Archive for November 2010

I heard your voice today

30 November, 2010

I was trying to find the usb for the external hard drive and came across our camera. You used this camera more than I did especially when you flew. You’d take it with you and capture shots or video. The battery hasn’t worked for the past year – I can’t find the charger – so I popped the card out and plugged it into the computer.

And that is when I heard your voice.

You had taken several videos of Lido…I really wanted to see you. I held my breath hoping you would sit the camera down on the table and walk into the frame. I wanted to see you and hear you all at once.

I’ve been struggling lately. Our life seems like such a dream. Something that didn’t really happen. I’m faced with things each day regarding the crash, the foundation, our son but my mind still treats it all with efficiency and prufuctoryness. I deal. I move. But I don’t fully comprehend.

Hearing you and seeing your hand come in and out of the frame tickling our son – reminded me that our life was real. That you were real.

Unfortunately, it also is a big reminder that you are not here. So my heart breaks more and the tears come.

365 days of posts

29 November, 2010

December 1st. That is when it will start.

Mainly because I’d like to see where I have gone this time next year. If I have the same dreaded sense of Christmas creeping up on me. If I have the same broken heart that I have now or if it is on the mend. I know where I have been. I know where I am. I sit in the depths of hell right now. I’ve been thinking that this year is a time for reflection, changes, growth, grieving to the fullest and beginning to love and laugh – truly.

Maybe this is just my way to steer clear of a psychologist telling me the ‘steps’ that I need to go through. I think I’ll do it my own way. I haven’t lost that…

So I’m thinking that each month will bring a theme to explore. To dive into. I’ll think more today about that and get my list going…my personal steps to creating this new life. One that includes the past and everything that went with it. Good and bad.

Have ideas for themes? Let me know.

Path to closure? Never. Path to healing? Possibly.

This time next year I’ll let you know.

Blind and stripped bare

28 November, 2010

Lido has been sick off and on the past couple of weeks and ended up with a temp again on Thanksgiving. We made it through the day and most of the evening before it became apparent that he wasn’t feeling good and I had to step away from the dinner and friends and sit with my sick child. Times like these are what I find to be some of the most difficult. Playing host, hostess, mother, father, cuddle buddy…everything all at once. It isn’t as if there is one of us to steal away and take care of our kid and the other is left to do dishes, make dinner, etc. That person isn’t here anymore. I’m not sure how to be a single parent. I didn’t sign up for this. I never ever wanted this and thought that I would never have to be this person. We shared so much in our relationship even prior to having a child. Over the past year – or actually maybe over the past several months – I’ve tried to be the same person I was in a relationship, or maybe I’ve been trying to have the same relationship minus one as we had prior to the crash. I’ve tried picking up and doing things the same way as we used to do them but this means I’m doing not only what I used to take care of but what he did. It isn’t working too well. On many levels.

On one level it is just way too much and I feel like I am failing on many levels. I used to be the type of person that would dive deep into whatever I needed to at the time. I didn’t neglect other things but I could always depend on that other person to pick up the slack. I tend to do this even now, but soon realize that I just can’t work this way anymore. I have to find balance. And if that means my house is a bit dirty or my laundry isn’t done or the foundation work gets pushed aside for a few days – well – it does. It wouldn’t be so bad if I didn’t have those days where grief just hits me hard. It isn’t like it used to be. I can at least function at a higher level than I did in the first 6 months or so…instead of spending days in one comatose position, I am usually at one day a week now. Sometimes it is just one full day of doing nothing. Other weeks it is a cumulative day over a period of days. One just never knows when the grief monster will strike. But I’ve learned to just go with it. That is why I’ve learned that I just can’t do all of it. What makes me sad is that I never wanted to do all of it and I just wish he was back here with me to be a part of all of this…of our life. I wish it could just go back to how it was. We worked well together. Constantly evolving and changing and working on all of this.

On another level, doing things like we did, it reminds me too much of what I had. In some ways I’m tired of the constant reminder that I was happy. In other ways I search for the reminders of what I had. To remind me that it wasn’t a dream. I’ve yet to find balance with this. I’ve yet to really sit down and let the grief completely wash over me. To remember us. I’ve put some strong blinders on, I feel. On the other hand, I think it during the quiet times, that I have the most trouble with. I talk about him, remember little things all day at night, when I usually laid in bed and started relaxing for the evening, reading or meditating, this is the time that I find it most difficult to remember things. This is when I block everything and try not to remember. This is something though that I know I’ve needed to work on. I want to remember and I want this connection during this time. I want to be open to him and to dream about him. I’ve even started moving back to the part of the bed that I typically started out on…closer to his side with my arm draped across his chest and my knee bent and resting against his leg and my foot rocking gently against his. I have no idea if this is healthy. I don’t want to pretend that he is still there but it brings me back to what I knew. It relaxes me. If my mind wanders and thinks that he is actually there beside me – I’ll take whatever moments are available because I know sooner rather than later the realization that I will never be able to touch him again will hit. But for a few brief moments, I’ll have that life again.

