Shine On

i am heading into the hard part of the year.  January to March – hard for a multitude of reasons.  Deaths, lots of them, close and personal: my mother (January), father (February), father-in-law (February), mother-in-law (March), husband (March) topped off with what would have been my anniversary (March) – significant events that loom ahead of me.   I can’t remember last year’s Christmas it was overshadowed by the impending sadness. All I could think of was what I had lost. Loss, over and over again.  My mind, my thoughts consumed by the pain of death.

Now we head into Christmas again, marking, for me, the onset of a dark period.  That’s how I think of it – those life events that will be with me for always – sadness, darkness, heaviness.  I know it’s coming, can’t escape it and actually don’t want to. It’s part of my family history now, of who I am.  I know I can move through it, my family beside me, where I need to be with the people that matter the most.  I know it will be hard; I am keenly aware of the uncertainty of being, we all are in this family.

Twenty months after Kevin’s death and I think I am resignedly moving on in this loss journey from the “what ifs” to the “what is”, but that I will always carry the “what was” in my heart and in my mind.  Otherwise, what was the purpose of being if not to be remembered, of love, if not to be mourned.  Kevin’s star will always shine bright in my universe.

The New World Order

There are lots of things that you realize, feel or miss after losing a spouse or someone close.  There are some soft things and some hard things.  Conversation, shared meals, watching movies, hugs, glances – those are soft things.  Income, chores, family responsibilities – those are hard things – things that require decision making, effort and action, things with consequences.

When Kevin died, over half of our annual income went.  I became responsible for all the expenses and payments related to where and how I live.  I also inherited oversight for every single chore associated with my home and I became the sole parent of three grown children.

There are days when this can all seem so overwhelming, and then there are days when I don’t even think about it.  The other day I stood in my driveway and looked around and felt overwhelmed – the property is large and, for one minute, I thought ‘just get rid of the place.’ The next day was sunny and bright and, as I walked up the driveway returning from walking the dog, I thought, ‘gosh I love this place.’

That pretty much sums up how it is – day by day.  Right now it’s a love-hate thing I have going on; some days I love being surrounded by the things we worked hard to achieve, other days they just represent chores to be done.  My least favourite: I hate taking out the garbage – just hate it, but I always did.  Thing was, Kevin would do it.  Now it’s just on me.  Some weeks when garbage day comes around I go to a dark place; I slam the bins around and drag them to the curb, head back inside and feel sorry for myself.  Other weeks, I am resigned to my new duties, and so I might have a conversation with Kev in my mind.   I know if he was around he’d tell me to get over it, that it is stupid to waste any energy on a task that has to be done.  That if he was here he’d do it, but he’s not, so to figure it out.

I am figuring things out and I know it.  Doesn’t make it any easier and it doesn’t mean that I like it.  But I am going with the flow.



The Darkness Suits Me

It’s been almost two months since my husband died. Like most traumatic incidents the event itself has the ability to feel close and distant at the same time. Some days it feels like Kevin’s been gone for a long time, other days it feels like it just happened. It can feel so raw that it pains my heart and I find it hard to swallow; even holding my head up is an effort. The pain is very, very real. It settles deep the centre of my chest, behind my ribcage and throbs in time with the beat of my heart – separate but the same. I would likely be diagnosed as suffering from Broken Heart Syndrome. It is real and it exists, and it is a major factor in why I continue to be under a doctor’s care

Not a day goes by that I don’t think about Kevin, wonder what he would think or say. Some days are better than others. On good days I may find humour in something and I can imagine him hiss-laughing, he’d sound like a snake, sharing my laughter. On other days I don’t imagine his response at all – I can’t get past my own sorrow. On these low days I may find myself in his closet touching his sweaters, smelling his clothes, hugging one of his favorite tee-shirts. On these occasions I wonder if he can see me, if he is still here in some shape or form, and so I plead with the universe in general, to send me a sign to let me know he’s here with me.

Tomorrow my daughter and my sister-in-law will go see a psychic, medium, sensitive – I am actually not sure what she is. I hope it proves to be a comforting experience. I was offered the opportunity to go as well, but I am just not ready. I am still dwelling in the darkness and shadows, but unexpectedly there is a degree of comfort in this. I am not moving forward very fast and darkness seems to encourage caution and care; it’s okay to move slowly when you can’t see where you are going. So, for now, I passed on the opportunity.

It’s almost two months and I have been back at work part time for about a month. It has been a push, but my coworkers tell me that I appear to be improving.  Maybe on the outside, however, the reality is that his death is never out of my mind.