One Little Piece of Bone

This is a Really Real Widow Post.

Parker tripped off a step.

She was taking Siah out for a walk, something that fell on her shoulders far more often than mine, and Siah went the wrong way around the porch rail. Parker lost her footing and tripped off the edge of the porch.

She broke the tip of her bone, in a non weight bearing area that normally causes some pain but doesn’t even keep people off of their feet. Most people don’t even realize they broke it.

But hers never healed and 3 years ago today she went into surgery to have it removed and have some ligaments and tendons moved around so everything would heal properly.

I took some pictures and a video of her that day in the pre-surgery room.

She hated me taking her picture.

I’m kinda glad she did because it allowed me to get “the Parker look” on video.

She was still wearing the boot from surgery the day she died.

These next few weeks are a series of memories leading up to the day she died. These next few weeks are the final moments. The tension, the struggle. Things just weren’t right and I didn’t see it.

But it wasn’t my job to.

I can’t believe it’s been a full three years.

But I can’t believe it’s only been three years.

Time is a dichotomy.

I’ve felt this grief building in my gut since the beginning of the month, I knew it was coming.

But I’m not sad right now. I’m grieving for sure, but it’s not the gut punching sadness.

It’s hard to explain.

I miss her. I miss who she was and who she would be now.

I miss the Parker look when I would do something supremely unhelpful to the situation.

But I’m not sad. This isn’t that kind of grief.

I’m at peace with where life is right now.

But I also know that may change over the coming weeks as it gets closer to June 8th.

I hope she’s at peace where ever she is.

I don’t have a specific believe in an afterlife, but I don’t have a non-belief either. I know she’s somewhere even if it’s just the ashes in a box. She still exists either as matter or a soul, somewhere.

I hope she’s at peace, where ever that is.

She spent too much of her life not at peace.

One little piece of bone.

That’s all she broke.

 

 

Forever and Always, Always and Forever

This is a Really Real Widow Post.

Sometimes it just hits me.

She’s gone forever.

Sometimes, I’m just answering a question “Who had the biggest impact on who you have become?” and I realize, she’ll never get to experience the person I am now.

Always and Forever, Forever and Always is what we used to say.  And for a long time I said we were still Always and Forever, Forever and Always, in a different sort of way.

Today it hit me that she’s also gone, Always and Forever, Forever and Always.

Sometimes, that emptiness in the pit of my stomach feels like it is infinitely deep.  Like the tears may never stop coming.

Like, as much as I changed my life for the better after she died, the hole she left behind will never close.

Yesterday I felt like maybe, I wanted to take down the shelf in the house that is still dedicated to her and I.  Today I’m glad I didn’t.  This ebb and flow of emotions.  The waves of grief and moving forward.  The desire to leave it in the past and the push of feelings into my present.

I miss her.

Right this moment I’m having a very hard time with the idea that she’s gone, forever.

I miss her touch, I miss her voice, I miss who she was, and I hate that I’ll never know who she would have been.

I hate that she’ll never experience this version of me.

I wonder what she’d think about my new love of pink.  I wonder how she’d feel about my love of unicorns and bright colors.  I wonder how she’d feel about me sharing everything on Facebook and the blog so freely.

I wonder if I’d even be doing it if she hadn’t died.

I miss her today.

I hate that she left me.

I’m happy with my present life.  I don’t want to give it up.  I wouldn’t want to make a choice and I’m glad I don’t have to.

But I can’t believe she’s gone, Always and Forever, Forever and Always.

Speak Up, I Can’t Hear You

This is a Really Real Mental Health Post.

I’ve talked before about “shining light into all the dark spaces.”  Often, that’s what writing is for me, a way to shine light into the deep dark areas of my mental illness and remove the power that goes along with hiding it.  It’s a HUGE part of what I believe in.  Removing the stigma by “Sharing my story and speaking my truth.”

Except, when I’m suicidal, the fog grabs hold of me and silences me.  It tells me, if I reach out I’ll be attention seeking, or bothering people with my whining.  It tells me people don’t want to hear that I’m fighting those demons again, for the umpteenth time this year.  It tells me I have to do it alone, quietly, without bothering anyone else.  It tells me no one else has the time or energy to deal with my crazy.

But this is dumb.

The second I share my struggles…

The second I put finger to keys and hit send…

The second I put sound to lips to be heard by another’s ear…

…my pain lessens.  The load is lifted slightly.

It’s almost like, shining light into all the dark spaces, makes those spaces a little less dark.  (Who woulda thought!?!)

But first I have to be able to see my way out, enough, to find my own voice.

Sometimes people are reaching in, and I can’t even find my voice to tell them.

Sometimes I don’t even know what I need to say, except, “Help”, and I don’t know what help I need, except someone to just be there.

I know, when I’m in that space I can totally understand why Parker didn’t speak up.  It’s hard to reach out from within that void.  It’s hard to find my way out of the fog far enough to ask for help.

I think it takes a different sort of strength to ask for that kind of help, to admit to that kind of pain, over and over and over again.

For now, those thoughts are quiet.  I have no doubt that they’ll find their way back at some point.  All I can do is prepare myself to do battle again, and to reach out to lighten the load a bit.

