Do You Ever Wonder?

Friday, September 7, 2012
Sky waves; hummel_12;
Do you ever wonder, as each day goes by, where that one person you miss most is? Where is he? How does he feel? Does he feel at all? Does he feel what I feel?

Do you ever wonder how you keep breathing through the pain? Do you ever wonder how you're still living?

I wonder these things and more every single day. I don't have any answers for you, I don't have any answers to anything for myself. I can only stare at the sky, stare at the full moon, our moon and keep wondering without gaining any respite from the pain. I wonder if I'll ever be able to look at his picture without crying, wailing inside where my heart and soul used to reside, but now there's only an empty, dark space. He took it all with him the second he ceased breathing.

I wonder if there's a recording out there of his voice. He was supposed to record himself just talking to me, like I did for him, but he never did. Time ran out before he did it. We were working on a poem together based on a Lady Antebellum song. I sent it to him to add to, but never got it back. I wonder if his computer is still sitting on his desk...if the things I don't have because I sent it to him are still on there, both public and private.

I wonder why we didn't get more time together. One year seems like an extraordinarily short amount of time for two people, who are life mates, the love of each others' lives, to get to spend together. We waited so damn long just to be a couple, to find one another and fall in love, to fulfill our fates, our destinies. Maybe that's part of the thing to answer a part of my wondering. Fate and destiny happens. We have no control over the time period it happens in.

I wonder how life, fate, destiny can be so cruel. So mean to take him away from me. Yank him away and leave me here to face this hellish existence with no one. Leave me all alone without love, light, laughter. I wonder if I'll get used to it all, get used to existing this way for as long as this body breathes.

I wonder when I can be with him to feel what it's like to be wrapped in his arms. Hear his voice whisper in my ear. Feel his body against mine. I wonder if he's near me thinking, wanting, yearning for the same things I am. To know the things we never got a chance to know in this life.

I wonder whose eyes will read these words, shed tears with me, thinking of their missing half and understanding all I have said, feel it, as well as the things that didn't come from my fingers onto this page. The things I haven't said....yet. Let's all wonder together. Let's wonder as we stare at the sky during the day or at night, moon or no moon and feel our connection through shared loss. Take comfort from each other and know, just this one little thing, we don't have to wonder about, because we're not alone.

Coming Back Little by Little

Thursday, August 23, 2012
Full Moon Fishing; Lisamurray; Flickr
It's been nine and a half months since J died. It feels so much longer some days and just like yesterday at other times. I'm coming back little by little from the laid out, grief-stricken, waterworks factory I've been since that day.

At first I was full, overflowing with emotions and words. I couldn't keep up with myself in the amount of words I wrote, mostly offline to J. I thought words would save me again, help me to walk the shaky bridge of grief over losing my best friend, my other half, my life mate.

It was too much to keep up with though and grief has claimed me for all these months. The words dried up, at least the words I needed to write here, my other blogs, begin to act on other writing ideas. The good news is for the first time I feel words slowly oozing out, needing to be let free from behind the damn where they've built up.

My fiercest wish to be with him hasn't stopped, it probably never will, but the sharp, insistent call of death's song has faded somewhat. I'll never stop wanting to be with him, to have him back with me, something, anything, just as long as we're together. He took my heart, my soul, everything important inside of me with him, as well as my whole world outside. On November 2nd, I ceased to live and began to only exist. I will always only exist because without him there is no life.

How can there be a life? Life is joy, laughter, light, a heart that skips a beat hearing his voice in my ear, seeing his name on messenger, lit up because he's anxiously waiting for me to log on so we can be together for hours, or I'm there watching like a vulture for his light to come on and pouncing on him. Life is an entity reserved for people who have something to live for, to feel joy over, to laugh like a loon and giggle like a teenage girl.

I will exist in this new world that unexpectedly exploded into being all those months ago. I will do the best I can to forge a path through this dense jungle and go on without him. I will be there for my children and grandchild...maybe grandchildren one day...., loving them, being there for them. I will cherish the people who mean so much to me, who have been there for me, continue to be there for me, loving me right back. Those who help me move forward into a new day. You all know who you are. Let me take a moment to thank you all, to tell you again I love you, you're important to me and I would have followed J by now if it wasn't for you. Thank you for all you've done, for your love, support and just being the awesome people you are.

