Wednesday, March 23, 2016

I Fixed His Old Computer Tonight

So, S has this old computer that he was oddly attached to. It quit working about six months ago. Even though he replaced it with two laptops, he still wanted to get this computer working again. We would turn it on every once in a while to see if it would work and never hit the jackpot. We had planned to really look into it and dig deep to fix it together after the holidays.

Well, as often happens, things got in the way. Business was calling and we got super busy with an exciting project (a project that would be happening right now if sepsis hadn't stolen him from me). Since he passed, I have had a lot more free time. I normally use it to read about grief and go on grief forums because I am not doing well but last week I decided to fix the old computer. It didn't start out too well. Nothing worked but I don't give up and that is one of the things that S loved about me. It consumed me for days and tonight I finally hit the jackpot. It was the hard drive and tonight it finally verified. Celebration! Well, at least it would be if S were here.

Once I got the computer turned on and his lovely wallpaper came up, which I had completely forgotten about (tears!), I felt a surge of joy and then it instantly fell to emptiness. I sat down and went through this old computer that has years of our life on it and sadness and longing engulfed me. Grief draped over me but I pushed on and went through all the gems in there. I'm glad I did.

I am now sitting at my desk with a celebratory vodka (also a numbing agent since I haven't numbed myself in a while). This is what we would do if he were here. He would make a loud celebration noise full of joy and he would declare this a drinking night and ask for a vodkie in his charming little way he did. I miss him so much.

Every time I turn my head now, I see his wallpaper and it fills me with sadness but the idea of turning it off fills me with more sadness. That is what most of my decisions have been like since he left this world. Taking the least painful route but a route still filled with pain. A pain that feels as if it will never leave. An all consuming pain that makes me wonder what the point to life is without him.

I'm grateful to have our animals (2 cats and a dog) and I'm so grateful for my friends and family. I just wish I could find some way to bring him back and fill this gigantic hole that was blasted out of me when my S died.

For now, I am letting myself drink a vodka and toasting to S. I love you, S. I love you forever. I hope you are celebrating wherever you are that I got that damn computer working again.

Sunday, March 20, 2016


Well, it's officially spring now. The weather will get nicer the sun will shine more and hope and happiness will be everywhere.

Except in my house.

Spring was S's favorite time of the year. He was able to get out more, his mobility always got a little better and he loved watching it stay light outside later and later. Spring brought him strength and hope. That spirit of hope always surrounded both of us around this time. We loved spending Saturdays looking at Zillow, planning our future for when the big project we were working on for our business finally got financed. This spring is actually when the everything was set to happen.

Now, I can't even think of moving or staying. Both are painful so the only thing I can do is stay and be surrounded by him and our life together. That is the best option for now. This apartment was supposed to be a very temporary placeholder in our transition to a brighter future. Because of his mobility problems and problems with our business, we ended up staying here much, much longer than planned. April will be six years.

This apartment that never felt like our permanent home ended up being the last place he lived. The place we made a life together even though our spirits were living in other houses and a better future together, we still made so many memories in this little place that was only supposed to be a transition.

It ended up being the place where he transitioned on from life. Zillow never showed the real estate up there so I can only hope he ended up somewhere amazing, somewhere better than any of our dream houses. And now I'm here without him and all of those hopes and dreams we had so much fun sharing with each other have been stomped out.

S was so full of joy no matter how much pain he was in and our little Zillow days made him even more joyful. If he were here, as the weather gets warmer, we would have an aperitif out on the balcony and talk about how much we were going to enjoy working on our next project, living in a better house, being able to afford experimental medical treatments for his pain and just feeling more free in life, together as a team.

He is free now and I still think of us as a team but now the conversations are all one sided and the future is much different. I miss his advice. I miss his smile. I miss his laugh. I miss his humor. I miss how he would listen to me babble and babble and still be present with me. I miss our hugs. I miss our kisses. I miss how excited we would both be to watch The Walking Dead or Game of Thrones, two shows I will never be able to watch again. I miss how excited he would get when I would cook certain things like beef stew with Irish soda bread. I can't cook at all now. I even miss how he used to love to taunt me (never in a cruel way). He just loved to get me riled up and I would know he was doing it but we both just enjoyed the energy of it all. It always ended with us laughing.

He was my best friend, confidante, lover, emotional support, mentor and everything else in between. We spent every single day together all day and never got sick of each other. What do you do when that is ripped away from you? You just exist, moment to moment in a grey world that is depleted of joy. They say it will get better and I hold onto that but I don't know exactly what better means.

All I know is it will never get as good as it was and for that I will grieve forever.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

The “What Ifs” and “Should Haves” Will Eat Your Brain

This quote by John O'Callaghan is something I'm really trying to hold onto. There were so many signs that something was really wrong with S but we just thought he had the flu. Oh, how wrong we were.

Today, the signs that I missed keep coming back to me. Not just today, it happens quite often actually but today it has been especially haunting. Little things that I missed keep coming back to me, things he said about how he was feeling, my reactions to him. I thought he was just being a man baby about the flu. I can't tell you how much I regret that.

It's too late now. I can't go back and change the past and I never will be able to. To focus on things that could have been done or should have been done had I known does me absolutely no good. I can't save him. The fact that I had a chance to save him but didn't know he needed saving is not something that will bring him back. Focusing on this, letting it haunt me only makes me feel worse and increases my anxiety.

I have been trying to focus on all the sweet conversations we often had, on how often I told him I love him or showed him I love him. His last full day in the hospital, when we thought he was getting better and coming home soon, I gave him a very tender and loving sponge bath. He was falling asleep and saying how good it felt. That is what I should focus on. That was a beautiful experience for both of us.

I just need to keep bringing it back to the loving and tender moments and hopefully those haunting moments about what more I could have done that only hindsight can show you will become less and less. I have to stay on top of that because I can tell that it really will eat my brain if I let it. It will also eat my stomach and make me sick.

If S is still around somewhere out there, I can guarantee that he isn't concentrating on what I did wrong. I have to tell myself that so I that one day soon I won't either.

Monday, March 14, 2016

The first two weeks after losing him...

I honestly don't know how I have made it these two weeks of my new life as a widow. A life that I am very begrudgingly walking through like a zombie.

Breathe. Drink water. Breathe. One foot in front of the other. Breathe. Drink water. Breathe. Try to eat, even if it is only a bite. Breathe. Try to sleep. Breathe.

That breathing thing is very important. It's amazing how many times my breath gets taken away by the grief. I can't tell you how many times I have felt like I might faint. Taking the dog for a walk leaves me breathless at the thought of coming home to an empty apartment. Going to the store leaves me breathless because my shopping always involved both of us and I would enjoy buying him little treats. Everywhere I look, I see things he loved and surprises I loved buying for him. He would get so excited over the smallest treat. He was so easy to please. His smile brightened my world.

Breathe. Cry. Breathe. Remember. Breathe. Just.Get.To.The.Next.Moment.

The first week I was surrounded by family and friends in our little apartment. I love them all very much but it was difficult being surrounded by all that activity and hiding a good amount of my grief. Then they all left. I thought it would be easier somehow. Now I'm alone to let my grief come out and it isn't any better than being surrounded. I'm alone everywhere I go no matter how many people are there. Nothing is ever enough because I don't have my husband here with me to be my best friend and give me emotional support the way he so lovingly would. It's all I want right now.

He was amazing and kind and imperfect and flawed. I loved every single part of him. I still do. I will forever. I love you, S and I always will.

Breathe. Drink water. Breathe. Get through. Breathe. Just breathe...