Sunday, July 31, 2011

I miss having a home

I have a house I live in. I don't have a home and I miss that. John was my best friend. He still is.
But when he was here physically, I felt totally and completely safe, loved, and at home with him. That's what I miss. This house is no longer a home without him. It's just the place I live in now. Before it was our home, our safe place to land, the place we came to feel loved and cared for, cherished. I miss that.
I've thought about moving from this house because maybe it would be easier to not be in a place where he had touched every inch of it. We remodeled this house quite a bit and John is everywhere here. He even built the desk I write on and spend my day at. But I wouldn't dream of getting rid of it. Sometimes I am reluctant to even move something or throw something out because he used it. I have to recover the kitty windowsill in my office before the shutters are put in next week and I feel bad because John recovered the windowsill last. It's silly I know and if I say something to some people about this they look at me like I'm weird. 
Sometimes I feel like I am erasing him and I know that is irrational and if John were here he would smile at me and say "Joof [one of his nicknames for me], don't be silly. You can never erase me. I know you love me." 
But feelings aren't rational. They just are.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

14 months today

Today is the 24th of the month, 14 months since my Love left this world, 61 weeks.
Today I made the mistake of watching our wedding video. I thought it would be good to see John in action and hear his voice instead of looking at flat pictures. It was good - but also unbearably sad. The pain is there as if his passing just happened.
I thought I would have been stronger. It made me happy to see John but it also made it all the more horrible to have him gone from me now. He was so handsome, so sweet, so kind, so happy, so loving. Watching him holding me, kissing me, loving me - I was so lucky. I could see the love in his eyes.
And that smile. Was there ever a better, happier smile. How I wish I could go back in time for just a minute and feel those arms around me again. Hear that voice in my ear. Feel that kiss.
This has to be the most unfair thing in the world. At least to me. There are so many unhappy marriages out there. Why did the happiest one have to end - at least in this world. I know John is still alive in the spirit world. I know he still loves me. But it's not the way it was. 
And that is what hurts so much. We thought we had more time. I want to be able to love him more.  We had so many plans. We loved each other so much. I can't bear this. It's never going to be any better until I die and join John.
I tell people this life holds nothing for me and the best thing I can think of would be for a doctor to tell me I have months to live. Yet if I dare mention that to anyone I get  "don't say that", "you have so much to live for", "there is more you can do".
Does no one understand how much I DO NOT CARE.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

What I miss

I miss our life so much. I miss sharing little everyday things with John. Everything we did was fun because we laughed and enjoyed our time together. And just doing things together made them fun. I loved going to Costco with him. I loved going to Church with him. I loved taking walks with him, watching the cats sleep, watching TV, reading side by side, John rubbing my feet, cuddling, holding him, smelling him, knowing he was there somewhere in the house, hearing him snore – everything.
This house is too quiet now. There is no life in it any more. The life we had left when John did. It’s only going to come back when I join him.
And it’s not fair. We had a great marriage, better than most people. Why couldn’t it keep on going? Why did it have to end so soon? I wasn’t ready. I don’t think John was either even though he probably understands why better than I do right now.
I miss him so much.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Weekends are the worst

We used to love the weekends. The weekend was our time for tuning the rest of the world out and devoting our attention to each other. Even if it meant running errands, doing grocery shopping, or maybe making a big pot of soup together - all of it was fun because we did it together.
Now, the weekends remind me even more [as if that were possible!]  that John is not here. And to make matters worse, every Sunday night is a reminder of the day John left, the night I woke up to find him already gone.
I know no way to get beyond this. The silence in this house echoes. What I would give to just go to sleep and wake up wherever John is. I can't bear the thought of living without him. I know I will for as long as I am supposed to but each day just drags into the other. I don't know how other women do this. The death of a loved one is awful. My own would be so welcome.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

New grief guidelines

I'm currently reading a book about after death communications and I realize that is a topic that some might disregard as fantasy.  But that's not the point of this post. The author Allan Botkin, Psy D is a psychologist, well respected, who treats those suffering from PTSD and grief. In this book Induced After Death Communication he references the work of Dennis Klass, Phyllis Silverman and Steven Nickman who published a book called Continuing Bonds: New Understandings of Grief. This book challenged the mainstream thinking about grief which was prevalent up until 1996 [the publication date of their book] and persists to this day - namely that the goal of grief therapy is to help survivors accept their loss and get on with their lives, to "move on".
Now these brave authors are saying that treatment was wrong, that maintaining a bond with the deceased loved one helps people better adjust to the loss. It's what I have been feeling all along and I feel so much better after reading this.
Examples of continuing bonds would be dreaming about the person who has passed, talking to him/her, believing that the deceased is watching over the survivor, keeping items of the loved one [contrary to those who say we should be giving their things away], and frequently thinking about the person. Some even report after death communication and this is not discouraged.
I find this comforting and it reinforces my belief that I am going to continue to do this my way and do whatever feels right to me.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

A new type of support group

A friend of mine whom I only know through the Internet and our sharing of our grief just posted a blog entry that touched me to my core. Apparently, someone she knows [I hesitate to call her a friend for a true friend would not have said what she said] told her that she had been grieving long enough, that it was time to "drop the grief banner" and get on with her life.
I am almost speechless to know that there are people in the world who are that callous and cold.
How can anyone think that they have the key to grieving and its appropriate time frame? Especially for another.
How dare this person assume they know what is the limit of anyone's grieving.
On some level, the worst part of grief comes not at the time of loss but at the time that the realization hits the heart - the person we love is gone from us, at least in this world, and we will not see them again in body ever again.
I am just beginning to be at that point now. How does one come to terms with that? I don't know. On some level, I know my heart felt that this was a temporary thing - that I would go through the motions of whatever it was I was supposed to go through and then miraculously John would come home, walk through the door as he always did with that wonderful smile I love and all would go back to being as it should be.
But that's not going to happen and the thought of that sends me to my knees.
But it's time to "drop the grief banner"? How dare she! Is my friend's grief too inconvenient for her? This person has obviously never lost someone dear to her. Or maybe she is incapable of even feeling those kinds of feelings. People like her make me very angry.
I [and my friend] are exactly where we need to be in our grief right now. There is no right or wrong. Grief just is. Who is anyone to say what is the correct time frame. If it takes us the rest of our lives to carry the grief banner, so be it.
Maybe there should be a support group for people who know people who are grieving. So they can learn how to not be so insensitive.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy 4th of July, Sweetheart!

John was the official barbeque-er in our family. A good memory and times I miss so much.

Friday, July 1, 2011

A fun memory

John loved all our kids and he took such good care of them.
The dogs especially loved their bath and John was so good about bathing them. Since they are both big dogs it was a big deal to wash them. In the winter, John actually took them in the shower but in the summer we washed them on the deck. John did the washing and I did the drying. We called drying "Station 2" and the girls learned that that meant to go to Mom and stand there while I toweled them off. The girls used to vie for who got to go first when it came to bathing, they enjoyed it so much.

It was a fun family day with lots of laughs and good times.