Trigger (not)Happy

When I started this blog, it was because I was in an indescribable, unbearable amount of pain. Writing was always an outlet for me, but never more so than when Michael was dying. I found that updating the Caring Bridge site was helpful to more than our followers. Just writing it out, processing it, re-thinking it, helped me reframe the world I was living in. It added some logic and order to a world that was completely out of my control. It slowed down the hell ride and took me away from the unbearable torture that was my life. When I write, I focus on the topic like an outsider. It’s weird, but it helps me.

Anyhow, when I started this blog, it was about being a widow. Well, it was about grief. Which was directly connected to being a widow.

But something and someone got lost in the mix.

I miss my dad.

Well first there was Father’s Hallmark Hell Day where you have to aggressively work to avoid being reminded that your dad AND your husband are dead. Well, I shouldn’t say be reminded. Because you never forget even for a second. I should say, have it rubbed in your face.

Then, Sunday was my Dad’s birthday. I didn’t even realize it until I asked someone what the date was. Because I suck.

And here’s a fun widow word: Trigger. Basically any date or event that means or meant something can be a trigger. I’m heading into trigger hell. This is going to be a really, really hard month.

In a couple of days, it will be one year since I took Michael to the hospital for what would be the last time. It was the start of the marathon stretch at the U of MN. It was when talks began between Cindi, Warren and me about possibly having to go and physically take him out of the hospital against orders because I promised him I wouldn’t let him die in a hospital. It was the beginning of the end. 😥 It was the start of me sobbing in the front yard because Cindi saw me pull in and was walking over to check on me. It was the start of so many horrible things.

Yes, he did come home from that hospital stay. But in my mind and in my heart, June 28 was the day I lost my husband, and his wife. It was the day we both died.

July 4 will forever be an awful holiday for me. Last July 4, Michael was semi-comatose and I watched fireworks from his hospital room. I’m really glad I left the states before that party starts up.

Tonight, I learned that someone very dear to Michael and to me is in hospice. Michael’s aunt Marlene, also my surrogate mom. I can’t say enough about Marlene and Dave. They’re warm, accepting, loving. Marlene is the mom everyone wants. She has all the qualities that you want in a mom, but that my own mother did not have. Warmth, a true selfless love for me and a desire only for those she loves to be happy, nurturing, funny, sarcastic, and real. Don’t let the word surrogate fool you. This woman is the mom I chose. I’m losing my mom. And another tie to Michael.

I got to video chat with Marlene tonight. It was so emotional. I walked the beach alone before the call and again after. I wish I could make sense of it all. I love her so much. And this isn’t about me. But god dammit.

I’m jumping into the new job with both feet as soon as I get a car. Hopefully next week. It’s a very busy month of July for the rescue. I’m nervous about the upcoming deathiversary. It hasn’t even been a year. I can’t believe how much life has changed.

I’m proud of myself for acknowledging the loss of my dad finally. It hurts a lot but it’s a necessary process.

I’ve been on a good upswing for a bit, and I knew when the craziness died down, reality would still be here. I’m proud of myself for knowing this and being prepared (as prepared as one can be for gut-wrenching emotional agony). I’m proud of myself for letting my process flow and not trying to control it. This results in me being an emotional hot mess at times, but believe it or not I’m proud of that too. I’m not worried about what anyone thinks. When they go through what I’ve been through and lose all I have lost, they can decide if I’m over emotional. Until then, they accept me or they don’t. The Lisa that died would have never broken down in front of others. The Lisa that died didn’t cry at work. The Lisa that died was a different person. What’s left of me is what I am. Broken and trying really really hard to rebuild something. I don’t know what. Rebuild something that resembles a content life on my own. I just didn’t know that I was going to lose my chosen mom too.



4 thoughts on “Trigger (not)Happy

  1. Hugs, friend. July is a crappy month for so many reasons. I once again think of all those ways we are connected. Andrew Jack’s birthday (July 4). My birthday (July 30). For very different reasons, we will always know those dates. Triggers. Again, different reasons, but all grief. I’m thinking of you!


  2. Oh Lisa. As a fellow widow I am so proud of you. Proud of you for being present with your grief and your acknowledgement that July is going to be a tough month. As we’ve talked before, the feelings, the meltdowns and the sad moments may not come when you expect them, but rather when you least expect them. They may not even come until Aug. But when they do, feel it all. Cry, scream, do whatever you need to do to feel them. It’s a part of this God awful path and there is no getting around that it just sucks. But find some comfort, if you can in knowing that Michael is touching you, friends are only a message away, and you will survive. I’m sorry for yet more sad medical news about your “mom”. And your dad….well, I’m sorry. Hang on tight my friend. I love you. I will be holding you close in my heart.


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