Category: Grief


Dear Darl, it’s 21 June, 2012

841 days

The shortest day.

Winter Solstice.

Darkness.

Last weekend, I got a bit of a condescending lecture about “everyone eventually dies” from my pseudo-cousin who I haven’t seen in a long time.

I don’t think you ever met him.

He is older than me.

He is an ambo (so I guess he’s seen death).

…and true to his everlasting form, tries to tell me the way of the world as he’s done since I was a child.

He means well.  But I could live without the condescension.

While I know he has seen some horrors during his working life, he hasn’t had to live with them. Day after day.  Loss of past, present and a future denied with that person who is dead.

He still wakes every morning with his wife of 25 years next to him.

He still sees his three children every day.

He still calls his parents every week.

His own world is untouched by death even though his working world is mired in it.

He knows death but is untouched by personal grief.

Because seeing a neighbour die or losing a friend is NOT the same as losing the person who has shared all of your adult life.

All of my memories of my adult life have you in them.  I’ve lost the one person who was there making all those memories with me and the one person who I can share that smile with when a shared memory pops up.

…and not only have I lost being able to share memories with you, I’ve lost you from all my new memories.  The memories we should be sharing now are complete.  There is no more when there should be.

It is very easy to dismiss death as something that happens to everyone when you haven’t had the love of your life die about 40 years too soon.

There – I feel better now that I’ve spewed this out to you …. at least you are still my sounding board, albeit a much quieter one now….

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Dear Darl, I’m 21 again.

761 days.

My birthday again today.

I did not want to celebrate.

I did not want to do anything but have a non-day.

A doona-day.

A day of not talking to anyone or even getting out of bed.

I think I am depressed.

If you can get intense depression that seems to last a single day every so often when life just sucks beyond the telling of it.

But in other ways, I started falling when you died and I’ve not stopped since.

There are just some days when it hits hard, and today is one of those days.

 

I used to look forward to my birthday.

When I was little I would get so mad because Dad’s birthday was 2 days before mine and that middle day just dragged on and on while the anticipation built and built.

…and then you came along and you were my birthday present.  Seriously  how lucky was I to have you 🙂  I used to pinch myself that I had the best present of all “forever”. I used to think how lucky I was to have found you so I’d never be sad or lonely ever again.

Boy was I counting some unhatched chickens there huh?

But now, I just see an endless stream of birthdays stretching out in front of me.  Another 21 years … and then another …and probably half that again (if you use a prediction based on the average ages of the women in my family when they died).

…and that’s too much for anyone.

I know I have to stop looking at the distance and just concentrate on putting one foot in front of the other.  staying upright.  shuffling along.

But it’s hard not to count those lonely birthdays ahead of me.

I miss you

I love you.

XA

669 days…

Lately, when I am on the treadmill in the mornings, I’ve taken to holding onto the bars, shutting my eyes and zoning out for the 40 or so minutes I’m on there for.  (The ‘holding on’ is necessary or I’ll fall off the blessed thing).

Well, OK, not all that time … I need to spend the first 5 minutes moaning, watching the timer countdown, watching my pulse rate climb from 72 to 155 bpm, and feeling like I may die any minute from the sheer exertion … but after that when I settle into a rhythm… I can zone out.

….and listen to music.

I’ve learned not to play The Luckiest or Last Day on Earth while I’m on  the treadmill though, or I can’t breathe for crying.

But this morning, Come Back Again by Daddy Cool was on the playlist and I remembered us dancing with wild abandon at a wedding.    Having fun with it.  Your strong arms around me. Busting out with silly crazy moves. Oblivious to all others.Laughing.

…and it was such s golden memory.

…but I really do need you to ‘come back again’

I miss you.

I love you.

XA

Day 615…

I had the clearest dream about you last night.

You weren’t dead but had been away working for the past year and a bit.

…and I mean *away*.

You were on the moon or in Africa or something.

…and you came home and we were all over you.

