7 Months

My Dearest Husband,

Tomorrow it will be 7 months since you died. I’m sitting here in this new home I bought after you died and after LiDo and I moved back to KC. The house is no longer empty. I’ve unpacked nearly everything, although if I take a closer look at the boxes downstairs and upstairs I may change my mind. I haven’t really hung pictures. I have several of you around the house. On the mantel, in my bedroom, in LiDo’s room. But the other pictures, things we each had since our college days that have always decorated our walls. Those are the things that I can’t put up right now. I guess I did hang the pictures you framed for me for a birthday. They are in the family room above the sofa that you and I bought when we first moved to Portland. The same place they were hung when we were all together. Just in a different house and a different city.

I’m not sure what it is about the other pictures. I can barely figure out some of my other responses to other things let alone this.

My greatest sadness, besides losing you, is that LiDo will not know us as parents together. Lately he hasn’t wanted to say goodnight to your picture and that has really made me sad. However, the past couple of days he has picked up various pictures of you and me and keeps kissing the picture. I was happy to see that. I don’t know how to teach him about you, tell him stories about you without him carrying my grief. I know he has felt the loss of you and has missed you and has looked for you. As time goes by I’m afraid that he is losing that – he is used to the us being just me and him – not you, me and him. I know that he will not remember much of you. That hurts so much just to see it in words. But it is true. I know this. I just want him to know you so bad. I just need to figure out how to do that without making him carry my grief with it.

I can tell that hitting seven months has been a lot harder than hitting six months. I think I was anticipating the floor dropping out from under me at six months. And the day came and went. Time kept moving. Now at seven months, I really feel like I am still in a fog. I just can’t believe that I have been parted from you for so long. I think the longest we were ever apart was a week. I still cry every day. I still think of you constantly. Everything that I do I think about you. That has not changed.

I still haven’t really dreamed of you. It pains me every time I go to sleep…I hope and pray that I see you that night. Then when I wake in the morning, you have not visited me. I wish I could see you. That is one thing that I wish I was able to do. To see you one last time, even if it was just your body there. You were so broken though that they would not let me see you. All they would let me do was to hold your hand, your left hand. Even then, I couldn’t really touch it except through the body bag. I wrapped my arms around your entire body and held you. I felt you broken. I smelled the death. I’ll never forget the cheesy music they were playing. How the lights were dimmed. Kleenex box was set out. Hallway was quiet. The feel of the blanket they had over the plastic bag. The smell of it. The feel of your hand through all of it. Trying to feel every single thing I could. Every knuckle. Every ridge. Every nail. Your wrist. The bones in your hand. Every little thing I could feel through that plastic. I wanted to climb on that table with you. I wanted them to just zip the bag around both of us.

The fog that I am in now is nothing compared to those first few months but it is a fog none-the-less. I feel that I am in a constant state of keeping my feelings at bay. In order to function, I have to turn a switch off. How do you grieve, truly go to the depths of the darkness in order to see the light once again when you have a child to care for? I’d love to just lay in bed, on the couch, do nothing. Cry and scream. Drink too much and smoke constantly. I guess though that even though the thought of being able to do any of that is enticing, I wouldn’t actually lay around all the time even if we didn’t have LiDo. It isn’t in my nature. However, I do at times, feel like this grief is something to beat. That I have to wake up each day and say ‘fuck off, you aren’t taking me!” I wish it was something that you could beat. That it was something that I could compete against. I could conquer. I suppose this is the problem. It isn’t something that can be beaten. It isn’t something that can be conquered. I don’t know how to do this. It is quite an interesting journey that I have to be on. A journey that may teach me how to not compete to win. A journey where I must find peace without keeping score. To learn to live with my grief and my sadness. Learn to embrace it lovingly. Especially when all I want to do is punch it square in the face.

I haven’t spread your ashes yet. I’d really like to make a deal with you on this. If I spread your ashes, you have to visit me in a dream. And it can’t be just a hi how are you doing dream…it must be one with some oomph. Some power to it. The first place I plan to spread some of your ashes is at Yellowstone. The spot where you proposed to me. Undine Falls. After reading the story behind Undine Falls – or rather the myth of Undine – I think that it is an appropriate place for you to rest. At least a part of you. You just have to promise that you will give me a doozy of a dream. Otherwise, I’m keeping your ashes in my nightstand.

I miss our talks. I miss our not talks. I miss being happy. The ‘real’ happy I was when I was with you. God how I wish I could go back in time. Change something. Do anything to be able to keep you by my side. It is still, at seven months, a nightmare. One that I wish I would wake up from. Sometimes, I lie on the couch and try to pretend that I am laying there in our old place, you are on the computer in the other room. That if I fall asleep there, you’ll come wake me up to go to bed. Or when I am rocking LiDo to sleep I imagine that we are in his old bedroom and I hear you out in the hall. I see you walk to the door and just look in on us. Loving us. I wish I didn’t have to imagine these things.

I miss you so much.

Loved in this life, in the next,

Yours.

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