Thoughts and prayers = barf!!

Brain dump….. As I lay here super tired thinking of all the stuff I have been through the last 3 years. I become bitter, I get mad and angry, when someone shares that thier loved one has a terminal illness or has a 0% survival rate, the last thing I truly ever wanted to hear was that miracles happen, I would smile and say thanks because society says you should be nice to those who are trying to help. But here is something I believe, it is that science happens, by the way of sciene it could be that the person lives a little longer and some might see that as a miracle but when I was in the thick of it with D to me it wasn’t a miracle it was our hard efforts and trials and drive to get him the best science out there, and to put all our eggs in one basket all the time in hopes that when we took those eggs out of the said basket and put them in another we only would loose one or two. Yes you can hope for miracles and you can believe what you want, I will not judge and I will support you no matter what. But instead of hoping for something so big that is more than likey 100% going to fail. Why not hope for smaller things? Like I hope that you get through the next few weeks. Then once those few weeks pass you move the hope to the next milestone. When you or someone you love is told thier diagnosis is terminal your whole world goes dark, you freeze, you want to get out, you want to turn the light switch back on and you want it to be 100% ok and back to ‘normal’, but you can’t do that you have to move with determination and thought out calculations so you don’t stub your toe in the dark and while moving, you have to fight with conviction and trust in the physical things you are doing. Things that are tangible. When things are bad or scary we are so scared of sitting with the uncomfortable feeling of possible death. We all at somepoint in our lives have sent or said “thoughts and prayers” while that might make the one saying it feel better or like they are helping.. when it was said to me this was my take on it; while I understood the sentiment behind it, it often felt like a blanket statement a way to get past the uncomfortable, it felt like it was said to help the sayer not me, I was a way to get out of asking how I was truly feeling. This made me uncomfortable to share the heartache and the pain with certain people as I was always met with “miracles” “thoughts and prayers”.I urge you to really try and put yourself in their shoes and ask if that is really truly what you would want to hear? Or would you want people to acknowledge the horrible shit you’ve been dealt and say something like, I am sorry you are going through this crap, I will be here to wade through it with you? Or how about just have people sit with you in the uncomfortable reality that is now your life? Or ask, I would love to know how all this is making you feel? I urge you to live each day like you have a terminal diagnosis, live like you won’t wake up the next day. You will see life differently and you will find the joy in not giving fucks what others think life is too short for walking on egg shells, you will find the joy in the sunset and sunrise like you were a child all over again.

Tldr: The saying Thoughts and Prayers can do more harm then good..

Grief 1 yr later

1 year or 365 day or 8760 hours. That is how long I have been waking up without you next to me. Without hearing your horribly awesome jokes, how long I have hoped to hear your voice again and have you hold me! This is how long I have been waking up and walking through this thing called life without you. It may seem like I am happy and having a GRAND ole’ time. I fake it extremely well, and only a few people have been able to see the RAW me. Don’t get me wrong there has been some great times sprinkled in there. I have travelled more this past year then I have ever, and I found that I kind of like the uncertainty of it all. The traveling to a destination and not having a plan when I get there has been wildly comforting as I love to plan things to do. I went back to school and passed my CNA course with a 3.9GPA and I am currently kicking a** in my psychology and ASL class. Let’s not forget me ripping up the carpet in the living room, dining room, and hallway all by myself and laying down flooring! I am woman hear me ROAR!

They say grief changes your phone book, let me tell you it does! I have lost a lot of “friends” through this process people who said they would be there always poof gone! People who I have known my whole life never showed up. I have also had people I didn’t think would be there and they are. I have made new acquaintances on all my travels and in school. When talking to these new people, and I mention I am a WIDOW and all sudden, they look at you with these eyes, it is hard to explain but I hate it, and now the conversation is dead and awkward! I never thought I would be a widow at 34yrs old, let me tell you being young, and a widow is some sick cruel joke. People think that because you are young you will get over it faster, that it will hurt less, that you will magically wake up and be fine. NEWS FLASH I AM NOT FINE none of this is FINE! I AM A COMPLETE MESS!! I cry most days, I scream, and I have broken a plate or two. (Side note I really want to do a RAGE room who is in?)

