Well, you know the rest.
I had a great and much needed getaway. It was really nice to step out of reality for a few days. Michael was on my mind 24/7. But it was nice to sleep in a different setting, sleep in, stay up late, and be someplace new.
I miss him so much.
My daughter is moving into the house for six months. She needs a reboot and I need her, so we decided that this makes sense right now. She’ll be slowly moving in over the next week or so.
Every day, I’m learning. While I was away, I learned that I literally feel homeless. I don’t really feel I belong anywhere. Michael was home. The only reason I ended up in MN was because of him. This was his world, not mine. I still feel like a square peg in a round hole here. Our plan was that we’d eventually move somewhere warm. Now, I still want someplace warm and things are going on with my health that may dictate that at some point, but I’m just in a spiral. I have nowhere to go but can go anywhere. Anywhere. Some might find that freeing. I personally find it heartbreaking. My plane landed today and Michael wasn’t there to greet me. He would have been there with a heavy coat for me and he would have had me sit in the heated car while he waited for my luggage. Today, I carried my own heavy bag across the cold lot to catch the Lyft driver. I rode home without Michael’s conversation and hugs, and pulled into a dark driveway. And walked into 4 very happy dogs. And no Michael.
This isn’t right. It’s just so wrong that this is my reality. It’s wrong on so many levels. I don’t know what I did to deserve this suffering. I have tried to live a life of honesty and integrity. I’ve tried to show kindness to humans and animals. I’ve tried to use my life to serve others. But the hits just keep coming.
I believe that our purpose on this earth and in this life is to love. And I don’t know how much more love I’m capable of. I don’t know at what point your heart, your ability to love, breaks. I’m not ready to get back to reality, and the sad part is that my life right now is hardly reality. I’m still on a kinda-leave from work. I’m still not leaving the house much. I’m still not “doing” my whole life. I don’t know how or if I’ll ever get there. But even this buffered version of reality is just too much.
And the holidays? Just shit icing on my already shit cake. Just a little extra topping on the shit that is my life.
Part 2: Death Becomes Her
It seems that death surrounds me. For the past 2 years, I have been in some state of grief or preparing for a deeply personal loss. These aren’t casual acquaintances; these were core losses. If any of you were at Michael’s service, you may remember a woman who got up to speak. She was an adopter (had her dog there with her) and she spoke of how long she drove to come to honor my husband. This woman (I’ll call her “L”) and I had gotten off to a rocky start. She had applied to adopt a dog and we denied her because she was out of our area. Well, she told us off but good and actually won me over with her spunk. I approved the adoption and earned a supporter. This morning I received a sad text from L. Her husband passed away in his sleep last night. I didn’t know how to feel. I was both honored and terrified that she reached out to me, and based on the timing I assume I was one of the first people she contacted. She said she really wanted to talk with me soon, and mentioned a service. I offered her what words of comfort I could. I told her that she’s walking into hell and that I was here for her. I told her those things because that’s what would have helped me. Just someone to not sugar coat, not say “we’ll get through this” because there is no WE right now, not dismiss it or push it aside or suggest you go out because you’ll feel better. Someone to say, this sucks. You’ll never be the same. Your life is about to suck on the biggest level you can imagine. And I’ll be here anytime for anything at all without judging or overstepping. And someone who means it. So my gift to her was honesty, and to mean it when I say I’m here for her.
Then I came home to a sad letter. I mentioned a short while ago a casual acquaintance/adopter “SS” who passed away and that he had impacted my life, and I was saddened to hear of his death. Today I received a letter from an attorney for a probate hearing, as our rescue was named as a beneficiary in his estate. He loved the dog he adopted from us so much, that he put us in his will. I didn’t know how to feel about this either. He impacted my life for reasons I don’t understand. We talked once in a while, very casually. We shared the same birthday as Facebook reminds me each year. And to think that we impacted him so much that we’re in his will, well it’s just overwhelming.
I also came home to a letter about my Social Security Death Benefit. For any of you who haven’t experienced this, Social Security sends widows a one-time death benefit of $255. I don’t know where this number came from but I’d honestly rather not receive it. How do you value a life at $255? It feels gross.
That’s all my news for now. Taking chemo drugs tonight so we’ll see how it goes this week.