Sunday, May 31, 2009


I live alone.
I live alone in a house that was too big for two people.
I live alone in a house that was too big for two people who were not sure they were ever even going to have kids.  

I like living alone for the most part.
I have lived alone a few times in my life.
It does not bother me.

However, every once in a while I think "Maybe I should get a roommate."
Then I think again.
Am I too old for a roommate?
I mean, I have had roommates that were in their 30s.  
In New York, it was not unusual to have a roommate at my age and older. 

Then I think again.
It would be nice to have the extra income. 
To have extra money to spend on whatever I want.
To buy those extra things for the house.  
To go on an extra trip.  
To buy some new clothes.
To go out without guilt.

Then I think again.
But do I want to put up with someone else.
Someone who is not related to me.
Someone who I am not in love with.
Someone who will make a mess and leave it.
Someone who will look at my mess.
Someone who will look at all my stuff.
Someone who will have annoying people over. 
Someone who will make lots of noise.
Will someone want to put up with me?

Then I think again.
But it would be nice to have someone to talk to at home.
Someone to share the day with a bit.
Someone to share meals with every once in a while.
Someone to watch television with.

Then I think again.
I remember all the bad roommates I have had in the past.
Of the twelve or so people I have lived with, I would only live with about one or two of them again.
Those are not good odds on getting another good roommate.  

It also means I would have to deal with the roommate upstairs completely.  
And right now it is a room I rarely enter.
A room that has a door and no reason for me to go up there besides putting items in the closet I no longer want to see.  

The debate keeps going.
And it is another decision I really do not have the strength to make.  

Grocery Store

I do not go much to the grocery store.
There is not much of a need.
I am trying to save money and eat what I already have.
When I do buy groceries, I get the same items just so I do not have to think about what I am eating.
And I rarely cook a real meal so what do I need food for.  [Although I do miss cooking.]

I really have not had a hard time with grocery shopping lately.  In the first few months of grief, it was one of the hardest tasks me for and I cried almost every time.
So now, mostly I go in.
Get some stuff.
And leave.

But today, sigh...
I did not really want to go.  
That was the first thing.
I remembered coming home from work and having to go to the grocery store.
I would be complaining about it.
Trying to figure out ways to get around it.
Then Roger started doing this thing.
He would volunteer to meet me there if I wanted.
He could get some exercise by walking and I would have company.
Plus he would get all those snacks I would not buy if left alone.
He would push the cart since I hate pushing the cart.  
If left alone, I will drag the cart through the store versus pushing it.  
It was the perfect deal for me.
And maybe for him too.

For some reason, today I just had tons of memories walking through the store.
The second thing was the cereal aisle.  
I have started eating cereal a bit here and there.
Still not the habit I had before.  
Still not the love I had for it before.
I saw the oatmeal out of the corner of my eye and tried not to think about eating any of that.
For some reason, just the thought of oatmeal makes me queasy.  I had it everyday at work for breakfast.  
Roger was not even at work but somehow there is an association.  
Previous life association perhaps?  

As I was just staring at the rows and rows of cereal, my stomach started to churn.  
I thought I was going to vomit.
I just wanted to pick something.
And quick.
Honey Nut Cheerios it was.  
Not my all time favorite but it will do.  
I still cannot think about my past favorites.  
I wonder if I will ever enjoy them again.

Third was the frozen pizza aisle.
I am a fan of frozen pizza.
It is a quick meal.
We did lots of frozen pizzas.  
We took turns picking them out.
Roger liked Tombstone brand.
I like pretty much all others.  
I cannot look at the Tombstones.  
Just makes me sad.  

I escaped from the grocery store.
No crying thankfully.


I remember the first time I heard about the concept of blogging.
I thought it sounded idiotic.
Who would want to read my inner thoughts?
Who would I want to read their inner thoughts?
I just imagined a blog where a person recounted their day including what meals they ate, what work was like, and what was on TV.  

I even created this one when bored one day at work.
I wrote in it once but never think of anything else I wanted to say to the whole world wide web. 
Sure I had things I could vent about.
Things about work.
Things about family.
Things about friends.
Nothing that I would want everyone to read however.
Nothing that would not hurt someone's feelings.
So the blog hibernated.
Until I had lots to say.
Until I could not contain the bear anymore.  

Around my house, in notebooks, in my car, and in my purse, I have these small scraps of paper that I find with things I want to blog about.
Things that come in the middle of the night or while driving.  
My goal is to write at least once a day for at least a year.  
And I was afraid that I would run out of things to say.
Boy, was I wrong.  That has not happened in the slightest.
I usually have about five or six ideas bouncing around.
[This month has been hard keeping up with all my traveling.]
I miss blogging on the days I do not do it.  
The thoughts seem to come more.  

This blog has helped me gather my thoughts.
Helped me think things through.
Document things I do not want to forget.
Avoid the dreaded "How are you?" question since I could just point people here.
It has been an element of therapy.

But then...
There is the judgement.
So many things do not get blogged about.
As many widow/widower friends know, people who do not understand judge you.  
People may think I am doing things out of order.
People may think I am not grieving properly.
People may think I am moving on too fast.
People may think I did not love Roger enough.
And then there are my friends who read this blog.
And my family who reads this blog.
And Roger's family who reads this blog.  
I do not want to hurt anyone's feelings.
I never want to hurt anyone's feelings.

So I leave them out.
Which sucks for all those widows and widowers who want to know if they are normal.  
I know I am searching to know if I am normal.
If I am doing things "correctly".
And I want to vent about things.
Talk about my various feelings about sex and love and everything else.  

Instead I email my fellow shitty club members.  
Instead I call the people that will understand.
Which I guess is fine.  
Such is life.  
I guess there are club rules that are not enforced by its members but by society.
By unwritten rules.
By scouring looks.
By whispers behind my back.

So I apologize to my fellow club members for the phone calls and long rambling emails.  
But thank you all for listening and making me feel normal.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

The Jeep

This entry has been rolling around in my head for months. 
Pun somewhat intended.   
And for some reason, I have not been able to get it out of my head and into words.  
At least not adequate words.  

Back years before me, Roger bought a Jeep Wrangler when he got a bonus at work back in 2001. 
He loved that Jeep.  It was one of his dream cars.
It was a lovely shade of dark blue with a soft top.  
He loved the way girls flirted with him while he was driving around.
"the girls... were totally checking me out" he says in the journal I found after he died.
He enjoyed making out with dates up against that Jeep too.  
"It was cool leaning up against the Jeep and having her in front of me...mmmm"

Before Roger and I started officially dating, I remember being impressed by the Jeep.
It was a sexy car.
I had previously dated a guy who had a Jeep.
I knew the appeal.

