Saturday, January 15, 2011

6 months and waiting


As I sit here tonight on the six month anniversary of Elliott’s death I wonder once again 
how the hell did I get here?"
I have reached a milestone that only lives in a wife's worst nightmare, a day I have been dreading— 6 months of walking this earth without the man who made my world spin, my life worth living, my heart full of unconditional love, and my soul full of light. 
I never would have thought six months ago that I could even breath one minute without Elliott in my life. Although I’m here and I ‘m doing it, I’m “surviving” this, I don’t feel like giving myself any kudos or pats on the back. Iv’e made it six months, can I make it six more, another year, 10 years, 20 years? Sure, but do I want to make it one more day without El in my life? NO not really. 
I don’t really know what my life is without him. It sure as hell doesn’t feel like a life any more. It feels more like waiting than living. I continually have the sense that I’m just waiting, waiting, waiting, as if I’m in this holding pattern, on pause ... For what? I’m not really sure. I know Elliott is not coming home, there will be no joyous reunion—no unexplainable miracle for me. Maybe I’m just waiting to talk to him, to communicate with him, feel his presence in a way that is undeniable— to find my way to him. Or maybe I’m just waiting for the end, for my time to go home. Nevertheless I’m waiting, waiting to catch my breath, waiting to process, waiting to reach the darkest depths of my grief.
I’m in a weird time warp where it feels as though It’s been an eternity since I kissed Elliott’s lips and heard him whisper “I love you.” Yet simultaneously six months feels like it has only been six days. I literally feel like everything just happened days ago, it is incomprehensible to me that I am now on the back side of approaching the year mark. I remember in the first few weeks and months hearing about widows and widowers at this point and thinking “ wow, that’s so long, I don’t want to get there.” I really hoped that I would follow close behind El and get in some freak accident or die of a broken heart. I read an article about “The Widow Effect” when a spouse dies and the surviving spouse falls ill and dies shortly after due to stress, a rare complication, or heart issues, and I so badly wished to be a part of that statistic. But, unfortunately it effects older widows and widowers more profoundly. I actually just heard of my mom’s friends nephew who lost his wife three months ago and just died of a heart attack leaving three young boys behind. It breaks my heart for those babies, I don’t have any children, why not me? I don’t necessarily want to die,I’m not suicidal ( of course I’ve thought of it, most widows would at least toy with the notion) I just want to be where Elliott is. I don’t want to make anything out of the cards I’ve been dealt. I want to fold. I’m sick of the widow game. I’m ready for my husband to come home. I’m ready for the joke to be up— for the nightmare to end.
I know better though, I still have a lot of life ahead of me. I feel so unbearably young, at the same time though, I feel like a broken old woman. I’ve had far too much life experience for my twenty-seven years. Despite that, I know I’m going to gain a lot more. Whether I like it or not I still have more to do in this world, I still have more to experience and to learn. I just wish I could figure out what those things are. I’m still just spinning in circles, trapped in a vortex. I don’t know which way or direction to just step off and walk in.
Dear El,
I love you more than anything. I’m trying really really hard to be a living example of your love. I trying to walk this treacherous path but, I still need you mor than ever babe. Please be with me. I love you.
Love Always,
Your Wife Lacey ♥

Monday, January 10, 2011

"widow brain"