D my love you were taken too soon. You and I were supposed to do this thing called life together. We were supposed to 80 and fighting over who gets the last thin mint. I guess by default I win, but I don’t want it. It Is also a cruel joke you passed away on groundhogs’ day because that is my life. It is this never-ending day of you being gone, and I am guessing with your dark humor you did that on purpose. I know you asked me to send a shelf to someone and I have thought about it for over a year and I just can’t so please don’t be mad. I know you told me to get back out there and find love again once you were gone and babes I can’t and I am not ready for that, but I do promise you I will hold my love for you in my heart forever and ever! Thank you to those who have reached out throughout the year to check in on me, please don’t give up on me yet!

Thank you to those who have spent time with me and valuing my time when I set time aside for you! Thank you to those who I know interact with posts but might not have the words and or spoons to say anything I see you and your pain too whatever it might be.

“I don’t mean to be so uptight

But my heart’s been hurt a couple times

By a couple guys that didn’t treat me right

I ain’t gonna lie, ain’t gonna lie

‘Cause I’m tired of the fake love, show me what you’re made of

Boy, make me believe”

You made me believe again D, you made me believe.

Grief Prompt #8

#8 – Tell us about a guiding star inside your grief. Are there people – whether real, mythological, or fictional – who live their own grief in a way that gives you encouragement, inspiration, or direction?

A guiding star in my journey would be a friend of mine who is also going through this journey. She lost her husband to GBM 5 months before me. Watching her be open about grief and how it is ok to feel all the feels has made me be more open and hopefully it is helping others too. It sucks to be going through it and I am sorry for anyone who has to go through this process. I wish that society was more open about the process and treated us widows and widowers with grace and understanding that it is ok to not be ok. 

Another guiding star would be D and his love that I know is still there. It is something that he shared so openly with me and others that how could I not just share it back? This whole process is showing me that I can continue to grow emotionally and hopefully help others along the way. It is showing me that love is something that doesn’t go away even if the person is no longer with you. It is showing me that I might be a hot mess but I am still here and I am still me and I still love (even when I try not to)!!

~C

Death Day

Morning D. How has it been 4 months already? It feels like it was just yesterday I was holding your hand and we were laughing and kissing and all the things. FUCK CANCER, FUCK BRAIN CANCER!!

I watched it take you away slowly at 1st and then wham like a hurricane at the end. I watched it steal your freedom to drive, talk, read, walk, and just function. I am happy that you are no longer hurting from the cancer. I am happy that we met and had a love that most people search for their whole lives. I am happy that we lived like there was never going to be a tomorrow. I miss you so very much! I wish I could hold you one more time, kiss you once more, make love with you once more. I wish I could feel someone hold me the way you did, the way that you ran your hands over my imperfect perfect body. Or have someone look at me the way you would look at me not just in a sexual way but really look at me.

Today I feel numb and sad and all the things! On top of being a death day I didn’t sleep last night I tried. I went to bed at 1030 and then next thing you know it is 6am and it is time to start my day all over again. Babes I raise this cup of coffee for you and I send my love into the world for you! Till we meet again ❤

Your Wife always and forever!