On our first weekend away together, Roger was going to be attending a kickboxing class.  
I went along to enjoy the time away.  
During the day he would be at class and I would relax hanging around Cape Coral.
As we were driving to the hotel, Roger tells me that he will be leaving me his precious Jeep during the day.
"What?! I do not want to drive your car.  I have never driven your car.  I do not know how to drive the Jeep."
"It will be fine.  I trust you."
It was crazy to be trusted with his Jeep.
The thing he loved.

After Roger and I got engaged, we picked out my ring together.
Since I had proposed to him, he did not have a ring for me already.  
This was always the way he wanted to do things anyway although I wanted to be surprised.
So he got his way.
Lovely compromise.

About a week after I was wearing the ring, Roger shocked me.
He told me something drastic.
He wanted to sell his Jeep.
The Jeep he loved so much.
His dream car.

I was touched.
I was in shock.
I could not believe he would do that for me.
The Jeep of all things.
I cried.

I did not want to be that girl.
The girl who insisted on the guy changing his core person for her.
I did not want it to seem that was why he sold the Jeep.
But he said he wanted to sell it.  
It was not necessary anymore.  
He had his dream girl.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Where is Nancy Drew?

Roger introduced me to the concept of DVR.
He worked for the cable company at the time so he had all the bells and whistles when I met him.
He was so spoiled when it came to internet, television, and digital phone.
With all those tricks, I fell in love with the DVR concept.
Even before I fell for him.
No more commercials.  No more waiting for the correct show time.  Or even knowing the correct show time.

Since he was so spoiled and he liked television a lot, he had a lot of shows to be recorded.
And movies.
Sci-fi. Comedies. Vampire-related. Crime shows. Dance related movies. 
The boy had many interests.
Some of these we watched together.
Some I watched alone.
Some he watched alone.  
Some I just watched just for him and some he watched just for me.  
And right now in my head, I can hear him saying the word compromise.  

I cannot define my reasoning but I almost immediately cancelled some of the shows from recording.
I did not want to see them on the list.  So cancelled they were.  
And some things he had recorded, I deleted.
Go away I say.
But there was one thing I could not delete - the Nancy Drew movie.
It kept lingering.
I don't know.  
He recorded it on August 11th.
I do not even remember him telling me about this.
I remember seeing it on the list though and laughing to myself.  
I am not even sure if he watched it before the world exploded.  
Maybe he was waiting for me?  Maybe he watched it but saved it for me?

I ended up watching it a while back. 
It sucked.
I hated it.
Then, last week, I deleted it.  
Something so silly makes me cry.
But seeing it was more painful.
I think.
Not seeing it is weird and a little less painful.
I think.
As I saw the date creeping up, I just did not want it to be there for a year or more.
So I quickly highlighted it, hit "OK", then scrolled to "Erase", and "OK" again.
Magically it disappeared.  Gone. In seconds.
I threw the remote on the sofa.  

I do hope he saw it.
I would have hated to delete it without him watching it even though I know he could not watch now if he wanted to.  
Weird wife-whose-husband-died thing I guess.  
But it is gone.
Like him, it is gone.  

Now the list is just my stuff.
Martha Stewart. Jimmy Fallon. And some other characters.  
Although some of "my" stuff I inherited from him.  
No more compromise.

And all those bells and whistles, mostly gone now too.  
Except for the DVR of course.  

Dear Roger...

Sometimes Roger and I would get into fights and I could not even think straight.  I needed time to process since I am an internal processor like I mentioned.  
So we would agree to talk about everything tomorrow.
Usually one of us would email each other the next day.
It was an unusual system. 
But it worked.  
It worked well.
But I cannot email him now.
I cannot show him how annoyed I am.
But I can write about it anyhow.  


Dear Roger-

You know that I am annoyed that you just left me.
I always told you that you would.
And you did.
You said you would not.
But you did.
You left me.

I am also annoyed and almost pissed off at some of the things you left undone.
First, you did not finish the surround sound project.
You finished your practice round upstairs.  
You know how much I hate all those wires circling the family room.
Why could you have not just finished that?!
I really hate that stupid speaker that had to be put in the sofa.
I still say it effects how the cushions shift around despite your evidence.   
Yes, I should probably just get rid of them if they are so annoying but I am used to sound now.  I just hate kicking the speakers and staring at those stupid wires.  
It looks so messy.

Second, you did not finish figuring out the landscaping.  
You did those maps of the yard showing the shade at each hour but I cannot find them.  I can find one.
I could do this myself I am sure but I am more annoyed that it is undone.  
Those bushes you planted fucking died.  
I stare at the blankness and I do not want to pay the landscaper to do this.  

Third, the stupid stupid aquarium stand.
It haunts me every day.  I just need to finish staining it.  
Simple I know.
But you should have finished it.  
It was your idea.
It was your project.  
And do you even realize how much money was spent on it?!?

Fourth, the shelf in the laundry room.
It was such a simple idea.  We even spent money on the nicer shelf holders.  
But again, another thing you left me to do.

Fifth, I hate that stupid blue man in the garage.
He does not even work.
He needs some electronic work.
And he weighs 600 pounds.  
Why did you not just get rid of him?
He is sitting in the exact same spot as the movers put him two years ago.  
Same fucking place.

Now, you do get some bonus points.
You did that preliminary budget and worked on that the night before the accident.  
It was very helpful.

You get points for also being so organized with your filing.  
It has been helpful.

But I am still annoyed with the other stuff.  

Now, if he could only fix my annoyance...

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

9 Months

This should really be written tomorrow but I just want to get it out of my head.
I am nine months through the first year as of tomorrow.
Seventy-five percent.

It does not seem possible at moments.
But yet my life is so different than a year ago.
Than nine months ago.
Than four months ago.

I feel like I can at least breathe most days.
I feel like I have my head back on most days.  

This anniversary does not feel overwhelming.
Which is good.  
Of course it is tomorrow and I am in today.
So we will see what tomorrow is really like.
But standing in today, I do not feel the huge weight of another sort of big anniversary.

The other good thing is I am almost "graduating" from counseling.  
My last scheduled session is on Tuesday.
By the time next week is here, I will have gone five weeks without it.
It was a test to truly see if I am ready.
To give me some data to bank on.  
To prove to myself I can do this.  
And guess what, I can do this.
I can do this.

I am learning to accept grief.
I am learning to let it do what it needs.
I am learning not to question what it needs.
I am learning to accept where I am in negative and positive ways.  

I know I will never get over this.
I know I will and do still cry.
I know I will never forget him.

But time is making each day a tiny bit easier.
Each month is getting a tiny bit tolerable.  
And soon I will be looking back at an entire year.  
Soon very soon.


I have come to hate my "title".  
I hate the word "widow".

I do not like the way it defines me.
Or how other people let it define me.  
I am mostly bothered how other people define me.

I do not like the way it makes me feel how I should act a certain way.
Be a certain way.
Move a certain way.
Yes, I know I am "normal" compared to by widow friends but non-widows do not understand. 

