Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Live each day!

I have been very fortunate to have made two new amazing friends.  They are both cancer survivors and have given me a new perspective in my life.  Since Ben's death I have struggled with remaining positive in my life.  Considering all my family has been through I think I have done alright, but I am definitely not the glass half full optimist of my past.  I learned all two well that I am not in control of much.  I struggle with my belief system as to who/what is in control, but clearly I am not.  These two friends have a lease on life that is incredible.  Though their cancers and their stories are vastly different, the appreciation for each day is the same.  I count myself lucky to know them, to have them in my life, and for them to call me friend.

Monday, July 30, 2012

It's OK to NOT be OK!

     Many things have happened since my last post, Many personal things in my extended family that have been difficult and heart breaking.  I am so grateful for my family and I wish I could protect them from any sadness that may come their way!  Clearly I am not in control of that, or I would have prevented my own family from the tragedy that we have experienced. 
     I have explained it to those close to me that those experiences were the "perfect storm" for my emotions to come to the surface.  It made me realize that I am NOT ok, I am not all better, I am still heart broken at the loss of my best friend and husband.  I am NOT ok that my children will grow up without their father.  I am NOT ok, nor can I make sense of the heart break my sisters and their families have had to endure.  
     Many of us in the widowed community have felt the need to go through life pretending to be strong and well adjusted after our personal tragedies.  It ends up making many of us feel like people do not see the real "us".  I will personally say that these individuals ARE STRONG because they HAVE to be.  It doesn't mean that they aren't forever changed and heart broken on the inside. 
     Due to these new realizations, I had to take a step back from my relationship with Adam.  He was extremely kind and understanding and thankfully remains one of my dearest friends.  He was amazing to me and my children and I will always love him for that.  He just deserved so much more than I could give him at this point in my life. 
     Dont be sad for me.  I am ok NOT being ok.  I feel healthier than I have in a long time because I am being true to myself and my feelings.  If I have anything I can pass on to my friends and family it is just that... Be true to yourself, acknowledge your feelings, get outside help if you need it.  It is also OK to ask for help.  I am in personal counseling for the first time since Ben's death.  I can't help feel that if only the Army had a more positive view of mental health counseling,  and Ben hadn't been so afraid of ruining his career, he might have asked for that help himself and still be here today. 

Monday, February 27, 2012

Someone Special

I have been waiting for the right time to write about my dating life. I guess I wanted to make sure it was something that would last. See, I actually tried to stop dating this man on three different occasions. I just didn’t feel ready to be romantic with anyone new. We actually agreed to just be friends because we had so much in common. It just soon became obvious to us both that there was something more.

His name is Adam. He lost his mother to suicide over ten years ago, so although he is not widowed, he does understand our loss. He spent a long time convincing me that although he wasn’t widowed, he could understand me and be supportive of the fact that I am still grieving. It has proved to be more difficult than he anticipated in some ways, yet he manages to be supportive and understanding in my grief process.

It has been strange in some ways. I have often felt like two different people. One who can laugh and be happy and feel love for someone again, and one who is so sad and confused about this amazing love that I lost.

One of my neighbors pointed out that I talk about Ben often around Adam (and otherwise). She went on to say that she could never date a widower. I cant imagine that it is easy. I do talk about Ben often and I am sure that I always will. He was my husband for almost thirteen years, my love for over fourteen. He is the father of my children. He is forever in my heart. Although it isn’t always easy, Adam does understand that and recognizes how important it is for the kids to feel comfortable talking about him.

The true test for me was over Christmas vacation when I had my wonderful in-laws, Vel and Lee come to visit. We had a nice dinner with them and some of Adams family. I think everyone was a little nervous about how that visit would go. Adam and my in-laws got to spend a little time together over the course of a few days. One of the first things Vel said to us was that she was glad that Adam was so different than Ben. I think it validated in her mind, that I too knew, that there was no one like Ben. She later told me that she thought Adam was perfect for our family. I told her that I have a tough time trusting my instincts after losing Ben the way I did. She told me to trust hers, that Adam is a “good one”.

I hadn’t realized how important it was for me that Vel and Lee liked Adam, that they approved of him. It meant so much to me because they raised Ben, they knew what I had in him, they knew exactly what I had lost because they lost him too. I knew without a doubt that they wanted the best for me and for their grandchildren.

I don’t know where this will lead. I don’t know what comes next. I do know I am grateful to have Adam in my life. For now, I am completely content taking one day at a time.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Let the Music do the talking

*I took lyrics from songs that mean something to me and put them together to make this blog post. Just bits and pieces put together at random in a way that expresses how I feel today.*

You took my hand, you showed me how, you promised me you’d be around.

I took your words and I believed in everything you said to me…..

I wish I could touch you again, I wish I could still call you friend… I’d give anything.

I’ll keep you locked in my head, until we meet again. I won’t forget you my friend, what happened. That last kiss, I’ll cherish, until we meet again. And time makes it harder, I wish I could still remember.

I miss the sound of your voice. I miss the rush of your skin, I miss the still of the silence as you breathe out and I breathe in.

I’m here without you baby, but you’re still on my lonely mind. I think about you baby and I dream about you all the time. I’m here without you baby, but you’re still with me in my dreams. When it’s all said and done, it gets hard but it won’t take away my love.

Where did I go wrong? I lost a friend, somewhere alone in the bitterness. I would have stayed up with you all night had I known how to save a life.

It’s like one of those bad dreams when you can’t wake up. Looks like you’ve given up, you’ve had enough, but I want more…

I’m still alive but I’m barely breathing, just Praying to a God that I don’t believe in. What am I supposed to do when the best part of me was always you? I’m falling to pieces. They say bad things happen for a reason, but no wise words are gonna stop the bleeding.

Picture perfect memories scattered all around the floor…. And I wonder if I ever cross your mind. For me it happens all the time. It’s a quarter after one, I’m all alone and I need you now, and I don’t know how I can do without, I just need you now.

When’s the day you start again, and when the hell does you’ll get over it begin? I’m looking in the mirror but I don’t fit my skin. Cause I still don’t know how to act, don’t know what to say. I still wear the scars like it was yesterday. But you’re long gone. But I still don’t know where to start, still finding my way, still talk about you like it was yesterday. But you’re long gone. I’m barely used to saying me instead of us. The elephant in the room keeps scaring off the guests. No I can’t keep thinking that you’re coming back, and it’s going to be hard.

I just want to be ok.

And you ask me what I want this year and I try to make this kind and clear, just a chance that maybe we’ll find better days.

I've been robbed!!

I’ve been robbed! Something so precious was taken from me and it is absolutely irreplaceable.

On our wedding day he sang to me “Forever’s as Far as I’ll go”. Yet he isn’t here with me now and that just isn’t ok!

We had a saying, “80 on a porch swing”. It was our way of saying we were in this for the long haul. We were supposed to get struck by lightning and go together. Neither of us wanted to be the one who was left alone.

Now I’m here and he isn’t. How is this fair? How is this ok?

I keep trying to move forward and in many ways I have. But I have come to realize there is a part of me that is forever his. There is a hole in my heart that only he can fill.