable of showing you in this life or what you were capable of comprehending. I promise and swear on my life and those of everyone I know that I know what true love is and feels like and I know you were and are the one and it for me the truest of truest of loves. I do not know if one can even fathom true love to the degree I feel without having lost it. But what I do know is no one can explain it the way that I see it now because with loss I feel the most enormous hole in my heart and the deepest physical pain in my chest. I love you and have loved you and will intensely love you ALL the days I have left.
You are amazing and you are my truest love.
Later on 12-11-16
I feel like I have to lie about how I feel but you can’t make me lie. So I’ll tell you I HATE my life so much since your gone. Sure I get up and shower and put on a happy face. But I truly hate it. It is the worst life. Finding you dead because let’s face it I did not make you happy. Dealing w arrangements and thank you notes it’s all distracting everyone from the truth. My life is hell on earth since finding and losing you. My job as a wife is done and I failed so badly. I’m 35(now 36) yr old widow. My husband chose to leave without saying anything to me. Not a note or kiss or anything.
My life is hell and I hate it and no one can tell me anything to change my mind.
If God sends me to heaven my only worry is for our fur babies won’t have anyone to care for them. I’ll get my will done so I can be sure that someone will feed them. in case God should decide that I don’t need to wake up.
It sure would make it easier if I didn’t because living this hell is so painfully excruciating.
I saw you in the dream last name in the kitchen alive with your blue eyes and black jacket. Was that you? Or just my imagination? Come by again if it’s you
12-18-16
We had our cousin dinner this year at my brother’s house. I sure hope you saw him smoking meats on the Traeger.  He promised he sprayed the meat every 30 mins w Shiner.
They were nice to set you a place at the table. I think I got your raffle gift (Budweiser BBQ Sauces). I found that to be ironic….
Here is a picture of the Meat it was really good. I think you would have been happy with it. Also your spot at the table right next to me. Don’t worry I scratched your scratch offs we were the big L twice DOUBLE L !!
We missed you being there. It was a big empty hole. My heart is broken and misses you every single moment of every single day.

Fear

Being alone is the last thing I ever expected at my age, 35. I have always been afraid of the dark, the night, and being alone. After finding my husband passed away in the evening, in the dark, and seeing him so alone my fears became paralyzing.

I spent the first night awake on the couch under a blanket holding my friend’s hand as tight as I could. When I feel fear I think of holding her hand even now. She provided strength that I could not give to myself. She is what held me up in my darkest moment. In the words of Meredith Grey she is “my person”. Saying thank you will never be enough for what she gave to me.

My family arrived as soon as they could possibly be there. I could not function right until my brother showed up. He is strong and I knew he would help me.

Sleeping became torture. The second night and for many nights after I found myself “sleeping” on the couch with my brother keeping watch. I could not even consider going back to our bed at that time. I sobbed, I wept, I choked on tears all night long. I did not know your heart could ache physically for the a loss such as this. I was fearful of nightmares that might come, of closing my eyes and seeing the images of him passed away, of someone coming to hurt me. It took me not time at all to know I could not continue to live in this house.

When I did finally return back to our bedroom (which was now occupied by one) it was another intense feeling of fear that hit me. I could not move my body if I need to go use the bathroom at night. I could not sleep because I did not know what would happen to me. I watched the exits to the room even though I had my two dogs standing alert.

My dogs sensed I was off. They were off too. They got more and more protective of me as my fear and darkness grew stronger.

This was certainly not living, it was barely surviving. I was exhausted. I was on high alert. I was beyond frightened. I thought something bad would happen to me next, or my family as well. I thought someone would hurt me knowing I am alone. I thought alone time would bring on nightmares of his tragic death.

This fear followed me for months afterwards.

I started to get therapy and EMDR (see the page about Therapy for more information) as soon as I could which I believe was December. (memory loss is a whole other blog post!) I promise you this If I did not get the help I needed then I would not be able to be where I am now. What I mean is, at a point in time the help will go home, the support will subside. You will be forced to face all of this FEAR head on.

I am fortunate in some areas.  (I know that sounds odd for me to say after what I have been through) My family did not let me stay alone for several months (and for many weeks I was not even in the state but rather at my mom and dads hiding out). But, around the end of January and in a new home it was time to try. I was a mess. I could not sleep again. There were my loving and protective dogs by my side but I had to lock my bedroom door. I bought cameras and an alarm system. I kept lights on through the night. I had to have an escape plan and a knife by my bedside table. I barely slept. FEARFUL and ALONE

EMDR continued along with counseling and slowly I figured out how to live in a home with no one else, in the dark where anything could come for me. I despise it still but I am able and you are too.

I am ALONE but I am stronger and the fear has subsided to a whisper. One night I laughed with a friend and forgot to turn on the alarm… that is progress.