I hate the image the word "widow" it puts into people's head.
Old lady wearing black as my friend Candice puts it.
I hate the way the suddenly look at me.
Sympathy is fine.  But the pity in their eyes is unnerving and unrattling.
I hate how they act around me.
Suddenly they do not know what do say or not say.
I hate how they cringe as they hear the title.  
Some people even slouch their shoulders and their facial expression winces.  

I hated the title "fiancee" too.  
It sounded so snobby.  
Sounded so weird.  
I rarely used it.  
I hated to hear it.
I hated to use it.  

And now, I am trying hard not to say the word "widow".
It just seems so dark.
So old.
So sad.
So depressing.  

I did come up with a title for Roger when typing to others - LH.  
It stands for late husband.
Using the whole thing spelled out sounded like I was in my 50s/60s.  
Using his name feels weird sometimes.
Not that it is sacred or anything, but just strange.
A feeling I cannot really describe. 

Ugh, titles.  
Cannot live with them or without them.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

I was...

... so grown up.
For about five minutes.
And now I feel so un-grown up.

I had my plans.
I had my goals.
I had most everything figured out.
At least the important stuff.

I had my dream house.
I had my marriage.
I had my cool car.
I had my pets.
Not that I do not have most of those things now.
I do. Most of them.
But not all.

And with that, I feel I have been catapulted back into a world of non-grown ups.
An adult, yes.
But no for sure plans really.
And I am a bit nomadic and floating through this current life.

Yes, I am in school but what after that?
Where will I work?  What kind of job? Will I be able to get a job?  Will I have a suitable income?
Yes, I have my house, but will I live here forever?
Will I live in Florida?  Will I teach in Orange County?

In all these non-grownup feelings, I feel myself disconnected.
A lot of my friends have the "grown up" life.
What do I talk to them about?
What do they talk to me about?

It is natural to drift away from friends when life takes us different directions.  
But this was not my choice.
I did not choose this direction.

And probably for the first time in my life, I am uttering the words, "I want to be grown up again."
I want to be responsible.
I want to know what the future holds.
At least a bit.

I do enjoy some of the non-grown up things.
Like my long days are only five hours long.  
But... I miss the connection.  
I miss them.
I miss my friends.  
I miss comparing work stories.
Comparing husband stories.

But now, I am so different.
Non-grown up.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Double Punch

First punch of the day:
This week has been absolutely awful as far as the weather goes.
It has been raining all day everyday since Monday.  
Which is a lot like a very eventful week last August. 
The week of the accident.

That week, Tropical Storm Fay was coming back and forth across Florida.  
I called it a baby hurricane.
Roger told me I was crazy and it was nothing like a hurricane.
"People don't die from tropical storms."
Ha, yeah right.  People sure as hell do die from tropical storms aka baby hurricanes.  
Specifically Roger.  
Specifically when combined with stupid asshole drivers and a baby hurricane.

That week I called in to work one morning after listening how the rain and wind were going to be picking up.
I heard on the radio that Tuesday morning: "Do not leave your home unless absolutely necessary."
As much as I would have loved to believe that I was absolutely necessary in order for my job to get done and the world to revolve, I knew my work was not any where truly close to be indispensable. (Which now I am positive since they have been going on quite okay without me.)
So I turned around and went home.
I took a vacation day instead.
In hindsight, I am grateful.  Yes, Roger was working from home but we were still home together. 
And my company sent everyone home at lunch.

All that week there was flooding in our neighborhood.  
Rain was falling in sheets much like now.  
Thursday night, it took me an extra forty-five minutes to get home.
I tried to complain about how hard it was to get home for me.
As Roger stood in front of me soaked, I tried to say my way home was super worse.

He had run some errands before our impending trip.  
He had to get cat food in the rain.
He had to visit the renters and the leaky house in the rain.
He had to get gas in the rain.
Fine, he had a harder time getting home.  
Yes dear, you were right.  I was wrong.

Driving in this weather always makes me a little anxious.  Especially on similar or the same roads.
I look to see if anyone is coming across the median.
If water is coming away from their tires (like I can actually see that...).
If anyone gets too close to my car.
If anyone looks like they are about to hydroplane.  
And I just cannot help think about the similarities.  

Second punch:
While driving in this rain, I needed to follow up with my doctor.
General check up on my arm, my bruises, my mental health, appetite, sleeping, etc.
As I sat in the exam room, I thought about the first visit I came there.
It was about a month from the wedding.
Roger and I made a deal before the wedding.
I would get a tetanus shot and he would get a flu shot.
I remember telling my doctor about that.
In that same room.  
Telling him about our upcoming wedding and honeymoon.  
I was so excited.
About the wedding/honeymoon.  Not the tetanus shot.
But a deal is a deal.  

My arm looks great per my doctor.  
The streak coming away from the scar is the nerves healing.
My bruises will always have those weird bumps aka scar tissue in them.
He gave me some photography equipment advice since he also has this hobby.  

Then I talked to him about my upcoming trip in December to Africa.  
And as I was reviewing the CDC recommendations with him, I read an interesting line that stung a bit like a bee.
And made me gasp.
"Car crashes are a leading cause of injury among travelers. Protect yourself from these injuries..."
Yeah, car crashes are not my best friend.  
So I may not die from malaria, hepatitis A, or typhoid but a car crash.  
Is there a vaccine against car crashes?  
Because that is the one I want.
For me and for everyone I know.  

For some reason, I always cry around my doctor.
I guess it is a sign that I feel comfortable and safe there.
He is such a caring doctor and he just lets me talk.


The Engagement Story Video

I previously mentioned my speech professor wanted me to record the engagement story for her to use in the future.
Well, here it is.
At least I didn't cry...

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Decision Making

I am not indecisive. 
Quite the opposite actually.
But to the person sitting across from me at a restaurant or waiting for me to reply to the dreaded question "What do you want to do today?", it can seem like that is the case.
I, however, think I have issues deciding between an infinite number of possibilities.
If I have a list of choices, I can do it. 
"Do you want Thai, Indian, or Italian for dinner?"
I can make a choice.
But if the question is "What do you want for dinner?"
I have a hard time deciding.    

Well, at least that is how I used to be.
Now, and I know I am not alone, I have a hard time making decisions.
I just get so exhausted by it.
I get to/have to make all the decisions about my life now, about Roger's life, about this house, about the rental house, about what project to do, about what project not to do....
And not that I am not an independent person, but I get tired.

Decision making has improved over the last few months but I still find myself staring at things not knowing which thing to buy, which way to turn, or which direction I want to go.  

I miss having that second opinion.
I miss having shared responsibility.
Or just someone to discuss things with.
Even if I did not take his advice.  

