Archive for December 2009

My Dearest Love

28 December, 2009

Doug,

It has been over two months now that you have been gone from our lives. I’ve done a lot of searching for you and all I have is an empty heart and a feeling that we are in no way connected anymore. I always believed that if anything happened to either one of us we would always have a connection – signs – dreams. I don’t know that I have had any of that. I don’t know if I am so sad that I can’t let you in right now or if there just isn’t anything beyond what we have here. Any higher existence. I am so sad.

I look back on the first week and how thankful I was that we had that one last weekend together as a family. Taking off at the last minute and just being together. I also look back on the nightmare that I had that Saturday night at the beach. The one where we were in the hotel room and all of a sudden I was dragged out of bed and just taken from you. I could see you still lying in bed and something was holding me, not letting me get to you. I struggled to reach you, yelling for you, trying to claw my way out of the arms of whatever was holding me. It all was so real. I could feel everything in the room, see everything in the room and just could not get back to you. Snatched away from you. I cried out your name and you woke me and held me and told me everything was going to be okay. I couldn’t sleep very well the rest of the night and just laid in your arms not wanting to go back to sleep.

The next day all I wanted to do was hold you and be with you. The rest of the week was that way. We were both busy getting ready for Liam’s and my birthday party that Saturday as well as my Mom flying in for a visit. I know we spent more time that week laying on the sofa, wrapped in each other. I wonder sometimes if I should have told you not to fly that day. To spend it with us. To not go. After that dream…was there anything that I could have done? Should have done? Kept you in bed for a moment longer that morning just in the hopes that if you were late for your first flight things would be different?

I yearn to dream of you. I haven’t. I think that I feel your presence at times but then I just feel like I have half of me missing that any little “sign” of you being near can never complete me…so I stop looking for the signs. I have stopped dreaming. I’m afraid to but at the same time I long to dream in hopes that you are there. That you can tell me that you are with us. That you will watch over us. That there is something more to this world even though you are no longer in it.

I’m struggling. I feel like there is this hole in the middle of my chest that will never be whole again. I can’t breathe. I have moments where I am keeping busy with things and find myself removing me from the pain. But when I return – it hits me all over again. I worry that you were in pain, that you were apologizing to me for what was going to happen. I told Sarah this the other night and she said that she didn’t believe that. That she felt that anyone who is in the moment of death – that part of your mind shuts down. That you accept what is about to happen. I just don’t know. I want to believe that and I so hope she is right. I don’t want you to have felt anything. I want for you to have had flashbacks of every great moment in our life together and in your life. I want you to have died in peace knowing that I love you so very much and so very deeply.  That I have been given a gift of you in my life. That I was given a person to love that loved me for everything I was and wasn’t. For all of my silly jokes, my controlling nature. I loved you for all you were. For the man that you were and how you made us more important than anything else in the world. For the man you were in that you would have given up flying if it would have made me happier to be back home…I hope you know, and I know you did, that I would never have allowed that. You were my world. You were my home. I loved the fact though that you would offer that. Even though I was passionate about that NOT happening. You were so many things. So many things that I hope to god that our son inherits. I see so much of him in you already. Your smile, your laugh. I am trying to teach him your hugs…he takes them from me but I haven’t gotten one yet. He’ll learn. He giggles so hard when I hug him hard. I think he thinks it is funny that the breath gets squeezed out of him.

Tonight we sat down and read a book in bed and he picked up your picture from my nightstand and gave it a kiss. My heart wept. I took out your patches and he played with them. Sticking them on the towel and taking them off. He would sit and look at them and shuffle them back and forth from little hand to little hand. I tried talking to him about you but I kept crying and all I could say was how much you loved him and how much you loved being a father. I told him that you would get excited about the prospects of teaching him to ride a bike in a few years….thinking about those things when he was only a few months old. I just still can’t imagine a life without you even though I have been living in one for the past couple of months.

I miss how easy it was. That we could just talk about things and we got it…even if we disagreed…we still got it. It was so simple. We had fun. We laughed. We had the same humor. I miss slapping your hand every time you picked at your nails. I miss laying on the sofa and you coming in and laying on top of me and wrapping your arms around me, your whole body around me. I miss how my face fit just right in the crook of your neck when you hugged me. I miss your smell, the touch of your skin, the noises you would make in your sleep. I miss how you could warm my whole body by just touching me with your hand. I miss putting my cold feet on your feet for warmth at night. I miss hearing about your day, about your students, about what you saw, did, ate…everything. I miss seeing you come home with a warm smile and a kiss for me and Lido.

I struggle because I feel like I need to be the father you were to our son. That I need to do the things with him that you would do. Interact with him as you did. I just want for him to know you so bad.

I want more time with you. We didn’t have enough.

I love you. Always have.

Your Wife.

My Dearest Love,

It has now been three months being without you. I didn’t have the heart to publish the above letter when I wrote it as I just felt that I didn’t get all of it right. That I missed so many important things. It is getting harder and harder to be without you. Christmas has come and gone. It was okay but I wished to god that I was not in town – that I was just laying on a beach somewhere with our son playing in the sand…I guess I’ll do that next year.

I hung your stocking on the mantle. It was hard to even open a Christmas box and I stayed in the basement crying for quite a while trying to get the nerve to walk up the stairs and put anything out. I only did it on Christmas Eve as Lido had so much fun opening presents at your Uncle S’s house that I felt I had to put out some holiday cheer for him. I hung the ornaments that I got you our first Christmas together on a little rosemary tree shaped like a Christmas tree that Sarah gave me. The past couple of days have been really hard. I truly do feel like it is getting so much harder. I cry more. If a person can hurt more – then I am.