…and you told us how much you missed us and love us.

…and I felt safe at last.

But then I half woke up in the early dawn light and reached for you in that half-asleep / half-awake state and couldn’t figure out why you weren’t lying next to me in our bed.

… and I searched the house for you before remembering.

….before remembering that you weren’t here at all.

…and I crumpled to the floor with  gasping sobs – the kind that suck the air from my chest and double me over.

Part of me still doesn’t accept that you are gone forever, and that part will keep waking me up in cold sweats for the rest of my life.

…part of me will always be searching for you.

…never understanding that you are gone.

I miss you.

I love you.

XA

 

Sadness: Table (oil)

Image via Wikipedia

 

it’s been 19 months and 11 days since my life ended.

when my REAL life ended and this slide into insanity began.

I hate this life.

It is wrong.

You are not here when you should be.

I am not meant to be doing this shit by myself.

 

You were my best friend.

My husband.

My partner in crime.

….and you were meant to live with me until we were old and senile and a burden to our children.

 

This life … it is just wrong and I hate it.

I want to have a tantrum and kick and scream and hit and yell and Make Things Go Back To How They Were.

I want to pick and choose who lives and who dies … why is my tool of a boss alive and kicking and you are dead?
Why wasn’t my beautiful friend’s cheating husband the one smashed to pieces by a truck?
Why are YOU the one that had to die?
Why am I the one that has to live?

I want to punch and kick and scream and stab and reverse time to the Before through the Sheer. Force. Of. My. Will.

…and when I am spent I want to cry and sob and shake every person whose life is still whole and make them understand how completely and utterly horrible this life is.

this half-life.

this wasted life.

I died on March 1, 2010 and I just have to keep breathing in and out until my body gets the message that its heart is dead.

…and I got the coroner’s report in the mail yesterday and it doesn’t change a fucking thing.  Life still sucks and I still don’t have a reason for it….

I miss you more than ever.

I love you.

XA

579 days…

1 year, 7 months.

….and I miss you so much right now.

Today, we were driving home from grocery shopping when I thought about That Old Black Car that was sometimes parked outside a particular house, just around the corner from home…

…and every time I saw it, I’d say something like “hey, wow – look at that old car” and you’d call me a goldfish, because I’d have forgotten that we’d see that car parked there every couple of months and I’d always say the same thing like I’d never seen it before.

It got to be one of Our Jokes.  You’d call me a goldfish before I ever got to point the car out to you.

…and I miss that you aren’t there to laugh at me and share injokes that nobody else would get.

I miss you.

I love you.

XA

Dear Darl, it’s 12 September, 2011

560 days….

Last week, I fell.

Emotionally.

Too many stressors on top of an already stressful life.

…and then the person who keeps work flowing my way resigned.

and I panicked.

Because she is the only person in admin who gets it.

But I met with her, and while she isn’t able to give me more long-term certainty, she moved mountains to keep me employed for most of next term.

….and instantly, my spirits lifted.

 

I’m happy that I am employed until December, but I’m scared that my emotional health swings so wildly around having job security.

 

In the past, I’ve never had job security.

I’ve only ever had contract work.

But  it’s been OK because  a) I’ve never been out of work, and b) I’ve always had you there  earning an income to provide for us if I couldn’t.

Now, I need that security.

Please.

I miss you.

I love you.

XA

 

529 days….

Work has been getting me down.

Conversely, talking to you (yeah, I know nutter alert) is helping.  I really think you can hear me which is probably why I haven’t been writing as much.

As for work, I got offered permanency …. 2000 km away.

I had to turn it down.

I know my current school want me.

…because I managed to slip in the news of the job offer to all  three admin people…

… who assured me it was because I was at the top of the list

…and again I’ve been given the nod for next year …in that they are trying to have me placed there but it will depend on what staffing say…

on what Staffing say

Yep Staffing: the same people who thought it might be a good idea to give me a placement far, far away from my support network, leave alone from your grave.