I remember when Roger first died, I could not even decide what to eat.
I was not really hungry.
I did not want anything.
I did not crave anything.
A dear friend of mine would decide for me.
It was nice.
"What am I having for lunch today?"
"You are having a peanut butter and honey sandwich today. You like those."

I was finally accepting that I had a team mate.
A partner.
A person I could depend on 100% of the time.
But now, I am back to just me.
Standing up for myself.
Fighting for what I want.
But I am tired.
I am exhausted.

And some days, I just want someone to tell me what to do.
Even if I know I will rebel.

Monday, May 18, 2009

I <3 Scoobie

A few months ago, my wedding photographer turned friends, Scoobie and his wife Lisa, asked what they could do for me. At first, I could not think of anything.
What did I need?  
But finally, I found something.  A small thing.
I decided that I wanted to do some professional pictures that were of just me.
Me alone.
Me alone and not wedding related.  
Not to mention, I feel different.
I feel like I look better than before.
I look more like me.  
The vision of me.
The me I have in my head.  

So two weeks ago, he did these photos.
At one of my favorite Orlando locations, Casa Feliz.  
And I love them.
He did an amazing job as always.

A good photograph just boosts my confidence so much.  
Makes me feel less defeated.
More determined to make it through.
A boost that I can do it.
I have done it.
And I will continue to do it.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Grey's Anatomy

I really do like this show.
After working indirectly with the healthcare industry for eleven years, I like watching and seeing the hospital environment.
But seriously, I think there should be a warning to widows about each episode.
Like a the MPAA system for movies.  

The season finale should have been a X-rated.
I knew it was going to be sad.
They have been working up to it all season.
And I have pretty much cried through this entire season with different characters and story lines.  
Thursday's was probably the worst (besides the first one of the season which I may have wrote about).  
Complete sobbing with almost an inability to stop.

Yes, the story was sad.
But the "moral" of the story was what got me.
The main character, Meredith, talked about how people have to tell their loved ones how much they are loved.  Make a plan.
Before it is too late.
Before it is too fucking late.

I still cannot get over how I did not tell Roger that morning.
He stood there expressing his love to me.
Telling me how he was doing all this stuff for me.
And all I did was smile.  
I stood there and smiled!!
Yes, I know I know - "Oh, Roger knew how you felt."
Blah blah blah.
But it does not change the fact I did not tell him that morning.
THAT morning.  Of all mornings.
When he could still hear me.
When he could still understand me.
And do not give me the "Oh, he could hear you while he was in the coma."
Actually no, he couldn't.
That part of his brain was so far gone.  
So no, he did not hear me or understand me.  
If I talked to him, it was for me.  

I will continue to watch this show.
Even without the widow warning system.
Even if it makes me cry.
Even if it hurts a little.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Indian Tracker Ears

I am not Hispanic.
It was ironic that Roger looked like a white guy and I looked like a Latina.
Even the police report from the accident said he was a white male and I was a Hispanic female.
But I am actually Cherokee Indian and a mix of 100 other different things which is why I look Hispanic.

When Roger and I dated and before we bought the new house, we watched TV together on the sofa with Roger on my left.  
We ate together there too.
And we always sat on our designated side of the couch.
Habit I guess.
But I never heard him chew.
Or at least I did not remember it.

Five months after we were engaged, we moved into the new house.
And for some unknown reasons, we switched positions on the sofa.  
I am not sure why.
I do not even really remember being conscious of the switch.
I did not even notice it until after Roger died when replaying some random memories in my head.  

And with these new positions, I noticed something.
Something super annoying.
Roger chewed his food really loud.
Like to the point where I would move to the love seat when he was eating.
And he could wake me up if I was taking a nap on the couch and he was eating.
Man, it was loud.

Roger blamed it on my heritage.
He said I had Indian tracker ears.
Indians used their hearing for hunting and I used mine to hear Roger chewing.

But what did I blame it on at the time.
Teasingly of course.
I blamed it on a trick.
Roger tricked me.
He got me to fall in love with him.
Got me to propose to him.
And then he started chewing louder.
And I would not leave him because he was a loud chewer.  
I was trapped.

Honestly, I think it was probably the result of switch of sitting positions and not my genetics.
I hear a little better out of one ear than the other.  
And probably the result of some of Roger's dental work made his chewing louder.
But my hearing probably is better than most.

I would give anything to hear him chew again.
To be annoyed by him.
To be trapped by him.

New Beginnings

Yesterday was transfer orientation at the University of Central Florida.
And guess who almost had a meltdown? Me...

I have been struggling with getting my diploma for ten years. 
Ten very long years.
I moved to Florida in 1999 with the intent of going to to UCF then.  
And due to be extremely poor and not qualifying for enough loans, I had to postpone my education.
I felt depleted.
I felt like I had not broken the cycle of my family not finishing school.
I was disappointed in myself.  
I failed myself.

Although afterwards, over the last ten years, I have gone to school off and on, I still never dealt with the disappointment.  
I have beat myself up.
I tried to prove myself as a worthy person in other ways.
I tried to look at how successful I am in other measures.

I try not to regret my decisions in my life.
I was lucky that still had the ability to land a great job.
I still met other life goals.
I still bought a great house.
I still got married.
I still was a good person. 

Roger knew my feelings on this.
He knew my internal struggle.
How I always met my goals in life, except this one thing.
One piece of paper that I want.
I know I am doing the right thing by going back to school now.
I know Roger would be proud that I am using this tragedy/time/money to go back to school.

At orientation, the welcome speaker talked to us yesterday morning about how this was a new beginning.
This was a new life.
A new chapter.
I felt the tears welling up.  
They did not fall.
A room full of 500 people would with one crying would not have been a pretty sight.
And there was no way I wanted to explain.

But I keep thinking, this is all because he died.
If he had not have left me, this would not be occurring right now.  
Maybe in the future, but not now.
I would still be taking one or two classes a semester, working at a job I hated, and getting a degree just for the sake of getting a degree.
I know my degree and my graduation will mean so much more to me than most people.
I know I have gone through hell to get here.  

I do feel excited.
I truly do.
I keep thinking about the card he gave me a few years ago talking about how he would take care of me.
Consciously or unconsciously, by dying he has taken care of me.
He has made it possible for me to finish school, to leave a job, and achieve a passion I love.  

Even in his death, he is fixing me.
He is giving me a new beginning.
A second chance at life.  

Thursday, May 14, 2009

His Handwriting

Roger and I kept a dry ease board on our fridge.
Two actually.
One for grocery store items and household items we needed to buy.
The other for tasks/chores that needed to be done.
And yes, most of the time it was me writing on these boards.
I like to keep lists.
Roger used to make fun of all my lists. 
He did contribute though.
He put stuff on both boards.

