Monday, May 30, 2011


Raising a child means experiencing all those wonderful firsts, first smile, first roll, first words, first steps.  Little one has been doing many new things over the last several months.  It brings me so much joy to see the little monkey learning to do new things every day.  At the same time, there is a part of me that wishes I didn't have to experience them at all, because that means I am experiencing them without you. You would have been such a proud daddy. You would have had a smile plastered to your face. You would have re-played the moments again as we lay in bed together after having put the little one down for the night. You would have bragged endlessly to anyone who would stand still long enough to listen.  And here I am, witnessing these precious moments by myself when it was supposed to be the two of us, together. Something sacred has been lost in these moments that should hold so much happiness.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Unsympathetic Friend

Today has been a very hard day for me.  Everything was going pretty well until a friend from out-of-town, Stacey, stopped by for a visit along with a mutual friend (Jennifer) this afternoon. My first impression was that Stacey and I had a very nice visit, especially considering we had not seen each other since Christmas.  After Stacey had left, Jennifer proceeded to tell me in confidence that Stacey had expressed to her a particular concern for the state of our friendship lately.  Apparently Stacey doesn't feel like I want her to be involved in my life. As a bit of a back story, my friend Stacey has a tendency to go to other people before she will address you directly about whatever is bothering her (which in my opinion is not the mature way to deal with your issues and reminds me a bit of high school).  Also critical to know about the history of our friendship is that once John and I moved out of our childhood town years ago, we felt Stacey and her fiance (whom we had been particularly close to over the years) seemed to drift away from our friendship.  Perhaps it was the distance, perhaps it was that we were married, perhaps it was because we were moving forward with our life, or maybe it was for completely different reasons, but regardless, the friendship changed in some way. Part of me always felt like Stacey was measuring her life against my life with John. I struggled with her emotional distance for a while, but then I just began to accept it. And then my life fell to pieces....

Since John's accident I have gone through a whirlwind of activity.  I moved back home, I had a baby, I had to organize a funeral, I have had to completely rearrange my life as I once knew it.  It has been a long journey this past year and I am physically and emotionally drained.  A few months ago, I made a plea to my friends to please be understanding and patient with me.  I explained that I just could not be there the way that I used to.  No longer could I keep up with the correspondence, the phone conversations, extending the emotional availability I once prided myself for being able to give others.  It has become increasingly hard for me to be there when I have to take care of everything for myself, things that used to be John's chores and duties have now become my own.  First and foremost, I have a duty to take care of my baby.  Anyone who has a child knows how time consuming they can be.  At the end of the day, once my To Do List has been completed and my baby's needs have been met, I have to take care of myself.  At this moment in my life, I need more taking care of than ever before and more understanding than ever from my friends.  For the most part, everyone has been very understanding (as understanding as they could ever be of someone in my situation) and have given me a free pass and an excuse to be a lousy friend until things become more normal (whatever that means). 

These days I feel like I can barely keep my head above water.  I am overwhelmed in the biggest sense of the word, so when I heard through Jennifer that Stacey is disappointed that I haven't called her back lately, that I haven't been there the way that a good friend should be, that apparently I talk to others instead of her (I heard she said I talk to my "mom friends" more quickly than to her [she does not have children yet]), it made me incredibly defensive, angry and frustrated.  I know I need to talk to my friend about how she feels, but I am just so angry that she couldn't confront me about her feelings, almost as though she was afraid that I couldn't handle it.  It also bothers me that in my greatest time of need for her to be understanding and forgiving, she is asking me to give more to her.  Am I wrong to think that she is being the selfish one? Is it wrong for me to feel so vulnerable and hurt? Part of me thinks that her behaviour is reflective of the different stages we are at in life.  Maybe she just doesn't understand because she hasn't been what I've been through, because she doesn't know what it's like to have a baby or to lose her best friend and husband?  But why is it that my other friends can have this empathy and she cannot?

I know that I am risking a lot of my friendships by being so selfish these days, but I feel like my real friends will understand and be there for me in the end.  Isn't that what true friendship is all about?  

Saturday, February 19, 2011

6 months

6 months...
and everything still feels the same.  The pain is just as real, just as intense and overwhelming as the day I found out you would never be coming home to me again. A day I would say my final "I love you" and give you one last kiss.  I have not gained any knowledge or skill to make the pain go away. Forever it will be with me and I fear that it will follow me to my own dying day.  6 months...
as if I am supposed to be better off somehow because of the time that has gone by. I am not. Nothing has changed except that maybe I cry one less time a day, a week. I may occupy myself with other thoughts...get caught up in the tasks of a single mother, errands, the world rushing by...television, people buzzing on their blackberries...but when I stop to think about it, the loss is just as great, the cut is just as deep, your memories bring back the same emotions.  I will never know the reason, I will never understand why.
I still do not have my husband by my side where he is supposed to be. 
My child still lacks a father that they will never know. 

