Grief it seems like a process to those on the outside looking in. It would appear to most that there is a like a 12 step program for it. Umm, that is alcoholics people not someone who is feeling grief. Grief is an ongoing, never-ending process. It isn’t something you “get over” or something that passes. You carry it with you forever. I never want to get over Justin but will gladly carry him in my heart forever. For there in my heart what we shared is safe.
Grief is also an animal like no other. Yes, I said animal. It can be the sweet little kitten purring at your ankles begging to be petted. This type of grief is gentle. For me is usually when I am thinking of the good times Justin and I shared, our sweet boy, how he used to touch me, how he smelled or how his smile looked. On the flip side is the hungry angry TIGER that you cannot control and is at your throat wanting to taste blood. It is usually irrational which only leads to feeding the anger more. When I feel like my feelings for Justin are being discounted I see red like the tiger wanting blood. Cancer makes me angry. At times Justin makes me angry. Like I said sometimes it is irrational.
A life sentence is what was dealt out that evening on April 2nd last year. For the rest of my life I will live with the pain of my love, Justin leaving. Why was he taken and others not? Why was it not me? What would I be feeling if it was the reverse and he was here with Brock and I was watching him? Surely I would be proud of him and see our beautiful little man growing. Does he see Brock? God I hope he does and watches over him. I am only one person, one parent here on earth for him. He needs us both. He deserves us both. Brock at only 3 months old not knowing was also given a life sentence. He will never know first hand his Father. In his future he will see other Dads with their sons. More than likely one day soon I will hold my son as he cries tears for the Daddy he does not know and have to TRY and explain why. Much like the tears Justin shed that Sunday evening saying if this is cancer he is going to die. Why my son? One day, hopefully a long time from now I will know why. When I meet Justin again.
Something else I have been thinking about is I can only do my sentence. I can only do my grief. By that I mean I cannot console you in your grief for Justin. I have enough to carry on my own, alone. I think for a long time I have plastered a smile upon my face and acted like a cardboard person at times to spare others or to carry their grief. Not anymore. This happened to us all, including me. It happened to ME, dammit! I was there from that Sunday evening in the fall of 2011 when we first heard the word cancer to last spring in 2012 when he died. I was there…just he and I. Alone. Now it is just me. Alone.
I don’t have a life to go back too. My future or what I thought would be my future was buried with Justin last Easter weekend. Please don’t tell me you know how this feels because you don’t and I pray you never do. Does this mean I am without hope for the future? Absolutely not. It is just not the future I thought for myself and children.
I remember when we were in ICU for those 10 days. We had become familiar with the faces of the other patients families. They were there with us. They slept there with us, ate with us, prayed with us. I would see them come out from those double doors crying. Their person was gone. I remember saying I pray I am never one of “those” people….the crying person because Justin had died. I did become one of those people. Walking out of ICU after his heart stopped beating I remember my arms felt SO heavy, my legs felt weak and then my heart just broke. I collapsed to the floor. That was the first of many times PHYSICALLY I felt grief. I was one of “those.”
I have found a wonderful, amazing life changing group of people who get “it”. We are all young and widowed. It sucks how we met but thank GOD we did meet! No words need to be expressed, we just get it. I feel normal with them in a world I no longer feel normal in. One of the first people I met on my grief journey into my new normal was Lyndie. Her amazing husband was chosen to go to heaven a year ago this coming week. He like Justin had cancer, was in his 30s and was an all around good guy. I am sure they have met each other now, shook their heads at the two of girls down here on some of our ventures. I love her. I watch her and it reminds me a bit of watching the “other” ICU people. I will be her shortly. Justin’s one year date is a month and half away. How is it here already? How will I survive it? I knew the year date was coming…I have a calendar. It wasnt until I was standing at the store and the Easter display slapped me in the face. Easter is coming. Justin was buried Easter weekend. There I was standing at the display of candy and bunnies crying holding a gallon of milk. The year date is coming. Sometimes I want to sleep and get it over with. These days feel like “events” and I hate it but like I said I am SO thankful as I become an “other” this time I am not alone but surrounded by those that get” it.”
Starting March 16th is what I call the beginning to the end for Justin and I here on earth. That is the day he went back into the hospital. Brock was 3 months old to the day. Even as I type that it doesn’t seem real or fair. It isn’t fair and pisses me off. I am left holding the bag forever, alone. To say I miss him dearly is a heartbreaking understatement. There just are no words….