Day 106: Anger

It’s clear in reading through my posts that I am experiencing anger …at the situation I am left in, and the inconsiderateness of others.

As I return to work, I am finding that my anger has significantly increased. I’m angry at everyone for everything and am sure people hear me cursing everywhere I go. It makes me hate who I am becoming; I was the best version of myself with my husband… and now I am lost… angry, scared, depressed…

Day 103: Returning to work…

I knew returning to work would have tough moments, but didn’t want to sit at home all alone with nothing to do except cry, so was almost thankful for something regular to do in the day time that would get me out of the house and give me a task to complete.

Despite being a full-time employee, the hours aren’t like a typical full-time job (much less and fairly flexible). On top of this, they don’t expect too much out of me, as long as I show up and prepare as required. So all-in-all, I don’t think I could ever ask for an easier schedule or workload. (Phew..)

Day 1 of work I was productive. I only stayed four hours, but I felt I made good progress. A colleague who had always promised support showed his true colours which left me so angry; this is likely why I couldn’t stay any longer.

Slept horribly due to nightmares and spent most of the night awake until the sun came up when I managed to catch an extra hour.

Day 2 of work was significantly less productive, along with concentration difficulty. I may have managed 3 hours before throwing the towel in and going to sit at the cemetery.

Day 3… Complete lack of motivation and concentration. I printed a document, copied it, filled out a form, and streamed a live meeting that was occurring within the very building I was in, to avoid putting myself in an anxious situation. So essentially, I got dick-all done today (…I’m pretty sure playing Hearts, Minesweeper, and eating Jo Louis’ don’t count as work…).

I started to breakdown and decided that was my queue to go. Cried while driving, then completely broke down when I got into the house… Full-on screaming, bawling, heaving, and stuck on my hands, knees and curled into a ball unable to move.

…it leaves me wondering… Am I ready for work? Can I make it through a full day? What happens next week when I have to be there for specific hours on specific days…?
…if I can’t work… that would mean I need to get to a doctor for a note, no? …and I don’t want to be pushed to take any medication. Grieving isn’t the same as clinical depression. …what does everyone do?!

Day 102: Alone at the dentist

So… I’m terrified of dentists. Yes, I said it… I’m 30-something years old and terrified of the dentist. Originally our appointments were booked to be together about 12 weeks ago, but with his passing and not being mentally capable to go for that appointment time, it was moved to now. How I hoped I would be with Mark, instead of here to see the day when the appointment would occur.

The air conditioning is making a noise, the receptionist is on the phone, there are 4…5…7 other people waiting for appointments …and I’m just trying to hold myself together without breaking into tears. By the feel of my face, I don’t think I’m doing a very good job. I’m sure that I’ll start to uncontrollably wail any second.

The hygienist calls me next… I’m not ready. (But let’s face it, I never will be…) As we walk, my face gets hotter and I know I’m not going to make it. By the time we reach the chair, I’m already quietly crying. “Is there anything or any medical conditions, that would stand in the way of dental treatment?” “Anxiety” is all I can respond. (…which is true, but only the tip of the iceberg.) Mark was supposed to be here, we were supposed to go together, he was going to hold my hand.

X-rays, then waiting, waiting… The lady in the next cube is talking about her sister’s diagnosis of leukaemia and subsequent treatment… Oh my god, I’m going to have to run for it. The hygienist tries some small talk to distract me but as I stare at my wedding rings, Mark is all I can think of and how unfair this whole situation is.

Finally it’s my turn, and I can barely look the dentist in the eye. “So did you have a bad experience, or you just don’t like dentists?” “Bad. Proceeding to drill when I’ve indicated that the freezing isn’t working.” The look exchanged between hygienist and dentist was as if they wanted his name to report my prior dentist. He assures me that isn’t their practice, and completes an inspection and some regular photos of my teeth…. And finally, (finally!) he tells me I have no cavities and have exceptional teeth – particularly considering how long it’s been since the last time I went. …so #\£%& thankful that one thing has gone right! “I’m so scared to see a dentist, that I have been doing whatever I can to take care of my teeth!” “If I pulled 100 people off the street, your teeth would be in the top 5.” …Ha! Take that!

Well this deserves celebration. …Fuck. I don’t even want to THINK of the word ‘celebrate’, let alone do it… How dare I celebrate anything. Besides, who would I celebrate with? I want to tell Mark how great his wife’s teeth are and go for a full-on date night together!

I decided it was unfair to NOT celebrate in some way since it was such a momentous occurrence and Mark & I would have certainly done something (I MADE IT OUT OF THE DENTIST WITH MINIMAL FUTURE VISITS!!), so I picked up a dozen donuts to take back to my office, while ensuring Mark’s favourite kind was there for me to eat. It might not help everyone else’s dental health, but it helped my mental state while also knowing I could eat the whole dozen if I so chose since my dental health is so “exceptional”.