Friday, February 18, 2011

Awkward Silences

Lately I've become acutely aware of the awkward silences that have followed me around since John's accident.  It seems like every new person I meet has been informed of my situation and there is a moment after our formal introduction where we are met with that awkward silence.  It is the elephant in the room.  The moment when people try to come up with something to say that fits the moment...but what does?  What can you say, really? " about your husband's passing? I heard all about your situation and damn it must suck being so young and having a new baby on top of that!"

Maybe it's because so many months have gone by and they fear they will bring back the feelings of sadness? Or maybe they just cannot comprehend how such an unfortunate situation could ever happen?  Either way, the elephant is certainly there, and he is a big menace lately.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Strange Coincidences

When I think about it, there were a lot of strange coincidences that happened around the time of John's sudden passing.  There were a lot of things going on in our life before the accident that now stick out in my mind...situations that were sometimes a little erie when I look back on them, but which now give me a sense of strange comfort and perhaps a sense of hope that there just may be more to John's existence in this world and his place in my life.  I wonder now if other widows have experienced similar incidences before their spouses passed away?  I wonder if these coincidences were like a secret message, like the universe somehow preparing us for John's departure from this earthly world.  Could it have been God setting things in place for the next leg of our journey?

Before John died, he made it a point to tell me how truly content he was with his life.  He had the career, the house, the health, the wife, and the baby on the way.  He had travelled and he had experienced so much for a young man barely touching thirty.  It brings me a lot of peace now to know that he felt this way and I am so thankful that he verbalized it. 

We had already finished most of the nursery before John's accident.  He had assembled most of the furniture (thank God he put it together!) and I had one less thing to worry about doing once he had passed.  John had seen our baby on the sonogram, we had discussed names, we had decided on godparents and he had felt the little one kicking in my tummy.  I think about how things with my pregnacy could have gone so differently.  If it wasn't for our excitement about our first-born and my eagerness to have things in order, things could have been so different. Sometimes I want to believe that God was trying to make things easier for me once the baby came, but I'm still not entirely sure that I have that much faith (though I desperately want to).

John and I had made a trip home to visit family shortly before his passing.  We live quite a distance away.  I am thankful for the time spent with family. He had talked to his family right before the accident, though he had been extremely busy with work only a week earlier and had left me to catch up with them myself.  He had just bought the vehicle he had always dreamed of owning, (having saved enough money from his recent overtime) finally having enough saved up to enjoy the fruits of his labour.

And there are so many other coincidences...

...the songs he loved most have strong undertones about dying, living life to the fullest...
...we had gone on a trip only a month before, enjoying one last adventure together...
...I started a blog about a year and a half ago in an attempt to find a creative outlet for myself.  I ended up closing it down for lack of inspiration on what to write.  It turns out I have a lot to write about these days....

Maybe I am just digging for significance in these experiences, but some of them bring me comfort and some of them make me wonder if there really was a plan for us afterall.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

What I've Been Missing


[v. uh-lahy; n. al-ahy, uh-lahy] verb, -lied, -ly·ing, noun, plural -lies.
–verb (used with object)
to unite formally, as by treaty, league, marriage, or the like (usually fol. by with  or to ): Russia allied itself to France.
to associate or connect by some mutual relationship, as resemblance or friendship.
–verb (used without object)
to enter into an alliance; join; unite.
a person, group, or nation that is associated with another or others for some common cause or purpose: Canada and the United States were allies in world War II.
Biology . a plant, animal, or other organism bearing an evolutionary relationship to another, often as a member of the same family: The squash is an ally of the watermelon.
a person who associates or cooperates with another; supporter.

One of the things I miss most these days...
having an ally.  I miss sharing that knowing glance with someone from across a crowded room - the look that says you are both in on that inside joke or that look that says "rescue me".
Lately, I have been acutely aware of the alliance my parents share with each other after all those years of marriage. I miss sharing this with John. I miss this intimacy so deeply it hurts.
On some days I am so low and while I know I have my infant child who will always be by my side more than anyone else, I still miss the uniqueness and the closeness of the relationship I shared with my husband. He was truly my best friend in the whole world - the only one I could share everything with (everything from my deepest, darkest secrets to the most useless tidbits from my day). Some days I feel like no one is really on my side.  I know that in reality this is untrue, that I have many friends and family who are looking out for me in this struggle, but I still feel like no one is really in my corner the same way that John always was. I am fighting for myself these days.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

"You are so Strong"

"You are so strong" is what I hear from strangers, friends and family.

What does that mean exactly?

I saw a story on the news the other day about another widow.  They called her strong too.

I do not consider what I am being as "strong".  Why not?  Because I am just doing what I have to do to make it through each day...make it through each challenge that lurks around the corner. 

This situation was forced upon me and I am just surviving. I would not say I am being strong. How can anyone be strong who has lost their spouse, their love?

Do people say this to for their own personal reassurance that if I am OK, they are OK?

People have the best of intentions, but most can never truly understand.