Good As Can Be

I wasn’t real sure, if I would make this public or not, but some of you already know, I decided to seek out and go see a grievance counselor.  At first, I wasn’t real sure it would be the right thing for me, but over the past week, I decided I would at least try, if anything see where I was.  I also wanted to make sure I was doing the right things for my children, and if any advice could be given concerning them.

I was told the schedules and the routines will work themselves out.  There is no way to keep what was the same obviously, which I guess makes sense.  I have to develop new routines, and those will be come the new normal.  I had been struggling with that for a while, I mentioned before about how I was functional, but not getting everything I need to done.  I felt like I was neglecting some of my duties as a father because I could not be in four places at once.  But, I was reassured that now, I need to make the routines how I need them to, to work out better for us.

I also felt reassured that I was in a good place.  It may not be the easiest, but I am doing what I need to help me move forward.  I had told the therapist that I was good and at peace with where my wife is, and now I just need to learn to move forward.  Everyone grieves differently and in their own time, because everyone is different and everyone’s situation is different.  That makes sense too.  I think it truly does depend on the person.   Heather knew, and I do too (even though it is hard to admit) that I am a strong person, and will get through it.

It seemed from what she told me, that the kids were doing pretty good, and gave me some tips on what to look for, so that I can be aware better of what they are feeling.  That is a relief to me.  I know it is equally difficult to them, but as long as I hold them close, check in with them, and keep the communication lines open, it will be okay.

I am grateful for the new friendships I am making, and am grateful for my friends and family that help me get through each day.  Even though there are times that can be extremely difficult, especially those times when I am alone, I know I will be good.  I will make it, and I just have to figure out the things that are going to make me happy now and move forward with them.

I am thinking or starters a nice vacation to myself in Costa Rica. . .maybe someday soon. LOL!

Where Do I Belong

Yesterday would have been Heather’s thirty-sixth birthday.  The day itself was just like any other over the past few weeks, work, summer school, playing with the kids, and family time.  But, unlike the other days, there was an unspoken sadness that cast an umbrella over us.  No one made a big production over it, which was good.  We said our peace and went on with day as best we could.  I think the kids had a more difficult time with it than what I had, but I can assure you, it was not easy.  I think next year, we will possibly find away to celebrate it, if that is the right word. I’m not sure yet, a lot of people have given me ideas as to ways we can remember, and have it be a celebration or her life.  It may make it better, we will see.

Hopefully, I can explain my feelings today, and have them make sense.  I guess it doesn’t matter a whole lot, because I only have to have it make sense to me.  I appreciate everyone that follows my blog, and I hope I get my thoughts out in a way that can be understood. I can really confuse myself sometimes, and I guess it is understandable, because most days are confusing to me anymore.

I am sure all this will be different and changed tomorrow, because almost everything is.  I think I may have mentioned in my last blog about how things are so. . .off now.  All the routines and day-to-day activities, everything about each day.  I had the realization earlier that I really I don’t know my place now.  I mean, I know I have the place as a father for my children, and they are my priority now to take care of, which I wouldn’t have it any other way.  I guess for me, I just feel like all the things Heather and I used to do, places we used to go, and people we would hang out with, are now gone as well.

No, I don’t necessarily mean, I will never eat at a certain place anymore because we used to go there frequently, all I am saying is that it seems awkward for some reason.  It seems like when I go somewhere, I am a little out-of-place.  That is the best way to describe it.  I have very fond memories of the past fifteen years or so, and to me that is wonderful.  But now, it is like I either need to find and focus on new and different things, so I can better continue moving forward.

I am grateful for the new friendships I have developed over the past few weeks.  Many acquaintances are now becoming close friends.  Some people I never really knew before Heather died, have reached out, and it has been great getting to know others more.  I think it is healthy for me to experience new people, experiences, and places.  It is very difficult to do that, because of the lifestyle I have lived for so long, but in a small way, I think I need that.

Like I said, this may all change when I wake up in the morning, and I may blog about how wrong I was.  For now, for me to heal, I need to take care of my kids first and foremost, and then focus on what is going to make me the happiest some day.  But it still feels weird, and I do still feel out-of-place.

What is THIS?