One of the items on the board is to paint the bonus room door we had installed.
The door is primed.
But it needs a coat of white satin paint.
I wrote it on the list.
Roger argued it was my task since he painted the first coat.
I argued it was his since he started the task.
And the word "argue" here means teased.
We teased each other a lot.  And the dry erase boards were a huge source of teasing and silliness.
After I wrote it on the list, a few days later I noticed Roger had put something else next to it.
He wrote my name in parenthesis.  
It is still there.
And the door still is not painted.

I would also put funny tasks on the list.
Like "Have sex with Star."
"Fall in love with Star."
"Hug Star"
The list goes on.
It was fun.
It was interesting to see how the list would change from day to day.  
And how things got marked off.

I also found a list of grocery items in the inbox in the office.
It is written on an excel sheet Roger made.  He loved excel.
He had printed out the measurements of all the windows in the house.
Roger must have copied the grocery list on the fridge onto these sheet.  

I have notebooks from when he took notes at work.
He was so cute with how organized he was.
Everyday he wrote.
The meetings he went to.
The things he did or needed to do.
Lots of things I will probably never understand.
But I still love looking at them.
Touching them.

I treasure these things.
Even though it is far from neat.
Some I can barely read, but I love it.
I can't imagine what I will even do with them.

Seeing his handwriting reminds me he was real.
He was here.
He did regular normal things.
He was human (despite his resistance to be considered a normal average human being).  
He was silly.
He was organized.
He was responsible.

Oh man, I really loved him.
And I miss doing these silly normal daily things with him.
I miss my husband.
My partner.


Coping Mechanisms

At my previous counseling session, my counselor asked me to make an inventory of all the coping mechanisms I have learned.  
At first, I did not think I had many.  
But over the last few days, I came up with a list.

1. Being in the moment.  When I start to thinking "what if" or I start finding myself re-living a sad or intense emotion, I have to bring myself back into the moment. 
I keep myself thinking about just today.  
Not yesterday.  Not tomorrow.  But just today.  

2.  Mindfulness.  It is something Roger tried to get me to try for three years.  And for three years I resisted.  
I am not sure why.  Stubbornness maybe.  
But I just concentrate on the one thing I can control - breathing.  
I concentrate on the things I can feel on my skin, the things I can hear, the things I can smell.  
Then I describe them in my head (sometimes out loud when I am alone) like I am describing them to someone else.  

3.  Venting with someone.  It has to be someone who is non-judgmental.  
I still have crazy thoughts.  Like "Why the hell did you leave me?"  
Roger knew all my issues with abandonment.  Which is probably why he showed me the support system I have before he died but still.

4.  Taking a walk/jog.  Endorphins have an amazing way of making me feel better.
Or maybe it is the fresh air.  
Or making it is a good place to do #2.  
The crazy thing, like most people and exercise, sometimes I do not want to even do it.  
Even though, I know I will feel better.

5.  A hot shower.
I know a bath should be the same effect but it does not help me most of the time.  I end up more stressed or sad because I can think too much.  In a shower, I am at least able to do some breathing, crying, or just concentrate on the water.

6.  Run cold water over my hands.
I have known this trick for a while.  It actually calms me very quickly.  
I use it when I am out and need a quick solution.  

7.  Feeling pretty.
I find that if I dress up and/or do my makeup, I look good and then feel good.  
And I seem to get male attention.  And even in small doses, it seems to make me feel better.  

8.  Planning fun activities. 
I have to give myself fun things to look forward to.  And it can be simple.
Like dinner with friends.  A new activity.  Happy Hour.  Just something.  Something to distract me.  

9.  Getting touched.
I now have a membership to a massage place.  It is awesome.  I ask for a male therapist and practice more of #2.  
I love the physical contact.  
And it is very necessary.  It also is just good to get the muscles stretched.  

10.  Hobbies.
I took up photography and writing.  This writing really helps get my thoughts out.  I enjoy it.  But it is also therapeutic in knowing I am creating something positive for myself and others.  The photography hobby gives me the ability to create pretty things.  And again, I enjoy the positive feedback.  

I have to have this list as August approaches.
It almost feels like August is a freight train I can hear coming.  
I try not to focus on it.
I try to ignore the sound of the oncoming train but I feel like its just around the bend.
And its scary.  So I am trying to brace myself.  
Will the train miss me?
Or will it knock me over?  

Only time will tell.
But at least in the mean time, I have some armor.  

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

"There is only one reason for those signs...

... and for that I am very sorry."

On Monday, the highway memorial marker (aka "Drive Safely" sign) that I wrote about previously was placed.
I am glad it is there.
I really am.
Despite how much it hurts to look at it, I am glad it is there.

Today I went to visit the sign.
I wanted to see it.
I wanted to touch it.
I had to see it.
I had to touch it.
I had to make sure it was real.
I needed more physical evidence that it really happened.
It all really happened.
That I am not dreaming.

I saw it very briefly Monday afternoon but I could not stop due to traffic.
So I went today after school.
Of course, I could not see it at first so I just parked the car on the side of the highway where I kind of thought I saw it yesterday.
Probably about half a mile from the actual accident scene.
A highway patrol officer saw my car and saw me walking so he pulled over to talk to me.
He asked if my car was broken down.
"Hi. No, I am just trying to find my husband's sign. They placed it yesterday."
(And I completely forgot to refer to him as "sir.")
"What sign?"
"The 'Drive Safely' sign."
"Oh. (pause) There is only one reason for those signs and for that I am very sorry."
He told me to be careful as I looked for it and drove off.

As he pulled back onto the highway, I could tell exactly where it was.
I saw his brake lights come on as he passed it.
Then I saw it.
I ran toward it. I had to get there fast.
I wanted to run my hands over his name.

And I did.
And then I just stood there.
Tears started to fall.
"Fuck you! Fuck you for leaving me. How dare you die."
Man, I miss him so much.

I have driven passed this spot many times since August.
I always look as I pass.
But I had not been standing there at that spot since August when they drove me away in an ambulance.
It was weird to be there.

I started flashing back.
I could see the our car.
I could remember the ground.
The sandy ground.
I could see the green exit sign.
I could see the other jerk/bastard/asshole.
I could see the lack of barriers coming from the opposite direction.
I could feel the glass in my mouth.
Yep, this was the spot.

It is the spot where everything changed.
And now there is a "X" to mark it.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Love Letter from Roger

One of the things I am super grateful for is a hand written love letter from Roger.
It was written in February 2007, a whole year before we were married.
We both wrote one to each other during our pre-cana (Catholic pre-marital counseling program) and it was to be read on our six month wedding anniversary, August 23, 2008 - the day after the accident.

Fortunately, I forgot them at home before we left for the airport that morning.
My original plan was for us to read them on Saturday at our hotel and go to a somewhat nice dinner (we would be in a very rural part of Virginia so our choices would be limited).
But when we got to the driveway that morning and we were already running a few minutes behind my self imposed schedule, I realized the letters were still in our safe.
Roger had put them there to keep me from being tempted to read them.  
I had the keys and all but it was a bit of a hassle.  
And I would probably get caught.  
And I never did read them until that Saturday at the hospital, not the nice bed and breakfast we were booked to be at.

