Today marks 31 days since my beloved husband died. This is an update on how I and my four year old are managing.
To be honest, I haven’t dealt with the list of things they say you have to deal with. I haven’t taken his name off of anything except the mailbox.
My daughter and I are just trying to survive each next minute. I do my best to not think about my Jason at all, ever. It doesn’t always work, but when I can be so busy I don’t have a single second to let my thoughts wander I can be gloriously numb for large portions of time and it is wonderful. It is so wonderful when I can forget that he won’t be home soon or that I won’t be sleeping beside him tonight. It is wonderful when I am so caught up in a book or a youtube video or work that I don’t have to think about anything else at all, even if it’s just for a few minutes.
When distraction fails I’m pulled deeply in to despair. I cry and am unable to stop. I beg for my Jason to come back to me. I wail and scream that it isn’t fair, that horrible people live to an old age and my amazing, kind, brilliant, loving husband died so horribly at just 42. I hurt more than I would ever have thought I could bear. It hurts to think. It hurts to breathe. I hurts to just keep living and I don’t want to.
If I had my wish I would be dead. I don’t know how to live without my Jason and I don’t want to.
The only reason I am still here is because of Pepper. She needs me to be here. With her. Even if I don’t want to be. I finally told myself that I have to be alive because she needs me to be, but I don’t have to like it. I never have to want to be alive. I don’t have to appreciate that I’m alive. I just have to do it, because Pepper deserves for me to do so. So I’m coping, minute to minute, for her.
A few things that are helping to keep us going are:
- Not being home all alone for more than one day
- Giant check lists of things that need to be done, from laundry, to showers, to reading, everything goes on the list
- To make sure I eat even though it makes me nauseous to even think about it, I have a deal. Every time Pepper asks for food I have to eat something too. Even if it’s a slice of bread. I have to eat something.
- We keep a gratitude journal together, even when I can’t think of something I have to come up with an answer because Pepper wants to know what I write.
- Keeping the easiest food possible on hand always, pre-cut fruit and veg, bread, protein shakes when I literally can’t make myself eat a bite.
- Plastic/paper dishes. I can’t use any of our dishes. The mugs especially have far too many memories of holidays and love and I wasn’t eating or drinking at all when those were my only options. I keep the house stocked with disposable things and it makes it easier for me.
- Mindless apps on my phone that I can stare at or play until I finally pass out.
- Talking to an aunt that was also a young widow. I’m 32 and a widow and a single mother with no money. She understands me the best of anyone I’ve ever met. We talk nightly and I can complain about stupid things people said to me or about how worried about money I am, or about how much I miss my Jason and wish I were dead. And she just gets it and loves me no matter what.
- I’ve also started grief counseling. I had the set up visit last week and have my first actual appointment tomorrow.
It’s so hard. I spend more time wishing I were dead than not wishing. I can’t imagine ever feeling happy or wanting to be alive again. I can’t imagine ever caring about anything ever again either. My entire life goal at this point is to be numb and to be here as long as Pepper needs me.
Pepper is largely as joyful as ever. We had some behavioral issues for the first couple of weeks after Jason’s death, but she is doing wonderfully now. We stay very busy with crafts and school and work. And we’re managing to keep going by holding on to each other as tightly as we can. She asks questions that I answer to the best of my ability and though I never bring up Jason if I can help it, I never stop her from talking about him or asking about him. She misses him, but she is doing well and that is the one thing I am grateful for in this whole horrendous mess.