5 Months Without Mitch.

While Mitch was alive, I was always worried that I would die before him. I was afraid that I would die, and leave him a single father, caring for our daughter. I was afraid he was cursed, you know. I didn’t want to die and leave him a widower. That wouldn’t be fair. He lost his mom, when he was very young. He grew up, pretty rough. 

That day, when I drove out to FedEx, exactly 5 months ago, and the officer dragged me into an office, and told me he was found, unresponsive, I was broken. I was broken, but, I was also relieved that I didn’t die, and leave HIM broken. 

I can’t say that he would be doing better or worse, right now, in this position. I CAN say, that I am so glad he doesn’t have to be the one going through this. That would not have been fair for him, at all. And, yes, I know that life isn’t fair. 

Someone posted this photo, on Facebook, and they said “thoughts?” 

I responded with this: 

“I’ve been widowed for almost 5 months. I am breathing, standing, walking, climbing, running, sprinting, hurdling, etc. it sucks so so so bad! But here’s my reasoning: My husband was the kind of man who made the BEST of EVERY situation. It didn’t matter what the situation was, he looked at the silver lining. He found the good that came from every bad thing. He taught me to do the same. With my husband’s death, at the young age of 34, of natural causes (heart failure), many many family and friends flocked to their doctor, to have their hearts checked. Some found they were healthy as could be, others found they needed further checking, because their white blood count was off, or their whatever was bad. It’s been a hell of a ride this last 4.95 months, and I am heart-broken, but I have a 12 year old daughter who NEEDS me! My husband has passed on, so he no longer NEEDS me. He would NOT have wanted me to screw up my and our daughter’s lives, because I am sad, or heartbroken, or have depressed days. He would have said “look, Tabbie, my death saved my dad’s life!” Because it DID! So, I will sprint, and breathe, and walk, dance and stand. Some days I may wobble, or fall, but I will keep putting one foot in front of the other. I hate this, but I will SURVIVE! We all will.”
I feel like people believe I make widowhood look easy. I don’t try to. This isn’t easy, at all.  I try to live each day. I try to make our lives happy, even when we are sad. I go through times where I feel guilty for thinking other men are attractive, or if I have sexual thoughts about them. I also know that having those thoughts and feelings are totally normal. I am only 34! I am a HEALTHY 34. I am not acting on each thought. That’s where we would have a problem.  But, thinking about things is not a crime. It’s just something that happens. 

Again, not easy. 

One income. I’ve had people say, “Well, there’s one less person, so one less income shouldn’t be too bad.” Well, when you are used to living with double the money you have, it is a TOTAL adjustment! 

I know, that the things people say, are meant to be comforting, and coming from some people, it is comforting. When it comes from someone I am not close to, it doesn’t come out like that. It isn’t taken like that. For some reason, it really is irritating. 

I have always known that I adapt to change pretty well. I typicallyvadapt to change better than most people I know. However, I didn’t realize how well adapted I am, until it was brought to my attention, that I am USED to sleeping alone, already. I have no desire to have someone sleeping next to me. I thought I was going to need friends to sleepover, in the beginning, and I never did. Meg and I slept on an air mattress together for nearly 3 weeks, and both of us got so uncomfortable, she started sleeping on the couch, until we moved into our apartment. I have reverted back to being a bed-hog. I am regretting my decision, to buy a queen bed, rather than a king. I had a king bed, when I was a teenager. I think when Meg gets a “new bed” it’ll be my bed, and I’m getting a king. All that room! 

Now, unrealistically speaking, I would give everything I own away, if it meant I could share a floor with Mitch. But, that’s unrealistic. I can’t BRING HIM BACK! No matter how much I want it, it doesn’t work like that. No matter how hard I cry, or how much I miss him, it just doesn’t work that way. 

Maybe, when my time comes, I’ll see him again. He was a good person. I try to be a good person. Maybe that means our afterlives will be good, if there really is an afterlife. 

I could totally see Mitch and I haunting people, together. Hilariously haunting family and close friends. 

Honestly, I still don’t get signs from Mitch. I haven’t dreamed about him, except the only 2 dreams I had. Maybe he leaves me alone, because he is afraid I’ll lose my shit? Maybe he leaves me alone because I am “doing just fine”? Maybe he thinks I need to continue to “be the inspiration” that I have become? Maybe, he doesn’t visit me, because he is afraid I will be committed to a psych ward, and leave Meg without a parent? Maybe he doesn’t visit, because I told him he wasn’t allowed to haunt me? Jokingly, of course, because when one dies, they can do whatever they want. ūüėČ And maybe, JUST maybe, he doesn’t visit, because he can’t. Maybe that’s not a true option, after death. Whatever the case, he doesn’t visit me or leave me signs, like I hear everyone else talk about. I have little tidbits of “oh my, Mitch would have said that!” But, nothing too ghostly. 

