November 11, 2016

6 Months Since My Husband Died

My husband died six months ago.

And it seems that all I can manage to write since he died are these periodic check-ins.

(By the way, if you would like to follow more of what's going on with me, I do share updates more often than writing a whole blog post, on Instagram and Facebook.)

It seems that grief over the loss of one's spouse is pretty much all-consuming. While all loss of loved ones is hard and sad and sucky, I've come to believe that the death of the person you married is probably the worst (except for maybe the loss of a child). The hardest to get through or over or how ever you want to say it.

Perhaps it depends on your particular circimstances, but in general, the loss of the person you've committed to share your life with, raise children with and be there for, changes everything. It changes what your life looks like and consists of. It changes your outlook, hopes, desires, priorities....everything you once thought was all but set in stone.

The future, for example. When Mark was still alive, living with him in the moments we still had was my priority. I hardly ever thought about the future. All that mattered was him and us then. Now, the future is this gaping expanse of uncertainty. I literally have no idea what it will look like, and that's kind of unsettling.

***

We celebrated Mark's first birthday in heaven (that sounds so cheesy) earlier this week. The kids and I, Mark's mom and sister and my dad went out to dinner to one of his favorite restaurants, but that didn't feel like enough to me. I wanted to do something symbolic, so I got three white balloons for us to "send up" to Mark. My daughter and I wrote messages on ours, but my son opted not to. AJ cried when we went outside to release them. I grabbed ahold of him and cried too. Camryn wrapped her arms around us both. Very bittersweet.



When we arrived home after dinner, my mother-in-law hugged me and said she thought it was a very nice evening and that the balloons were a sweet touch. I said, "But it made my baby cry." She responded, "That's OK, he probably needed to cry."

That's another thing about this grief journey, espcially with children, I think. I am so unsure if I'm doing things right for them. What's best? What's a bad idea? Do I ask them about their feelings, or does that only serve to keep their grief in the forefront as much as mine is?

In my heart, I think kids are more resilient than adults in this situation. In all actuality, not much about their day-to-day lives has changed. I think that grief will hit them periodically throughout the rest of their lives when they have a specific reason to miss their dad. The special events that he should be there for, or when a new person in their lives asks about their parents.

***

The other day I got an email offering a sale on personalized items. I give my kids a new ornament every Christmas Eve, so I went to look...I notice that they have memorial ornaments, so I click to see them. I find one I think is kinda cool and see what it looks like with my personalization. And then I got annoyed and closed the tab in my browser.

What, I'm going to replace my dead husband with a Christmas tree ornament? No. Just no. I think his ashes, handprint and the many pictures I have are much better keepsakes and reminders than some $14.99 ornament.

***

To close on a better note, I heard Mark one morning a couple of weeks ago.

No really, I did.

My alarm had gone off and I was stretching, rubbing my eyes and yawning, in the process of waking up, when I softly but clearly heard, "Hey"

It was his voice. It was him.


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.

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.