 

Given Up

This is a Really Real Mental Health Post.

And a Really Real Widow Post.

One of those ones that maybe blurs the lines a bit.

Yesterday, one of the people who run the DBT group said, basically, with so much that has been thrown at me in my life, it’s great that I have such a positive outlook, and that I keep getting back up.  A lot of other people would have just given up.

Well no shit.  I only got 2 out of the 3 of us out alive.

That’s not saying that Parker gave up, because I refuse to believe that.  But she couldn’t keep fighting anymore.

People say that my words help them and others.  People say that I’m inspirational.  People say that I’m strong.  People say that I’m doing better than I think I am.

Mostly, I’m just doing everything I can figure out to do to stay, fucking, alive.

Because I know the alternative and right now, out of the family that went through that hell, more of us have lived then have died, and I’d rather not flip the ratio.

What does giving up look like anyway?

Is it even death, really?

We HAD given up!  Parker and I spent a lot of years in a state of giving up.  We weren’t living, we were just waiting for death, not moving forward, completely stagnated.  There was no hope, was no joy, was no reason to keep going but we didn’t even care enough, most of the time, to look for a way to die.

Until she did care enough to look for a way to die and she succeeded.

Which gave me a reason to care enough to look for reasons to actually live.

I hate that it took Parker’s death for me to see how important life is.  At the beginning, I often said that she died so I didn’t, because I was headed down that road.

So, I guess I get what they mean when they say someone else would have given up.  But it’s not really an option for me anymore.  Been there, done that, and now, I’m living for two of us.

I’m carrying the weight of a dead woman on my back because I have to keep living, really living, for her too.

Giving up isn’t an option.

Fighting Hard

This is a Really Real Mental Health Post.

TW:  Suicidal thoughts, loose talk of plans, hints at death.

I feel like I’m in a war zone.

One minute it’s quiet and calm and everything is peaceful and fine and the next I’m being bombarded with ugly thoughts that just won’t quit.

Not good enough, never going to succeed.  Never going to make it, what’s the point.

Of course that isn’t what I’m pushing for.

When it comes to my relationship, my wonderful, loving, amazing relationship, I start thinking about running, thinking about how we would both be better off if I just left now, save her the ridiculousness of dealing with me and who I am when I’m like this.

Of course that isn’t what I want.

My brain starts searching for ways out.  Ways to die.  Reasons that everyone would be better off without me in this world.  What’s the most complete way to finish the job.  How can I make sure I end it.  I go so far as to look things up online when ideas cross my mind.   “Overdose on xyz” “how much xyz is fatal” “death by xyz”  I wouldn’t want to leave the job half done.  I think about the note I would leave on the door, telling Wonder Woman to call 911 instead of coming in.  I wouldn’t want her to see my body.

Of course, I don’t really want to die.

These thoughts are my enemy.  I hate that they are there.  The problem is, sometimes I start to believe them.  Sometimes they take hold and I fall down the rabbit hole.  It’s a deadly path.

The less I want to think something, the more the thoughts come.

Sometimes I can ignore them.  Sometimes I can just let them be thoughts, let them pass through without them taking hold.  Sometimes they aren’t even there.

But right now they are loud, and ignoring them feels impossible.  Right now they feel like they are attacking me from every angle and the more I fight the worse they are.  I can’t find my way to accepting that they are just thoughts and just let them be.  I can’t find my way to peace with them because they feel so ugly and so hurtful, and sometimes they feel so true and so real.  They feel so scary and so tangible.  They are so inconceivable and so possible.

And I’ve seen where they lead, I’ve felt the cold, stiff, outcome with my own two hands.

I don’t want to die and yet sometimes I do.

I just want it all to stop.

Monday Question of the Day!

question-mark-2123966_1280

 

If you could convince everyone in the world to do one thing at least once, what would it be?

I would convince everyone to do a professional photo shoot.  Photos are so important and no matter how many reasons you convince yourself that you need to wait to be thinner, happier, have a better home, better reason, better clothes, more money, etc.  Just get the photos done.  I’m so glad my fiancee and I went and I really wish my late wife and I would have made the time/found the money to get a set done at least once.

TS-7_websize

Flash

This is a Really Real Widow Post.

Sometimes the smallest things take me back.  Driving home on mobility today the driver commented on a street near my house that was incredibly steep.  I responded it was no fun to walk it.

Suddenly I could just barely see, over on the sidewalk, Parker walking up the hill beside me, holding my hand, on our way home from the mall.

Lost in a daydream I barely remember finishing my conversation with the driver.

These flashbacks are treasured gifts.   Moments in time that I get to relive, remembering Parker, still breathing, beside me.

I never know when they will show up, I can’t will them into existence.  Most of the images I see in my head are from the few pictures we took over the years, or from that final moment that I saw her, which is forever etched in my mind.

When she shows up in my dreams, she’s often just outside of the frame, I know she’s there but I can’t see her, can’t touch her, often can’t even quite hear her.  I can no longer recall her voice at will.

But sometimes I get this rare gift, and I can barely see, Parker walking up the hill beside me, holding my hand, on our way home from the mall.