I hope the words will begin to flow smoother and have you look forward to seeing more words upon these virtual pages as I take you on my journey. I'll have to catch you up and finish the story of J and I, but be done it will....slowly but surely. Till next time, take care and know you're not on your own journey of grief alone.

Broken and Struggling -- Music to Live By

Friday, December 9, 2011
That's how I feel right now. I want to write about certain things for this blog and my others, but I start something and have to stop, unable to go on. I still have conversations and messages to copy and save from J, but can't. Even seeing his name, thinking it causes me to cry so hard I can't see, can't think. This last week has been just about as rough as the first week after he died. I let the tears flow and struggle to hold them back all day long.

Why would I not cry? I try to keep the faucet turned off in public. That's not so easy when I have to be out in public, specifically at McD's to get online. The times I can't stop it, I hide my face behind my screen or go outside to grab a smoke and let loose a little. I HATE having to smile at people, talk and pretend I'm ok. Nothing is ok...there's nothing "right" about my world now and it'll never ok, good or right ever again. The pain, grief, sorrow I feel seems to just consume me. I feel like there's nothing left of me at all. I'm just a hollow shell of who I was before November 2, 2011.

Then, song after song is played up here that I posted on his Facebook wall or his on mine. Right now "More Than Words" is playing. It was one of the songs I heard early on in our relationship. J and I shared a love of music. We felt lost, bereft without music. We were glad that being writers allowed us to express ourselves, but sometimes we became frustrated over not being able to find the right words. Music to the rescue! We'd find a perfect song to say what we felt, show the depths of our love, longing, missing each other, or to make each other laugh. Moods and emotions played a large part in what we listened to.

So much emotion is tangled up inside me when I listen to music now. Almost every song I hear is one of our songs, or a song I was planning on posting to his wall. I just want to scream and cry, keen and sob till I can't talk anymore. I'm possibly the only person in the world who was keeping a running list of songs for the love of my life to express the feelings I knew would come when J died.

I'm sure some people thought I was nuts to get involved with a dying man, to fall in love with him. Truthfully, J and I had no choice in the matter at all. We fell deeply in love and there was no going back. Neither of us could turn away from it, nor did we want to. He was all I ever wanted in a man and so much more. He told me I was all he ever wanted and more too.

I miss him so damn much. Would some of what I'm going through be a little different if the DMD had been the reason for his death? I wonder, but I'll never know. He was here with me one day, then...gone. He wasn't supposed to die. I am the luckiest woman in the world because J loved me, cherished me, was the only woman he'd ever given his heart to. We completed each other, felt bound to each other in a way that we'll never feel again...that I'll never feel again until we meet again in our next life.

Trying to be Strong

Sunday, December 4, 2011
Cemetery Fog; jackaroe;
 "Like the mighty oak that watches over those who went before us, we see a ray of sunshine when we need it most. We see a glimmer of hope when we feel ours is gone." ~ Karen Bishop

I've had an...eventful life to say the least. Most of it I wish I could forget. The events weren't something I'd wish on my worst enemy. What has this got to do with grief? I've thought a lot over the years and I know the years of abuse I survived made me a strong person. Living with a chronic pain condition that could end in my own death has made me stronger. It's that strength, that core of steel running through me that keeps me breathing right now. I have survived so much in life and even though the pain of losing J is worse than anything I've ever felt, ever will feel, does it too make me stronger? I suppose it must if you go by the saying, "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger."

I've always had to be strong. Had to be the one who kept everything and everyone going. In the past, even now, I rarely take time for myself, to slow down and just breathe. When I met J, he wanted to hold me. He wanted to make everything better for me. He wanted to take away my pain. He was the first person ever who loved me for me. The first person who didn't condemn my tears as a sign of weakness. He told me it was ok to cry on the phone, where he could hear me, that he understood.

During the year we had, there were days I was so tired, days I was tired of being strong. I allowed myself, for the first time in my life, to lean on someone. He was my rock on days I was tired of being strong, days when the pain was almost too much to handle. I was his rock for the days he struggled with increased pain, days his frustration over his physical limitations made him angry. No matter what, we always made each other laugh.

There were a lot of "firsts" between J and I. They make our time and my memories more precious. I'll never have what we had with anyone else. I have other things going on. A particular thing that I got hit with yesterday and I'm left reeling. I miss J so damn bad right now. Today I don't want to be strong. I want him here to hear me pour it out. I need his words, his advice, I need him, I need my best friend.

