Young Widow Forum

Time Frame => Shock Wears Off, Reality Sets In ( 6 to 12 months) => Topic started by: Jen on March 27, 2015, 10:06:44 AM

Title: 50 Weeks
Post by: Jen on March 27, 2015, 10:06:44 AM
Yesterday was Thursday-- 50 weeks since Jim died. For the first four months or so, I counted every week, almost obsessively. Sometime in the summer, I lost track... couldn't remember if it had been 16 weeks, or 17,or 18. But I couldn't bear to look back through a calendar and count, so I had to let it go. Then it became months-- the 10th of every month. Even so, Thursdays are still hard, especially if I'm at work, as I was that day. I start to get anxious and depressed about 4 pm-- my son called me at 4:16. It's like my whole body remembers.

Two weeks from today it will be a year. It feels *so* much longer-- maybe ten times that long. When I think back, it's like trying to remember someone else's life. I don't want to count anymore. One year, three, five-- what difference? He's gone. All that's left is me, trying to hold onto some sense of him, but that's all but vanished as well.

I know he loved me. I know we were happy. That seems so... academic now. That and two bucks will get you a cup of coffee at Starbucks. It's not real. It was, but it stopped being reality when his heart finally gave up and quit beating. What's real now is that I still have to get up every day and face this life-- kids, work, school, all the thousand things, big and small, that crop up-- and I do it alone. I trudge through the hours like I'm on the Bataan death march. I think the worst part is that I'm constantly aware of it-- not "Jim is dead," but "I am alone."

I feel horribly guilty even typing that. I don't think about Jim constantly. I miss him, but I don't yearn for him like I did. Sometimes I glance up from my computer and see his urn and think, Oh, yeah. That happened. Then I go back to reading my email or the board, or cussing at my stats homework, or whatever. Doesn't he deserve better than that? It's like what's left of my heart is so scarred over, I can't feel much about it anymore.

Thinking about being alone, though... that sends me into the abyss. If I believed it was just temporary, maybe it wouldn't be so bad, but I can't let myself hope that it will ever be any better for me. Hope is a dangerous thing. I had some hope that I could survive this, that I could soldier through hell and find something worth the agony on the other side. Somehow that's gone away, and hell seems infinitely worse-- darker, deeper, more terrifying than ever.

Reality has most definitely set in. This isn't a phase. It's not going away; this is my life. I won't say it will never change, because I've learned the hard way that things can change in the blink of an eye-- in the time it takes a blood clot to travel to a 40-year-old man's lungs and snuff out his life. But change for the better? That's harder to believe. I'm like Mulder; I want to believe. I want to...

I feel like such an egomaniac-- I apologise for that, but grief is inherently selfish. He died, but it was my life that was destroyed. I'm not a victim, but I still feel sorry for myself (and, yes, I'm aware of how attractive that's not). I was a good person, I never deliberately hurt anyone, and I've always tried to help where I could. So why... ?

No sense in even asking; there's no answer. And I'm okay, honestly. Functional, anyway. I have good moments, I'm not totally broken. My heart still works-- I still love, and deeply. I am loved. I'm grateful for that. It's the hopelessness that's hell. I don't dream anymore. Is a life devoid of hopes and dreams even worth continuing?

I'm done counting. I don't think there will be a one year post; I think this is it. I can let myself think as far ahead as July, but everything after that is a vast emptiness. I should think of it as infinite possibility, but it just seems oppressive... infinite bleakness instead.

For months I wrote in my journal, over and over again, "I'm done. Please come get me. I don't want to do this anymore." Day after day, and I meant it. I would write that before turning out the light at night, then cry when I woke up the next morning and realised no one was coming for me. I don't journal as much anymore-- I've said all there is to say, evidently-- but I still think it nearly every night. All I want is for someone to tell me it will all be okay. Of course no one can say that with any authority, but still-- that's what I need. Someone to tell me that it's worth holding on. Because right now... as much as I want to believe that... I just can't.
Title: Re: 50 Weeks
Post by: look2thesky on March 27, 2015, 10:14:22 AM
I had posted about this. Relating it to a newborn child, if that's an explanation. So many seem to say weeks out, then by months, seemingly until 2 years, then it's 2 and 1/2, etc. for me the months turned into years. Now 5 years plus. I know I will be grieving the test of time. I wish for the day I can say I'm ok with Her death, but know it will never happen. But if there is a peace about it, I think that's where I am.
Title: Re: 50 Weeks
Post by: Jess on March 27, 2015, 10:58:24 AM

Thank you for writing this. Here is what I believe- we redefine what it means to be okay and that becomes the new benchmark. So for now, maybe okay is not giving up? I don't know. I have to believe as time goes on that definition will shift and raise the bar for being okay.

I have the utmost respect for you as a person. This crap storm is so freaking hard and you have always so bravely and eloquently shared how you feel when you feel it. It is admirable. There were times in the past where I worried a bit for you, but you know what? I do not worry about you any more. At all. Instead, I just feel like you are strong in your own right, and I think that can tell you that I personally feel it will be okay, for whatever that may be worth.
Title: Re: 50 Weeks
Post by: lcoxwell on March 27, 2015, 03:19:33 PM
Sending you huge hugs, my friend.  I don't want to count anymore, either, but have not reached a point in which I can stop counting, just yet.  You don't have to feel guilty at moving beyond the point, in which every waking thought is of the loss of your Jim.  It wouldn't be emotionally healthy to always be clinging to that fact.  It is okay that your thoughts have shifted toward you.  It is also okay, that you can't look beyond a few months down the road, for now. 

I am with Jess, in saying that I was very worried about you, at one point.  Because our timelines are exactly a month apart, I hold a special place for you in my heart, and think of you often.  I know things continue to be hard, for you.  They are still hard for me, too.  What I can say, though, is that I can see that you have moved from constant desperation and hopelessness, to surviving and occasional glimpses of something better.  It may not be much, but it is an improvement.  Just keep being gentle with yourself.  It will never be alright that your Jim is gone, but it is alright, if you can continue to put one foot in front of the other, and face each new day, as it comes, even if each new day isn't the one you wanted.
Title: Re: 50 Weeks
Post by: Mr C on March 27, 2015, 05:56:41 PM
Jen, you are a great writer and have shared your soul so beautifully with us once again. You have come a long way in this journey. And Wow! You have some great adventures planned in the coming months. You have made me a believer? in You!

Title: Re: 50 Weeks
Post by: Ursula on April 02, 2015, 03:06:59 PM
Dear Jen, I can only nod to what has already been said by the people above. I too was worried about you and I have seen how you have emerged from the complete desperation of the beginning and was very glad to see that. Of course you worry about yourself, your loneliness and anguish about the emptiness of the future. I can very much relate to that. 
Hugs to you on this day. Counting happens to most of us, I believe. Maybe it also helps us to see , how much time we have already survived in this permanent state of total destruction (which reminds me of Jess's signature line...that I often think of)
Living on a Carribeean island that has suffered an extremely destructive Hurricane about 10 years ago, I find this an apt comparison: We have all been run over by life as if we were an Island hit by a hurricane. Massive destruction. But bit by bit things will be repaired, the damage removed, new trees grow, new houses are built. The entire island community will always remember, but everybody will also know, that even massive destruction can be overcome. It will be all right, I believe for you too. You will be all right Jen. I must believe it will be all right. There is light. Somewhere out there. Let's keep looking for it.   
Title: Re: 50 Weeks
Post by: Jen on April 03, 2015, 09:04:31 PM
So many hugs to you all... I find more and more that I read everything, but words elude me. All I seem to do is repeat myself. But I'm still here, still reading, and still grateful to have you all to cling to.

Today-- one week shy of a year-- I had a massive panic attack. The hurricane analogy is apt-- I felt as though I was being swept away by 40-foot swells. The world was ending; I wanted to drown and be done.

And then... it passed. The terror receded. I felt small and stupid and ashamed of myself, like an alcoholic waking up from a blackout without a clear idea of what she might have done or how bad a fool she's made of herself. The world hasn't ended; I'm still alive. It's not the life I wanted, not the future I thought I'd secured, but it is what it is. When I'm not being ridiculous and irrational, it's not altogether terrible.

So  I'm done. No more. There is light; there is love. It's time to look at what I have instead of brooding over what I've lost. Time to practice gratitude instead of sitting around feeling sorry for myself. Time, once again, to remind myself that pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional.

I had a handle on that for awhile. I'm taking it back. Y'all can hold me accountable.

I'm truly grateful for every one of you. Thank you for listening to all my ramblings and rantings over the past year. I wouldn't have made it without you.

so much love,

Title: Re: 50 Weeks
Post by: lcoxwell on April 04, 2015, 03:04:48 PM
Jen, I LOVE what you just said, and so much of it echoes how I have been feeling lately.  Please know, you will be in my thoughts this next week, as you approach the one year sadiversary.  I hope you can find peace this week.  Love ya, lady! (((Hugs)))
Title: Re: 50 Weeks
Post by: Ursula on April 08, 2015, 09:53:24 AM
Jen, I am drifting from being positive to being desperate all the time. It is like the tide and comes regularly. Sometimes the frequency is slower sometimes I go from happy to destroyed multiple times a day. Sometimes I have to laugh and cry at the same time. I hope it is good for something, makes us heal. I have no other explanation, if there is such a thing.
I am thinking of you, these days, a lot. I am right here ready to prop you up.  :)
Title: Re: 50 Weeks
Post by: Jen on April 08, 2015, 05:59:29 PM
I've just about decided that it's not a roller coaster, but a Ferris wheel from hell. We can't get off, we go round and round, but we reach the bottom and then we start back up to the top. From there we can see whole sky. One of these days, we're going to get off for good.

Title: Re: 50 Weeks
Post by: Ursula on April 09, 2015, 09:48:03 PM
Jen , I will be thinking of you today, tomorrow..... I am somewhere there right beside you. I wish I could do something bigger and better than that. I just hope you'll get through this next day ok (I know, f.. all is ok, but still, that is what I hope). I found the anticipation of the day worse than the day itself, but I can only say that now, afterwards. Hugs, Jen, keep going. Loads of love.
Title: Re: 50 Weeks
Post by: Jen on April 10, 2015, 03:54:57 AM
Here I am... I made it. I can't quite believe it. Thank you all so much for being here.  (((((((HUGS)))))))))