I pretty much blog in my head all day long. I think of all sorts of random things I want to write about and share. I have all kinds of emotions and epiphanies. I figure out the sentences I’ll form when I start typing my posts. I think about the love and the pain, memories, grief, stories and sorrow I want to share. However when I actually sit down to write I draw a blank.
The “widow brain” kicks on in full force and I go dumb. I have so much that I want to express and I just struggle with getting it out in the way I want to. By the time I’m able to actually sit down and write I’ve literally forgotten all of the subject matter I mentally gathered up during the day. 
It’s so damn frustrating! I feel as though my memory just betrays me. Its not only with writing but with everyday living. My brain just doesn’t function as sharply as it used to.I can’t form logical thoughts. I don’t really have much of an opinion to offer on anything. I just walk around in a foggy haze. 
Is this a symptom of witnessing and living every wife's absolute worst nightmare?
At times I think maybe it’s just a coping mechanism, maybe if my mind was crisp and clear the pain would be too consuming.  At the same time there are moments when I just want to be consumed by the darkness of this grief— times when all I hope for is the pain to overwhelm me so intensely that I’ll meet my love at home on the other side.
A few days ago I had  an extra aggravating day over a seemingly small incident. I went to drive my moms car to go help my dad at work. I got in the car and the alarm started going off all crazy and I couldn’t get it to stop. I struggled for five minutes trying to put the key in the ignition, and it just wouldn’t fit. I became so annoyed and aggravated I marched back in the house and yelled for my mom. I proceeded to tell her that her car was all messed up and something was wrong with the key. Thats when she said “ you have the wrong keys Lacey.” I had gotten myself all worked up and anxious. I marched back to the car with tears welling up in my eyes. Of course I had the wrong keys anyone would have been able to figure that out. Nevertheless I stayed in the car trying my hardest to make the wrong key fit because  my brain is just mush. 
My parents live on a busy street, with lots of cars rushing by... when I stepped around to the drivers side door I envisioned myself just stepping out into oncoming traffic. I would never actually do that. but for some reason imagining doing it feels like a tiny relief sometimes.
I wonder how long this “widow brain” is going to last. I have a feeling it’s going to be longer than I’m comfortable with. I hope that my mind isn’t as permanently damaged as my heart and soul are.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

grief is a thief

Grief has totally stolen my ability to make decisions.
Elliott and I had been planning to get a new pup for the last couple of years. We really wanted a large breed dog and we had done all kinds of research to figure out what breed would be right for us. Since El was killed I knew I would eventually get another dog , but I just didn’t know when the timing would be right. 
To make a long story short my sister convinced me to go take a look at a litter of pups and thats when things got complicated...
After visiting with the pups, when I got home the anxiety kicked in and my brain began to spin... 
I really want one of these dogs, but can I handle it ?” 
“Elliott would love this dog.”
“I can totally handle it, wait no I can’t handle it.” 
“Yes I can , no I can’t, yes I can, no I can’t...” 
The thoughts run ramped I can’t make a logical decision on what to do. My brain keeps spinning... 
“ I can take good care of this dog, no I can’t I’m a mess I have nothing to offer.” 
“I can give this puppy a good home, who am I kidding my home is broken.”
“This puppy will bring a tiny bit of joy, but what if I screw the dog up?”
“What if I’m too sad? “
“I’m getting the dog, I’m not getting the dog.”
“It’s a good decision, no it’s a bad decision, wait who cares if it’s a bad decision I’m a crazy widow I’m expected to make bad decisions.” 
“I’m getting the dog, I’m not getting the dog.”
Grief has taken all my confidence not just in my physical appearance, but the confidence I had in myself— in my judgement, my reasoning and my capabilities. I used to be self assured, independent and assertive. I now question everything. I am good with animals, I already have dogs, El and I were going to get a dog anyway, Yet I feel like I’ll fail at raising a puppy. It not just the decision on whether to get a dog or not. I struggle with the most minute choices. I could stand in the isle at the store and just stare at the shelves for hours trying to decide between two totally insignificant items. I tried picking out a stupid curtain rod and and left empty handed because it was too overwhelming to make a choice. I could literally leave a store with tears welling up in my eyes because I get so much anxiety over the dumbest decisions.
The world isn’t safe anymore. Nothing is the same, nothing is how I thought it was. I can’t trust the world, I can’t trust Life... So why the fuck would I be able to trust myself.
I could trust El. He was my safety, he was my rock. I could count on him. Everything is different now.
... After all the mental anguish I got the puppy. I brought him home to my parents house and  the first night I really felt numb. It scared me because here is this adorable bundle of pure puppy love, and I wasn't completely enamored. I went to sleep hopeful anyway. The next morning I woke up and thought I made a terrible decision. I freaked out and thought “I need to take him back, he deserves better than me.” I spent a few more hours in mental anguish over what I had gotten myself into. But, by the afternoon, a calmness washed over me. I stopped beating myself up and I made a commitment to give this dog the best I could along with my other pups. Elliott would love him— and I’m totally in love with him too...