So, here I sit, 5 months without my Mitchell. I am stronger than I have ever been, in all of my life. I am happy in all areas of life except the part where I am a widow. I still truly believe that EVERYTHING happens for a reason, even if we haven’t figured out that reason, yet. 

Maybe it’s something so simple as my words, helping someone get through THEIR grieving process, just a little bit easier? Who knows if I’ll EVER know the reasoning behind Mitch’s death, outside of the scientific, biological part. 

Keep Living. 

One. Foot. In. Front. Of. The. Other. 

Skip. Hop. Run. Jump. Walk. 

Keep going. 

A Bad Day

I feel like I have been on the verge of tears all day.

Every time I have a moment of time, to myself, I picture Mitch during those last few days. He was coughing, and was really down about having a cold. He needed cough drops, so I picked some up for him, on my way home from work. I keep¬†picturing him in pain, and not knowing that it was something more. (there’s more about his last few weeks, here, in a previous blog)

It hurts so bad.

All I want is for this to not be real. It isn’t fair!

I know, it’s just a bad day.

I will get through it.

But, it still hurts.

I picture him the way they say he was found. Peaceful. And even that hurts! He may not have known he was dying, but we are here, living, without him, and it hurts.

I worry that he was mad at me for not knowing that something was wrong.¬†What if his last thought was “Damnit, Tabbie!”

Hell, that Tuesday night, his employee said he was feeling unwell, and was worried that he caught a “stomach bug” and revealed that one of his parents was in the hospital with C-Diff. I told Mitch to tell him not to come in, until he is cleared, because if he has it, it is no joke and HIGHLY contagious.

Mitch planned on wiping his truck down with bleach wipes, just in case, that Wednesday.

He was going to check the tires, to make sure they were all up to code, Wednesday morning.

He wasn’t feeling well.

Why didn’t we SEE it?!

I miss him so much.

This isn’t fair!

But, life, nor death are fair. We don’t get to pick our genetic makeup, or the illnesses that we succumb to.

But. It. Still. Hurts.

I can’t change the fact that he is gone, and I know that. I wish it were possible to reverse time, and save him, but I can’t.

How did we not catch this?! My god!

Aside from the pain, I feel ashamed. Guilty. I feel like we SHOULD have known!

Fuck.

I know, it isn’t my fault. I know it isn’t his fault. I know it is the fault of no-one.

But I still feel it.

And it really fucking hurts.

And I think Wednesdays are my worst days.

Today marks 6 weeks without the love of my life.

Tomorrow is a new day. 17098659_1645371092146040_1498079249884706989_n

 

That Next Chapter…

No one looks forward to what may come, after the loss of their spouse. I know, from experience. I find myself, quite frequently, looking back. Because, back there, that’s where the best memories of my life lay.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I know that Megan and I are going to create many more amazing memories, but, right now, my favorite things are the things that happened when Mitch was right here, next to me. Next to us.

And, that’s okay.

Someone told me, today, “It takes about 2 years to really feel like you are starting that next chapter, in your life.”

I disagree, but totally understand why that may be the understood perception of grieving, or how the majority feel. I’ve never really been part of the “majority”. ¬†I am a very matter-of-fact. I already feel like my “next chapter” is being written. I am very aware that this is really happening. Even as I wish it weren’t true, and that I was actually stuck in a very bad nightmare. I get it. I know THIS is my life now. THIS is OUR life. (Meg and I).

It doesn’t make it hurt any less. It doesn’t really change anything, except my ability to keep putting one foot in front of the other. Life demands that I keep moving. I don’t do it for distraction or because I need something to do. I do it, because I have bills to pay, and a roof to keep over our heads. I do it, to put food on the table. I do it, because it is what Mitch would have wanted me to do. I do it, because I want to be happy, although, if and when I am happy again, it won’t be the same. It will be with a ¬†new take on life.

I can tell you, I already see a difference in my attitude towards certain things. Today, I am almost positive they were talking about me, and only because, before I lost Mitch, it would be an accurate statement, I overheard someone say they were glad the one person was in that case, because “another person would be freaking out.” 2 Months ago, that would have been true. Now, I have bigger things to freak out about. I am not mad or hurt by that assessment. I am not even positive it was me they were speaking of. But, ya know, “if the shoe fits…”

Today was the monday-iest, monday ever! I was late to work, had to do total joint surgeries (meaning we had a lot of things to open, to even get that party started), and our OR was missing many essential items. Normally, I’d be freaking out. Now, I was complaining, no lie, but, I told myself, “It could always be worse.” Because it can. I can’t get TRULY mad, because someone had an “off” night, especially because I was having such an off day. I dropped instruments, and had to make my nurses run and grab more. My reps were probably ready to strangle me, because of an issue with a rep tray. But, what can you do? The shit already happened. Is dwelling on it going to make it better? NO! It’s going to cause me unnecessary stress, that I don’t need in my life, right now. I will choose to learn from what happened, and try to prevent it, next time, but really, most things that happened today, aren’t really preventable, by myself or my circulating nurse.