~C

Grief Prompt #7

#7- The prompt was “Grief is everywhere”

Yes it is! It is in random smells that bring me back to memories with you, it is in music and how we shared a wide wide variety of music, it is in playing word games and how you were always doing them all the way up to the end to keep sharp, and it is in the times I bake and cook; something we love to do together. I know I am missing my built-in taste tester. It is in the way the kids cry for you, it is in the way I weep when I see pictures of you, and it is in the way I move throughout this world without you. It is the simple mundane tasks like doing laundry (I hate doing it) you loved doing it, it is in the more complex tasks like cutting a 45 for ¾ round trim with the miter saw (I wasted a whole board trying to get it to line up right I kept doing it backwards but in my head it was right). It is there when I lay my head down at night and you aren’t there to snuggle up with me. It is in the way my lips long for your kiss and touch. While the grief is sad it is also beautiful in a weird way for me. It is making me sit with the uncomfortable more and more and learn that it will always be there and some days it will be bigger and some days it will be smaller. It is showing me who I really am to my stripped and raw core, it is showing me how much my little but strong shoulders can carry. I promise you I will keep on keeping on in this life, even when I want to give up! It is showing me who I want to show this raw hot mess version of myself to. 

All that aside with the grief holding my hand as I walk this road I have never been down before I know I will find you again in our next life. I just know it deep down in my bones and my heart I know!! We had so much love left to give each other and this world. I love you D to the moon and back and then some! 

~C

Grief Prompt #6

#6- If your grief is a character who can come forward and speak, what kind of voice does s/he have? Don’t tell us about it, let him or her actually speak. Write in grief’s voice.

Hi, I am Carrie’s grief. While I might show a smile and seem like I am having a good time. I am pissed, I am resentful, I am sad, I am also proud, and still loveable. 

Resentful in the way I am left with the laundry list of household projects that were half started and or forgotten about due to the FUCKING cancer. Resentful of the cancer that stole my life with someone who I thought was my forever. I am resentful of seeing all the happiness around me and pissed that I can’t seem to soak it in like I used to, maybe again one day. I am resentful I won’t be able to celebrate with you our anniversary this year! 

I am pissed off that I was told he didn’t love me, that it was just the tumor and that I was a rash decision despite all the love that was visible and palpable by those around us. I am pissed that people treat me differently, not everyone but a good handful. I know I am sad and happy and all the things but I am still Carrie. I just have a big whole in my heart and maybe just a little less willing to love so blindly and fiercely in fear they will disappear on me. I am sad that I don’t get to share the good times and bad times with you in person anymore! I am sad that the boys lost the best male role model that they have ever had. I am sad that I can’t kiss you anymore, hug you anymore, or remember what you smelled like. 

I am also proud of what you accomplished in the 40yrs you were here on Earth. I am proud that you called me your wife and I you my husband. I am proud of myself for realizing that I was able to be loved 100% and met ½ way in a relationship and that it was full of give and take from both of us. I am also so fucking proud of myself for making sure you were taken care of despite me wanting to give up many many times. I am proud that I was able to be your hospice care here at home! FUCK was that hard! Never having gone through that before and not knowing that there is not a nurse who is with me all the time I don’t think I could do it again, but I am proud that I did what I did. I am proud that I made sure we had contacted everyone on our list when hospice started including the ex wife. I am proud I was able to get as many people to video/visit with you as I did. It went so fast. Monday you were upright on the couch and Wednesday you were in the Hospital bed and not able to talk well or walk let alone read! While others might be mad or upset with me for “Not allowing” you to talk to them or see them, I am proud I don’t let their upset define me. Honestly I don’t care! It went too fast to make everyone happy and it is not my job to make everyone happy. It was my job to make sure you were taken care of and our family was able to be together, and I am proud of that! 

I might be sad, pissed off, mad, and full of tears but I am still loveable and it might take time for that to be noticeable to everyone but I know that those who are in my life who truly love me will be there for the ugly and the good, and they will not judge publicly or behind my back on how I am doing the best I can! NEWS flash there is no users manual or “HOW TO WIDOW” book!

D I miss you like crazy and I would do this all over again for you! You were my person and I yours. ❤ Hope you are flying high! 

~ C

Grief Prompt #5

Prompt: “What does a shift in your grief, even a tiny, momentary one, mean to you? What does it say about loss? Or love?”

What is a shift, is really the main question. Is this a shift into happiness or a shift into deeper despair? I think that it truly could go in either direction. 