A couple of things hit me today.  My day, is so messed up and in total disarray, I am not even sure what I am supposed to be doing sometimes.  I mean, I function just fine. I get the laundry and the dishes done. I get the kids taken care of just fine, and off to summer school without any problems.  Work goes just the way it should, I am keeping up with yard work.  So what is it?

The day-to-day things that I have been accustomed to for the past fifteen years or so, are now. . .gone.  My day is the same, but because Heather is no longer with me, there are things that I have been so used to, I can’t get past the fact they are no longer there.  Simple things, like text messages, phone calls, emails, and things like that.  They have stopped.  It may not seem like a huge deal and it probably isn’t, but it was a part of my routine.  I feel totally lost.

It is so difficult for me to comprehend.  Things seem as normal as they can be, but yet I can’t figure out what to do next.  Sometimes my brain vapor locks because I am so used to doing THIS, but now THIS isn’t an option, so I have to figure out what THIS is.  I know that it probably makes sense to absolutely no one, but it is the only way I can describe it.  Maybe it is better to say that I am functioning but not living.

Maybe I will just end up getting a hobby. I know I need to start getting back into exercise and things I did enjoy at one time.  I love the times I get to play and spend time with my kids, and am looking forward to a much-needed vacation with them here in a few weeks.  Maybe that will help, who knows.  I know, I know, give it time, but I don’t like that.  It is just hard retraining myself for new habits and new normal.  I will get it. . .eventually.

 

Forward Looking

This past week has been one of the more difficult weeks I have had since the passing of my wife.  As I had mentioned before a few times, I have the confirmation and that peace in my heart that she is in a good place, and that she is happy being there.  I no longer struggle with that, I know because I feel it.  My oldest daughter told me just last night out of the blue that she could feel Mommy around her and knew she was there.  That was a wonderful thing for me to hear, because my kids are learning that confirmation as well.  But now, I have realized I have this empty void to fill, and that is a very difficult thing to explain and understand.

I guess maybe it is fear of moving on, or fear of change.  My life and my children’s life have changed so dramatically I have not even begun to figure out what any next step is.  I do a good job just to keep up with all of the housework and the wants and needs of each kid.  I am not saying that I can’t do it, although sometimes I wonder, but even with everyone’s help around me, it is still hard to figure where to go.  Some may say it doesn’t matter now, do it at my own time, and that makes sense I get that, but I cannot just put my life on hold until I figure out what to do.  Life keeps going, and if I stop for too long I will fall behind, and that is a bad thing.

I am not trying to say that I am just ready to forget it all and move on and never look back, that would be impossible.  I am simply saying that getting back to the day-to-day schedule, the routines, and life in general, is proving to be a very difficult thing for me right now.  I am doing it, because I have to, not necessarily because I want to.  And, I know I could not do it without those around me giving me a hand when I need it, as much as I hate it and feel like a burden, there is no way I would be able to be where I am.  Support and love is key in healing.

I just hope someday I can find happiness again.  I have learned so much about love and happiness over that past few years, and it truly is a wonderful thing. I miss that feeling so much, and I want it back.  I am grateful for all Heather and I was able to share and to learn together.  Those connections with each other, I will always cherish, and hold close to me. But now, that is what I miss the most. . . those feelings.

Here and Now

I really thought I would sit down and write this last night, but I just couldn’t.  Yesterday was a very difficult day for me.  I still haven’t figured out why, only that it’s just part of this process, that I wish wasn’t  part of my life now.  I hate it.  I hate every part of it.  I want to be able to wake up and have it all just been some vivid dream, but I know that won’t happen.  I just have to learn to deal and to cope with the best way I can.

It hit me just as soon as I got out of bed yesterday morning.  I have been doing so good the past couple of weeks, and I expected to get up yesterday and have it be the same.  No, my heart felt heavy, and my mind wouldn’t shut off thinking about Heather.  So many memories came flooding back.  Not that I had forgotten them, but I was remembering very detailed things that at the time may or may not have been important.  Most of them seemed to focus on the times before we were ever married and dating.  All I can say is I wanted to just crawl in a hole and cry.