Shit. Happens. PERIOD.  In most cases, there is always tomorrow. So, on the crappiest days, instead of dwelling on the crap, I am going to vow to make tomorrow better.

You have two choices, really. YOU decide your own happiness. You can choose to laugh at your mistakes, and try not to make them again, or you can beat yourself up and not move on. Who do you think is going to be a happier person, in life?

On how we are doing:

I am doing. I am coping. I am working through the emotions that I didn’t plan on having until I was senile. I am throwing all of my heart at my daughter. I am making sure we are keeping our friends and family close, for our sake, and for theirs. I know having us around makes people sad, sometimes, but it also brings joy to them, because we are like having a little piece of Mitch around (mostly Meg, because she is TOTALLY her father’s daughter.)

 

Megan is doing good. I know she is hurting, just like I am. Mitch and I were never really ones to wear our feelings for the world to see, because our feelings are just that. Ours. Meg told me that she had many nightmares that one of us (Mitch or me) died, and in the dreams, we couldn’t afford to live. We couldn’t afford food or rent. She said “It still sucks and it hurts really bad, but, it’s not as bad as my nightmares. At least we can afford to pay our bills, and buy food.” ¬†She is so matter-of-fact. Like her father and myself. She’s lucky like that.

She knows that my “door” is always open. She can talk to me ANYTIME she feels ready, and that she isn’t being rushed to talk, or pushed to stay quiet about it.

 

We talk about the things that daddy would do, in certain situations, and laugh, because most of the things he would do, were hilarious, ridiculous, and absurd. I will miss that, so much! Things like walking into Target, and he would pull his pants up as high as they would go, and tuck his shirt in, just to embarrass Megan. Or, when we would go to the mall, he would flap his arms and “Kaw! KawKaw!” like he was a bird. And one of my favorite Mitch Memories, was our VERY FIRST trip to Victoria’s Secret, as a couple. I was talking to him, and I turned to look at him, and he wasn’t right beside me anymore. He had fallen back, waiting on me to notice. And when I found him, we had pulled a mannequin bra down¬†and was groping the breast. I nearly died of embarrassment, but was laughing so hard I nearly peed my pants. That moment, was the one that shaped me into the woman I became. ‚̧

Live Freely.

Laugh A Lot.

Love Fiercely.

Forgive Often.

Make an impression!

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This was the first annual Framily Picnic that Mitch created, so family would stay in contact through the “non-holiday” seasons.
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I have no idea why he taped his hands together, but, I do recall him asking me to help get the tape off, and I was laughing so hard because he was trying to eat the pizza without his hands.

I Dreamed of Him, Last Night

Last night was the first dream I’ve had of my husband, since he passed. I woke up wishing it to be real.

I dreamed that he never sprained his wrist, never caught that cold, and that he never had the gout flare-up. I dreamed that he still had the crampy legs, and the chest pain.

I dreamed that I MADE him go to the hospital. I dreamed that he was going to be just fine.

Why did he have to have ¬†a sore throat before the cough started? Without the sore throat, it wouldn’t have seemed like he caught my cold, and the chest pain couldn’t have been attributed to the cough.

Why did he have to fall and sprain his wrist? Why did he have to have a gout flare-up?

I am angry! I am so mad that he had all of these things that would point the heart symptoms away from the heart. I am so sad, because I am SURE we, even him, would have taken it more seriously, if he didn’t have something to blame each symptom for. My heart aches, because I know, there’s nothing I can do about it now, but help spread the word, and pray no-one else suffers what we are all suffering.

I thought about Mitch all day, at work yesterday. I found myself “dazing off” multiple times. I was between surgeries, and lost it. I cried, out loud, body shaking with each sob. There were a few unfamiliar faces in the OR, who didn’t know my story, that I am SURE I scared the piss out of. I am sorry if I scared you. I am sorry if I ever scare anyone with my body wracking sobs. Sometimes, it just comes, and I don’t even try to control it.

I miss him terribly, and every morning, when I wake up, I wish I was waking up in that crappy house, with my big stinky dogs, and my big teddy bear husband, with his arms around me, or with him trying to press his morning boner into my thigh, because that’s more like something he would do.

So, today, I will wear his Gray Seattle Seahawks hoodie, that I stole from him, long before he passed, and think about him more.

 111wwmdbracelet

This is a bracelet stands for “What Would Mitch Do?” It means, if you feel like dancing, dance, because that’s what he would do. He wouldn’t care who was watching. He would also keep calm in any event. (Unless the Seattle Seahawks¬†were involved. He was never calm about football.) My friend had them made, and is selling them for $5 each, so we can put money into savings for my 12 ¬†year old daughter. Friends are the best, but I wear my bracelet, every day, as does Meg. ‚̧ If you are interested in one, just message Lisa. She will take care of everything! If you’re not interested, that’s fine too.

You can still ask yourself, “WWMD?”