Tuesday, March 29, 2011

So, No More Grief Support

I suppose I realized long ago that we were ready to be done with it, but it wasn't until yesterday that I really felt OK with stopping.

Our last session was actually at the end of January, and I told our group that we would be missing the February 14th session due to it being Valentine's day, and I wanted to spend it with James.  The time after that I had to skip because gas prices were rising, and I couldn't afford it that week.  It is a 45 minute drive for us one way, so that uses up a lot of gas.  The last session we missed was earlier this month, and we were all set to go, but then my son M woke up with a 102 fever that day, so no more grief support.

Yesterday was another session (they run every other week, twice a month), but I was dreading the drive.  I really don't like driving that far on a school night because we don't get home till 9PM, and then the kids still have to shower.  I asked the three older kids why they liked going, and their first answers were because they "like playing in the gym".  That pretty much answered my question on whether or not we should continue.

When I told them that we would be no longer attending after last night, they weren't too terribly upset. My plan was to go so we could say our goodbyes and have one last session.  But then we landed up not going anyway because Kid #3, E, wasn't done her science fair project on time and it was due today.  So we stayed home.

And we're done with it.

And I feel OK.

I actually feel like there is a huge weight off my shoulders because I don't feel obligated to go anymore.  We have been in Grief Support continuously since Barry passed away, so we have gone a LONG time.  It's OK to be relieved to be closing that chapter right? We really do feel OK right now, and we are doing really well.  In two weeks it will be 18 months ago that Barry passed away, and while I feel we really don't need that constant support anymore, I know that there will still be moments of sadness, anger and crying.  And that is OK, I know that.  And I am prepared for the fact that the kids and I may need additional counseling later on in life, but for now we don't need it anymore

We're moving on.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

One More Step

Awhile ago, I wrote about what to do with some of the items I had left from Barry and our life together.  Among the items, I had roses from his funeral, roses he gave me, our bed and our Christmas tree.

Today I got rid of the last item, and let me tell you, it felt freeing.

In January, James and I got rid of the bed and the Christmas tree during one of our multiple trips to goodwill.  I did keep the middle finial piece (or however you spell that) from the headboard.  And today I threw the roses away in the trash.  But not before I took some pictures of them as a reminder.

This first bouquet is actually two bouquets of roses that Barry gave me, 
but I don't know how long I've actually had them.  I just couldn't get rid of them 
till now

This last bouquet is roses from the funeral.  My good friend Lisa did the flowers
for me, and I actually had tulips in the arrangement too.  Roses and Tulips because
those were the only flowers he ever bought me. 

I really didn't feel the need to keep the flowers anymore.  They were just sitting in my closet on the top shelf gathering dust.  But you know, I am glad they are gone right now.  I feel a sense of peace about it, like I've taken one more step towards healing.  I don't know that I will ever heal, but I would think it is pretty rare to heal from the death of a spouse anyway.  Regardless, I am glad I did it, and that it was when I felt ready to do so.

Monday, March 07, 2011

Happy Birthday (Again)!!! and some exciting news!!

Five years ago today I became a mommy for the last time :) Its hard to believe she was born 5 years ago, she still seems so little to me.  She is my baby!  Today James and I took her out for lunch, and then after school she opened the rest of her presents.  Today was fairly low-key as we did the bulk of her birthday stuff yesterday because she had her party. I didn't have as much of a hard time with her turning 5 as I thought I would, but I am sure that when she starts kindergarten I will.

In other news, I am extremely excited to announce I am going to Camp Widow this August in San Diego.  I heard about it through twitter, and my friends on there, and also through the Soaring Spirits Loss Foundation.  It is a weekend long conference for Widows and Widowers alike, and I am ecstatic!! Four days all by myself with people who have been through the exact same thing I have been.  This is the first time I will go away by myself as an adult on a plane.  I've never been on vacation, never left the kids with anyone...it will be awesome.  James will be watching the kids for me too.

sorry if my writing seems disjointed...i just don't have it in me today.  I should have written more for A's birthday, but we've had a busy couple days and I couldn't put my thoughts down on paper.

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Happy Birthday Baby!!

Dearest Barry,

Today is your 31st Birthday.  How I wish you were here to celebrate with us, because you see, today is also a very special day for other reasons; We're having A's 5th birthday party today.  I've done this for two birthdays now, as last year we also had her party on your birthday.  I can't believe she will be 5 on Monday.  Did you know that after you died, I was leaving the hospital with Lisa and I saw a couple come up from Labor and Delivery with a brand new baby.  I remarked to Lisa that the last time I left that hospital with you was when A was born, and that now I was leaving without you for good.  I felt so incredibly heartbroken in that moment; seeing a husband and wife with their brand new baby girl.

I can't believe you are 31 today.  We met when we were 18!! That seems like a lifetime ago, doesn't it? This year would have been our 12th anniversary.  I can't even fathom that anymore, it seems surreal to me, like a dream.  Yesterday when I was baking A's cupcakes, I thought about you because I was making chocolate cupcakes.  Chocolate was always your favorite flavor, and I had half a mind to go buy two more cake mixes and make a giant 13x9" double layer cake like you always would.  And I wanted to cover it in copious amounts of chocolate icing.  I wish I could do that for you.  Instead I made 36 Toy Story 3 Cupcakes.

I don't know what to say, what to write to you right now. Writing to you is cathartic, but I can't do it too often.  That is such a huge change from when we were engaged though, I'd send you pages and pages of letters..and now I struggle to find the words.  They're evading me.

What I do want to tell you is thank you for giving me four awesome children.  Thank you for making me a mommy.  I want to tell you that especially because our baby will be 5 tomorrow.  You are missing so many important milestones already.  She is such a character Barry...she would have you cracking up like crazy.  She is a total goof ball, she still dresses all crazy like and in wild clothing combinations.  She tells jokes all the time, she dances, she sings, she looks like you in some of the pictures of you at age 5 making the same silly faces.  She is her father's daughter in every way.  I can't believe she will be starting kindergarten in September.

Why can't you be here for that? Why did you have to leave us? Why did you have to leave the kids without their daddy? Me without a husband? Why did you have to fuck up our lives so bad? I know its' not your fault, but I'm very upset right now thinking that OUR daughter was just a baby when you died and now she won't hardly remember you.  She's starting kindergarten in 6 months and another man will be there for her first day, and NOT you.  It's not fair, NOT at all.  I want you to be here to see them grow up, see her grow up...to see them turn 13, learn how to drive, graduate high school, university..get married, have babies. I want you to be there to see OUR grandchildren.  And you won't be.  That makes me so mad and angry and sad.

With that, I'm going to end this.  It's time to get ready for the birthday party, and I have lots of stuff to do yet. I love you Barry.  Happy Happy Birthday!! We'll be thinking about you all day today.  We miss you and love you so much.

Forever and always,