The holidays have come and gone again. It’s a new year… I’ve not made any significant changes or resolutions because each time I do, they fall through. I’m disappointed again, and give up…. hence the empty bag of chocolate chips sitting on my counter.
I have decided to continue to work on the goals I set nearly four years ago when my life fell apart after Anthony’s second psychosis and then again three years ago when he took his life. Saving for a house and paying off my (our) debt. Two things I hope to have accomplished by July, 2019. The third, to register for my master’s degree. All three I’m incredibly proud of and horribly sad about all at once.
Bipolar, suicide and more significantly the loss of my goofy, loving, caring and kind husband, changed the trajectory of mine and my children’s lives forever. We were supposed to be together in our finished self renovated home. Me working on or finishing my masters degree and him a supervisor at Daytona still, or running his own business. We were supposed to be celebrating our son’s achievements at college, and dancing with our daughter in the kitchen. Instead, Almost three years out and I still can’t think clearly or plan ahead very well. We dance in the rental kitchen without him, and celebrate without his laugh or hugs. We talk about him daily, we remember his warm spirit and presence. Yet, we ache because he should be here with us. I am rebuilding my life still, as I promised I would; but not by my own choice.
Every tiny step forward feels like a giant leap away from when he was here with us. I have to keep moving forward, I know this, but some days, I still just want time to stop so I can breathe, and know he’s closer to us than he will be tomorrow.
Grief is not linear. It’s not a step by step process in which you go from a to b to c and you are healed. It’s more like a bouncing ball stuck in a glass container bouncing around chaotically with no real ending to the bouncing. You may not notice it as much as the bounces become further apart, as time goes on you keep fumbling through and finding ways to move around the ball, but it’s kind of always there.
This was the hardest lesson for me to learn in year two. I won’t completely heal from this. I will live. I will move forward. But it’s always going to be a part of me.
Anthony would always tell me “it’ll be OK Ker. Everything will turn out OK”. When I worried about getting the house Reno’s done, or if our son was going to make friends in middle school, or if our daughter was ok at pre-school, he’d say those words and I would believe him.
I wish he would have listened to his own advice when he felt so low he couldn’t see any other way out. I have more empathy for him now though, as losing him has sent me into some of the darkest places I’ve ever been. If he felt that way for days and weeks, I can see why he felt that was his only choice. I hate that he suffered from such dark emotional pain that he felt the only way out would be to take his own life. Though I’ve had days where I didn’t think I would make it; where I’ve taken out his picture and sobbed so hard because this life without him is so lonely and dark sometimes, I picture him saying “it’ll be ok Ker” and I have the strength I need to keep moving through.
So I keep trying to rebuild our little family’s lives keeping his simple phrase in the back of my mind.
just before Christmas I had a good hard sob while laying in my bed holding his picture. So many traditions are changing now that the kids are getting older, and we are creating new ones now. I ached for some of the familiar this year with him and am tired of all the change and loss of self since he died. I needed to release some grief and I kept telling myself “it’ll be ok.” “I’ll get through this hiccup too” while I ugly cried into my pillow. As I wiped my face and got up to straighten my pillow as I had to get on with my evening, I turned and noticed my tears had formed the shape of a heart on my pillow.
I believe in signs. I believe it was him letting me know he was near, sending his love. I believe it was his way of letting me know the changes are good and we will be ok. I believe he was telling me “It’ll all be ok Ker”. I believe him as I usually do.