What Is Life, Without A Little Death?

Here death strikes again.

So many people, such a short time.

It has happened since long before any of us, and will continue with us and way after us.

Death

It’s inevitable.

We all live our lives. We go and go. Some of us are moving so quickly through life, that we are missing out on the things that really are the more important things.

I was guilty of this. I’m not ashamed to admit it. I have since figured out a better balance, though.

I love my family.

I love my friends.

I love racing, and birthdays, and listening to my people talk about their lives, and the things that they are passionate about.

I’m not very good at asking the questions, or initiating conversation, but that’s because I will listen to you tell me about your passions, your grief, your day at work.

When Mitch died, in January of 2017, I was confused. I wasn’t angry, I didn’t really wonder why, so much as “What the Fuck?” It wasn’t an angry wtf, so much as a confused, how could this have happened type question. Once we knew the science and biology behind, I stopped asking. I knew.

That question was answered.

You hear people say, all of the time, “god only gives you what he knows you can handle.” If you believe in God, this has to be true.

You may not know you have it in you, until LIFE (or death really), slaps you in the face.

Wednesday, after I ran 10 miles and was in my car, headed to get some food, I received a phone call. My father in law lost his girlfriend. (They might as well had been married. They had that connection, and that unconditional love. They were only missing the legal documentation).

Let me throw out a little back story on this man, without going too deep into details, or anything.

This man was married to my husband’s biological mother. He adopted my husband, and had 2 more children with his wife, Megan.

When Megan was in her early-mid twenties (I don’t want to screw up on the details), she was murdered in a bar, by a crazy man.

This man, Mike, became a widower father to 3 children, one of which was a tiny baby girl.

He did not handle that well. I mean, who could blame him, right? His wife was murdered. What was he supposed to do?

Fast forward through some addictions and runaways, some verbal fights, and a bit of time in jail, a couple of marriages, divorces and a couple more kids, grandbabies and sobriety.

Here we are, he’s the father of 5 now. He’s gotten his head together, he’s trying very hard to be a good man.

His eldest son dies. The son he adopted, when the son was just a boy, and had his mother ripped from him. The father who may have had his problems surviving this life, lost his son.

He had an amazing woman by his side, to help keep him together. She was there to keep him steady, and remind him that he would be okay. He would make it through this.

Fast forward a little over 2 years, and his girlfriend is now with his first wife, and eldest son.

If god is real, and only gives people what they can handle, he sees something heroic in Mike.

I’m so devastated, for him, and can’t even begin to imagine how his mind is processing.

I’ve been told I’ve handled all of my adversity with grace, and I don’t know. It’s what everyone on the outside sees, when my insides are a screaming and tangled and threatening escape.

But death. Death is one thing we are all going to face.

Death is inevitable, and I don’t think we should fear it. I’m not afraid. I don’t want to die, and I’d never do anything to speed up the process, or invite it sooner. I want to live into my old age, maybe meet a second soulmate, and grow old together with them. I want to have grandbabies and a son-in-law (or daughter-in-law. I’m not picky)

I want to watch my daughter grow into a woman, and watch her find her soulmate, fall madly in love, marry, and grow into her adulthood.

I really love living. I think that Mike is realizing that he loves living as well. Even through the grief that seems to keep being added to his plate, he becomes just a little bit stronger, each round.

I wanted to share his story, because many people judge. Many people do not KNOW. People will never truly understand. But, just the briefest summary of the shot hand this man was felt, and he’s still here. He’s still standing. He is STILL putting one foot in front of the other.

The world we are on is still spinning.

The bills still need to be paid.

Our work here isn’t done, yet.

Death: The only thing guaranteed of life.

Live while you can!

Find happiness!

Be who you are!

Never stop saying their name!

Mary. Megan. Mitch. Sandra. Annie. Gramma and Grandpa McAnany.

Only their bodies are gone. We are forever able to remember them through our pictures, and our memories. We have videos, and voices recorded, now.

On the days we miss them the most, I think their spirits are the closest. Our human form cannot process their presence without their human form, so we interpret their spiritual presence as sadness, and yearning, and missing them.

We FEEL them, but we cannot touch or see them.

May all of our loved ones be partying like rock-stars.

Annie.

Has.

Arrived!

We will miss her, of course. But she is definitely in good hands now.

6 Months, 5 Days

On the Morning of the 6 month marker, of Mitchell’s death, I woke up, tears fell for an hour, as I scrolled through facebook’s “on this day”, showered and got ready for work. 

I made a post on Facebook, about how I was feeling, and a lot of what I miss about Mitch. 

I didn’t write a blog, or really talk to very many people. I didn’t tell Megan what the day was, until we were having dinner. 

I mostly kept to myself, and tried not to project my sadness onto anyone else. 

Everyone says it gets easier, as time passes by. 

Everyone grieves differently. 

It’s not easier. Each time I wake up, and Mitch isn’t here, it hurts just a little bit more. Each time some man, that I don’t know, hits on me, like I’m some “single chick” it kind of makes me angry. 

I have “ignored” so many people on messenger, “restricted” so many people on Facebook as well. 