It's a very rough day today. The tears keep coming. I've told myself over and over today, "It's ok. Some days will always be harder than others. It doesn't make you weak."

When Death Calls

Friday, December 2, 2011
The moment I decided to take my pain and grief into the public eye, I made a promise to myself and to the unknown people who might read it. The promise was this:

No matter what my thoughts are, what words it takes to express myself, wherever the journey through this darkness may go, I won't sugarcoat how I feel or think. I accept nothing less than total honesty, even if it's raw, painful, uncomfortable.

Some of my thoughts, like those in this post, may cause someone to fear I'll do something there is no returning from, death. I hope by explaining this now, it will allow you to read my words without fear, and most importantly, read to the end. I know I'm not the only one who is weighted down with grief to think these thoughts. I know other people feel like I do. I want other people to know it's ok to feel and think dark thoughts.

I want to stress that while there's nothing wrong in thinking and feeling these things, it is a thin line to walk. If you are grieving, or have a loved one who is grieving, in some cases professional help may be needed. I know myself, have walked a very dark and lonely road for the majority of my life. Dark thoughts are a comfortable companion for me. I have put together a "Grief Resources" page, found at the top of the blog, for anyone who needs it. I will continue adding to it as I come across things I think will help others, as well as those things that have helped me. I'd be happy to add links or anything else you feel will help other who are grieving the loss of a loved one.

J put this on FB one day: "p w/out c = empty shell, j w/out k = incomplete alphabet." My alphabet is incomplete now. Feeling incomplete doesn't begin to describe how I feel. It's more accurate to say devastated, had my heart ripped from my chest, plunged into darkness. Those are the ones that come to mind right this second.

Since the day he died, I've wanted to die. A few times over the last month I've plotted ways I could die. I feel like death has invaded every fiber of my being. There is no life without him. I just exist, I'm not living. Before anyone begins to believe I'm suicidal, let me assure you I'm not.

J and I were very matter-of-fact about death and dying. We weren't afraid of it. We joked about it, which caused some people over the course of our lives, apart and together, to call us morbid. For most of J's life, death was his companion.

He had a disease called Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. It's a form of MD that affects mostly boys and is passed to them by their mothers. Females are typically carriers who don't develop the disease themselves. Boys who have DMD usually don't live past the age of 20. It affects the muscles and the ability to make them contract. To learn more, please click on the "DMD Resources" tab found at the top of the blog.

J's death was very sudden and it wasn't caused by DMD. Something went horribly wrong minutes after the doctor at the hospital drained a small amount of fluid from his right lung. His blood pressure skyrocketed, his heart stopped, and they were unable to get it started again.

He outlived all expectations. It's rare for those with DMD to live into their 30s, much less make it to 40 years old. He died two weeks before his 36th birthday, which would have been November 12th. We'll never know how old he would have been before DMD took its toll.

A few days ago, after a night of dark thoughts and a lot of tears, once again wishing for death, something occurred to me. He would be so pissed at me if I died. He would not be happy to see me, to be with me. J fought every day since he was 8 years old to live, to keep going, to embrace life despite what DMD did to his body and the pain it caused him.

Even thinking the thoughts running through my head all of a sudden felt like a betrayal of all J stood for, all his life stood for. Many times we talked about his death, talking when not if it would happen. At one time or another we both expressed how we felt there would be no life without the other. He told me I gave him something to live for. During one conversation a few months ago he asked me to promise him something. He said to me: "promise me something, that you won't quit on life." I said to him, "I promise." He said to me, "I'll love you even after I'm gone, forever."

Any promise I made to him, I followed through. I never broke a promise to anyone, but especially not to him. So, to honor his life, his memory, all that we shared together, I will continue to breathe, to have a heartbeat. It's still too soon to say I'm going to live. Living, to me, is the act of enjoying life, being happy, looking forward to each new day and the sights and sounds that come with it.

Right now, in this moment, I continue to exist. Grief and death my companions as I go through the motions every day. My heart broken, torn to shreads and bleeding over losing my best friend, my life mate. The landscape of my life has changed forever. It'll never be the same without him here by me. One day I'll begin to live again. I will find the strength he gave me to get through my rough days. I can still live for him, live because of him, just not right now with grief, pain and tears so near the surface.