Sunday, January 2, 2011

I'm jealous of dead people

I wish we could have gone like this... together

Tonight I caught a glimpse of the news, they were reporting on a married couple that was killed last night on their way home from a New Years Eve dinner party. Their vehicle was struck by a man fleeing from police. All I could think is “damn they’re so lucky.” They got to go together neither one was left behind to mourn or grieve for the other. They entered eternity hand-in-hand. 
Elliott and I used to argue about who should die first. He’d say well “ I hope I go first, I wouldn’t want to be here without you.” Of course I wanted it to be me who went first also. We would eventually just come to the conclusion that we would have to die together. Unfortunately life doesn’t follow the plans you make. Somehow I ended up being the one left behind. 
I view death in a completely different way than I did five months ago. When I hear about someone else dying I actually get jealous. People keep dying all around this world everyday and I just keep thinking “man you lucky bastards.” I sit there and wish that I could trade places with them. I fantasize about some kind of bartering system where I could swap positions with someone so they could live and I could join Elliott on the other side.
Sometimes I feel so guilty— I’ve lost several people in the months after Elliott’s death and I’ve barely felt a thing except envy. I feel like they got to go “home” and I’m still stuck here in the waiting room of life. I’m sure I’m still numb too and that has played a role in my lack of emotion. 
I know it’s not my time yet, I know I’ve still got work to do here on earth ( I have no clue what). I know that I will see Elliott again. I just wish that it could be sooner  rather than later.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

quote- love is a feeling

"Theres no rules saying that love has to die too... Love is a feeling and, if I feel it, it exists, and if it exists, it is real."

                                                        -To Gillian on Her 37th Birthday (movie)

new year, same feeling

Well it’s officially 2011 and as expected nothing feels different. I’m still here and El’s still gone.
 I contemplated what I should do today, the last day of the last year Elliott was alive. I thought maybe I should drag myself to the beach and stare at the ocean and cry. I thought that maybe I should write and reflect and soak up every second of this day. But the reality is I don’t have the energy  to do anything but continue being a zombie, and really what makes today any different from any other? 
Instead of doing anything profound I spent the day running errands with my mom and sister. We grabbed lunch at a tiny cuban restaurant and the went to IKEA to shop for a new dresser for my sis. I walked around IKEA in a complete fog and before I knew it we were headed home. I’ve been sitting in my parents living room ever since. I did not celebrate one bit, I barely acknowledge the new year. I didn’t watch the ball or count down until the clock struck midnight. Instead my sister and I popped in a “GLEE” dvd. I just started watching that show since I’ve been helping my family down in California. Sometimes it’s hard for me to watch because the character Finn has a close resemblance to Elliott. I had a few people who had told me about the resemblance before, but I didn’t really believe them. When I first watched the show it was so bittersweet because they were right. Finn (Cory Monteith)  has a similar look tall with light skin and rosy cheeks. It’s not even so much his looks as his mannerisms. There just certain times when he does really remind me of El, it’s weird. Anyway the night has been quiet and uneventful, and at this point thats about all I can handle. 
As much as I hate that Elliott will never live in 2011 it’s really just a technicality. It’s not the year that hurts, It’s the fact that he’s no longer here no matter what the date. I miss him so much. I miss everything about him and about us together. I miss all the small stuff like him calling me ten times a day when he was at work, or him waking me up in the morning to kiss me good bye before he was off to the fire house. I miss cuddling up to him on the couch and catching up on our DVR’ed shows. I miss his body next mine as I lay in bed at night , this list could go on forever ...