Gah.

They don’t get it.

Thankfully, my psychologist does and she has written an awesome letter stating that I should not be moved from my current area … nor should the children.

So I am still waiting to hear….

and I’m sick of waiting …

510 days….

After becoming increasingly frustrated with the other, young (stupid, insensitive) teacher last week, I decided that I. Was. Done. helping her out.

This came after she brought her class down to our (enormous) oval about 20 minutes after us and set up within 10 m of my class for her fitness session.

I was winding up our science experiment which involved an unfair relay (easiest way to show kids that we need to be fair when we test in science is to make a game unfair).

She starts shouting instructions to her class WHILE I am talking to mine.  THEN she told some boys in my class to move because they were in the way.

FUCK it love – you have an entire oval to do your shit on and you bring your class within a few metres of mine and THEN complain???

…when I went over to ask her to give us some space  to finish up (quietly so the kids couldn’t hear) she said “it doesn’t really matter what you get done because you are only the supply teacher”.

Rioght.  It’s on Biatch.

I was civil to her for the rest of the week, but also  supremely unhelpful.
“So sorry, we are still using that equipment (that I brought from home), you’ll have to find something else to use”.
“Oh darn it, we finished up the remaining (resource I brought from home), you’ll have to find your own”.
“So sorry, I didn’t realise you wanted that – I only photocopied enough copies for my class”.

All done in my patented passive-aggressive style.

While I hate having to work like that, I felt so much freer and better.  I wasn’t frustrated.  I wasn’t feeling angry.  I wasn’t feeling upset. I was feeling on top of everything and I was flying!

… meanwhile, my class shone like the diamonds that they are.

….meanwhile, my kids begged me to stay until the end of the year.

….meanwhile, we got on with the business of  teaching and learning.

…..and meanwhile, the special ed teacher who works with some students in my class casually mentioned that the spec. ed unit was really happy with the work I’ve been doing with their kids.

….and meanwhile the spec ed aide that works in my class mentioned my work with the head of spec ed.

…. and meanwhile, the head of spec ed has passed on his recommendation that I be given my own class next year to the principal.

 I know.!!!!!

Nothing is set in stone.

I still might not get the job I want.

I still might get stupid, nasty, bullshit crap pulled on me from young idiots who think they know it all.

But that doesn’t matter to me, because it feels like my work has been noticed.

It feels like I have come out shining despite what seemed to be two deliberate attempts to disrupt my teaching*.

…and it feels like you had a hand in this.

…. it feels like you did some whispering for me.

Thank you.

I miss you.

I love you.

XA

 

 

*There was another incident earlier in the week involving a photocopier, me trying to be helpful, and a wild goose chase that could have put me in the wrong place at the wrong time were it not for a fabulous aide).

 

497 days….

Pupil Free Day saw me go back to work while the kids spent the day with Julie and her girls.

Julie *really* is a godsend … she Gets This Shit in a way no other non-widowed person does.

…and she is just loving and helpful.

Always.

Work was fine, but for some reason, the powers that be planned a whole day of meetings which left very little time for 30+ teachers to use the single (1) photocopier during lunch break.  Thankfully, I have the power of the TA of Awsomez (Michelle) who sorted my photocopying for me.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Tonight, I heard Megan Washington sing “Underground” for the first time and wept ….. she has such a beautiful voice and the lyrics Really Got Me….

…maybe because the kids asked me some hard questions on whether I wanted to be cremated or buried and I honestly couldn’t tell them.  I don’t want to be buried under the ground and I don’t want to be burned to a crisp.  I honestly don’t know…

But those poignant words with the beautiful voice and acoustic guitar drew tears from my eyes which ran down my cheeks in rivers…

… and I felt that tingle, that sense that you were holding me, that you were standing behind me, engulfing me in your arms…

…when the lightbulb above me blew and I knew it was you.

thank you.

I needed that hug.

I miss you.

I love you.

XA