Thursday, May 19, 2016

Week 2: Still the beginning...

Here we are another week down. Week 2 was not any easier than Week 1 but it was different. I had some great conversations with some people that really do understand exactly what I'm going through and they made all the difference. Don't be afraid to reach out. People that you don't even know can be more of a help than anyone if they have been through the same thing. I also had some people do things for me that were unexpected but very welcome and made me feel just a little bit better about the world at a time when I just want to hate it. Someone came and sprayed our yard for bugs, one of the departments handled yard care for a year, our K9 guys have been out constantly to check on things. It has been amazing and overwhelming how people have just done what they can for us. I have learned to let people help and to accept that help graciously. It's a lesson I had never learned before now. We were always doing the helping, not being helped.

I can understand how situations like this turn into  lifelong addictions for people. I cannot count how many people have said something like, "If you can't sleep, just have a glass of wine," or, "Just take this pill, it will help." They are probably right but I'm afraid to start that. I'm afraid I won't be able to stop. I tried to get dressed because I was taking my kids by their school so they could visit. I wound up putting on a t-shirt that was his because anything that looked cute seemed wrong. No good reason why at all. The kids decided I didn't need to stay with them so I went to a lady I've been using for a while that does medical massage. On top of everything, I could barely move because dehydration, stress, and anxiety have made my muscles one gigantic knot. It was a huge help going and I have another appointment tomorrow. As soon as I got back my son was all over me telling me he wished he hadn't told me to leave. He is so concerned for me. He told me I needed a "guy roommate" because he didn't want me to have to do everything by myself, including just watching grown-up movies he's not old enough for. He's 11. I hate him thinking about things like that. When did he get so grown and so much like his dad?

When we got home from  the school I realized none of us had eaten. On top of that, I realized none of us were even hungry. Appetites haven't been huge around here lately. I did manage to make tea. That doesn't sound like much but it's the first thing I've had to do alone for us. Everyone has been here and been so helpful I haven't had to do anything. My dad came to visit for the weekend. He grilled steaks and corn and baked potatoes Friday night and steamed crayfish Saturday night. Just something different. We got the house and yard picked up from so many people being here. I had a moment when he cranked the lawnmower. Nobody has ever cut grass here other than TJ and when I heard it start I just broke down for about 10 minutes. I let myself have my moment then I got up and kept going. It would've been very easy to just stay in the floor with his shirt but I chose not to. Since we got everything picked up and kind of back on a schedule Bojar (Boy-er), our K9, got to come home Monday afternoon. He's very anxious but we're all working through issues and he's no different than us.

I rinsed out his sink in the bathroom. It had toothpaste in it and hair from where he had shaved. I cried the entire time. It felt like I was removing part of him. If he was alive I would've picked at him about not doing it but as annoying as it was I miss it already. His clothes are still in the floor. I can't move them. I assume I will at some point but I can't be sure. His towel is still hanging on the towel rod. I used it once. Almost. When I got out of the tub I just fell in the floor and cried into it because he would never be using it again. Then I got up, dusted myself off, read the notes he left me on the bathroom mirror, and felt better remembering at least he was able to use it when he did.

I have been using my diffuser religiously at night. Lavender and cedarwood are such a great sleep combination. Cedarwood helps reset your short term memory which is great for combating bad dreams. I don't sell oils or anything like that. No sales pitch here. Just good advice for anyone. My children ask for it now since they've started sleeping with me. This week was full of way more breakdowns and breakthroughs than I expected. I washed clothes. The only thing of his in it was a pair of underwear. I cried some more realizing I would never be washing his clothes again. My laundry is cut in half and I'm sad about it. How does that happen? haha. 

So, about the interesting "roommate" conversation with my son this week. He told me I needed to get a "guy roommate". My immediate response was, "There is no way I'm ready for a boyfriend!" He told me that he didn't mean a boyfriend, he literally meant a male roommate because he didn't want me doing everything and having to do things alone. "Mom, you need somebody to help. And maybe watch grown up movies with you. I can't because I'm not old enough but you need somebody to." First of all, excuse me child? You're 11. Stop being 30. Second of all, I know he's right and the thought hurts me to my soul. I can't be alone forever. It doesn't even make sense. The issue is I cannot imagine moving on with another person. Honestly, just the thought makes me physically hurt. 

I spoke with a lady that lives close who lost her husband in an accident a while back. Her call just gave me a peace I didn't know I needed. She could tell me what I felt without me having to say it. It's amazing how complete strangers just get it. The kids went to church and one of my K9 guys offered to drive me to the pet store an hour away so I didn't have to deal  with people stopping me every 5 minutes to talk. We had dinner (as friends obviously but you know how people are so I'm clarifying) and laughed and I managed not to feel guilty. I don't know how. I even straightened my hair. First time it had been brushed in over a week. 

The kids and I also spent our first night alone this week. My Facebook post on that was this: "The kids and I are spending our first night alone, accompanied only by a lot of firepower. Lol. We're all in bed watching a cartoon that we watched with Dad not too long ago. We miss T.J. so much but it helps to talk and laugh about him. None of us think he was perfect but we even miss the bad things (like when he was grumpy according to Bacon - haha) bc they were part of who he was. 10 days ago I thought I wouldn't make it another day, yet here I am making it. We all are. He always had a way of making us happy even when things were awful. It's a quality not everyone has. I can't imagine ever loving another person like I love him. He's the person in my life I would literally give my own life for, except he gave his for us instead. We have so many good memories but the last 6 months when he cut out all his extra stuff and was at home all the time are the best memories I'll ever have. Our entire family dynamic changed. I truly believe God knew this was coming and made sure we were able to have a ton of amazing memories before he took him. I will be forever grateful for that instead of being angry he took him and it helps me sleep peacefully and not be bitter. We will see him again one day and hopefully I get to tell him about our next 50 years as a family."

I did go to a Memorial Luncheon thrown by another fallen officer's family this week. We lost him almost 2 years ago. It's really the only thing I've gone to and I only went because of who was throwing it. I knew it would do them good to  see me and I hoped it would do me some good to see them. I was right. It really did. It was the day after I had a very profound experience and I was so at peace during the entire thing. I realize people will wonder what the experience was so I will tell you. Believe it or not. Doesn't matter to me. I was having a hard time falling asleep for the first time. I'm so exhausted by the time we get to bed I've been passing out quickly, but for some reason I couldn't. I sleep with his shirt and somehow when I rolled over it came out of my hand. I reached over and grabbed it and when I did I felt his entire body weight cuddle me. I've imagined him laying there. This was not that. This felt REAL. Like he was right there. I saw his face as clear as if he was sitting in front of me and he said, "Wife, just go to sleep." I was asleep within 10 seconds. I have never felt anything like it before and haven't since but I hope I do. It was amazing. I've had a peace ever since that I didn't even know I was missing.

I have had so many conflicting feelings this week. A ton of laughs. A few breakdowns. A cryfest here and there. Experiences I didn't even know could happen. A couple of "normal" evenings. One day at a time. As always, it is what it is.

If you would like to read more posts,  please click below.

Week 1
Week 3

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