These past few days have been hellish. I’ve been stymied by my mood, and thoughts. I have an ongoing issue which I don’t speak often about but the time will come eventually to write about it. My closest friends know how dark my mind can get but it’s not something I think would be a good conversation breaker. I haven’t experienced these overwhelming thoughts in quite some time, and having my mind go to that awful place here when I’m so far from home has been difficult. Like bad. That feeling of treading water in a whirlpool kind of hopelessness. I want it to shake off of me and go away.
Today when I got home from work, I placed my keys on the bookcase where George and my wedding photo is and it fell down. The ice has been cracking beneath my feet with every step I took since waking up. When that photo slipped from its place, my world came down. I stared at his smiling face and I got mad at him for dying. But then I felt guilty about being mad at him. I do remember him fondly. I don’t remember the unfavorable times, but I don’t think there were all that many, to be honest. He was so good to me.
It appears 3 years ago George and I moved into our Jersey City apartment. The beginning of the end. I hated Jersey City. The apartment was beautiful and amazing, but that’s where he died. It’s where my life unraveled. We moved to New Jersey to build a life together and in less than a year, his cancer became active again, his treatments were discontinued and he passed away. For a brief moment in time 3 years ago I had it all: preparing to marry my sweet husband, starting a life together, getting ready to head into my first season as a head coach, waking up to the New York City skyline, and just having so many possibilities at my fingertips. And now I barely have enough motivation to get out of bed this week. What the hell has happened to me?
As I mentioned in a few posts ago, I am moving to Alabama. It’s a very exciting time for me, but unfortunately it’s causing a rift in my personal life. I’ve been dating the same guy for about 7 months now, and he is my first serious relationship after George’s passing. I’ve dated guys here and there, but usually I felt after a few dates they were going to be a bust. Tom is different. Our relationship is the first serious one for both of us after our last one. He’s not a widower, just to make that clear, he just had gotten out of a long relationship and took a year off. Though when it comes to my widow problems, he’s understanding of my lunacy, and lets me tell my memories of George whenever they begin to stir. I’ve noticed, a little bit with my own dating experience and reading about other widows, there’s often times a slight jealousy or resentment for the late spouse. I don’t get that with him. He just lets me be me.
But we are breaking up. The only fight/argument we’ve gotten into is about how we’ll break up. And that folks, is crushing. So with the move, I know that our relationship was coming to an end. And I thought I would be okay with it, and that life will go on. Since I was offered the position in May he has been dealing with the concept that I would be moving away, and though he was sulking for awhile, he has coped with it well. But something has happened, and I am losing my mind. I do not want to break up. I know there is something so special between us and I feel it. But we talked about and agreed that long distance was not going to happen, and I feel myself slipping back into grief. It’s not the same level of losing George, but it’s another great relationship that will end. And it makes me think of those final weeks I had with George and how I wish I enjoyed them so much more. It might be the process of packing up the apartment and all the upcoming life changes, but I am just sad.
Last night I started crying when Tom and I finished dinner, and he just kept asking what was wrong. Finally he said something that did upset me quite a bit, but I know he didn’t say it out of malice, but was trying to console me. He said, “I bet it feels like your world is breaking apart, but it’ll come back together and you’ll move on.” And immediately I started thinking about how all this change is a result of my world breaking apart. When George died, my world ripped open and I had to stanch the pain any way possible. And once I was able to sew it back together, the thread was a different color. And then I met Tom. It was a world as put together as possible. Breaking up with him is shaking my foundation I worked so hard to establish. But I also think all this moving and waiting is adding to it. I sometimes wish it would just move along faster and I can begin to thread the needle again with a new color.
I’ve always read the first break up after the loss of a spouse is difficult, but usually people break up because they can’t get along. We get along great, I just decided to change the course of my life and follow the signs.
Well with my time winding down here in New Jersey, I have decided to spend my Thursday mornings at SoulCycle, again. I’ll miss it, but hopefully the company will decided it’s time to set up shop in Montgomery. We’ll see. I’ve professed my admiration for this cult-like indoor cycling class many times-because it got me started on the road to a healthier lifestyle- but today my reigning #WCW for over a year, Erika, said something that really stuck with me. There was one song where we were turning up our resistance and over the blast of the music she asked the class if we were at our limit yet? I have never stepped away from a challenge so of course I reached down and turned the knob to the right at add more gear. But she continued to voice her encouragement to the class. “In order to know your real strength, what you can do, you need to go places you’ve never gone before and that will show your real courage. It takes courage to go further, to take a risk.”
