Thursday, April 29, 2010
I have many people that I call and consider friends but very few "best" friends. I have some trust issues and I just don't let too many people get close to me. I have been living in the Burgh for 12 .5 years now and I would say I have three best friends in the Burgh. Three people that I confide in and discuss the things that are important to me, that scare me and that drive / motivate me and make me who and what I am . These three people know a lot about what's inside my head and why.
I know people who say they many best friends and that's great. Me, I choose to have a select few because I know that I could ask any one of these three people for ANYTHING and they would do it for me...and in return, I would do ANYTHING for them. That is something very special and very rare in my humble opinion.
One of my best friends is also my coworker. We have worked together on some big projects over the years and have developed from coworkers into good friends...and then into best friends. That person is leaving the company. An opportunity fell into their lap that they couldn't refuse. When they asked me what they should do - I selfishly wanted to say "stay, don't go"...but what kind of friend would I be had I said that. I encouraged them and told them that the opportunity was too good to pass up, but that they needed to think about it and ultimately they would know what to do.
So, why so sad...what's the big deal? My best friend is getting another job...a job that I encouraged them to take. We will still talk, IM, gTalk, send messages on FaceBook, email...it's all good right? I hope so...but the truth is I'm scared. My security blanket is going away. The person who held me in "check" from a professional sense, the person that could come into my office and say, "uh, you are wrong" or "uh, you just acted like a total ass you know that right" is leaving. That's the work side...the personal side is different.
This person protected me and helped me keep it together over the last two years. This person checked on me daily to make sure I was okay. This person assured me that I had the strength and courage to continue when I didn't know if I could. This person told me that it would be okay is going away and being completely honest - it just plain scares the hell out of me. The worse part...I don't know if this person actually realizes how important, how much I trust, value and respect our friendship and what it truly means to me. I certainly hope they know. I have told them so I hope they know.
I also lose one of the few people who I could openly vent to about anything...work, personal, anything that was on my mind. One of the few people that understands me...all my mood shifts, my quirks, my different sense of humor - someone who you can just be yourself around and not have to worry about anything.
So maybe people will read this and think what is wrong with this guy? But I'm just not that way with too many people. I feel very fortunate to have developed this close friendship, and now it's about to change. This too will pass...I know...maybe the feelings are strong because it's been a rough couple of weeks...I hope so. I also know that after reading this entry my best friend will read this and be a little pissed at me. That's okay...because I also know that they will figure out why I had to write about it...because they "get it"...because they understand me... it's not goodbye...but I will miss seeing you everyday...
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Sunday, April 25, 2010
I am in a damn rut and I just cannot get out. Things just seem bleak when you are in a rut. I like to think of myself as a semi-intelligent person, but ruts suck. I hate sitting around feeling sorry for myself...hate it! I have no energy to do anything or go anywhere. I have not replied to countless emails from folks inquiring and us (the girls and me) mainly because I do not know what to say. I have nothing to offer to anyone right now. I get up, go through the motions and come home. The only time I feel any sense of purpose is at work and I do not know if that is good or pathetic.
My senses seem duller, nothing seems to inspire or make me happy. I cannot fall asleep at a reasonable hour, I despise late night TV. I am actually taking a break from reading for a week or two...what I really want I cannot have. I want my fucking life back. The life I had three years ago...and I will never, ever get it back.
I asked someone else who had a spouse die how long until they felt "happy" again. By "happy", all I mean is feeling some sort joy or pleasure without feeling guilty or having this huge weight on your shoulders. Their reply was two-three years. Two to three years...that seems like an eternity to me...
Three Days in the Making
I started this entry three days ago and have been unable to finish it. Then I started thinking "why". Why can't I just finish the damn entry? It is because I am afraid to say what I am really feeling...so here it goes. I am pissed off. I am pissed that Jen died. I am pissed, mad, bitter, angry pick a word it really doesn't matter.
We were about to settle in what should be the best part of our lives. We both worked hard to get where we are at and we were due to settle in and enjoy life, our kids and each other. Instead, everything is totally turned upside down and it is just not fucking fair!
Now I am pissed off at the world and just about everyone in it. Again, I know that is not fair either and honestly don't care right about now. I just never imagined that life would turn out this way...
Thursday, April 22, 2010
While I love Spring time I can’t stand the site of orange barrels and cones on the Parkway all spring and summer long. It makes travel into the city absolutely dreadful!!!
People who smoke and then throw their cigarette butts on the ground piss me off. News flash - believe it or not the ground is not your ashtray. If you choose to smoke put your butts in a friggin ashtray.
I am NOT a Steelers fan so of course I’m a little prejudice here…but this Ben Roethisberger thing bothers me. I do not think I want my young daughters wearing their Big Ben jersey’s anymore.
Is it really too much to ask for people to hold a door once in while. I know I sound “old” or “old fashion” but people, especially younger people, are seriously lacking in etiquette and manners.
I love that my kids have so much fun playing soccer…I hope their interest and enthusiasm continues.
