This week marks 365 Days without Josh and everyone wants to know,
‘Are you okay?’
If you were to ask, I'd lie.
I might even tell some joke about dead husbands.
I heard a great one about ‘ghosting’ being festive in October…..
But the truth is, I’m not.
I’m far from ‘fine’.
If I’m being honest, I’ve been struggling to find the words for what I’ve been feeling. Mostly, because I don’t fully understand how I’m feeling.
Instead, I break down or lash out. My emotions are irrational and instantaneous. I laugh at the things I shouldn’t laugh at, I cry at the things I should laugh at.
I’ve come to realize, that I have too much anger. Anger for things I can’t change and anger for choices I didn’t make.
This past week I was reminded of 3 things
A year after his death and I’m still paying for a choice I didn’t have a say in.
A year later and I’m still struggling to live a ‘normal’ life.
An entire year later, and I’m still the one who has to hold a three year old boy while he cries that daddy won’t come back from the sky to play football.
Can You Run from a Season?
Fall was my favourite season; when the leaves start to change colour I’d pull out all my boots and scarves. My skeleton dresses and leggings were all the sudden perfect attire.
AND THE PUMPKINS!!
(I’m not just a basic white girl , pumpkin is great in lattes but Pumpkin Risotto Is too die for.)
The makeup, the costumes, halloween….
I loved it. I loved everything about fall...
One week or two ago,
the leaves changed colour
the cascading foliage
seemed to impale me.
I couldn’t breathe, I think I forgot how. I couldn’t talk.
I started shaking; my heart felt close to exploding.
My vision blurred, my stomach felt like too many turns on the Strawberries….
I fell backwards onto the steps and then, like a movie, it played….
…. the weekend before, Josh and Luca were running around outside, ‘hunting’ for the biggest leaves, both returned beaming. Josh proudly displayed their treasures on the car’s visor… then it flashes to me as I rush through a pile of leaves, my heels crunching through as I made as on my way to say my last good bye …. the meltdown where I lost all composure as the wind caught the treasured leaves and the gust crumbles them….
When the flashback ended, I retreated back inside, where the tiny daggers couldn’t reach me.
Between sobs into my pillow, I wondered, is it possible to outrun autumn?
Countdown to Dooms Day
After the run-in with the foul-playing foliage, everyday seemed to taunt me,
it was like a count down to doomsday.
Every day another memory.
Everyday I questioned myself,
Was he really happy or was he just really good at faking it?
Did he actually love me?
Was it my fault?
Am I really that naive or self-centred?
How didn’t I see this coming?
Everyday I sat there and investigated every photo and comment that came with that memory looking for some sort of clue, anything.
I broke my own heart
because I’ll never really know those answers.
((I just know, someone out there will say, “Why don’t you just stop looking at the memories then?
You know what, Becky? Fuck you.
Sit your ass down and remember your manners.
If Facebook is saying I got 10 memories, you know I gotta look, I’m only human.))
Back to ‘18
This past week, it seems like someone plucked me out of 2019 and plopped me in the chaos that was October 2018.
All the work I had put into healing myself, vanished.
I was that fragile, shell of a woman again; wearing her dead fiancés clothes and forgetting to shower or even eat.
I was a ball of sadness, ready to erupt at any moment.
I told my mom I thought I had seasonal depression on top of my regular depression, I wasn’t kidding. My feelings are so close to the top, anything could and did set me off in a fit of tears.
Why was I crying? I don’t know!
I spent two days crying and sobbing.
Not the cute kind of crying you see in the movies,
it’s the heart breaking kind,
where your nose drips on your pillow as you try to silence your sobs during the night
and then it was
the kind where you hold both hands over your mouth the muffle the screams
while hiding in the half bath.
That kind of crying.
You Don’t Actually NEED Sleep Right?
After the tears, came the terror.
That reoccurring nightmare I had worked so hard with my therapist to vanquish,
was back with a vengeance.
It struck in the middle of the night and caught me by surprise.
As the days passed it only worsened;
I awoke in the middle of the night,
drenched in sweat
These past few days, I’ve barely slept. I just can’t.
I can hear My mom saying, ‘Just close your eyes’ and she’d laugh like I was ridiculous, like the time I told her I was too excited for vacation too sleep.
But I can’t
if I close my eyes,
I’ll see his.
As the 365th day draws near, I feel like I’m back at square one.
I’m fragile and raw; both sad and mad.
I’m haunted by terrors in the nights and stuck replaying scenes from the past.
But, I am alive.
Doesn't that count for something?