Taken 4 days before Jer died...
Wow, 6 months. That can't be right. Didn't I just see you? Kiss you? Didn't we just have lunch together as a family without a care in the world? No that can't be right either - an eternity has passed since then, an entire lifetime. Yesterday and forever, at the same time. Today I keep looking at the clock and reliving that day...counting down the minutes of when I learned of your death. At 5:20, I looked at the clock and realized that at that time 6 months ago, you were already dead and I didn't know it yet. I burst into tears.
I've gone back to read the letter I wrote you at the 2 week mark over and over again. Every word is fresh and still relevant to how I'm feeling now, 6 months after losing the best thing that ever happened to me. I still can't believe this is reality. There's just no getting it through my head. Who knew that forever could be such a painful word?
This day has been plaguing me for weeks now. Thankfully, the anticipation of reaching this milestone was worse than the actual day. But that's not to say it hasn't been difficult. And it came in such an untimely manner, combined with our son turning 3 months yesterday, all this craziness with the house, sickness sweeping our family, me throwing my back out, Mother's Day - I just can't handle much more. I've been able to find so much gratefulness in my heart lately for all the blessings in my life, but it doesn't overshadow how low I've felt these last few weeks - how empty my life feels without you - no matter how much I fill it with other things.
The last 6 months have been a blur. But I know you've missed so much. Or more accurately, I've missed so much. I've missed you here. I miss having someone to share life with. Not only do I mourn the loss of my husband, but also my best friend. There are so many things I have stored up to tell you that no one else would understand or appreciate the way you would.
I survived my first Mother's Day without you. I was going to write a post yesterday, but I didn't want to overshadow other people's joy and make them feel bad for celebrating. I'm just not up to celebrating anything anymore. But, motherhood is something that I'm struggling with so often these days. It's hard to celebrate when I don't feel like I'm doing a very good job. I love our babies, without a doubt. But I can't be everything they need. They miss you so much and there's just nothing I can do to fill in the gaping hole you left in our family. I know if you were still here, we would have celebrated with a lunch after church at a restaurant of my choosing and you would have let me nap the afternoon away while you watched the kids. And we'd all have family time together at home and you'd give me a massage before bed. That used to be 'my perfect day.' I just want to be able to give them the world, and I can barely get them dressed in the morning without unraveling. The title 'single mother of 3' is not something I ever wanted and still makes me sick to my stomach to say, but I know those 3 little miracles you left me with are my greatest honor in life. They are your legacy and I want to make you proud by raising them with every ounce of love I have left.
I've come to realize that there isn't one aspect of my life that hasn't been affected since you left. I thought I could keep some sense of normalcy, but I literally have to start from scratch. I feel like a completely different person than I was 6 months ago. And I don't like who I've become. Insecure. Selfish. Sad. Lonely. Purposeless. Tired. Cynical. Pessimistic. Careless. Most of these are not adjectives I was familiar with before. I feel different in my own skin, like I'm not really supposed to be in this skin - it's uncomfortable. Every thing that's happening in my life right now is a result of your death. Friends, work (or lack thereof), house, schedule, routine, travel...all of it.
I guess I just thought that it would start getting easier to breathe by now. But every day brings a new wave of grief, and new facet I never expected. The most frustrating and unexpected is how difficult I find it to concentrate. I can't retain information, I lose things, I forget things, I don't remember things people tell me. It's so hard to organize my brain...part of the reason I haven't been writing much lately. There's just too much going on all the time, so it's easier just to mentally check out for awhile.
I just really miss you. And no matter how many times I say it, it's never enough. I miss your smile, your humor, your ability to make me feel complete. I miss watching you play with our children, I miss watching them light up when you come home. I miss your advice and the way you kept me grounded. I miss your teasing and horribly inappropriate jokes. I miss your presence - I can literally feel the absence of body matter you took up, like something is off balance in the universe, atoms floating around looking for the space that you no longer fill. I miss your presence in the way that it brought me peace and made me feel safe. It's amazing how much of this I was unaware of until I lost you, how vital you were to my existence. I miss being your world, and I miss you being mine.
Everything just really sucks without you here. I'm trying to keep it together, but if it doesn't start getting easier soon, I don't know if I'll be able to keep this up. I still can't look into the future without wanting to crumble - this will be a very long road without you walking beside me. There are moments, even days, when I feel brave like I can get through this. I know I can. It's the wanting to that's harder to face.
I love you, babe. And I can still feel how much you love me and are taking care of us. Please stay close to us, guide me and help me find some purpose. I'm praying that the next 6 months will be easier than the last, but I fear it might be too much to ask for. Just know that I can't wait to be with you, so I'm holding on. I love you forever and always.