Wednesday, January 20, 2016

The Grief Season

This morning I woke up happy and tired because I stayed up too late watching Nurse Jackie episodes. I did everything as usual. Hit the snooze a couple times. Got up to feed the cats. Got my coffee. Read the Bible. Looked at the weather. Hoped for snow. Woke up my son. Fought to get him out of bed until I had to drag him out by his blankie.

He walked to his calendar with puppies on it and as he circled today's date, it hit me. I said, "Today is the day that Daddy and I got married." No comment from Mr. Pajamas. We went about our business of getting dressed and brushing teeth. And as I was making our lunches, I started to think about how long it has been since we got married, our wedding day, and everything R has missed since he died. Or maybe not missed, if he is hanging out with us in spirit. But his son certainly has missed his Daddy being there. And that is what pains me the most.

I found myself apologizing to him over and over. Hot tears streamed down my face. I'm sorry you have missed so much. I'm sorry you are not here. I'm sorry that we didn't communicate well. If you had just talked to me. I was supposed to be your BFF. I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry... 
I know he wouldn't want me to keep apologizing, but it's just what is natural. What can I do now? What can I say now? Nothing. He is gone.

Suddenly I became angry. Angry as hell. Angry at everything. You did this to us. WHY? Do you see the hell that we have been through? Look at me! Trying to make a sandwich and crying all over it!

The only way to keep it in check is to remember WHY I am angry. It's grief rearing it's head again. I lost someone. It turned our lives upside down. We went through trauma. But things are finally starting to come together, looking like I really will get a new beginning after all.

And this is what I must remember. Grief will come and go. But, now I am healthy and happy. So healthy that I just recently came off of my anti-depressant medication. 3.5 years after his death. That's how long it took me. This is a big, huge deal! There was a point where I resigned myself to likely being on an anti-depressant for the rest of my life. When I realized how much of my energy it might be stifling, I wanted to get off of them, but not until I was ready. I have been trudging through everyday, one day at a time, trying to keep up with exercise and eating well and keeping positive thoughts. It takes discipline, I tell you.

We got married on January 20, 9 years ago. Life is so busy now that writing this blog might be the only time I get to sit and reflect today. But I have a feeling it will permeate my thoughts all day long.

I'm so glad the grief anniversary season is coming to an end. Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's, the wedding anniversary, my son's birthday. All of this happens within 3 months. And then not too far off is Mother's day, and then Father's day. And not too long after that is the anniversary of his death. It never ends, really. There are memories not just in these special days, but the every ordinary day, too. Like making a sandwich. What is it about a sandwich? R used to come home for lunch everyday and while he was on his way home he would text me and ask me to make him a sandwich. And I happily did that for him, eager to spend a little time together during the day. Today it was a trigger for tears. Most days it's not; but today is just one of those days when grief gets intertwined with my new life.


  1. Oh Sarah I am sorry that you and Benji have to go through this. Sounds like you are getting hit with some big waves of grief. I too know it is a process and am forever changed by grief. I hope you two can take time today to do something fun and make new memories. :}

  2. Hi. My name is Holly. This is so crazy that I just came across your blog..... To be fair, I've only read a snippet about your situation, but it's enough.

    My husband hanged himself in November of 2012. My only child, Nolan was 3. In fact, my lame in-law's held the funeral on my boy's 3rd birthday....Awesome...thanks, friends!

    But, I've come to so many strange conclusions along the way. AND they change regularly. For one, I am (believe it or not) grateful of the fact that he decided to do it when our little one was so young. Now, as a 6 year old, Daddy has become something of a far off ignored fantasy.

    But,on occasion my wound feels surprisingly fresh. I find myself crying, cursing and adoring the ceiling (as if he is up there) on a fairly regular basis.

    Have you heard that new song "Hello" by Adele? Holy weirdness....
    Anyhoo, I'm still on my antidepressant..

    I'm so sorry for the both of us to be in this club that we never signed up for ...

    Please be well, and reach out back if you ever want a truly understanding ear.

    Not sure where you are, I'm in Los Angeles....

    But, of course that doesn't matter :)

  3. Dear Sarah,
    I found some of your writing online and it comforted me today. My boyfriend of 6 years took his life in March 2016. To say a mess is left behind as you put it, sums it up well. He struggled with drug and alcohol use so I could relate to what you said about marijuana. His family enabled the addiction and scoffed at me when I said he needed intervention. Then they shunned me at his memorial (the memorial was comprised of his family, coworkers who treated it like a cocktail party, and his drug addict friends). His parents blamed me for his death and shared their feelings with many others. Ultimately, I became isolated and have had to deal with the aftermath of his death completely alone--with no support from others who knew him. It's agonizing.