Monday, June 28, 2010

How do I say goodbye?

I think it is very safe to say that today has been a very difficult day. I have been dealing with a lot of sadness and grief that have bombarded me today. I really think it is because I am ten days away from the one year anniversary of Keith's death. Ten days away from the day I told my husband goodbye, but I worded it as "see you later".

One extremely difficult part of being the spouse left behind is that "see you later" actually feels like "good bye forever". I know that my forever is going to be in heaven, the same place as Keith's forever. There is so much comfort in that knowledge. Sometimes, my heart wound in my human body forgets that. My heart wound, left behind from Keith's death, feels like it has completely opened back up, and all of the healing that has taken place during that last 355 days didn't happen. I know that all of that healing is still there. This draining day is making room for more healing.

One thought that has plagued me at different times today is how do you actually say good bye to some one that was not just a spouse, but your best friend. The person that understood you the best. The person that is the other half of your children. How do I say good bye? I have discovered through all of my tears and heartache today that I have not said good bye to Keith, my husband, father of my children, my best friend. I have not said good bye during any of the past 355 days. Hmmm. I'm not sure what I think about that.

I know that what I have been feeling today is most similar to everything I felt in those first moments right after Keith died. I know that a lot of this is simply due to the first anniversary quickly approaching.

I know that I am really glad I have an appointment with MLC (My Lovely Counselor) in the morning. I am also very thankful for the people that are called by God to work in the hospice field. The hospice that we chose for Keith continues to help me and the kids find our way through this difficult journey.

I don't know that MLC will have any answers for me. I don't really know that I am looking for an answer.

My heart wound is very tender today. I miss my husband. How do I say goodbye when I didn't ask him to leave?

Saturday, June 19, 2010

The brokenness of grief

I have been in grief for almost 1 year now. I have been forced to learn many lessons during this time. I have learned many things about myself, my children, my God, and many other life lessons that probably can not be learned any other way.

I have fought against the intense emotions that can come with grief. I have learned (and am still continuing to learn) how to give into feeling them without losing myself to them. Yes, sometimes the emotions have been "that big".

I have made tons of decisions by myself without my spouse. Then I realize that once upon a time I took for granted that I had a spouse to help in the decision making process.

I have discovered what being broken truly means. I have been broken. Keith's death broke me in a way that only God can put back together. That lesson is a very tough one to learn, especially for someone like me who is a fixer. I can't fix me.

I have also learned that in the brokenness comes acceptance. It is acceptance of not only God's plan for my life and the lives of my children, but also the life of my spouse. That was a very hard realization to accept.

Another acceptance that has been slower in coming is accepting the changes that have to happen due to Keith's death. My role as a parent has changed. I have to parent alone. That wasn't our plan when our children were born. That part of our lives has required a lot of adjustments. I didn't realize how much Keith and I worked together in raising our children. It is a huge change to go from two parents to one parent. It has been difficult to find myself battling adolescence and preadolescence alone. I turn to call for reinforcements, only to realize Keith isn't here to back me up. Another acceptance.

Accepting that Keith's death is permanent may sound far fetched, but it is another period of acceptance that I have had to go through. It tends to come in waves. For the first few months after Keith's death, I had to remind myself daily that he wasn't coming home. Now it comes in spells. My head and my heart both know he isn't coming home. The acceptance in both the logical and emotional parts of me is difficult when it shows up and wants to be recognized. That falls in the category of intense emotion usually.

I don't feel as completely broken everyday now. Well, I didn't before about a month ago. This period of my life that is between the end of May and the middle of July has been tough. It is tough. So with now being the exception, I have had days where the brokenness isn't as sharp. It isn't as painful. I can see and KNOW that God is healing the places within me that were broken when Keith died.

Then there are days like today. It began as a perfectly fine Saturday. I finally got to sleep without setting an alarm to wake me up. I was feeling a little melancholy this morning, but that has become my norm lately with the 1 year anniversary quickly approaching. I was putting away the waffle iron. I was holding it with only one hand thinking that I had a hold on it. I didn't. It fell to the floor and broke. I began to cry. This waffle iron, that is indeed just a thing and is easily replaceable, was a wedding gift to me and Keith 18 years ago come July 11. It is likely that the waffle iron would have needed replacing at some point soon since it was 18 years old. The grief and heartache that swamped me said something different. I broke a wedding present. A wedding present. I broke a wedding present from the wedding that I don't have my husband anymore. My husband has died, and I broke our waffle iron. Another type of brokenness and acceptance have reared their ugly heads.

I am still experiencing quite a bit of sadness and grief from this. Well, the kids wanted to see a movie, so off to the Monaco we go to see Karate Kid. The movie is sold out, and we ended up waiting on Shrek (I do not recommend btw.) There was time to kill, so we went to Maggie Moo's there at Bridge Street. While we are eating our quickly melting ice cream, a beautiful bride and her dashing groom come out the Smokehouse Restaurant where their reception was being held. They are having their wedding pictures made in front of the fountain. Another stab to my heart on the day I broke a wedding present from the wedding that I don't have a husband anymore.

I don't really know if this makes sense, but it's what I'm feeling and feelings don't have to make sense. Grief does not follow any rules. It makes them up as it goes along. Brokenness and acceptance come along too.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

a month and a day

In a month and a day, it will be one year since Keith's death. I am at a loss to truly put my thoughts and feelings into words. I am burdened with a HUGE amount of sadness and grief today. I realized earlier today that tomorrow is June 7th. 11 months since Keith's death. Tomorrow is also the first day of VBS at church. That is the beginning of when Keith's body began to succumb to the cancer last year. Tomorrow I also will be taking Nick for another set of PET scans at the medical mall. Thursday, Nick and I will be in Birmingham for CT scans, more blood tests, and results of all of the recent blood tests and scans. Saturday will be the day one year ago that we began our final vacation with Keith even though his body was struggling.

Last night was Kacie's dance recital. She danced beautifully. I missed Keith terribly. I've come to realize that this type of firsts (the ones where Nick and Kacie show off their accomplishments) are going to be really tough. My hope is that as time passes, the pain and grief that comes with these firsts will lessen.

Only God knows.

In a month and a day, I will have made it through the first year as a widow. In a month and two days, I will begin my second year as widow.

I don't know what the next year, month, week, or even day holds. I do know that God has a plan for me and mine. I trust Him to show me His plan in His time.