Stronger

What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger…or at least that’s what Kelly Clarkston says.

People always say to me “I don’t know how you do it, you’re so strong!”

My therapist says I’m strong.

I tell her “I don’t have a choice”

I mean, what else am I supposed to do? Have a mental breakdown and be committed somewhere for PTSD, depression and anxiety?

Ain’t nobody got time for that.

I’ve got two children and a dog that depend on me for literally everything. I don’t have the luxury of a mental breakdown. So, each day I get up, put on my big girl panties and fucking deal with it.

But then she tells me something I never considered…

“But you do have a choice. Even just the fact that you think you don’t makes you strong”

Huh. There’s a thought.

Never once did it occur to me that I even had a choice to be anything but strong.

Grief Games

Ever since Sean died I play a game in my head when people complain, and I’ve decided to name it, appropriately so, The Grief Game.

Round 1: Oh, your husband would rather play video games then spend time with you tonight? Gee, that’s rough- mine’s dead. I win.

Round 2: Your husband is away on a business trip for a week and you’re just so stressed out trying to manage the kids and a house? Gosh, you poor thing. You lose.

Round 3: You make jokes about trading in your husband or getting rid of him because he didn’t take out the trash like you asked? I’d give anything in the world to get my husband back. I win, again.

Jesus, I wish I was worse at this game.

Listen, I get it. Everyone has their struggles. I used to bitch about Sean doing something as trivial as putting the toilet paper on backwards (seriously, if you want it the toilet paper folding under- you’re a monster) and is it fair for me to sit back and judge your life all the while throwing myself a giant pity party? No, probably not.

But just know that as your bitching about your husband to me I’m internally screaming and a hair away from throat punching you 🙃 Because the lady with the dead husband 9/10 has it worse than you.

I Miss You

It’s been seven months since you died.

Two hundred and twelve days.

…and God, I miss you.

Last night, half asleep I rolled over to put my arm around you only to be abruptly woken up with the reminder that you are no longer here.

I miss snuggling with you.

I miss waking up next to you, only to find that you were already awake, looking at me. I hope I never forget the color of your eyes.

I miss watching “our” shows with you…most of them I’ll never finish now.

I miss laughing with you.

Or at you.

I miss you laughing at me.

I just miss your laugh.

I can’t remember what it sounded like anymore.

Your smile, oh, how I miss your smile.

Not the fake, tight-lipped one you did in pictures, the same one Luke does…your real smile.

I miss all of our inside jokes. So many times throughout the day I run into something that reminds me of one…but you’re not here for me to text it to.

I miss being stupid with you; rapping back and forth in text messages and goofing around.

I miss slow dancing in the living room with you.

I miss playing guessing games with you while we’d cook dinner.

I miss talking about our future with you. Now we don’t have a future-it is only my future, without you.

I miss your love, you really were a wonderful husband. The way you’d bring me flowers home and surprise me, take the dog out so I could sleep in, the way you taught me new things and were patient with me if I didn’t understand. The way you always communicated and were honest.

I miss missing you when you were gone on trips and looking forward to the feeling of welcoming you home.

Now, I don’t know where home is- your heart was my home.

Waves

Death creates a swelling storm of grief within you that takes control of the person you thought you were. You lose yourself in the waves as they slowly creep in or come sweeping over you and overtake you like a little boat lost at sea.

It comes and goes in waves and it carries you away.

Some days the tide is low and you feel safe, maybe even happy. Because today, even for a moment, you’re not drowning.

Some days you struggle to keep your head above water, you’re gasping for air as the waves continue to crash down over you while the weight of your grief pulls you down.

Your grief is as vast and deep as the ocean.

PSA

In response to my recent vlog post, it had been brought to my attention that some people are offended by my swearing.

And to them I kindly say: Fuck off.

You can be offended when your husband dies and leaves your children fatherless 🤷‍♀️

Losing My Religion

Queue R.E.M.!

This song reminds me of the ‘Grilled Cheesus” episode of GLEE.

Ok, but seriously, I was pretty fucking pissed at God when Sean died.

But then I realized something.

God didn’t kill Sean.

Sean killed Sean.

But still, I was faced with the question- Why would God let such a terrible thing happen to me?

It’s a question that many people ask themselves when something horrible, something out of their control happens. When Sean died the last thing I wanted to do was pray, or be prayed for and I DEFINITELY did not want to go to church.

What would I pray for? For my husband to be alive again? That none of this would ever have happened? Well, duh…but God and everyone else knew that those prayers would never be answered- so what’s the point? Furthermore, why would I want go to church and worship a God that clearly didn’t care enough about me to stop this from happening? Honestly, it’s the same reason I didn’t want to go to therapy for months after Sean died. I thought- what the hell could you possibly tell me? What could you possibly have to say to make me feel better about my situation? NOTHING.

But one day I woke up and decided- what the hell (pun intended)- I’ll go to church.

And so I went.

I went with my best friend to a Catholic church, since she’s Catholic and I was raised Catholic so that’s where I felt most comfortable.

It was not comfortable.

I didn’t know what to say, so much had changed since I’d last gone to mass and I felt so out of place. For the life of me I can’t remember what they talked about but it must have resonated with me because I decided to go back again and since then I’ve been going every week.

So, back to my original question of why God allows bad things to happen- I really don’t think it’s ‘part of God’s plan’. Let’s be honest here, if it was truly part of God’s plan for my best friend, my partner in life and the father of my unborn child to kill himself ….then God must be a real asshole. If the all-loving, all-knowing, merciful and just God is running the show then why is he doing such a shit job of it?

I have a couple thoughts on this; God permits as many good things to happen as he does bad- why does God permit happy marriages? The birth of healthy children? The simple answer would be that God wants us to be happy and in this explanation God would also want those suffering to be happy- so then why does he permit the suffering to continue?

To truly answer this question, we’d need to know God’s providential  plan…and I don’t presume to know that. When Jesus suffered his passion some of his last words were “Eli Eli lama sabachthani” or “My God. My God. Why have you forsaken me?” Even the son of God questioned his role in God’s plan. Even Jesus didn’t get to know why…and if Jesus didn’t get to know why then you can bet that you and I sure as shit don’t get to know why terrible, tragic things are happening to us.

God never guaranteed a happy life for us, he never promised we would live a life without trials and tribulations. But he did promise paradise to those whom believe in him until they are called home. At mass this evening, Father Jack said that sometimes when you’re at rock bottom, when you don’t know what to do, when you are empty..don’t turn away from God. Because when you are empty, that means there is room for God to fill your life. Sometimes empty is good.

Empty makes room for change.