I made it through work okay.  I had some moments where I had to take a walk to get some air, but I pushed through.  I get home about twenty minutes or so before I have to leave again to pick up the kids from summer school, so I had some time to sit and think, which isn’t always good for me to do.  As I did, I completely lost it.  It literally came out of nowhere.  I hate to admit, but I needed to do that I guess.  A friend of mine whom I have been in contact with, lost her husband a few years back, had told me to take those times to cry, because it does help.  And, it did.  It didn’t make the day miraculously easier, but it did take the edge off.

I decided to take my son out for some dinner and a haircut, just him I.  We didn’t talk much, but we enjoyed each other’s company, ate some wings and watched some soccer, which I know nothing about. I am sure I needed the time more than he did, but it took my mind off of things for a while and put my focus on the now, which is where I know I need to be.  Some days are going to be hard to do that, I understand, but for me to heal, I have to stay here in the now.

Today has been a lot better.  I was scared to wake up this morning, in fear that today would be like yesterday, but so far, it has been quite a turn around. I am functioning, been able to laugh a little, and have kept my focus on the things I need to be doing.  I recognize the fact that this will be extremely difficult, but I also recognize that I am equipped to handle it.

The loneliness is awful. I want people to be around me, I want to be around people, which is kind of odd if you knew me at all.  I have such a hard time right now being alone, not out of fear for myself, just for the company and the interaction.  I am keeping my children close to me, because I think at times I need them more than they need me. I hate sending them to bed because I need the company.

I know some of these thoughts and feelings are repeated in earlier blogs, but that is how it is.  It will be good one day, that I know. I will never, ever forget Heather, and I will always love her and hold her close in my heart. Also at some point I want to feel happiness again, even though I know it won’t ever be the same, and I wouldn’t want it to be, I long for those feelings again.

A Father’s Day Dream

I have to say that today started off a little out of the ordinary.  I won’t get into the details too much, because that is a topic for a different time, but this morning I had a dream with Heather in it.  It wasn’t an elaborate, all night, vivid, weird type thing.  It was one of those when you wake up early in the morning and realize you have thirty more minutes to sleep and drift back off for a few minutes dream.

It was very simple.  I was walking back inside the house from being outside, and as I did, I noticed a presence.  I walked into the hallway and there she stood. No words were spoken, I only reached out for both of her hands to hold them. When I did, I truly felt them. The texture and temperature of her hands were there, and I knew she was there also.  And, as quickly as it happened, she was gone. Maybe it was her way of saying Happy Father’s Day, I don’t really know, but I know for a split second she was with me.

I could go on and on about my thoughts on dreams.  I have always found them to be fascinating and have studied them at length, because I think they serve a purpose.  At times I think it is an alternate means of communication with spiritual things, similar to what I had this morning, or even sometimes a warning.  I have always felt that even though the body and the brain are connected, the mind is something all of its own.  I know, I know, I am getting way off track here, that is why I will save that topic for some other time.  But, the main point I am trying to get at, is that I have been getting daily signs and comforting reminders of peace for her.  I believe she is letting me know, not only is she peaceful and happy, but that she is watching over us as well.

This Father’s Day is going to be kind of bittersweet.  Obviously, my wife is not here to be with us, but I also am grateful to have such wonderful children that make me so happy.  And, I also can spend the day with my dad, which means a lot to me as well.  He has been so wonderful to me through this difficult time, and has helped in ways that I don’t think I will ever be able to show enough gratitude for him.

I am also scared, because now, I am a single father with three young children trying to continue to raise them right all by myself.  Yes, I know I have wonderful support from my family to help, and they have been tremendous, but it still scares me.  I will continue on though, doing my absolute best.  I know Heather had faith in me, to do good, I just wish I had the same confidence in me all the time that she did.  I will get it, I won’t fail my kids, but that doesn’t make it any less scary.

Happy Father’s Day to all!

 

 

Love, Plain and Simple

I have been thinking a lot today about love, and how it affects others.  As everyone knows there are many types of love and that it can be produced in many different forms, and it can also mean different things to different people.

Those simple acts of love and kindness I think are the ones that can be the most effective.  Especially to those who may or may not be struggling with a particular issue.  I think it has had the impact on me that it has because of the recent loss of my wife and all of the emotions that have been so close to the surface. I have had so much support and fellowship even from many I don’t even know.

