There are some days that are fine. I’m ok, moving forward, keeping my head above water and have experienced moments of joy.
Then there are days like today. And holidays like Christmas.
I wake up and the first thing on my mind is him. I never seen him hanging. I never found him, but yet there is an image in my head of him and how he may have looked. I can only imagine how he felt in his last moments. Then I remember when we met, that first wonderful year together and our wedding day. The day our daughter was born, and how he raised our son. It all is enough to bring me to my knees.
I’m sitting in a staff meeting as I write but I can’t focus on our training because all I can think of is him and what I could have done differently. What I shouldn’t have done. I know it doesn’t matter now. He’s gone.
It’s not healthy. I know this. It’s not something I did or didn’t do. It was the illness. But there is still that nagging shame and guilt and loneliness. The words of his sister and father continue to ring in my head. The last three years playing in my head; the crazy making, the lying, the arguing and the drug use.
And then I remember HIM. The bright, intelligent man who would do anything to make me laugh. The man who watched Disney reruns with the kids, and enjoyed long walks by the river. The man I curled up on the couch with to binge watch our favourite shows. At the end of each episode we both knew we should go to bed but we’d stare at each other and grin… just one more!!
And I remember the man who told me he loved my smile. He used to say “there it is… that secret smile just for me.” Just like the song.
Often, those fond memories are Interupted by the less appreciated ones. They come hard and heavy and I wish I could forget them but I can’t. They hurt. Deeply.
And it’s those moments the holiday season that I have to remind myself it was the illness talking and taking over not him.
The illness made us both act in ways we would have never acted if it didn’t exist. I have to remember this, and try to stay in this moment.
So right now, with the humming of colleagues in the background, exchanging gifts and laughing, I’m trying to participate, but I cannot focus. My thoughts drift to him, good and bad, and my chest hurts. I’m trying to hold back the tears and my eyes sting. All this joy. All this laughing and I just miss him. It feels fake being here today. It feels wrong. I just feel broken.
How am I going to keep doing this?It is exhausting, especially on days like today when I want to tell him about all the decorating we did on the doors, about how my student and I won, about the funny little things that happened. I want to tell him the kids miss him and it’s Christmas time and he should be here.
All I can do is bring myself back to this moment right now. Just be… and just breath. Keep focusing on my breath and know that though it hurts, right now I am living. Just be here with my co-workers and even if I can’t laugh, I can still be present.
Maybe tomorrow I can do better. Maybe tomorrow won’t feel so hard. Right now I’ll just keep breathing and be.