So that morning standing in the driveway, I decided we would just read them upon returning on Monday.  
I would make his favorite meal or something and we would do something nice at home together.  
I am so grateful I left them at home.
They would have been ruined in the crash after the top was taken off the car in the rain.

I have not let very many people read this letter.
I did read it the first time next to Roger's hospital bed.
And I read my letter to him.
I now keep them both next to my bed.  
I read his to me every once in a while.

I want to share it now.
I want others to see how truly lucky I was.
How loved I was.
I will explain some inside jokes in brackets, bold, and italics.

"Dear Star, 
Today it brings me great joy in my heart for you to be reading this letter.  I know this means our relationship can only be getting stronger.  I know we have "deep discussions" [what Roger called our arguments] often which scares you [I hate fighting/conflict].  Now that you are reading this, you can see it was done all in love.  Understanding how you think & how you feel has only strengthened my love for you. 
These past years together (1.5 at time of writing, yes that was plural years)(and now another 1.5 years since writing this letter) have been the most wonderful of any. [I gave Roger a hard time in the beginning of our relationship because he always said we were together for years even when it was under a year.] I could not see myself living with and being with anybody else.  You often mentioned that I did not talk about you as I had other people.  I know this scared you.  I just want you to know that the feeling of complete comfort I had with you when we met, and will always have, was simply enough for me to know I was on the right path.  
It was a simpler yet the same message as that of Qi flowing through my body after communion.  There was no need to interpret the feelings.  There was no need to talk & process it out loud.  I just know you were my eternal love.   

I know our honeymoon was fabulous. And we should be on our way to buying that new larger home soon.  [We had not bought the new "our" house at this point.] My love in you can only grow exponentially stronger than the compound interest we have in our accounts.  

If you still haven't gotten the point of this letter (and look it's not electronic) [We emailed, texted, and IM-ed a lot!], quite simply I have one feeling for you.

I love you, 

On the next page he wrote:

"I love you, I love you, I love you [repeated eleven times]
love, love, love [repeated twenty-one times]
Did I mention the I love you part?
The I Do part.  No, this was not sarcasm Perhaps a small tribute to the summer school movie. I love you, you, you, you, and only you." [I really do not understand this part except that I always gave him a hard time about always being sarcastic with me]

It makes me cry every time.
His letter to me as seen was very sweet.
Very kind.
Very loving.  

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Signing My Name

When I first started this blog, I never dreamed I would be talking about grief with the title.
I was just in shock I was married.  
I was in shock that my name was so different.
It felt like an end of an era.
And it was of course.
It was a new chapter.
Albeit a very short chapter but... 

I remember when I first got my driver's license.
It was the first time a stranger had mispronounced my new name.  
The guy passing out the freshly printed driver's licenses was the first one to butcher my new Cuban last name.
I smiled.

I had a great new picture so I rushed home to show Roger.
"Look dear, my new license."
Roger had a weird look on his face.
"What's wrong?"
"You signed your new last name wrong."
"No I didn't!"
"Yes, you did.  You only put the first three letters."
"Hmm, well, yeah but that is what I did before too."
"But that's not right."
"Hmm, you don't sign the whole thing either.  You just do a squiggly line."
"It is still all there.  You just can't read it.  You completely left off the rest of it."
"Yes dear.  Whatever you say, dear."

I did modify my name a bit.  
I added a slight squiggle.  
Not much.
Just enough to quiet my husband.

It will be strange when I marry again.
At some point way in the future.
I am not sure what I will do with my name.
Will I change it again?
Will I have to learn to sign a new name?
Will it be as emotional as last time?  
I am betting it will actually.
I kind of have an idea of what I will do but we shall see... 

A name is just a name anyway, right?
I will always be Roger's wife.

Stupid Aquarium

Taken Summer 07. Roger always sat in the back with his mom and I sat in the front with his sister.  He looked so hot in this picture.  

Sitting next to the aquarium. This proves to me how much weight I have truly lost.  

I am still in Miami.
And it has been a truly relaxing weekend and just time away from everything.
I have been doing a lot of reading, surfing the internet, and just true nothingness. 
I love it.
It was more needed than I realized.  It is amazing how being around family helps me.  
I am lucky to have married into this family.

Tonight, I went to dinner with some aunts, uncles, cousins, my mother-in-law, and sister-in-law.
I have been craving Thai food for about a month or so now.  
Maybe longer.
So we decide to go to this place I have been to before.
They have a little bit of Japanese and Thai.  
I was excited.
I was finally getting Thai food.

The last time we ate here was two years ago.
With Roger.
Of course. (pictures above)
I was fine outside the restaurant.
I was not having any issues.
And I was not expecting what happened next.  
Funny how grief works.

But we sat down.
I looked over to my right and I could see the table we sat at last time.
The beautiful aquarium with the coy fish.
I could see all of us laughing.
Having a good time.  
I could see us together.
I could see what he ordered.
I remembered him enjoying his food.

The more I looked at the aquarium, the more I was falling apart.
Fuck.  Not now.
I started fighting off tears.
I had to leave the table.
Tears started to stream down my face.
I had to go to the bathroom just to breathe.
Breathe in. Breathe out.  Breathe in.  Breathe out.
I ran my hands under the cold water for a few minutes.
I dampened a paper towel and patted down my face.
"I can do this.  I am going to walk back out there.  And not look at the aquarium."

The rest of the dinner was fine.
But I could not help but remember how much he liked Thai.
Honestly, I kind of forgot until we were there.

At the end of the meal, the owner brought us Thai donuts.
One of Roger's favorites.
Deep breaths.  
Deep deep breaths.  
Roger just loved these things.

Damn it!

Friday, May 8, 2009

2008 or 2009

I have mentioned before my confusion with time.
It has not got much better.
Time is still my biggest hurdle.

I can calculate in mere seconds how many months things have been if they happened after the accident.  
Last night someone mentioned how something occurred in October and then followed it with "that was eight months ago."
Since I am polite, I did not correct them but in my head I thought: "Hmm, nope. Eight months ago was August/early September."
And why can I do this math so fast, it all relates to when Roger died.  
I pretty much always know how many months ago that was.
And I can calculate pretty much anytime in between now and then in record time.  
It is a strange widow talent I think.

But then...
There is calculating things that happened before the accident.
I am almost always a year off.
In my head, it is still 2008.
"How long have you been back in Orlando?"
"Three years... oops, no, four years."
"How long have you been out of high school?"
"Ten years... no wait, eleven years."
I just cannot seem to remember that it is 2009.
Much less that it is half way through 2009.
It will be "interesting" to see what happens to me when it is 2010.  
And even weirder when it is 2018.  
But I cannot get too ahead of myself.
I must live in this moment and year.