I’m only a little over 2 months into what will be the second year without him and I find that it is harder. I’ve read that this is typically the case with most widows. I’m not sure if it is harder but you are sure dealing with things without the ‘comfort’ of the fog that surrounds the newly widowed. I know for me, the first 3 months was complete and utter shock. I could still function but if I could have seen myself, and looking back on that time, I would have seen a hollow person, glazed eyes, almost a zombie. I was a zombie. I was the living dead. After those first 3 months, this is when being able to function did not exist. All grocery shopping was done with the single intent of getting food that was easy to fix for Lido. If he went to daycare, I came back home and went to bed. I set the alarm to make sure I woke up in order to pick him up. The less I had to do, the better. The days that I felt like I could do more, I definitely did. I tried to be ‘on’ in the evenings with Lido but I know there were days that he wasn’t at daycare and he played as I slept. I put up baby gates to keep him in one area that was beyond baby-proofed. I cried all the time.

The days that I felt like I could do more grew until I could function two or three days in a row. It kept getting better. I learned that if I did anything outside the ‘comfort’ zone (eg. my sofa), I needed at least three days or more to recover. Eventually, recovery days grew shorter. Around 9 months is when I felt like I could start things, that I needed to do something. I needed to get back to the living instead of being the living dead. I think that is about the same time that I started with house projects and the foundation.

And now I find myself at 1 year and 2 months and the grief hits hard. Harder. Lido deserves more than what I’ve been able to give him the past year. The ‘fog’ has lifted and I find myself blind and stripped bare. What was once known will never be known again. What once was, never will be.

Stepping back and perceiving myself as blind and stripped bare makes me feel like I should go forward and embrace this ‘rebirth’. Part of me wants to grasp this with both arms and another part yells ‘no fucking way’. Again, trying to find a balance. Being able to create a new life without leaving the one I had behind. For some looking in, you may say that this is an easy task. It is daunting. How do you stand before life as a being that is half of what you were? A being that does not know true laughter any longer because their heart is still missing. A being whose skin is so raw that sunshine, movement, music, love can make them bleed? Balance. Being able to move forward and find the life you were meant to live right now…while being okay with leaving some of the things you did in your past life behind. Taking things with you that you want to take. Learning who you are every day.

Part of what holds me back is because I don’t want to lose that person that Doug fell in love with. The things that he loved and the things that he had to get used to…At the same time, I know that some of those things, I don’t want in this new life. Especially the things that he had to get used to. There are things about him that I want to be. That I want to take into this new life. I also have to be okay with not taking some of the things that we both loved about each other. They may not be right for this life right now.

If I have learned anything over the past year, I’ve definitely learned that each of us on this path will know what is best for them. They may make decisions that may look crazy to those on the outside but in the end they are decisions that they needed to make at the time. Those decisions may have positive or negative consequences but that is what that person needed to do. I know that one can go down a path or do something without realizing that they have actually made a true step towards healing and growing into this new life, this new person.

I know just in the past two days I’ve done this without realizing it until tonight. I decided yesterday to put up Christmas decorations. Last year on Christmas Eve I ran down into the basement and grabbed our Christmas stockings and hung them on the fireplace along with the Santa hat and Xmas tree headband…That was all the decorating I did. All Christmas presents were ordered online and shipped already wrapped. Essentially I did nothing. This year however I vowed that it would be different. I figured last year I could get away with not doing anything because a. Lido was so young that it didn’t really matter that much and b. there was no fucking way I was decorating. So yesterday the Christmas ornaments came out and Lido and I went to get a real Christmas tree. Most of the decorations and ornaments were up by yesterday evening. This morning though I decided that the house needed to be decorated on the outside. Outside decorations were purchased and the outside of the house was done by this evening. The entire time I kept saying that it was for Lido. I wanted Christmas to be fun and memorable for him and I should start now.

What I didn’t realize until now was that I was creating something in this new life. I was attempting to create…many things for the future. I was also holding on to what was part of my ‘past life’. What Doug and I used to do. The evening we spent putting up the tree (not real) and hanging decorations. I even kept the paperclips that we had used to hang ornaments on the ornaments. I found balance. Creating something that was Lido’s and mine while bringing the past with us in many forms. Balance.

Unfortunately with that balance is grief still. There was no fire in the fireplace, no music playing, no beer or wine being drunk. But that is okay. Putting up the decorations as quickly and efficiently as possible in hopes that the mind does not stray to the dark side…is just fine. I have my quiet time right now to remember what I had.

