October 11, 2016

15 Quotes on Grieving

Two years ago this month I shared nine quotes I liked that had to do with grief.

I had felt grief, but it was naive grief, I believe. On the periphery, if you will. Before I had lost one of the most important people I will ever have in my life.

The quotes I shared before are fine. Good, actually. I mean, anything Elizabeth Kubler-Ross has said is excellent.

But there are several more that have touched my heart since my husband died, that truly resonate. That I have found and shared randomly but wanted to compile  and elaborate on.

For me specifically, my children have "mom's sad" radar and get very concerned and want to make it better. It's sweet, but also a little stifling in that it makes me feel like I can't fully openly grieve around them.

Everyday life is trivial; actually has been for the last few years.
There was recently a shooting at a mall not far from where we live. I could not suppress my emotion over, not only how awful shootings are, but over the death, and therefor, grief that comes with them. My heart ached for the loved ones of the victims.

Before Mark died, I would see things like this shared and think, "oh that's nice".
Now I GET it. It's not about canonizing the dead person. But you must remember, you must talk about them. Because they were human and you loved them and they mattered.

It does. At least for me, in the five months since Mark passed, each morning when I wake up I seem to have to remind myself that he died. It was even necessary until recently because I was having the recurring dream that he wasn't dead, but I knew he was supposed to be. So confusing.

I'm pretty sure my heart skipped a beat when I saw this. And then I thought, HOW have I never heard this quote before?? I wrote several years ago, quoting another poet, about the "depth and breadth" of our love. Mark and I loved each other unconditionally. We were best friends; a true team in life. If it hadn't been for his stupid illness(es), we would have been happily married forever. 

I truly believe this.

Grief is a dichotomy. It is wrought with inconsistencies and contradictions. It is so confusing! It's very easy to not know if you're coming or going, if you're sad or happy, if you should do this or that. You're forgetful, selfish and a little thoughtless. But only because it's SO BIG. It's a good thing I have my kids. If it were just me, I think I would completely shut out everyone and everything. At least for awhile.

I don't let myself cry so often, that when I do, it feels like this.

On the other hand, this. I know, and I know I will.

On the other, other hand.... See what I mean about the dichotomy?

Oh the things you think about something before you actually experience it! Grieving the loss of my husband is different than I imagined it might be. There is no point A to point B. It so much about the history you shared and what that person taught you.

Mark is mine. He is our kids'. I think when someone you love dies, that never changes. It's not like you broke up, like they're just not in your life anymore. They were taken from you when you didn't want it.

This poem was sent to me shortly after Mark died. This touched me quite deeply because it describes exactly what happened. I know that Mark is whole and no longer suffering, which truly does bring me a lot of comfort.

This sums it up.

This is how this post came to be. I may be relying some on others' words to help me express how I am doing, but I am here, and that feels really big to me right now because I've been feeling very insecure about blogging my way through this. Probably because grieving is the hardest thing I've gone through, whether the anticipatory portion, while I slowly watched my husband fade away, or the reality of his departure. I may have thought other bad things were terrible and awful and just the worst, but I was wrong.
Mark's death is a complete and total game-changer.

I am trying to give it words.

I do hope this wasn't a purely self-serving endeavor. I hope it was helpful too.

August 12, 2016

Three Months Since My Husband Died

I have wanted to write about things other than my husband's death and my and my kids' grief in the last month and a half....

I really have.

My daughter's Sweet 16 birthday, for example. With a lot of help from my besties, I threw her a luau themed party (on a cloudy Puget Sound day). Throwing parties is not something I do often (or well), but she loved it and had a great time, which was all that mattered to me.

I remember telling Mark when I first started thinking about having a big to-do for her, that it would happen no matter what, like if he was in the hospital or something. He asked why he'd be in the hospital and I replied, "because you just are sometimes, duh!" He asserted that he wouldn't be in the hospital.

I suppose he was right.

June 27, 2016

Six and a Half Weeks

Hi there.

It's been six and a half weeks since my husband died. That amount of time feels both like a lot and very little at the same time.

I get asked how the kids and I are doing by someone, in some way, probably every day. Honestly, we're doing better than I ever imagined we would.

So far.

We're not simply OKAY. Saying that would be too overly simplified and make it sound like losing Mark wasn't a huge and sad event in our lives.

Because it was. It is.

June 6, 2016

How My Husband Died

It's been nearly four weeks since my husband passed away.

His death still doesn't feel fully real.

Even though I knew -- we all knew -- he wasn't long for this world, it's hard to believe that he died. That Mark actually DIED and is GONE.

I think death is just very hard for us to understand.

He had survived so much in his 47 years. We thought he was going to die four years ago, but he didn't. He fought back just like he had done so many times before.

But not this time. This time was different.


May 16, 2016

My Husband's Obituary

As many of you may have heard by now, my husband, Mark, passed away.

He suffered cardiac arrest and although medical professionals were able to restart his heart and keep him alive with meds and machines, it was ultimately his time to go.

Mark died quickly and peacefully just before 6:00 PM on May 12, 2016.

There is much more I would like to say, and probably will, but for now, I just want to share the obituary I wrote.

April 21, 2016

How My Husband is Doing This Spring

Hello there.

The last detailed update about the state of my husband's chronic health problems was about two and a half months ago. There have been a few changes.

We now have another condition to add to the list: low thyroid (most likely due to taking the anti-arrhythmia medication, Amiodarone). This news actually gave us a little hope because Mark can take another medication to bring his thyroid level back up, and maybe that would help how he feels overall.

Since seeing his Endocrinologist, Mark's dosage of Levothyroxine has been upped twice. It has taken many weeks, but he is a bit less tired and bit more hungry.

One step forward....