It hasn’t just been for me, but I notice it in other people as well.  I was talking to a friend the other day about everything that had happened, and he told me he was going to do a better job just being more friendly and courteous to people, because you never know what things they may be dealing with, and if it could make someone’s day just a little bit better than it would be worth it.  I truly believe that is good advice, and I know I need to be better about it. That is one thing my wife was wonderful about, being friendly to others, especially those she didn’t know all that well.

Today was my youngest daughter’s birthday, and with everything that has happened in our family, I just wanted today to be extra special for her.  My mom and my sister helped me plan the little party for her, and it was so nice to see her face light up again.  A co-worker and friend of mine, who to my knowledge has never really met my daughter went out of his way to give a gift to her from him and his family.  That right there is just a simple act of love.  It may not have been such a big deal for them, but the outcome on my daughter’s face was the ultimate result.  Love, plain and simple.  So many people set side their plans and their time to show up at an eight year old girl’s birthday party, to make sure it was great.  Love, again.

I think too much we associate love as just being physical or romantic, but it is so much more.  Just receiving an email, text, or phone call from a friend just to see how things are going, to me is one of those simple acts of love.  To know that someone cares enough just to check on me during this difficult time, is and act of love.

I don’t claim to be any type of expert or some love guru, these are just my opinions.  After all that has happened these past few weeks, I have learned to recognize that there is so much more good in people than what we realize. I know that I am going to try harder to be a little bit nicer and to be a little more caring to people, because it may change their entire day. I know lately the kindness and love of others has helped me and my family be able to be lifted up a bit during these difficult times.  Thank all of you again that have even just sent a message to say I am thinking of you. It means more than what you think it does.

Random Thoughts of the Day

This day was a little out of the normal for me. I had gone back to work last week, and for the most part, it hasn’t been too bad.  This week, I have had to do some software training that pertains to my job.  It is at a different facility, surrounded by people I have never met, so I figure it would be quite simple.  As I was driving in though, I felt this anxiety build inside of me, which I get from time to time because I have an introvert personality, but this was a little different.  What if people decided to small talk with me?  What if they asked me about my wife and kids, if I was married, or anything to do with family life, how  was I going to respond?  I figure I will just be honest, and all will be well. I wasn’t ever put into that position, so the day carried on relatively normal thankfully.

There is another odd thing about today.  I have been so up and down the past few weeks, wearing my emotions and my feelings on my sleeve, that I barely noticed today, I have felt somewhat normal.  I know my wife is gone, it isn’t like a denial feeling, but today it all just seemed so far away.  I am sure I will regret it tomorrow and wake up a total wreck, but for the moment, I feel pretty good.  Maybe it’s all the prayers giving us strength, I’m not really sure, but it feels really strange feeling the way I do.  I’m supposed to be in pain, hurting, crying, and not functional.  Don’t get me wrong I am sad, and I do hurt, but for some reason today it just seems lessened.

I know there are going to be so many more difficult times to come.  I still have not even begun to pack away or go through her stuff yet.  I have a few small things put away, but I know I need to get the rest done, it will help me with the daily reminders.  I guess it is just something I keep putting off, but know that I need to get to it.

I know I keep talking about the roller coaster ride, but that is seriously the only way to describe it.  I can see the same thing in my kids.  They do really good, then all at once you can tell they are struggling. I keep up with them, and make sure we are staying close and checking in with each other.  They help me just as much, if not more, than I help them. I am so grateful for the strength that they show and support they give me.

Guess we will see what tomorrow brings.

 

 

Another Day, Another Feeling

Today, I woke up feeling angry. I guess angry isn’t the correct word, irritable would be a better word for it.  It is so strange how different the emotions are for each day.  As I have said before, I am not the least bit angry at my wife, so I know that isn’t it, I guess with everything that has happened, and everything I need to take are of, my stress level is extremely high.  I am not to the point where I am pulling my hair out, or yelling and screaming at the kids, but it is more of a confused feeling.  I just have to keep sorting out each emotion and feeling as they come.

I prayed yesterday for the first time in I don’t remember how long.  I not only prayed for continued peace for Heather, but for peace for me and my children and the strength to carry on.  I prayed for blessings to be with us and the love of God to be with us.  I know many people have been praying for me and my family, and those prayers are much appreciated and felt.  I don’t know much about the Bible, doctrine, and things like that, but I do know the feelings of love and peace, and that is what I need right now.

