Monday, September 1, 2014

The Sudden and Unforeseen Journey I Must Take

By Dusty

Soon it will be nine months since the day my world crashed. That day started out okay, then progressed into scary, then moved into amazing, calm, relaxed and happy! But that day ended in fear, shock, disbelief, confusion, guilt, sadness and an overwhelming sense of loss. 

The day I am referring to is the day I lost my husband. 

Then what followed was months with days filled with that mind-numbing foggy feeling accompanied by a deep heavy sadness that ached to point of physical pain. The fog has lifted, but the feelings of guilt, uncertainty, and sense of overwhelming loss remains, there are still days filled with tears and sadness and others where the laughter and the smiles return if even just for a little while.

Some of what I have learned over these past few months is that grief sucks, that depression sucks, making big decisions while in a state of fog sucks and quite frankly menopause really sucks (sorry guys). Karma may be a bitch but female hormones are a bigger bitch than Karma will ever hope to be. Seriously, all your post-menopause women out really need to share your experiences with the rest of the female population because there is nothing and believe me, I've looked, nothing explains what the hell (sorry Patrick) menopause really is and just how much it can screw with your mind and your body. 

This journey hasn't all been negative there has been quite a few good things that have occurred over the past few months... a beautiful wedding, a cat and a kitten have come to live with us. We all thought we were die hard dog only people! Now we are also cat people. The kitten loves to sleep on my desk. She gives and gets hugs while I am working. A fun filled family road trip that resulted in the cat now acting like she is my body guard who must keep me in her eyesight 24/7 because she missed me while I was gone. 

Once I learned that the depression was a result of the menopause (as if I needed yet another burden to bear), and not so much a result of the grief I turned to cooking, gardening and exercise to get through what seemed like days where time just stood still. Prior to that had become something that had to done. It wasn't an enjoyable activity anymore it was just a chore and a means to an end. After that has became the grief and depression therapy I needed and is now an enjoyable activity again. 

It started out as once week I would pick out a a new dish, one we've never tried before and if we liked it I would keep that recipe and make it again, if we didn't like it into the trash the recipe went. Now it is an almost every day thing- try new spices for an old dish, make sure to prepare a balanced meal instead of just whatever. This spring I built raised beds and planted a garden. I had no hopes anything would grow or bloom, but to my surprise everything I planted either bloomed or produced veggies. Homegrown carrots by the way taste so much better than store bought carrots. I have plans to add an additional garden next Spring.

I started walking every day it didn't matter if it was raining or snowing, windy or sunny. I got out and walked every single day for 7 long months. The odd thing thing is I love to walk, but every single day I would cry my eyes out while walking until finally one day I didn't cry. The next day I didn't cry and finally a week went by and I didn't cry. But then without warning one day I would start crying again during my walk. Then it would stop.

What I've learned along this journey is grief and depression are unique to each person...there is no right or wrong...what works for me may not work for you. You could walk and never cry, not me. What does help is talking to each other, share your experiences and fears because you just never know when or if the person listening might be helped. Talk about the person it doesn't have to be all sunshine and roses, talk about the good, the bad and the ugly it is okay as long as it helps you it is okay. If you feel the need to cry...then cry because if you hold it in it will be 10 times worse when you finally do cry. I've sat at my desk and started to cry while working, I take a break until I am done and then go back to work. I've never been a crier in my whole life but I am getting very good at it now. I will be an expert crier come this time next year if all this stuff keeps up. 

Not a day goes by that I don't think about him, but I can finally think of him and smile at the things we did, all the things we did, the good the bad, the silly and the ugly. But mostly I remember the good things, the fun things, the silly things and most of all I smile, rather than cry, when I remember his sexy deep voice, his sparkling brown eyes and his wonderful smile.

I can't tell you how many times I have heard "It gets better". "It" doesn't get better, but what does get better is your adaptive skills at learning how to live again with out the person or pet that you loved and loss. I am still learning how to live never really know how much you depended on or needed someone until they are truly gone and will never come back. That is the hard part...the finality. The person didn't move, they didn't just leave...they died and there is no way they can ever come back as the person they were. 

I still have one question though...why is it when the world stops turning the housework continues to pile up? Can anyone answer that? Just checking....

Feel free to answer the question in the comments: If you could sit on this bench and chat for 1 hour with anyone from the past or present who would it be..?? You already know my answer. :) 

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