The crazier thing is how 2011 (when I will graduate now) is only two years away.
Because in my head, I am still in 2008.
Which would been three years, not two.  
It just seems so far away to me.  
Of course, I also know how much can change in a matter of seconds.
And like some of the other widows in this "club", I do not want to make too many plans for the future.  
I know how quickly the "future" can change.  
How quickly the "future" can disappear.  

I cannot seem to either accept or realize the year has changed.
I am not sure which.  
I remember New Years Eve being the worst holiday of the season.  
I guess time will be an issue for me for a while.  


I still have quite a few wedding pictures up at my house.
I love them.
They are so beautiful.
And it was a wonderful day in my life.
One of the best days of my life.

I have also taken quite a few down.
And I have started replacing some of the candid shots of us I had all over the house with new photos of friends and family.
The memory boards in the kitchen actually have no pictures of Roger.
The kitchen is a Roger-free zone.  
Which I think is a good thing.
I think...

I do have two wedding pictures in the niche right before my bedroom.
One is of Roger and I dancing during one of the few slow dances we played.
Maybe even the last, I cannot remember sadly.
The other is me in my dress at the altar after the ceremony.
I love this picture especially since our wedding was during lent.
There was a huge veil over the resurrection scene on the wall.
And the way I was standing in front of it, that veil looks like it continues down my back and blends with my actual veil.

I do not exactly see these pictures.
Yes they are there.
But I do not look at them.
I look mostly through them.
Or not in that direction just knowing they exist.  

But when I do, I have noticed something.
I do not feel like it is me in the pictures.
I feel so detached from them.
I feel like I am looking at someone else's beautiful wedding.  
Not mine.

It almost feels like the whole thing was a dream.
Like I was never married.
Which makes me sad.   
Perhaps it is some sort of coping mechanism?  
Perhaps by removing myself it hurts less?  


I feel wobbly

Today, I woke up and was getting ready to fly to New York City.
But somehow, tonight I am going to sleep in Miami.
Not exactly my plan for the day.
I even got to surprise my mother-in-law.
My only excuse for this huge change in plans is I am a widow.  
I can control very little.
Including my emotions.
Including what city I wake up in.

It started last night.
Or maybe it started on the way back from Seattle.
I am not sure.
I just started feeling out of sorts.
I read John Grogan's memoir on the way back from Seattle and it just hit home a lot.
I was bawling on the plane as the author talked about his own struggle with taking his father off life support.  I had no idea the book was going to end that way.
Thankfully the middle seat next to me was empty and the guy in the aisle was paying little attention to me.
Or at least he pretended not to see me.  
For which I am grateful.

Yesterday, I could not get myself in the mood to pack for or get ready to go to New York.
I had no energy.  No motivation.
I was feeling pretty low so I bought a cupcake as my dinner from a local bakery to see if that would make me feel better.
It just made me feel fat and have a sugar overload.  

And then there was some stress.
It was silly.
Normal people would not have been stressed about it.
I would not even been stressed out about it a year ago.
It was all about getting into my friend's apartment in New York.
She could leave the apartment key under the mat but I would still have to wait for someone to come out to open the building.
Or I could come to her office which I did not know where it was, pick up the key, and then figure out how to get back to her apartment with my luggage.
Or I could find something else to do for three to four hours with my luggage in tow while she was at work.
I could not seem to make a decision.
None of the options seemed to work for me.
I was getting completely stressed out.
I was feeling sick with stress.  
"Ok, going on an exciting trip like this is not suppose to be stressful. Especially for something this silly."
So I decided not to go.
In somewhat of a haste but I immediately felt less stressed.  

But my bags were packed.
I had only been about forty minutes from leaving my house for the airport.
And I hate unpacking.
So about twenty minutes later, I decided to head to Miami.
After last week, I wanted to see Matthew.
I felt like I would feel better and less stressed if I saw sweet Matthew.
I also was feeling a bit guilty about not seeing my mother-in-law for her first mother's day without Roger.

As I was getting ready to leave for Miami, I noticed something else was different.
Something simple and silly.
The guy who mows my yard had asked me during the week what to do about some bushes that were dying in my backyard.
Stupid bushes.
Stupid stupid bushes.
Roger planted them last summer after relocating them from the front yard.
They never really took.
I think he took too long to replant them.  Damn him.
They have been dying for the last eight months.
Slowly but surely turning brown.  Damn them.
"Just pull them up. I do not think they are going to make it."
Which if I am honest with myself, they never really looked like they were going to make it.
Even right after Roger planted them.
As I looked into my backyard this morning, I noticed they were gone.
The landscaper did what I asked him.
It is not like he did it without my permission.
Damn it, it was even my idea.
But I started to cry.
The bushes were gone.

They were just bushes.
They were dead bushes.
But it is just another thing that disproves Roger's existence.
They are gone.  Just like him.

So today I feel more wobbly.
Like one big wind and I will fall over.
One big push and I will fall apart.

Seeing Matthew for the first time and holding him for a good two hours did help.
And I felt like I was in the right place being here with my family.  I feel like I need them and maybe they need me.
But I still feel like I am going through another cycle of grief.
One of many.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

"Real Life"

A while back I found myself starting to say this: "in my real life.."
Usually in response to something I do not "normally" do.
Or someone I would not "normally" hang out with.
Like "In my real life, I would not run a 5K but..."
And I was having lunch with a friend today where I found myself saying it again.

For me, it almost feels like this "situation" is not my real life.
It can't be, right?
I mean, in my real life I am married.
In my real life, I would never run a 5K.
In my real life, I would not date a 22 year old boy.  

But I have to keep reminding myself, this is my real life.
This is what I have now.
It reminds me of being dealt a whole new set of cards like in poker.  
I have played out my old set of cards.  This is a new round.
Those old cards no longer exist.  
So I must play these new set of cards versus thinking my old set will come back.  

But it is so hard.  
This feels still so much like a dream.
Like I am going to wake up to my "real life."
I am in a pretend world for now but real life is waiting.  
Like I am enjoying this for now but Roger is somewhere else.

Unfortunately, this is real life.
This is the real deal.
The mistakes I make now are real.
The good things that happen are real.
Not fake.
Not pretend.

This is it, Star.
This is real.
This is your life.

Traveling. Alone.

Years ago, I had a job where I traveled Monday through Thursday every week.
It was fun at first.  I was twenty-two so of course it was fun.
I met a lot of great people through the two years but it was tiring and exhausting.
I got to live part-time in several cities all over.
However, it took some of the joy I get from traveling.
Some of the joy but not all.
I do not think anything can take the complete joy I feel from traveling.
It is a very strong love.