I am good with how I feel about my wife and where she is.  I can honestly say, when I look up in the sky, I feel her around me, I know she is there, and I know she is good now.  I had such a hard time with that at first, but I realized the type of person she was and how good her heart was, and that was enough for me to know that she was with God and in a good place where she is happy.

I think the task now is for me to be able to find the courage and the strength to keep moving forward and to find happiness for myself again someday.  I love my wife dearly, but my heart hurts because she is not able to be with me anymore.  I don’t want to have to think that for the rest of my life I will be unhappy because she isn’t here.  Don’t get me wrong, I will always miss her, and I will always love her, I just hope that someday I can be happy again somehow.  I don’t want that to sound shallow, because that isn’t my intention, these are just feelings I have and how I process them.  I would do anything I could to bring her back, but I know that isn’t possible.

Hopefully tomorrow when I wake up the irritation will be gone, and I can focus on the day, and the things I need to do.  I think the prayer thing is a big deal and I think my children and I will start to pray everyday together so we can remain close and remain strong.  Please continue to pray for us, because it does help, and it is much appreciated.  I sincerely love all of you that has shown us love and support.  I cannot begin to explain how much it truly does help.

The Roller Coaster Ride Begins

My last few posts have been more about me checking in and trying to figure out what my thoughts are, for various things, but I think I may need to go a little deeper and more personal this time.  I have been reading various literature, mostly on the internet, about the grieving process, and the different types of emotions associated with it.  Just from what I have read, it would seem that some of the feelings I have are somewhat normal, I am just having to learn what to do about them to be able to heal as best I can.

The roller coaster ride, which is the best way to describe it, isn’t so much a day to day thing, but almost a moment to moment thing.  I can be relatively good, then all at once something will hit, and I will just have this extreme sadness come over me, then all at once again, I will feel the most peaceful feeling.  I haven’t felt much anger, there have been a few instances, but more so with myself. I am not angry with my wife for what she chose to do.  I don’t understand it, and I don’t like it, but I am not angry because I knew the reasons why.  There is not one feeling or emotion that is more prominent than the other, it is all of them and at different times.

There are two that are very difficult for me right now.  I know I talked about guilt in my last post, which is hard, but the feeling of failing my children right now is sometimes so overwhelming, it brings out anger, hopelessness, guilt, and pretty much anything else.  The other night I just sat there and realized, what all I have to do moving forward, and it just sucked the life out of me.  I not only have to take care and heal myself, but I also have to help my children heal.  Plus, I have to be mom AND dad now, which I don’t even know where to begin.  I got to where I just felt so frustrated that I couldn’t even think, my kids took notice, then I realized, this isn’t what they need, there is no way I can do this.  But, shortly thereafter I also realized, which I have always known, that I have been blessed with very strong children.  Maybe I need them to help me also, instead of me trying to fix everything and doing it on my own.  I don’t know how I am going to do this, but I know that I can, it is just going to be very difficult.  My wife always told me, she knew we would be fine if something were to ever happen. She had faith in me, so I have to remember that and do all that I can.

The other difficult one right now is loneliness.  There is such a void there now because I have literally lost my best friend.  After the day is through and I have the kids in bed and taken care of, I am just totally lost.  That is the time she and I took to talk about the day, and whatever else.  Sometimes, we just sat with each other and watched TV, read, or made a plate of nachos together.  That is all gone now, and I don’t know what to do anymore.  I am grateful to have friends that check on me, and I know I can talk to them anytime, but it isn’t the same.  I have been able to stay in touch with some of her friends, even some I don’t know really all that well, and it helps tremendously, but there is just something about face to face adult conversations, and time together.  I know all of this will get better also, I realize this, these are just thoughts and feelings I have that I need to work out.

I will make it, and I will be fine. It really sucks though.

Take it from me.  If there is someone you love, please, find something good about each day with them.  I know not every day is eternal bliss, but there is good in each day.  Try and laugh a little more, talk a little more, get to know them a little more, and enjoy it as much as possible, because once it is gone, it is gone.  Fine love, and make it as strong as you can, because I can guarantee you it is the greatest feeling there is.