He’s dead and I’m not over it.

chinatown and pelican hill 008I’m in the second year of my husband’s death. I have had the memorial service. I have received all the condolences and prayers of the first year. I have his ashes in a box in his office. I have tattooed his handwriting on my wrist. I have answered the question “how are you” a million times. My kids have had grief counseling and I have read one million books to help with the grieving process.

Your life goes on and it should.

My life goes on and it should.

But what you need to know..is that I will never get over it. Every day at some point, something happens that makes me miss him.

Sometimes it’s that moment in the morning when I realize that the kids won’t ever see us embracing in front of the coffee machine again.  (Yes I said embrace! Just go with it!) I was always cognizant of that moment. We were showing the kids that no matter what happens in the day, we were a team. We showed affection. We showed a partnership. I was always proud of that hug in the kitchen. I knew the kids were watching.  I hope they remember it. That hug is important.

Sometimes that moment of missing comes when the boys are fighting and I am at my wits end. I want to hear his voice cutting through the air telling them to “shut it down.” They listen to him. Maybe because they are scared of the hand on the back of neck that grabs hold and guides them up to their rooms. lol My hand doesn’t have that power.

And of course….I miss him during math homework. That’s a given!!

I know when they learn to drive, when they go on their first date, when they graduate, get married, have a baby…..I will feel his absence.

And I am a lucky one.

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I was loved by him for almost 27 years.

My kids have many memories of him.

I believe he is around. I am aware of his signs. And yet I will still miss him.

You guys……his clothes are still in our closet. I know some people think that is weird. But I have shared a closet with him since I was 19 (don’t tell my mom.)  It’s comforting to me to sit in there surrounded by his trendy jeans and beat up shoes. He had an LA homeless kind of style. lol

Since I’m spilling secrets, I’ll go ahead and tell you that his sandals are still in the corner of his office as if at any minute he will slide into them to go out on his porch and sneak a smoke. I hated those sandals. And the secret smoking. And yet they bring me comfort now.

A year seems like a long time and yet a split second all at once. You know what I mean. Doesn’t high school seem like yesterday? Hate to tell you, but it was more than a year ago. (don’t ask me how much more…that’s rude!)

So when you ask me how I’m doing…I’m ok. But it’s different. There’s a heaviness in me that you may never notice. I don’t really want you to.  But I need you to know that I will never be over it.

You can always ask me about him.

I never want to stop saying his name. You won’t be reminding me of something I’d forgotten. You won’t be making me sad.

I am sad.

With great love comes great loss. 

But I choose to focus on the love. I choose to sit in gratitude. What an amazing gift I was given.

I know how to love greatly! And I know I will again! That is a gift.

Life is not supposed to be easy. We came from easy.

We will go back to easy.

Life is meant to teach us…and most of the lessons come from adversity.  I embrace the lessons but it doesn’t mean I get over the loss.

You know what I just realized? I don’t want to get over it. I never want to get over it.

I grow because of it.

adversity

Thanks for listening. It helps.

xoxo

 

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The last real day….

This week it will be a year since Hunter died. On October 1st he went into the hospital and October 5th he died.

I don’t want to commemorate his death. Why would I want to give any focus to the worst week of my life? That’s not how he wants to be remembered anyway. I’d rather focus on his life. His birthday. Our anniversary.

And today.

September 30th. This was the last real day Hunter had. A year ago tonight, sleep apnea would damage his brain and he wouldn’t recover. But let’s not think about that. Let’s focus on the day.

Most weekend afternoons after running kids all over town to different activities, Hunter would be in his office watching football, paying bills, reading. I would be running around the rest of the house, yelling at kids, making lists, pretending to get organized for the week ahead but really just procrastinating on social media. We’d catch glimpses of each other but no real connection. Until the weekly budget talk…which never ended well for me. Then we’d give each other a quick peck on the lips and I’d go upstairs for the night while Hunter binge watched some  20 part documentary on quantum physics.  A typical day without a moment of true awareness of each other. Or what we mean to each other.

But last year was different. We went to the beer festival!  We were out of our routine and out of the house. We held hands. We talked about life. We said I love you a lot. We kissed more.

What a blessing that on the very last real day of Hunter’s life, we were a couple. We loved. We connected.  September 30th will always be a reminder to me that life is short and that daily connection is important.

I was lucky. Not everyone gets a beer festival on the last real day of their loved one’s life. If I hadn’t had it, then we more than likely would have had a typical weekend of passing each other in the kitchen. No hand holding. No kisses. No intentional connection.

So on this day, September 30th, and every day after, I want to encourage you to take a moment to connect with your person. An intentional connection. It doesn’t have to be an afternoon at the beer festival. It can be 15 minutes of coffee, or even 2 minutes of really seeing each other and saying I appreciate you.

I hope you can go for longer than that though.

And I hope you hold hands.

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