I can’t figure out why / how I can watch a movie over and over and still enjoy it again and again (Goodfellas, Rocky, Sixteen Candles, and many, many more)
I find myself taking a lot of mental snapshots lately, especially of cool, little meaningful moments with the girls.
I love the fact that my girls dig spending time with me and always want to do something with me (I know this won’t last, so I am enjoying while it does)
I continue to be amazed how mean little girls are to each other. The “clicks” and the “cattiness” is mean and hurtful…and it just pisses me off. Especially when I see some of the parents - the apple definitely doesn’t fall far from the tree. TRANSLATION…look here mean little girl just because your Mom is a total stuck up snobby bitch…it doesn’t mean you have to be. That’s what I want to say…but of course do not.
I seem to take two steps forward…then a big step back…
I honestly do think that there is something to the karma thing…
I don’t get why I can feel so much for other people and their problems and situations, but yet be so damn hard on myself…without a doubt I am my own worst enemy.
I just want to feel…happy again…so….so bad…
Things I Have Come to Realize
I have come to realize that I can NOT speed up or expedite the grieving process in any way. This is extremely frustrating for me, but I have to just let it happen.
I have some amazing and insightful friends who care very deeply for me and my kids!
One of the secrets…maybe ingredients is a better word…to happiness is…having good friends and just letting it all go once in a while.
I need to start trusting people again. The few folks, who know me well, also know that I have huge issues in trusting people. In order to trust someone you have to be open to the thought of being letdown or getting hurt…this will be a huge step for me, but I believe it will ultimately be beneficial.
I also have to learn to expect less from people to avoid letdowns and just accept it.
Friday, April 16, 2010
After writing a number of positive posts and feeling better, I am afraid the next few are going to be sort of downers. I took off work on Thursday and Friday and started to go through Jen's closet and dresser. It was tough. I tried to prepare myself mentally, but it was still hard.
The hardest part was deciding what to keep for the girls. I think they will love wearing their Moms sweatshirts when they are teenagers so I kept them all. As for pants and jeans, I do not know much when it comes to women, but I do know that apparently for a woman to find the right pair of jeans it involves tons of brands, types and stores so I only kept one pair each.
Now, let us talk shoes for a minute... Jen had some serious shoes. I kept 22 pairs of nice dress shoes, boots and sandals; I figured the girls might want them. I threw out 24 pairs of shoes. Who has 46 pairs of shoes? I use to tease Jen about her shoes, but 46 pair...wow.
I know this is very selfish but I kept on hoping I would find a note or a letter to me from Jen, but I did not. I say that it is selfish because from last week's Caring Place session I again realized how fortunate I was to have had some of those hard discussions between Jen and myself. The other folks in my group did not have that opportunity and for that reason, I do feel grateful. The feelings that the others in the group have from the not "knowing" weighs heavily on them.
I also feel fortunate knowing that when Jen passed, I was with her. I was holding her hand during her last breath. I kissed her cheek, brushed the hair away from her face one last time and held her. It sounds weird but I take comfort in that. None of the others in the group was with their loved one when they passed away. None of them has that sense of... closure...for lack of better words.
Her closet still has clothes in it...I am in no hurry to do anything else for a while. Every time I do something like this, I feel like a little more of her is slipping away into the past.
Monday, April 12, 2010
It is standard practice on Sunday mornings that we always watch the CBS Sunday Morning show at 9:00am. I flipped it on without giving it a second thought as I do every Sunday morning and one of the feature stories is on "How Children Mourn". Here is a link to the story
Katie Couric on How Children Mourn
Treating Death as Taboo Makes It More Difficult for the 2 Million Children Who Have Lost a Parent to Deal With Grief
I am glad they were not here to see it...but it was hard to watch...alone.
The girls came home at 11:30am on Sunday morning. After lunch, I spent all day cleaning out the garage. It desperately needed it and was long overdue for a cleaning and some organizing. I had plenty of “help” from the girls in deciding which pile things belonged in, either the Keep or Pitch pile. While doing so Abbie asked if she could have a piece of wood that was sitting in one of the appropriate piles, so I said sure.
A Piece of Wood
Later on Abbie came back with the piece of wood and showed me…here it is.
Let's just say it took everything I had not to basically lose it right there in the driveway.
She asked if we could place it under a tree that we planted for Mother’s Day back in 2006 (the three of us planting the tree).
Here is the tree now...
I am going to look into how much it would cost to have a little monument made up and have the words etched or engraved and place it at the tree…I am thinking it would be a good Mother’s Day gift. It is something that I would have never thought of...and honestly, it made my entire weekend...
On Saturday, Soccer started back up. I help coach both of my daughter's teams. We played Allie’s game first (U-6) and everything went fine. She did really well and had a smile on her face the entire time. She has gotten bigger, faster and more engaged since the Fall soccer season. All the kids seem to enjoy themselves and have fun. After the game was over and we shook the other teams hands and ran up to Abbie’s field for her game.