I went through some boxes last night in the office and went through the file cabinet. I found an envelope full of Christmas cards from last year. I found the one that you gave me. I always thought it was so silly that people gave Christmas cards…but every year – I would find one under the tree.

I still don’t understand and may never – why someone like you, the love that you had, would be taken from me, from everyone? I can’t breath it hurts so much to think that you will never be here again. I can’t get past this. I can’t move. I can’t breath past the sobs. What happened?

I want you to know that you got all of it right. You made your family and the love for your family the first and foremost. You cared more about keeping us happy than about what you did as a career or how much money you made. You, more than anyone else I know, got it right. I always loved you for that. You taught me so much.

Doug, I don’t know what I’m doing right now. I so need your help. We were a team and I don’t know how to manage by myself. I’ve always been independent and never lost that but when you work so well with someone – you don’t know how to go on without them. I will never be the same person I was. I ache for you.

Helpful

5 December, 2009

I found this online and I thought it was very good to share with everyone. I wish I had this when some of my friends lost loved ones…I know that these words are pretty much exactly how I feel…

HOW YOU CAN HELP ME

Please talk about my loved one, even though he is gone. It is more
comforting to cry than to pretend that he never existed. I need to talk
about him, and I need to do it over and over.

Be patient with my agitation. Nothing feels secure in my world. Get
comfortable with my crying. Sadness hits me in waves, and I never know
when my tears may flow. Just sit with me in silence and hold my hand.

Don’t abandon me with the excuse that you don’t want to upset me. You
can’t catch my grief. My world is painful, and when you are too afraid
to call me or visit or say anything, you isolate me at a time when I
most need to be cared about. If you don’t know what to say, just come
over, give me a hug or touch my arm, and gently say, “I’m sorry.” You
can even say, “I just don’t know what to say, but I care, and want you
to know that.”

Just because I look good does not mean that I feel good. Ask me how I
feel only if you really have time to find out.

I am not strong. I’m just numb. When you tell me I am strong, I feel
that you don’t see me.

I will not recover. This is not a cold or the flu. I’m not sick. I’m
grieving and that’s different. My grieving may only begin 6 months after
my loved one’s death. Don’t think that I will be over it in a year. For
I am not only grieving his death, but also the person I was when I was
with him, the life that we shared, the plans we had for watching our
children and grandchildren grow, the places we will never get to go together, and the
hopes and dreams that will never come true. My whole world has crumbled
and I will never be the same.

I will not always be grieving as intensely, but I will never forget my
loved one and rather than recover, I want to incorporate his life and
love into the rest of my life. He is a part of me and always will be,
and sometimes I will remember him with joy and other times with a tear.
Both are okay.

I don’t have to accept the death. Yes, I have to understand that it has
happened and it is real, but there are some things in life that are just
not acceptable.

When you tell me what I should be doing, then I feel even more lost and
alone. I feel badly enough that my loved one is dead, so please don’t
make it worse by telling me I’m not doing this right.

Please don’t tell me I can find someone else or that I need to start
dating again. I’m not ready. And maybe I don’t want to. And besides,
what makes you think people are replaceable? They aren’t. Whoever comes
after will always be someone different.

I don’t even understand what you mean when you say, “You’ve got to get
on with your life.” My life is going on, I’ve been forced to take on
many new responsibilities and roles. It may not look the way you think
it should. This will take time and I will never be my old self again. So
please, just love me as I am today, and know that with your love and
support, the joy will slowly return to my life. But I will never forget
and there will always be times that I cry.

I need to know that you care about me. I need to feel your touch, your
hugs. I need you just to be with me, and I need to be with you. I need
to know you believe in me and in my ability to get through my grief in
my own way, and in my own time.

Please don’t say, “Call me if you need anything.” I’ll never call you
because I have no idea what I need. Trying to figure out what you could
do for me takes more energy than I have. So, in advance, let me give you
some ideas:

(a) Bring food or a movie over to watch together.
(b) Send me a card on special holidays, his birthday, and the
anniversary of his death, and be sure to mention his name. You can’t
make me cry. The tears are here and I will love you for giving me the
opportunity to shed them because someone cared enough about me to reach
out on this difficult day.
(c) Ask me more than once to join you at a movie or lunch or dinner. I
may so no at first or even for a while, but please don’t give up on me
because somewhere down the line, I may be ready, and if you’ve given up
then I really will be alone.
(d) Understand how difficult it is for me to be surrounded by couples,
to walk into events alone, to go home alone, to feel out of place in the same situations
where I used to feel so comfortable.

Please don’t judge me now – or think that I’m behaving strangely.
Remember I’m grieving. I may even be in shock. I am afraid. I may feel
deep rage. I may even feel guilty. But above all, I hurt. I’m
experiencing a pain unlike any I’ve ever felt before and one that can’t
be imagined by anyone who has not walked in my shoes.

Don’t worry if you think I’m getting better and then suddenly I seem to
slip backward. Grief makes me behave this way at times. And please don’t
tell me you know how I feel, or that it’s time for me to get on with my
life. What I need now is time to grieve.

Most of all thank you for being my friend. Thank you for your patience.
Thank you for caring. Thank you for helping, for understanding. Thank
you for praying for me.

And remember in the days or years ahead, after your loss – when you need
me as I have needed you – I will understand. And then I will come and be
with you.