Is this still being balanced?

For right now.

For tonight.

For this moment.

If it got me past the grief monster – yes.

Although I can’t run from grief and I’m sure it will hit me like a ton of bricks in a few days…I’ll take a pleasant day of putting up ‘Christmas” and seeing my son’s eyes light up. The grief monster can wait.

26 Months – 2 years 2 months

22 November, 2010

My Dearest Lido,

I think I skipped a month of writing to you. I didn’t go back to see if I had or not…sometimes it is hard to go back and see what I’ve written while other times it helps in this whole process. The past couple of months it hasn’t been a good idea to do.

Let’s talk about you though…You – the smiling, laughing, knowing what you want – You.

You are totally into Star Wars, Thomas the Train, Batman, Spiderman and anything that flies. You still have yet to say helicopter…well, you did once but then you were adamant that it was an airplane. You have several helicopters that you play with along with one airplane…but they are all airplanes right now. There is no correcting you at this point. So when you say airplane, I say helicopter and we go about our business.

I think I’ve given you a little too much room as of late because a couple of ‘incidents’ have happened in the past couple of months. You see, typically, I let you go downstairs after you wake up in the morning and get a breakfast bar and bring it back upstairs. You climb into bed with me and watch Dora or Little Einsteins and eat that damn crumbly sticky breakfast bar. I do this all in hopes of getting at least 20 more minutes of shut-eye. I pay for it though. I end up with breakfast bars stuck to me by the time I wake up fully. The other morning however, somehow, you got a hold of the cupcake sprinkles. I think that I had moved some things around and left them on the counter. Well, you pulled up your step stool and grabbed them and brought them up with you. I happened to be in the shower at the time and by the time I got out of the shower, you had dumped pretty much the entire bottle…all over the hallway floor and bathroom floor. When I got out of the shower, I found you laying on the floor in your footed pj’s licking the sprinkles up off of the floor…

It took me a few days to clean this up. Every once in a while you find one lone sprinkle in a corner or on the staircase…and you immediately bend down to lick it up. The five-minute rule, apparently, is not understood quite yet.

This morning, you went down to get the breakfast bar and never came back up. I went down to check on you – since you had slept in until 6:45am I was a little more coherent. Anyway, I found you in the living room just standing in between the couch and the ottoman with your little hands clenched in fists and you leaning on the ottoman. You just looked at me as if nothing was going on…It was a look that I did not expect to see for quite a few years. It wasn’t a look of guilt, it was a look of ‘don’t act like anything is out of the ordinary and she’ll leave’ look. I saw something poking out of your hand…and found out that you hand two fistfuls of Tums. I think you had one and I took the rest from you. You were not happy and you were not willing to have cereal instead. After throwing a fit and me removing practically everything from the counter…I went upstairs to get ready. About 10 minutes later you headed upstairs and had a banana in your hand. A peeled banana. I couldn’t believe that you had peeled that thing by yourself and told you that you had done a really good job. You got a big smile and were quite proud of yourself.

I still haven’t found the banana peel.

You have started to want to ‘read’ to me. Which is so adorably cute. I love it. You can count to 10. You recognize some letters. You love elephants and call monkeys ‘monmonks’. You tell me you love me. You are shy with strangers and don’t talk to your day school teachers. They’ve asked me several times now if you talk at home. I keep telling them that I have absolutely no worries about your comprehension or language development. You talk and talk and talk – for certain people. Maybe you just don’t like them…

I know you understand everything that is put in front of you and you remember it all. Sometimes I wonder but then you do something (like count to ten) out of the blue and I stop worrying. I had a neighborhood association meeting to go to last week and I tried to get you to play in the kids area but you wouldn’t have it. Later, you grabbed my hand and looked up at me and said ‘show my classroom’…It took me by surprise that you would use ‘classroom’ and knew that you got everything that your teachers were saying. You are a bright boy. You just keep these things to yourself sometimes. You can’t be a boy genius and let everyone know after all….

You have been asking about Dadda lately. I know I’ve written about that…I try and include him in on a lot of conversations. I tell you how much you look like him. I tell you when you do something just like your Dadda. It is truly a gift and a reassurance that your Dad lives on. You asked me the other day ‘where Dadda home?’ and I told you that his home was in the sky. So now you point to the sky and say ‘Dadda home’.