Abbie plays in the next age group up (U-8) so things are just a little more serious. The referee inspects the kids to make sure they have the proper equipment before the game starts. The referee noticed that Abbie was wearing earrings and told her that they had to come out before the game started. Abbie did really well, she actually scored two goals and was quite proud of herself (she did not score once in the Fall soccer season).
The Missing Earring
After the game I asked someone else, if she would put Abbie’s earring back in since I am horrible at stuff like that (I have non-jewelry friendly fingers). Sure enough as she tried to get the earring back in her ear, it fell to the ground. We looked for 10 minutes and could not find that earring anywhere. Abbie got upset she thought the holes in her ears would close back up…even though I assured her they would not.
When we got home I found a pair of small earrings that belonged to Jen and said to Abbie she could wear these, I was thinking it would alleviate her concern about her holes closing back up. She asked me where I got the earrings from so I told her “they were Mom’s earrings”. She would not wear them and asked me to go put them back. I thought I was doing something good but she wanted nothing to do with Jen’s old earrings, which left me a little puzzled. I put the earrings away back in Jen's jewelry box.
Saturday night both girls had a sleepover at a friend's house so I had the entire house to myself. Which I thought sounded great until I got home. The first thing you notice is how quiet a house is without a couple of little goofballs running after each other and yelling about something. It was nice to watch some TV and do whatever I wanted, but it was not so nice being all alone in the house. I felt kind of strange and I did not even feel like writing about it...on to Sunday...
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
I understand and appreciate more where most of the anger comes from with the others in the group. It’s from a huge void they have from not knowing certain things…let me explain. I had the chance to mentally prepare myself for what was coming.
When Jen took a drastic turn for the worse we both discussed it…in great detail. We (Jen and I) had conversations and talked about things. They were discussions that I will never forget. The conversation included topics that couples just don’t talk about, but we had them because we both knew what was coming. None of the other folks in my session had that opportunity to have those conversations with their spouse or person that they lost. As difficult and painful as the memory of those discussions is, I am glad that we had them.
It gives you somewhat of a sense of closure on certain topics. For instance, I knew that Jen wanted to be cremated and not buried. Those sorts of things may seem a little silly or irrelevant but if a person goes suddenly without talking about it then one will never know. Jen saw the hurt, anger, desperation and anguish I was going through so she did what only she could do…she talked to me. I would not have thought how important and crucial some of those conversations were at the time.
She told me not to beat myself up over the entire situation, to look after the girls, to make sure I stay close to them and not shut them out. To not get angry and bitter, but instead to keep moving forward, she actually had me promise to keep going afterward. If we had not had those types of conversations, I honestly don’t know what kind of mental state I would be in about now, except I know it would be far, far worse.
I left the session last night feeling a little selfish over how I felt during the first couple of sessions. I understand more why some of those folks are upset, angry and confused and I feel for them…I do. While I still do not really feel connected to the group, I do feel as if it is helping, and that is the important thing.
Sunday, April 4, 2010
I tried to keep everything as "normal" as possible. We had some friends over to dye eggs on Friday. In the kids Easter baskets, I put one thing from me and one thing from the E-Bunny. Every year Jen would buy the girls books (usually the Caldecott award winners) and give them to the girls for Easter so I carried on the tradition again this year. I gave them the books and the E-Bunny gave them Crocs (shoes). I hid eggs for them to find and even left a note and some carrots and celery...do not ask...it is a tradition so I made sure to do it again this year. The girls seem to have a good Easter so I feel as if I accomplished my mission. As for me, I am doing okay. It was easier then Christmas. Much easier then Jen's birthday so overall it was okay.
I am trying to figure out whether I am simply more accepting of the circumstance or just becoming numb to the situation at hand. Do not get me wrong, I continue to wear, and always will wear my heart on my sleeve, but I can feel a change inside. I hope that the change is a positive sign and not negative. I know that does not exactly sound positive, but it is what it is at the moment.
I think way too much and over analyze everything...believe me I wish I didn't. I wish I could just take "whatever" for what it's worth and go with it...but I can't. I desperately want to believe that this holiday thing is getting easier, BUT. I am dreading Mother's day...that sounds horrible, but it is the truth. I think without a doubt that it will be the most difficult of the holiday's to contend with. The girls have been awesome up to this point...absolutely awesome...I fear that Mother's day is where things fall apart.
It's been a long and busy weekend...I made it and that it all I was hoping for before it started. I guess I should take comfort in that fact that I did make it and the girls enjoyed it and be happy...Easter is done...another holiday to cross off the list.
Inside Bill's Head -- Previously Known as (Inside the Head of a Grieving Single Dad)
In August of 2009 my wife Jennifer passed away from an Anaplastic Astrocytoma Brain Tumor. She was only 38 years old. She left me and our two little girls Abbie and Allie to continue life’s journey.
I promised her that I would NOT become angry and bitter about what happened...in order to do that I am attempting to write to express my thoughts and feelings.
This site is a place where I can express my thoughts, feelings and rants...