Day 99: mine

Yesterday was eventful day. I had lunch with a friend at a local casino, won $400, went shopping, and then watched some other friends compete in a fitness competition. It was the direct opposite of last weekend when I got home Friday night, put my pajamas on, and then didn’t remove them until Monday morning for a, let’s face it, long overdue shower. It was a good day, even if I still cried in the morning, driving, and when I got home.

When I set out to leave yesterday, on a whim I decided to take my husband’s jeep. Friends have been helping with starting it and driving it around a little since it has been too hard for me to do it. He loved that jeep. It was his dream vehicle. He got it a couple years ago when I reviewed our financial situation and decided it was time to make his bucketlist goal of owning a jeep actually happen. He wasn’t one of those jeep owners that never risked it getting a scratch. Instead, he would go off roading every chance he got, There is desert terrain behind our house and he would go out there a few times a week and practice his skills. When we’d go camping, it was always someplace a normal car couldn’t go. I grew accustomed to random clumps of dried mud falling onto the driveway where it was parked, even if I did try to get him to sweep it up. The jeep was not just a jeep to him. It was the culmination of hard work. So, with all of these memories attached and knowing what it meant to him, it has been hard to get behind the wheel of it and take it anywhere. I don’t know what made me do it yesterday, but it lead to an epiphany.

I was on my way home, exhausted from so much activity when I’m used to none and I of course started to cry because that is what I do. I punched the accelerator, rolled down the windows, and let the wind blast my face and sweep my hair out of the way. It suddenly became fun. Then I said out loud “This is no longer his jeep, this is MY jeep.” I repeated “My jeep” a few times because talking to myself is also what I do now. For the first time, I thought about his hobby hoard at home and thought some day I will be able to get through sorting all of it because just because I didn’t make the mess doesn’t mean it is not now my mess- my things to decide what to do with. Nothing is his anymore, This is something I should have realized ages ago, but I wasn’t ready. Now I know I need to make decisions based off of my own needs. Everything is mine, nothing is his anymore… except my heart.

Good thing for today: This weekend has been alright. I may just get through the mess my life is in after all.

Day 85: be okay

I’ve been obsessively listening to this song for the last couple weeks:

When I named my blog “Finding the Pieces”, it was because I felt my entire life had been demolished, exploded, and the pieces were strewn all over. I felt empty and had no idea how to even gather the pieces together to even attempt to reassemble myself. So when she sings “Just give me back my pieces and let me hold my broken parts”, it really speaks to me.

When I really think about where I am right now in navigating through my grief, I know my goal is not to have a good day or even be happy. I want enough good and happy moments to fall on one side of the scale to get the other side that is weighted down with a boulder of misery to lift a little. I want days where I feel okay.

I know I’m still pretty much a baby widow. I have so much of the business side of things left to figure out. Who knew dying required so much damn paperwork? I am doing my best to take this time to really FEEL my loss. I know that for me, too much distraction will take me away from working through it so I am trying to give myself time to wallow in despair and really think about my life. It is so hard to do it. So, so hard. But I try to listen to myself as much as I can and this seems right. So I write. I talk to other widows online that understand, I read books both on grief but also on how to rebuild your life post-bulldozer, and I go to counseling. I am also on the brink of RSVPing to my first local widows meet up so maybe I can meet new people in person that understand since people in my life right now fall somewhere in between disappearing totally and being a wonderful friend that is there for me, but can’t really understand all of this.

I am starting to feel a little ready to go through some of his things and find them new homes. I am not ready to throw things away yet, but I think it will be good for me to give people things that I feel prepared to let go of that may mean something to them. I actually gave away the first item that was actually his the other day. It is a small replica of his jeep that he loved so much. It went to someone I know will give it a good home and that it will mean something to. It felt good and right, and it lifted that boulder just a little bit.

Good thing for today: People are coming over to help me hang a drawing of my husband I was given as a birthday present last month. I have toiled over finding the perfect spot and I believe I have found it.