It Began With a Wand and Was Interrupted by Death

Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Maybe I should've started with how we met, given you our story first. That would make sense, to begin at the beginning, then move the story along into his death and my grief. It seems grief needed to have its say first, to be purged before allowing me to go back in time and fill in the details. Grief will have its say some more, but now, it's time for J and me.

I choose the word "interrupted" or "interruption," because it's not the end of us, the end of our story, the end of our love. Our story will also need more than one post to tell, so let me begin the telling of it. If anyone asked us how we met, how it all began, we'd answer: "It all started with a wand." Unable to help ourselves, we break down, laughing until our sides ache and wiping away the tears streaming down our faces. It was a Wednesday night, October 25th, 2010 to be exact, on Facebook (referred to as FB from now on). It was chat night for an FB writers group we belonged to.

I had seen his name in the group before. I had read his articles on, what was then, Associated Content, now Yahoo! Contributor Network. There had been other chat nights, but we'd never been in it at the same time, or if we were, I was coming while he was going or vise versa. I thought he didn't even know who I was. I also thought that even if he way would he ever be interested in me.

Writers love to play with words and that night was no exception. As usual, the conversation evolved, or devolved might be a better word, into the realm of double entendre. The conversation involved talk of magic and magic wands made of wood. Once we started talking directly to each other in chat, words flew fast and furious. The rest of the world fell away for both of us. Our fellow writers ceased to exist. We saw no one except each other.

We took our talking off to FB messages that night and for a couple of days, then needing and wanting to talk directly to each other, we moved to Yahoo! chat. We exchanged phone numbers soon after and split our time between hour upon hour of talking online, and talking on the phone. About two weeks or so after that Wednesday night chat, we set our FB relationship status.

It might seem quick to some, even impossible to feel what we did never having met each other, but we felt a bond with each other from the start. We felt as if we'd known each other for years instead of days. Both of us felt as if the missing piece of us had finally come home. There was no doubt in our minds that we had fallen in love, fallen quite hard. Neither of us cared what people thought. No one has ever said anything to me, but I know many people think it's impossible to love someone you've never met. Think it's impossible to have a long distance relationship, but we proved them all wrong and showed it is possible and it is very, very real.

Thus ends how it began. Stay tuned for our first, and only year, with each other, along with a more intimate look at our lives.

Finding Comfort in Grief

Monday, November 28, 2011
"Grief is a tidal wave that over takes you, smashes down upon you with unimaginable force, sweeps you up into its darkness, where you tumble and crash against unidentifiable surfaces, only to be thrown out on an unknown beach, bruised, reshaped...Grief will make a new person out of you, if it doesn't kill you in the making."- Stephanie Ericsson

I came across this quote and as I read the words my eyes filled with tears and said, "Yes, exactly! This...this is how I feel right now. It's been almost four weeks in a world without J. I'm a new person, changed in ways I never thought possible. I feel battered, bruised, stripped of my skin, raw. Seeing as I'm still breathing, then I suppose the brutal force of grief hasn't killed me.

Another quote:

"They that love beyond the world cannot be separated by it. Death cannot kill what never dies." — William Penn

I cry reading these words because they are so true. Many times J and I vowed to love each other forever, always and into eternity, beyond death. He told me that he would still love me even when he was dead. He'd miss me as much as I'd miss him. Love is a force of nature, equal to any hurricane, tidal wave, tornado or earthquake. When you're caught up in it, your world changes, you change. When death steals your loved one from you, you're equally as stunned, shocked and devastated in the aftermath, looking around at a new, alien world. Nothing is ever the same again.

One more quote:

"There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are messengers of overwhelming grief...and unspeakable love." - Washington Irving

This moves me to tears as well. It also brought me to an "a-ha" moment. I confess, mostly due to all the horrors I've survived and how I was raised, that I've always seen tears as a sign of weakness. They marked a person as weak, unable to deal with life, or the trials of life, whatever cause or reason for the tears. I find it hard to put it into any better words.

Reading these words through eyes freshly glazed with grief, a mind emptied yet full of words and emotions, I feel the sacredness, the power, the grief and the unspeakable love he speaks of. Every tear that leaves its trail upon my face is full of the sacred bond J and I shared, full of the power of our love for one another, full of my pain and grief, full of memories of our time together.

A quote from my own mind:

"Grief leaves its mark in eyes full of shadows, once filled with light. It leaves its mark on the face in a trail of unending tears. Grief leaves its mark deepest upon the heart." --Karen Bishop