I know when I have a small shift into being happy, it is usually followed up with guilt. The guilt is because I am not able to share it with D in person! He isn’t here to witness it! I have to try to remember that he is with me and would be happy and proud with me if he was physically here. It says that loss is with us all the time in big and small things. It says that love is always constant; it truly never goes away even if the physical person is gone. 

When there is a shift into despair for me it looks like hiding in the blankets and in a dark room. It means shutting down and being shut off from the world. It feels like the loss is fresh and like it just happened again. It makes me feel like love is lost and doesn’t exist.

Grief Prompt #4

We had to pick a mundane object to write about and start with “I remember”

The mundane object I am choosing is a blue $5 dress from Ross. 

I remember going to Olympia for work and you wanted to take me out for a date. I hadn’t brought anything to wear for a “date” so we went to the Capital Mall. We went to Ross and I, being the person I am, wanted to find the cheapest dress I could find. I pulled a blue dress from the sale rack and I told you “This one will work” You looked at me and asked “Are you sure I will buy you any dress you want.” I told you “Yes this is the one I want” We went back to the hotel and you asked me to dress up all sexy like and make you work for it. You wanted us to act like we weren’t together and pick me up from the bar. You were so cute, you flirted like crazy, you even got up and sang karaoke for me! Another guy came up to me and flirted and oh man D you stepped up your flirting game so much after that. I obviously left the bar with you and as we were leaving the other gentleman who was trying to woo me fist bumped you and the smile and gleam in your eye was palpable and so enduring!

Grief Prompt #3

Prompt – How do you live in a landscape so vastly changed?

This is a hard one too. How do I live, well? I attempt it. That is where I am at. I have days when all I want to do is die, there are days when I want to curl up and dream that you are holding me and never wake up. There are days that I want to wake up and share your love with the world. 

I think that right now I am taking one day at a time rolling with the punches and man those punches can be hard. They take the breath out of you, and leave you doubled over gasping for life and air. When you lose someone who is close to you, it seems that the world you have stops but everything else is spinning and moving forward and no matter how badly you want to take that step to keep going your feet are encased in concrete. If you have ever seen those metal cages where there is a person standing in the middle and motorcycles whiz around them… that is what it would look like if I had to put a picture to how it feels.  When people ask are you ok? Is there anything I can do? While I know it comes from a place of caring and love it they are overwhelming questions. I honestly don’t know how I am, one moment I could be laughing, the next I could be on my knees screaming at the world, then I could be in a philosophical mood where I question everything that I was taught at a young age. 

I have a commitment to my kids and myself to keep trying and to keep getting up each morning as much as it sucks some days. Knowing the hurt of losing someone I couldn’t do that to them again! They have lost the best step dad they could have asked for. I am going to hold on to the love D had for me and the boys and life and try to live like he would. Enjoy the small things and realize that every day is an adventure. I work through the feels daily, I sit with them, I let them run their course and I accept them. I don’t push them down anymore. I am continuing to learn to walk with those feels and allow them the space in my life without letting them take over and become me! I am more than the feelings. So long rambling story short, I am living the best I can even if I am trudging through and a hot mess in this new landscape that is my life. 

Grief Prompt #2

I want to remember…

This one is hard. There are so many many things:

Your Smile

The twinkle in your eye

Your touch

Your love

The way you would make me feel like I was the most beautiful woman in the world

The way we COMMUNICATED!!!

Your voice

Your laugh

Your directness

Your dark dark humor

I am so scared that one day I am going to wake up and not hear your voice in my head, not be able to remember the way you looked at me with your sly smile. The way you smelled of beard oil and fresh laundry, or how when you held me you felt like home. Nothing prepared me for this roller coaster of a ride. I did a lot of grieving as a caregiver months before you left us, but grieving as your Wife is even more complicated and hurts a hell of a lot more. I love you D and I wish that we could have more time tackling this thing we called life together.

~C