After the class I told her I loved what she said because I felt like it related to me. Regardless of the upcoming move, there are situations in my life that I am encountering where I initial feel like I can’t do this. I’ve been on my own for over a year and a half, but I had a group of friends to support me in and around the NYC area. But now, I’m embarking on the next great journey. I’m looking to establish my own business when I never thought I could. I feel more stable than I ever have before. I look around me, and think about the future more. I am ready to be alive and carve my path.
The only way I can possibly describe my current mindset and feeling is for a long time I felt like I was chasing a shadow. I would walk a path and in front of me is a shadow of what I believed was me. Staring down at it’s every move and figuring a way to trap it and call it my own. The dark outlines, and same cadence and leading me to where I thought I need to be going. Leading me to where I was SUPPOSED to go. But now my gaze is ascending and the sun is shining above my head. I see the horizon, rimmed in gold, glowing so bright and in front of me is possibilities. I’m taking a risk, and with all my heart I know it will have great reward. Through this entire widow journey, I knew it would stretch me to my limit and then past it to find strength and hold on to it, but I never realized that I needed to find my courage to want to push along as well.
I LOVE the lessons that fitness and sport teaches. The structure and direction it provides cannot be rivaled.
My season kicked off today with a poor outing in our scrimmage. To make mattere worse, I had to come home this evening and buckle down on packing. I’m leaving Jersey City and the home I shared with the love of my life.
Tonight’s the last night I spend here. On the bed George and I both loved to intertwine in each others limbs and fall asleep touching each other. It hurts so badly. I will miss this but I need to continue on my journey. For better or for worse. This is what I’ve become.
Moving has brought me a new horror. I’m 28 and this will be the first time in my life I will be living alone. There’s no memories in the new apartment except for the foreign memories from my other apartment. The deep hollow loneliness is a hamartia of moving forward. The worst of it is most of the boxes were wedding gifts that were unopened and needed to be assembled.
One of my work friends came over to help me pack up and transport everything. I think it was his first realization of how horrible it is to lose someone young. Having him in the apartment was difficult for me because I haven’t had any visitors outside my family since George died. I was choking back the tears for a good 65% of the move. But when we were packing he was telling me how he’s back with his ex-girlfriend and some other stuff that goes along with the beginnings of a renewed relationship. At that point, I made the declaration I’m never dating again. He narrowed his brow and pursed his lips. And there it was, the awkward silence.
My bereavement counselor always instructs me to worry about the now, not the future. But I cannot help it. I’m used to feeling loved, to having the comfort of having a companion that I can open up to, and I’m sure as hell used to having someone to hold my hand when watching tv at night and a shoulder to fall asleep on. Of course the future is going to creep into my present thoughts of who is going to want a broken and depressed widow? Even my friends don’t want to spend a whole lot of time with me because my situation and my being makes EVERYONE around me uncomfortable. I had the perfect boyfriend, fiancé and husband in George. Everyday was an adventure and we were excited to continue our journey as husband and wife. But instead it all disintegrated in a matter of weeks. I’m sure eventually I’ll find someone suitable, but I can’t imagine anyone will be as ingenuous as George. It was love at first sight. How can I ever find someone who fits so flawlessly in my life?
In the words of Motion City Soundtrack; The future freaks me out.
Our first date/weekend together
Besides the fact that my dog was sick throughout the night throwing up and I was ready to have the worst day imaginable, luck found its way to me. There were mass cancellations throughout the northeast due to the snow storm, but luckily someone in housing at my university contacted me about an apartment. I like my current apartment now, it feels and smells like George. But at the same time I feel the essence of death swirling within the rooms. I step into my living room, and although the furniture is back to its rightful places, I can still picture the hospital bed and oxygen machine where my husband was waiting to die. It’s so fucking morbid in there. Pardon my cussing. The chains of death latch on to me the moment I enter the apartment and I’m scared to leave it because I don’t want to miss feeling George. But when I’m away from it, I’m dreading the moment I step through the doorway to sit on my depressing throne in front of the tv, where I sit in a zombie like trance in between my lonely whimpers and boisterous sobs. It’a a cruel carousel.
So the big news for today is I have a new apartment. It’s a way to move forward but I’m sad to leave the apartment my husband and I shared. It’s scary to be in a new place he will never actually see. Just like coming into 2014 will be the first year since 2006 that I haven’t been able to communicate with him. All these milestones are happening so quickly and I’m scared. I want to step out but I secretly wish my feet were in the mud. As more days separate the last time I was with him, I just can’t believe he’s really gone. We knew we were going to move out of our current apartment once the lease was up, but I never thought there wasn’t going to be a we when it came time to move.
Next Friday I get the keys to my new place, but I have my current apartment until the end of February. I’ve decided that I’m going to arrange the new place like our apartment in Brooklyn. It was our favorite apartment and the happiest time we had.