We are coming up on the one year anniversary of Ross’ death. July is going to be the hardest month yet, though it can’t hold a candle to our first Christmas without him. We have Reagan and Bailey’s birthdays, Ross’ birthday, our 16 year anniversary, and the day that Ross died. July 2nd, July 8th, July 14th, July 19th, and July 24th. It would be really cool to skip July altogether. But I cannot fast forward or check out. I would NEVER desert my children, nor leave them broken or in pain with the loss of ME, after I have watched them reel from the loss of their dad. The way their eyes went dark when the front door would open, and it was a dog pushing through, and not their father. I will never be able to comprehend the grief of a child, and the loss of a father, not one that has been so present in their lives, and been such a force of nature, and one day just gone forever. How does something like this happen? How can someone just be alive one day, and gone the next? Years will pass, and I will NEVER be able to wrap my mind around death.
I have connected with other widows and widowers. My heart hurts SO badly for them, that I want to reach out and hug them, and make them feel loved and safe. Though they are so far away, for the most part, I feel protective of them…..each of their journeys are so different from the next, but each journey holds such pent up anger, loneliness, and raw bleeding sadness. If we could all live in a community together, where we were side by side, maybe we could heal faster, and in a more healthy manner. We could talk openly about our spouses, without any of the judgement or insecurity. But this is our reality, and we have to survive in our own world, with our own demons. We have to function with other humans, answer their questions, and we are held accountable with how we respond to these cold waters that we have been thrown into unexpectedly. I have so many fears, so many regrets, and I am a completely different woman now, because of what I have been through, and what my children have been through.
I feel like I haven’t thanked everyone enough. How do I thank my family, and my friends, that have been there from day one? I am still finding Facebook messages that I missed, especially that week that Ross died. I was in a haze, stumbling around, hardly eating and sleeping. I am still struggling. I can still feel it, but I want out of it. It is stifling, suffocating. I don’t want to be unhappy, and I don’t want to be alone, but at the same time, I know my whole package is a tall order. I am a realist. I am trying to not think too far ahead, and focus on the only thing that is important…..my children. Rebuilding. Providing for my family. Making them feel safe. Giving them what they need emotionally, and replenishing everything that has been stripped from them.
We are facing summer time now, and it will be the kids and I, 24/7. I am so exhausted already, but determined to help them reach a whole new level of growth. They have to reach a whole new level of growth.
I have Bailey signed up for Cognitive Behavior Therapy, and Reagan signed up for counseling throughout the summer. I don’t even know what CBT is at this juncture, but I know that I have to investigate this resource before I ever resort to medication, to help alleviate her anxiety and pressure that she puts on herself each and every day. Our family cannot function anymore with these meltdowns. Bailey is getting older, and stronger, and she is still taking me off guard. And I have yet to master the hold where we don’t get ourselves hurt, and we are not reeling from physical and emotional turmoil. Reagan lacks confidence, assurance……he needs to know that he matters, and that he is different than Bailey, and more is expected of him, and this is a GOOD thing, not a sentence or punishment. How can I do this for him, as a sole parent, when I cannot replenish myself fully? I ask myself that question every morning, and yet still find that tiny bit of strength.
I will ask for help. I will reach out. And I will be responsive to those of you who are wanting to embrace our chaos. I am already making grand strides in the right direction, and though I have so many moments that knock the wind out of me, there are no other options. This is our life now. This is something that has happened to us, but this does not define us.
I am still broken in so many ways. But I want to say his name, and honor everything that he was, because his legacy meant something to me, his children, and everyone that he touched. It was so evident at his service, that he was loved and cherished, and that he brought so much laughter to everyone he encountered. I am so blessed to have had 17 years with this man. I will never glorify our marriage, nor will I tell anyone that everything was perfect, but I knew that he would never hurt me, and at the time, I knew he would never leave me.
I look around, and I get so frustrated…..angry….and I want to grab people and strangle them. Why are they taking advantage of this person, who has offered everything they have? Why are they settling? Why do they continue to feel just CONTENT, instead of giddy, on cloud 9, with everything at their feet? Why are they not racing to the finish line, each and every day, and grasping every straw of happiness that they can?
We can only do this once. This is it, people. Let’s not let another moment fly past us, without grabbing the hell out of it, and soaking in every single detail of it. Please learn from me. Please take what I have to offer you, because it is all that I have left.