Day 101: A Friend

For 100 days, people have been telling me they will do whatever they can do to help, just let them know how… that they will be available at any hour of the day or night…

No they’re not… And no they won’t. Today when I approached someone who would “do anything to help; anything, anytime!” to assist with a task that would be personally difficult, but not for someone outside the situation. …No… He wouldn’t assist… but he’ll still do “anything, anytime” if it so suits him.

After being disappointed once again, I decided that the best solution for me is to just go it alone. Who needs them. “Fuck them all!” I already lost the one person I needed, my all-time favourite everything, my husband.

As I stewed in anger at each of these disappointing individuals, I suddenly realized what would be helpful…what truly is needed from others…

To be a friend. It’s that simple. Not a sunny-day friend; I have learned that I have many of those…but a rainy day friend, which is certainly harder to come by, and clearly everyday is a rainy day right now.

– Speak to me; speak to me about Mark (use his name!), speak to me about the day, speak to me about normal things.
– Randomly message me; I go for hours being upset; it’s nice to know someone cares.
– Don’t treat me like a communicable disease! I am still a person… I am just half a person at the moment.
– When you make a commitment, keep it! Don’t cancel last minute!
– Sit with me. Cry with me. Listen. Don’t lecture me or tell me how you think I should feel.
– Be honest.
– Be a friend who truly cares!

It seems odd to have such an epiphany over something so very simple. …A friend…a rainy-day friend. Now that I have determined this, I can see who have been my rainy day friends…there are only two. But I thank them for standing by when no one could, for reaching out when no one would, and for treating me as they would want if faced with the same situation.

Day 100: “He would want you to be happy”

“He would want you to be happy” … Does this drive anyone else nuts?? Sure, yes, eventually, in time… But sure as shit he would fully understand why I’m simply unable to ‘be happy’ at this time. How hard is that to understand? Clearly these people have never loved anyone so deeply that they would die a million times for their love and still volunteer to do so again and again.

Day 97: Bedtime

Daily life without Mark is something I never want to get used to. At the same time I don’t want to be a screaming mess everyday. But 60 more years… 60 fucking more years…. It’s a horrible thought.

Coming to bed each night is getting harder and harder. I sit around waiting for bedtime to come because time can pass quicker while sleeping…. But the time comes and I delay because I know I have to shut off the lights and walk upstairs to another night without Mark by my side, another night with likely nightmares and no one to comfort them, another night without being able to feel his nighttime kisses on my lips, without his body wrapped around mine, another morning without waking up to his smiling face, another day without …without him here. It’s unbearable and happens every single day. So I sit here and cry and scream and tell him how much I love him and miss him. And the only sounds that respond are my own.

I think of people’s intentionally-helpful cliche sentences: “I’m always here for you”, “Call me anytime day or night”, “It’ll all get better with time.” ….it’s all such a load of bullshit and I’ve been through hearing it previously.
People make a promise to make themselves feel better about initially reaching out. But it’s easier for their own lives if they DONT see/hear it…me… Because that would mean facing such a fucking harsh truth and seeing what devastation awaits us all and they’re scared to. …so the calls will get even less than their current level of practically non-existent. …and the planned visitors will continue to cancel for fun plans instead of spending time with their depressed friend.

Day 93: “You are not alone”

So… a friend I went to university with has since become a psychiatrist. He has been checking up on me to see how I’m doing; I am appreciative that he continues to care while others continue to drift away. He is very well-meaning …HOWEVER, he keeps telling me “you are not alone”, “you are not alone in any of this”, “I understand”,… and today the added, “Do you think that talking to someone professional at this point might be of some help?”

Today it was too much. This was my response:
“Unless a professional can bring Mark back then no.
Grief is very much an alone process. Yes others have been thru it, but their own; I could not understand theirs as much as they could not understand mine. No one can take the every day pain away. No one can bring him back. No one but Mark and I truly know the depths of our love for one another and understand what it was like to be in our relationship together. So I am alone not only every day and every night and every meal and every moment I so desperately wish I could share with him, I am alone in my grief, my mind, and our world.”

Day 93: Sorting

Today I sorted through the office. I recycled a lot of things, threw things out, made a give-away pile, and set some things aside.
It felt awful knowing that he wouldn’t be in that space again. Awful knowing he wouldn’t be looking through any of his things again. Awful throwing away things he’d held onto for so long, despite that much was just trash.
But tonight I realized… If he were to come back, he wouldn’t ask where his things were… He’d ask where his hug and kiss were, and run into my arms.
Love you Mark, always and forever.

Day 93: More than a chemical reaction

Three months came and went yesterday …without a single phone call. Thirteen weeks came the day before that …the same. Queue me screaming and bawling as per the new norm… alone. So very much alone.

I miss you and love you immensely. I wonder if you are around and can see me crying. I wonder if you sit beside me holding me… Or if it’s too much to bear. I wonder if you kiss me back when I kiss you goodnight each night. I wonder if you come with me when I invite you wherever I go. I wonder if I’m holding the doors open long enough, or if it’s even necessary. I wonder where you are, and hope it’s somewhere, despite that our faith was questionable. I don’t understand how we can simply disappear and cease to exist. Surely we, our minds, our souls, are more than a chemical reaction. We have to be.