Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The second Thanksgiving

In grief group, it is often mentioned that the days leading up to a holiday/special day are worse than the actual day itself. As the last 16 1/2 months have passed, I understand what that means. I have actually experienced that as well. Today, as I mark time until the second Thanksgiving arrives, I find it to be the opposite.

I was really looking forward to Thanksgiving last week. I'm not anymore. Now I find myself thinking about it being just another holiday without Keith. I've made it through all of the firsts. The rest of them are just designed to cause me more hurt, more heartache, more grief, more pain.

Oh yeah...it's going to be that kind of post. It's the way I am feeling tonight. I'm really having a tough time right now. The last few days have been tough and it seems that there is no real end in sight. I have been through a lot during the last week. I was buying and selling a house. Now I'm not. Nick had a sick episode one night that might be the cancer acting up. I literally made myself sick with worry before I could reign it in. Kacie had an episode of sick that caused problems with her asthma. That caused me quite a bit of worry and to lose some sleep too. I went to my first wedding since Keith died. The wedding was beautiful and brought back some wonderful memories for me, but then the pain snuck in later. Now I'm not sleeping much at all.

Now I am angry. I am angry that Keith died. I am angry that things haven't gotten easier with time, but more difficult. I am angry. I am angry. I AM ANGRY!

I had my session with MLC today. He is glad to see that I am finally expressing some more anger. I have had some episodes with anger since Keith died. The episodes have been draining, but necessary. After all, anger is one of the stages of grief. Apparently, it is one of those emotions with grief that don't come with a time table. I guess none of the grief emotions come with a timetable. MLC thinks that every time I have experienced one of these major emotional dips in the last year +, I have reached a new level of healing. I don't see it, but I guess he would.

MLC isn't worried about me getting through this next several days. I'm not worried either. I just want it to hurry up and be over. I want the whole holiday season to hurry up and be over. I am not convinced that the first was the worst.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


Seconds...60 of them in a minute. Seconds...the amount of time it takes for life to change dramatically. Seconds...the next round of plate filling at Thanksgiving dinner. Seconds...the term used to describe a manufactured good that doesn't quite meet the first run qualities. Seconds...what follows first.

It only took seconds for my life to change dramatically several times. Even though I know there are only 60 seconds in a minute, sometimes it feels like 60 billion. My second Thanksgiving without Keith is next week. That will bring with it the beginning of the second holiday season without Keith. The seconds are bothering me.

Don't get me wrong. I am relieved that I don't have to relive the firsts again. I don't think I really want to go through this second phase either though. Until tonight, I have been looking forward to Thanksgiving this year. It has to be better than last year. I was also driven by the excitement of buying and moving into a bigger house. Getting my house ready to go on the market was the yuck part, but necessary. I was really looking forward to getting a fresh start.

Notice that I am speaking in the past tense...was. My plans changed in a matter of seconds yesterday. Yesterday, everything looked great for the plans to move into a new phase of life for me and the kids. Yesterday, I was under contract to buy a bigger house. Yesterday, I was at peace with selling my house and taking on a mortgage when I don't have one now. Yesterday, I was looking forward to laying the ghosts of the bad memories to rest and only bringing the good memories with me.

Yesterday, it all fell apart. I found out that I wasn't given all of the information I needed in order to be able to make a sound financial decision. Yesterday, I found out that I can not afford to move. Yesterday, I had to tell my children that we weren't leaving this house for something bigger and better. Yesterday, I learned the hard way that there are people out there who are willing to lend you money that you can not afford to pay back so that you can buy a house that you can not afford to make payments on. People that will tell you everything is wonderful, shiny and gleaming. Then in a matter of seconds, it becomes glaringly clear that you were taken advantage of. It becomes clear that you narrowly missed making a huge decision that would have had a huge negative impact on a family that has already been through more than most.

Thank God for second chances. Thank God for watching over me and keeping me from falling into this pit. Thank God for putting people in my path that had the knowledge to look everything over and see the mistakes that I couldn't see. Thank God for my home that isn't perfect, is too small, and needs some work. Thank God that it is mine. Thank God that we have somewhere to live that is paid for.

I know I have been rambling. There is a lot on my heart and in my head tonight. Just venting the little bit about the house deal has helped. I wish we could have gotten this house. It was a really nice house. I am thankful that God answered my prayer. My prayer during this whole house thing has not been for Him to allow me to have this new house. It has been for Him to protect my finances, to protect me from making a mistake, to show me what His will is not mine. With everything, that was going so perfectly smooth it's crazy, to fall completely apart as quickly as it did, I can only believe that God heard my prayer and answered it. It wasn't what I wanted, but it is certainly better in the end.

Another example of remaining in His grip without even realizing it.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

In the middle

Keith died 16 months ago today. I realized during the day today that this is not the first 7th and it won't be last 7th. That means I must be in the middle. I find that with each passing day I am able to think about Keith without as much consuming grief. I still carry a lot of sadness with me and I probably will for a long time. There are times when the grief rears up and it hits me. It did in church this morning. Singing a hymn, praising God, and I got blindsided. The tears came faster than I could stop them.

I am more aware of these moments when I am singing and praising God. It happens a lot in songs that are about leaving the pain of this life behind and entering heaven. I just become overwhelmed with emotion thinking about Keith walking the streets of gold, talking with the men and women of the Bible, sitting at the feet of the King, spending time with my dad and his granny.

I like being in the middle better than at the beginning. I was told by MLC recently that a year ago I was a train wreck. That surprised me a little bit. I didn't think of myself as a train wreck then. The more I have thought about it, I realized that I was a train wreck last year. More importantly, I realized that I am not a train wreck now. I am learning how to live a life without my spouse and best friend. I am learning how to be a single parent. I am learning how to put myself first occasionally. I am learning a lot about who I am. I am learning a lot about my children. I am learning a lot about the kind of man my husband was.

I think I like being in the middle. Time will tell.