I still traveled for fun then, before then, and since then quite a bit.  
And I love traveling when it is not for work.
Love. It.
I get this high from going to the airport.
From getting into my own flying routine.
From parking the car, wearing specific type of shoes, having my carry on with specific items, listening to my iPod, reading good books, and even getting my specific complimentary beverage without ice.  

Then of course, once I am there, I love exploring a new city, meeting new people, and eating new food.
I love walking down old streets, new streets, local streets, and even some touristy streets.
And I do not mind doing it alone.  I almost prefer it.  It just depends on the person traveling with me.
I have traveled quite a bit alone such as Sydney, Paris, London (for the first few days), San Diego, and now I can add Seattle.  

Last summer/fall, after the accident, my friend Carma invited me to her new city of Seattle.
I had never been to the Northwest. 
I had always wanted to visit it.

I met Carma during the wedding planning process.  
She was my contact person for my caterer for the wedding.
She is awesome.
And we clicked so well.
We would talk about catering for about fifteen minutes but everything else for about two hours.
Roger liked her a lot too.
Even after the wedding, I stayed in contact with her.

So this past Friday, I boarded a plane to go see her and her Seattle.
I realized as I was boarding, how I really did not know her very well.
But I was excited.
I was traveling again.
For fun.
And as an added bonus, I was excited to get to know Carma better.

And like a few weeks ago with the camping experience, I felt a bit of a pang not to have Roger with me.
Not really loneliness but just "man, I wish he was here too."

When I traveled for work, I loved to people watch.
To watch the families.
The couples.
The people seeing each other for the first time in a while.  
The people dropping off passengers.
The businessmen.
Not much has changed since then.

Except for me.
I am different.
But... I can honestly say, I am falling in love again with traveling.
And I know it is an expensive habit/hobby.
However, I love the feeling of not exactly knowing where I am going.
Of seeing a new trees, new flowers, and new stores.
Of seeing different people, different food, and different friends.

Next up, going to NYC to visit friends this weekend.
And I cannot wait.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

"One Sweet Day"

A few weeks ago, I finally took Roger's iPod and turned it into my own.
In that process, I discovered he had some interesting music choices on it including that good ol' Boyz II Men music that I have not heard in years.  Maybe even close to a decade.
Like "On Bended Knee", "End of the Road", and "One Sweet Day".
I remember dancing around in my yard back in my hometown listening to these songs on my discman.  
And I remember singing the song "One Sweet Day" at the top of my lungs like I knew death and I understood death of a lover.
Boy, was I wrong.
Boy, was I ever wrong.

Back then, I thought the song was sweet.
I thought it was sad.
The chorus talked about how a lover was going to patiently wait in heaven for the other.
And today on my five hour plane ride from Seattle, this song popped up on my iPod during shuffle mode.  
And I did not change it for the reason that the song is sad.
Yes, the song is sad but that is not the only reason I forwarded to the next song.

I took vows with Roger.
In a church and to God.
I took vows to be married until "death do you part".
Well, Roger is dead.  He parted me.
And legally I am no longer married.
In the church's eyes even, I am not married.
We fulfilled our vows no matter how short our marriage ended up being.  

And honestly, (this is the part where I am sure people will want to argue with me) I do not believe we see our loved ones in heaven.
I just do not think this is even feasible or real.
This is something that said and is suppose to comfort those left behind.  
I do believe we feel and "see" them while we are still living but not after we die.
Which does make me sad but...

And I definitely do not believe I will see Roger in heaven as my husband.
What if I am married again?  Who would be my husband in heaven?  
Both of them?  Like one big happy family?  
No.  And from the vows, I believe someone else thinks the same way.  
Death parts marriage.  The end.

I do not believe heaven is not anything humans can even comprehend.  
But someone needs to give us something to aim for.  Something to try to understand.
I think heaven will be more reflective of my life.
Heaven will be peaceful.
Heaven will be answers.
I cannot even think of it as pearly gates or gold streets.
Why would I need these things in my after life?  

So this song "One Sweet Day" was making me angry.
I just wanted to scream "Get real!"
So I forwarded it to the next song.  
Why would someone wait in heaven for someone else?
The "departed" would be enjoying their heaven.
Maybe they would visit their living counterparts but besides that no.  
No reunions in heaven in my book.
No one greeting me when I get there.  

Now, this is just my belief.
And my thoughts.
And my opinions.
And the thing about opinions, everyone's got one or many.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Grief Bubbles Up

Grief is an amazing and crazy emotion and process.
If I try to suppress it, it will eventually bubble back up.
It will not just go away.
It usually comes when I least expect it.
And usually when it ways I least expect.

Last weekend when I heard the news about Ethan, I barely cried.  
And then when I found out he passed away, again I barely cried.  
I was sad for sure.
I was angry for sure.
But the tears were not flowing.

And I had to get through this week.
I had finals this week.
I had my first set of teaching exams.
I could not let myself fall apart this week.
Not this week.

So I pushed through.
I suppressed most of my feelings.  
And yes, I got through it.  

Until yesterday.
After most of my hard exams were over.
It started when I actually talked to my cousin, Eddy, the father of Ethan.  
They are having the memorial service this weekend and due to already made plans, I could not go.
And honestly, I do not know if I could make it through a funeral.  
I have been dreading the next funeral I need to go to and I am just not ready to face that yet.
And sadly, I can barely even remember Roger's.  
I can barely remember who was even at Roger's.  
But I felt horrible for not going.  

Talking to Eddy was just hard on so many levels.  
We all just went through this type of pain.
Eddy was Roger's best man and was close with Roger.  
My heart breaks for both his wife and him.  
And our entire family.

The tears came back again last night.  
I needed to get my things ready to go away for the weekend.  
I went into the guest room to get my carry on bag.  
I guess I have not used it in a while.
Immediately, chills ran down my back.
The resort tag from our honeymoon was still on my bag.  
Along with the claim tags stuck in the front pocket.
It was such an awesome trip.  We had an amazing time together.
Why are there always a million different reminders?

Later, I needed to get my suitcase from the bonus room.
Roger's ashes are still at my house, in the bonus room.
Rarely, do they freak me out.
They are just ashes.
They are not Roger.
But as I climbed the stairs, I just dreaded opening the door.
It was night time.  It was dark in the house.  
Then as I opened the closet to get my suitcase, I saw Roger's sitting next to mine.
Our matching suitcases.
I bought his as a gift for some holiday after he liked mine when we traveled together.
We were not a matchy matchy couple and I got the same color more as a joke than to match.

His suitcase was damaged when we were in the accident.  Not sure how or why. 
But it is still usable. 
Not sure when I will ever use it exactly but I cannot get rid of it.
Not yet.  

I went back to my room to finish packing and just broke down.
I miss him so much.
I hate that I lost him when we had so much more to do together.  

So after a week of not letting myself grieve.
Of keeping myself together.
Of keeping the tears inside.
It all bubbled out.