My darling child, you are my life. I never thought that I would find myself on the path that I am on but I am on this path and I promise to try to do the best for you. I miss your Dad so much. I find myself wanting to run home and tell him the things that you are doing or the things that are happening with the foundation that I started in his memory. I sometimes wonder if I should be doing this because what if you decide to become a pilot…I can’t lose you. I’m a firm believer in supporting you no matter what you decide to do. If you do go that path, I hope that I will have taught you enough about living life, loving as much and as fully as humanly possible and that things can happen but we must still follow our dreams. I hope to teach you how your Dad lived his life as a pilot and a human being. I guess I bring this up because it has been asked of me a couple of times in the past couple of months. I just want you to know that you reach for whatever dream you have. I’ll be here to support you and love you unconditionally.

I love you.

Your Mom

In this life and the next.

Laughter

15 November, 2010

It is still strange to laugh.

It doesn’t take great effort anymore but it still feels somehow empty – even if I find something truly hysterical.

Geez, I’m crying right now just thinking of the times I have laughed in the past year. I’m not sure why. Maybe because at first it was always few and far between and then the guilt set in afterwards. Maybe because I can still laugh and he can’t.

I’m surrounded by his pictures – in absolutely every one of them he is smiling. He had such a way of looking at the camera. I see these pictures and it is as if he is really looking at me. Staring into that lens and having his essence captured for eternity. He laughed. At a lot of things.

The reason that I am writing about this today is that I had a dinner party this past weekend. It was the first time really, that I have cooked a meal in the past year. I’ve had a couple of gatherings but always ordered food. I just could never get myself to cook anything. It hurt too much. It reminded me of the dinners we had when he was alive. The parties. It reminded me of the preparation – he was always game for anything and loved when I cooked. I remember how he would come into the kitchen while I was throwing this spice and that spice into a dish and kiss me and watch me. That gaze. That gaze said so much.

I think this is why I haven’t cooked for a year. I miss that gaze. That love. I miss him being in the kitchen with me.

But I laughed that night. I laughed at an especially lewd joke from a friend. I joined in on the joke. I haven’t laughed that hard for over a year.

I cooked and I laughed. All in one night.

No, not the road to becoming healed as I believe this wound will never heal until I die. But the gash and missing part can be filled with cooking and laughter – something for the grief to attach itself to for a while.

He would have loved the food.

And the lewd joke.

especially the joke.

and especially because I was laughing.

Questions

9 November, 2010

My Dearest Husband,

I haven’t written to you in a while. I guess I sort of needed to not write directly to you for a little bit even though most of my posts end up being to you, for you.

It has been a really hard few months. It seems as though things are getting harder to handle once again. Other widows often say that the second year is one of the hardest. Probably because during the first year you are in such a fog you can’t see and can’t recognize the loss that you have. You know it is there, you feel it with every fiber but the fact that everyday life seems to stop for you makes it seem as if all is just a dream and that it was only yesterday that you were here. Now I feel like the days pass and have passed and you are really not coming home. I cry more and more every day. Again. I’m crying right now just having to type the you are not coming home. It is real now – or I’m faced with the reality now – more so than I have been the past year. It is just hard to explain…unless you are here to – a widow.

Your son has grown so very much as all little boys do. He asks about you. The first time was a few months ago right after we went back to Portland at the one year mark. It was as if something about that trip spurred his memories of you. Lately though, he has been asking about you more often. He points to the sky and says ‘Daddy’. And he does it at odd times…

Last night I got really upset and was just hurting for you. I couldn’t hold back the tears from him and decided to just let it go. He came up to me and tilted his head towards one side and down a bit and furrowed his brows and looked up at me…just like you did when you knew something was wrong. He does so many things that you did. Plays with his fingers, looks at me in certain ways, says things…it is amazing. I wonder how many more funny things he would be doing if you were here. And whether or not I’d be happy about them…

I get so fucking mad that you are not here to help me raise him. That you are not here to see him or me. That you are not here for him to know. To really really know. God how I get mad about that.

I’ve said it so many times before but I’ll continue saying it for the rest of my life, I miss you. I miss absolutely everything about you. Even the parts I wasn’t so thrilled about but could live with. I want it all back. I want our little apartment, our bills, our Saturdays, our laughs, our tears – I WANT IT BACK!

I love you. I’ll always love you. You knew me so much better than I know myself – I miss that. I miss having you there to hold me up, to make me laugh. To look at me with your look of just knowing me…

Yours in this life and the next.

A first that I forgot…

1 November, 2010

LiDo’s first hair cut!

I know Doug would have probably have pushed to get this kids’ hair cut prior to his second birthday…but, he’s not here and even if he were, it probably would have not happened any sooner than it did.

There isn’t much to tell other than he had a mullet when he went in and when he walked out he looked so much older and had no mullet. He did a great job and sat on my lap through the whole process. Enjoy the pics:

We started out trying the car but it didn’t quite work once the scissors were produced!

Before pic:

And after: