Tag Archives: young widow

18 years, 4 months, 3 days

I don’t normally remember until at least midday.  I can be sitting in front of my computer all day, writing checks, invoicing customers and generating receivables and payables.  All of these things include seeing the date many, many times.  Because we got married at Christmas time, we celebrated our anniversary on Valentine’s Day weekend.  Both of us were guilty of not remembering, and neither of us cared.  There were even times when we realized our anniversary had passed, and instantly called the other as soon as we recognized our faux pas.  Oops.

Today was different.  I recognized the upcoming date a few days into December.  I’ve been waiting for it to come; and for it to pass.  I held my tears, kept busy and felt like I had eaten a giant stone all day.  You know that feeling, when you’re not hungry or thirsty but know you should eat?  Drink water?  Fill your already full gut?

Today would have been 19 years.  Once upon a time, it felt like such an accomplishment and a massive blessing.  Now, it feels like we didn’t even have a chance.  What’s 18 years, 4 months and 3 days in the scope of forever?  How is it possible I don’t have forever with the man who gave of himself daily?  Forever didn’t last very long.

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What do you know?

Up and down.  Backward and forward.  In and out.  Happy and sad.  Push and pull.  Run and hide.

A couple of weeks ago, my bff and my sister plotted and schemed to get me out of my funk, get my ass out of bed and get on with my life.  It sounds like they were horribly mean and insensitive, but this is my summation, not their words.  It was my mantra the entire week I had their energy and steam to operate on.  I got out of my funk, got my ass out of bed and got on with my life – for 6 whole days.  I crashed on Day 7 and haven’t been able to do a single productive thing since.

“Haven’t been able to” really means I’ve chosen not to.  I feel like crap and know it’s all in my mind.  I’m tired.  I can’t get to sleep at night.  I’ve got random nerve pain throughout my entire body.  My muscles are so sore.  I’ve almost always got a headache.  Anxiety sometimes swallows me whole.  I’m lazy.  I’m overweight.  I’m pretty damn useless right now.

I can’t talk about Jeremy without crying.  Even if it’s just a simple “your dad would love this” moment.  I’ve tried several times to order his headstone; each phone call ushers in tears and and the hollow pain that burns inside with the weight of his memory.  I decided today I would finally take care of that monkey on my back, and I am.  But dammit!, not without death’s sting.  Where, O death, is your sting?  In every freaking room of this house, that’s where.  In every crevice of our lives, every box that’s checked ‘widowed’ instead of ‘married’, every permission slip that forgoes Dad’s name, every picture that is now proof of our past, every decision as a mom without a dad, a wife without a husband, a life without a reason.  

Sounds cryptic, I know.  Unaware or uncaring of Christ’s love and purpose that is my life, ungrateful for obvious blessings through this shitstorm and very unlike my attitude throughout this entire ordeal, I know.   I know, I know, I know.

God forgive me, I know.

Half-Life

Eastern Laramie County is a giant bubble.  Wearing Wranglers, cowboy hats and Carhartts and driving big pickups with deer bangers, every guy around here could be Jeremy.

I was 17 when my dad died suddenly.  For what seemed like forever, I would occasionally see someone in the crowd that caused my stomach to jump into my throat; a shorter, thin, dark haired man with glasses.  It didn’t happen often, but it went on for several years.  Honestly, I thought I would escape that with Jeremy.  I figured I was young, depressed, broken and scarred; losing Dad only added to the brokenness.  Now?  At 40 years old?  I’m a grown up, first of all.  Second, I’m not broken, I’m not depressed, but I guess I’m still scarred.  In less that 24 hours, 3 times I’ve thought I saw Jeremy.  3 times!  I know full well he’s not here.  He will not be working on a tractor in a ditch.  He will not be driving a pickup heading south.  He will not be at our daughter’s halloween party.  So how on earth does my mind even go there?

I had a nightmare last night.  Nightmares aren’t new for me, and from 14 to probably 30 years old they fueled a lot of my depression and anxiety.  I’ve started having them again since Jeremy’s been gone, and I think most of them have involved him.  He didn’t make an appearance last night.  I was fully aware in this horrible dream that he was gone forever.  It involved a friend of mine morphing into a crazed version of the woman who abused me.  I kept trying to hide, but no one could see the real woman.  Everyone thought she was the original friend and continued to give up my hiding spots, pushing me to my knees in front of her.  Since she knew I couldn’t hide from her, she would take coffee breaks with my friends, vacations with my friends – they could only see who they thought was my friend, not the bug-eyed, teeth clenched monster who was capable of causing my entire body to burn with pain just at the sight of her.  I kept struggling to get home to my kids, but whenever I would reach the boundary of this little city we were in, my friends would pop out from behind a wall with this monster in tow.  They laughed when I tried to resist her.  They gathered in crowds to laugh at my pain.  I don’t think they knew I was in pain.  Laughing, laughing, laughing.  It was of carnival horror proportions, complete with a broken mirror, spinning rooms and maniacal laughing.

I wondered today as I cried for my husband if this is what lies in store for me.  The hell that was my mind I have escaped before.  Am I that scarred that I’ve broken again?  I know I need to find a counselor again, but how do I even start that process?  When I used therapy before, both of the therapists just kind of landed in my lap.  It was nothing short of God providing a perfect path toward healing.  This time it’s different.  I know this is grief, but I hesitate to give in to that grief.  Any kind of healthy grieving I’ve done in the past has required the strong chest of my husband, with his strong arms tight around me.  Crying myself to sleep while cradled in his security.  Hearing his strong unwavering heart beat beneath my ear.  Listening to his billowing voice of comfort, telling me we can get through anything together, with Christ.

How do I operate without together?  I have Christ and Christ has me.  In my heart, I know I am nothing without His love.  His eternal love.  But today?  Today, my head is screaming for together.  We had become one, and now I’m just half.

I’m Coming Out

I’ve been writing forever.  I remember deciding in 5th grade that it was my favorite thing EVER.  Somehow, words that can’t make it to my vocal chords are able to appear on paper (well, these days, posts and blogs).  This particular blog has been put on hold for a long time – due to working full time, taking care of my sick husband and now, completely unknown territory as a widowed mother of our two kiddos.  So, I’m coming out.

I’m coming out as that new widow.  A young widow.  An inexperienced widow not sure how to move on into a world without my life partner by my side.  A scared widow terrified of being solely responsible for raising our children, especially our 11 year old daughter.  A widow wanting to keep my husband’s life and legacy alive but unable to embrace his death.

I’m coming out with controversial ideas about God, His Son and our purpose in His Spirit.  Ideas that will surprise some and appall others.  My thoughts on scripture have definitely shifted and grown throughout my marriage, motherhood, relationships and life changes.  Life-altering changes.

I’m coming out as an aspiring writer and speaker.  I have a story to tell and I believe you want to hear it.  My hope is that you will want to share my story, fulfilling my intended purpose.  We all have a story.If-you-wish-to-be__quotes-by-Epictetus-94

I ask for your patience with my outdated website as I work on getting my crap together.  The only other writing I’ve been doing has been regarding our upside-down life these last couple of years which you can find here.  I will work on transferring all of that content to this website, removing irrelevant posts and creating an easy-to-navigate blog experience for you.

You have told me to write, and so I shall. 🙂