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.

Peace,

Lisa

You saved me.

As I’m packing up my life, going through memories, trying to sell things off, unpacking boxes that I thought I could ship on the POD that has now been cancelled, trying to convince myself that maybe that antique desk that Michael had is JUST a thing and it doesn’t matter 😥 and of course crying, reminiscing, evaluating what matters; as I head to a new place with new people and new ideas and a new role; as I experience growing pains and different communications styles and hurt feelings and closing the door on some unhealthy relationships; as I practice the art of LETTING GO OF EVERYTHING….well I’m having a nervous breakdown. I’m a mess. I’m not okay on any level. And I’m not exaggerating. I’m having a nervous breakdown.

I’m experiencing events from a year ago as if they’re happening now. I’m panicking. Not sleeping, Crying. Screaming. Dropping to my knees and begging for him to come back. This shit is not for the weak and it’s not anything I would wish on anyone, ever.

But that’s not what I want to talk about. I really can’t talk any more about it. It’s so deep and vast that I can’t go there.

What I want to talk about is LOVE.

I watched the HBO documentary about Mr Rogers the other night. His whole thing was that everybody, every single one of us, needs to know that we are lovable and that we are perfect JUST the way we are. That telling someone that, can change the world.

I am so afraid to name people because I know I’ll forget someone, but I want you to know that so many of you LITERALLY saved my life.

Thank you to those who ignored my requests to be left alone and showed up anyway.

Thank you for answering my PM’s and helping me find mental health help NOW when I was ready to end my life.

Thank you for hearing my story and hugging me and thanking me for being authentic.

Thank you to those who emailed me or wrote me time and time again even if I didn’t answer you. Thank you for pushing me until I answered.

Thank you to anyone near or far who sent me a text saying they loved me or they were thinking of me.

Thank you for not comparing your pain to mine or mine to yours.

Thank you to anyone who listened to me cry and didn’t try to fix it.

Thank you to anyone who showed up, left something at my door, and didn’t even ring the bell.

Thank you if you made me a meal. Thank you for NOT making me a meal when I said no more meals. lol

Thank you for texting with me in the middle of the night.

Thank you for inviting me places and understanding when I said no, and continuing to invite me to more places.

Thank you for not minimizing my pain or telling me what I must do.

Thank you for inviting me over.

Thank you for checking on me.

Thank you for calling me EVERY TIME I messaged you and asked if you had a minute.

Thank you for loving me the way I needed it, not the way YOU needed it.

Thank you for loving me enough to let me sit in my pain alone when I needed to, and for knowing when I was in trouble and shouldn’t be alone.

Thank you to the early group that rallied around me when Michael was diagnosed. Who protected me, guided me, loved me, and looked out for me. Who heard me. And who are still my tribe of badass women.

Thank you for loving me, just as I am. There are so many of you that I won’t have time to see before I go, or people who are long distance that I don’t see regularly.

But you have saved me. I owe my life to some of you and you don’t even know it. There was more than one text that saved me. More than one interruption to a horrible thought pattern.

If you gave anything of yourself to help me in a moment of physical or emotional crisis, thank you. You made me feel lovable if only for that moment, and that carried me until the next moment.

You saved me. ❤ And even though there are crickets on this damn blog and perhaps nobody gives a shit anymore about what I have to say. But I needed to put this out into the universe. For me. And for the universe.

mister-rogers