It’s been two months today. This probably gets obnoxious to some people, but each time I get down another week or reach a monthly milestone, it’s huge. I don’t know why because logically, the date shouldn’t really matter that much. But it does to me. It feels like a relief that I got through another week or month. I can do this. I did it for this last week, I can do it for another.
I’m still getting tons of help and I don’t know how to express my gratitude that people haven’t forgotten about us. It’s just what happens in life. You move on when it doesn’t affect every part of your life like it does us right now. It makes complete sense. But I’ve been blessed with some new friends who I know will be my friends for the rest of my life and I’ve also had some old friends jump right back in like we haven’t skipped a beat and they have my back through every step.
Here’s an example. Yesterday, a new friend took my kids so that I could go meet with our awesome accountant. My girls actually loved playing there and had a blast and came home happy. Later in the afternoon and evening, I had young women from my local church congregation come to help with my kids and clean my house. Then I had a friend from high school come and visit and another friend from college fold and put away my laundry so that I could just sit and rock my baby and not stress about something for one second. I wish I could tell each one of these people how much it truly means to me. It’s overwhelming. The college friend was also super sarcastic and snarky and sometimes I just really need someone like that around to say awkward things with me.
But what I want to share at this two month mark is how I feel when I’m grieving. I had this one feeling a lot when my mom died. It’s weird to get it now related to Denny. So many times he comforted me when I felt it after my mom died. I didn’t get this when my grandmas both died in 2016, even though I was quite close to one of them. It’s literally all of a sudden, seemingly out of no where, my stomach feels like it’s falling and I feel like I can’t breathe. I’ve never actually been punched in the stomach (🤞) but I’m pretty sure this is what it feels like afterwards.
There are two things I can relate it to that most people have experienced. That feeling when you think someone is going to break up with you. You know that panicky sick feeling? Where you freeze up and lose your breath? That or the feeling when you are about to drop on a roller coaster and the first second or two of the drop… same sort of feeling.
Okay so take that feeling and multiply it by like 100 and prolong it for several minutes rather than just a few seconds. That’s how this feels. I’ve been getting it several times a day lately. Right after my mom died I had it on and off all day long. As time went on it became less frequent and less intense.
Right now I’m still in the beginning stages of this. I’m sure it’ll lessen as time goes on. It already has a little. The first couple of weeks it was so strong. And way stronger and more frequent than it was with my mom. It’s weird that I don’t even feel this about my mom anymore. I mean it hasn’t even been a year and a half since my mom died. It’s like the grief from losing Denny is so much worse and overpowering.
I think there’s something about the logic behind it. With my mom, she was too young to die but she was still 60. She had lived a very full life in that time. She died of cancer which would probably be considered “natural causes.” She was diagnosed and lived over two years after being told she was terminal. We had some time to prepare ourselves. And we watched her suffer too, being so sick. There was a part of us that was happy that she had relief from the physical pain once she had passed.
Denny was just hitting his prime. He had just been promoted to a job he loved, was proud of, and had worked hard to get 7 months before. He was the type of successful he had always wanted to be. He had just started his family that he had always wanted. He was obsessed with these little girls and completely cherished them. We had been married almost five years and we were happy. We really were. We had trials and we had disagreements (like about the lyrics to Toto’s Africa), but such a happy and fun and very loving relationship. He was (is?) my best friend. He was so young. He had created a great life, especially after coming from some horrendous abuse from his childhood. He was happy and more stable and secure than he had ever been. I know that sounds weird to those who don’t know the background. Why would he take his life if he was so happy? But up until a few days before he died, he really was so stable and happy. We were great. And we were just starting to really get past my moms death and enjoy life more fully again.
So when I think about what happened, it hits me so hard. It’s still a shock. Not like denial type shock. But like I still can’t believe this is where I am and this is what I’m doing. I cannot believe that he was able to do that. I really can’t. I mean I know he did. And trust me, reality has hit hard. I know what happened and I understand why but for him to go that far? I never would have guessed this would be the outcome.
And now I don’t have him here to physically hold me when I’m having these painful moments when I lose my breath. I can’t tell you how much I wish he could just hold me. Instead, I am the one comforting two little girls who are missing their daddy. And I just have to swallow my feelings sometimes and deal with it. I let it happen, acknowledge it, then get my crap together and get back at it. Like with my anger last weekend. I did it and got it out and then moved forward. And I don’t want to fall apart. I have no desire to. So I guess it’s good that I have a reason to keep it together. I want to be able to. I have spent a lot of the last decade falling apart and I don’t want to anymore.
If you’ve never experienced grief or a loved one’s death, there are some great ways to explain it. I mean it’s impossible to explain, but as close as you can get. An amazing friend reminded me of the ball in the box one the other day. This is a great article to read about it. And I hope whether you have or haven’t had to grieve, you’ll read this article. You’ll either relate to it or you’ll be able to understand others a little better. It’s important for everyone to at least try to understand.
And we made it. Two months. Now for the next one. Keep us in your prayers though because we absolutely need them.