3,470 Miles

I write this from my hostel in Dublin, Ireland. Today is the tenth day of our trip and the last country before heading home and checking back into reality. While it’s been refreshing to get away for a bit, the shadow of grief you cast upon me knows no bounds and still follows me wherever I go.

I am faced with the harsh reality that even fifty years from now, no matter the possibilities the future holds…

I will always be your widow.

Loch Lomond to Glendalough, your absence is like the sky- spread over everything. My joy is tainted with the reoccurring thought of I wish you were here.

Dear Suicide

Dear Suicide,

We’ve gotten to know each other well over the past 250 days. You arrived- so suddenly, unyielding and unwantedly into my home and I wish I had never come to know you, wish I had never learned your name or lost people that I’ve love to you.

You are not brave.

Or courageous.

You are a fucking coward.

A coward exploiting people at their weakest moment, offering false peace but leaving destruction in its wake. You don’t have the guts to pull the trigger, make the jump or tie the noose yourself so you infiltrate the heart and mind and make our hands do the dirty work for you.

You’re twisted and greedy taking lives that are not yours to take.

You have stolen the piece of my heart that was once soft and full of joy and turned it as black and bitter as the coffee I drink each morning to sustain me after another sleepless night.

I am tired.

So tired.

So helpless.

Because don’t know how to stop you.

Time marches on and your incessant greed continues to spread grief and ruin.

You take.

Mothers

Daughters

Sisters

Sons

Brothers

Wives

Husbands

Fathers.

You take-

and you take and you take.

Until I have nothing left to give.

Until I am but the empty shell of the woman I used to be.

Until I wake each day, disappointed to see that the sun has rose yet again.

Until you take me too.

Well, suicide, I’m sorry to dissappoint you but you won’t be taking me. I’m too stubborn to give in.

I’m going to live just to spite you, you son of a bitch.

Sincerely,

Me.

What do we say to the God of death?

Not today.

-Syrio Forel

Why I chose to leave my children and go to Europe for two weeks

Yes, you read that right.

Before you put on that judgy Judy hat of yours though, I want you to stop and ask yourself if your husband is dead.

Oh, he’s still alive?

Cool- Then step off.

Not that I need to justify my decision, but I booked this trip with my best friend in January 2017, eleven months before Sean died and eight months before getting pregnant. The initial plan was that Sean was going to take leave and stay home with Luke and then when I found out I was pregnant that didn’t change. But when Sean suddenly died I had a lot of decisions to make; whether or not to donate his organs, cremation or burial, who was going to be in the delivery room when Gwendolyn was born, ect. and then it hit me.

I had already paid 3.5K for a fifteen day trip to England, Ireland and Scotland. Well, now what the fuck do I do? I thought. Naturally, my first instinct was to immediately call the tour company and give them my sad, pregnant, widow story and hope they refund my money. I mean- how could I possibly leave the country for two weeks when my daughter is only four months old and my husband just died?

But after the urging of some people to put off the decision just a little while longer, I came to a realization…

My daughter will only be four months old and my husband just died- why the fuck shouldn’t I go? She won’t remember me leaving and Luke is excited to get rid of me for a few weeks (ouch! lol). My children (including the four-legged furry one) will be well taken care of, safe and loved.

Sean took a lot of choices away from me when he made his choice. He took away my husband, my best friend, my partner in life. He took away my children’s father. He took away the sweet innocence of youth and replaced it with anger and tears. He took away happines and replaced it with guilt, confusion, depression and anxiety.

But this trip is the one thing that I can control that I’m not going to let that bastard take away from me.

So I’m going.

Bon Voyage, Bitches.

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.