On the 6 month-marker, a man tried to tell me he “wanted to know me”. I also posted about it on Facebook. He claimed he wanted to know me, yet, he didn’t take a second to scroll through my Facebook profile, and see that I just made a big, long, emotional post about how much I miss my deceased husband, and realize how inappropriate his messages were. I see through the typed words. 

I don’t feel bad about not wanted to know people. I don’t feel bad about blocking old acquaintances, or ignoring morons on Facebook. 

One thing I realized recently, is that I feel alone, a lot more than I realized. 

I asked a ton of people to go out with me, Friday night, and so many people just said no, or couldn’t go (kids, other plans, etc). It’s okay. I understand if you don’t want to or can’t go out with me. But here’s where the loneliness sets in. If Mitch was here, he would have gone with me, no questions. (it would have been his idea to go, even) I would not have gone to a concert alone, and we would have had an amazing time. Sure, I had fun. I was surrounded by people, and made “friends”. No. I was surrounded by people, and made more acquaintances. Sure it was fun, but my heart was still broken, and empty. As I danced and listened to the songs Mitch so often played for me, my heart was tearing open, shredding apart, again. 

It’s things like going out alone, or figuring out who will take Megan home from a ball game, if I get called into work, that make me feel alone. 

It’s little things that set me off into a crying mess. I feel like I cry MORE now, than I did in the beginning. Like it’s more REAL now, than it was. Maybe it’s because school is getting ready to start, or something? I don’t know. I don’t care why. It just IS. This is the way it is, now. 

I know, I have Megan, and that’s a MARVELOUS thing. I’m not alone when I’m with her, but I cannot take her everywhere with me. 

Maybe now, I’ve hit the point that everyone has warned me about. The point where everyone believes I am fine, and fall away.

 The scariest part about being a widow, is feeling alone. 

I miss him, so so so much. I miss his presence. I am so angry and sad that he is gone. This is a nightmare. He was such a beautiful soul. We needed him, more, here.

 The world needs more Mitches. 

Being Open About Everything

Since the untimely death of my husband, I have become quite the over-sharer. I mean that in a good way. I talk a LOT. I explain everything.

I know, I know. I don’t need to explain myself to anyone for anything. I know. I don’t care.

However, when I see someone who I haven’t seen in a while, and they ask me where I have been, I tell them, and the shock on their faces and in their whole demeanor is crazy! I don’t mean to be so blunt, but there’s just no easy way to say it.

“Well, I was off of work for 3 and a half weeks, because my husband passed in January, and then I had to change my schedule, so I haven’t been able to work later than 3pm, on a regular basis.”

That’s why you never see me anymore.

I am the friend, that is trying to figure out how to stay healthy, care for my child, and for myself, as well as work full-time, and take care of everything.

Let me get real, real quick. This may be unbelievable, but, keep in mind, Mitch and I started dating when I was 17 years old. Hell, we moved in together when I was still 17. (any young ones reading, please, do not risk it! Not everyone is as lucky as Mitch and I were, and I wouldn’t change a thing about how we got and stayed together.)

I have NEVER, in all of my adult life, lived on my own. Never. I have never been responsible for paying bills, outside of my auto-deposited paychecks. I have never been in this situation before.  This is one hell of a learning curve. And there is no class for this. (well, I am sure there is, but it probably costs money.)

I have allotted dates from each month to have people over for a ladies night. I find these dates by going over my calendar and making sure that I don’t have a run scheduled that weekend, that I am not on call that weekend, and that I don’t have anywhere to be, early in the mornings that weekend. There’s a lot of thought that goes into planning my ladies’ nights. I may even host a poker night, soon. It’s sounding pretty Mitch-like. And poker nights were always a good time. So, Chuck, don’t go spending those quarters! I will take them off of your hands soon. 😉

Again, I just want to ask my friends and family to forgive me, and bear with me, while I figure all of this out. I may not come to your parties, or get-together, or I may plan my ladies night the same night that you have something planned, but that’s only because I only have that weekend free. It doesn’t mean I love you any less.

And for anyone who is reading, that doesn’t know me, but knows someone who is going through what I am going through, give them time to figure it all out. It’s a lot to process, and get through. Your friend doesn’t love you less. Your friend still wants you around. Your friend probably misses you. And your friend is probably exhausted all of the time. It’s okay. It takes time. And for some reason, there isn’t that extra couple of hours in each day, that should be automatic in the event of a spouse’s death.

Every widow should get an extra 2 hours, every night, just to sleep, or finish the dishes, or prep lunches for the next day. All of the things that may have been taken care of by the deceased partner, and the widow is now all on the widow. It’s overwhelming sometimes. It really and truly is.

I remember when we first moved into the apartment, I FORGOT to make dinner! Really?! I jumped up from the table and said, “Oh crap! I need to make dinner!” It was 7:30pm. Mitch cooked. I never made dinner. It was a running joke with Megan and Mitch, that “If Daddy ever left or died, I would starve, because Mommy doesn’t cook!” I cook. It’s another learning curve, but I will master it.

One day, I will have free time, again. It may not be soon, but it’ll come.

I have arranged extra time, for ME-TIME to start working out again. Baby steps in the right direction. That’s all we can hope for. Right?

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Mitch and my brother at my cousin’s wedding.