Sunday, March 30, 2014

The first few days ...

A very wise friend, with an incredible beard, told me that part of the grieving process is retelling/rethinking/reliving your traumatic experience over and over and over.
Like when you tell a joke over and over, it becomes less and less funny.
The reason for this is desensitization.
He is an almost-psychologist.
So this information is legit.
I saw the last lingering moments of my handsome husband's life as he went into cardiac arrest on my father's living room floor.
I saw his eyes search for mine when I called his name.
His face went slack and his hand fell heavily over the side of the stretcher.
I didn't think of it as the end.
I thought he would be saved.
That the very kind gentlemen who came on the ambulance would be able to use all this modern technology to save him.
It was in that last few minutes that my life was altered, drastically, forever.
It felt like I was watching the moments tick by in a movie, in a scene that we have seen before.
It was the worst moments of my life. And they were traumatic.
I have thought about that evening in great detail over and over.
So that I was dealing with my loss, instead of trying to escape.
I have brought it to the forefront of my memory just to induce tears, so that I could feel more severely.
And maybe those scathing memories would bring me closer to Scott.
Because they are the last that we shared.
The following days were a blur.
I didn't sleep for the next 36 hours.
I wanted to because then I could escape the hell I had found myself in.
But I felt numb. Just like everyone says in every book or movie ever written.
Numb. Like I was half-awake.
Like this reality was just an awful dream.
I crawled into my dad's bed once I got home from the hospital, so that I wouldn't have to be in my room. The one I shared with Scott.
Friends, dear sweet sisters from my church, filed in crying and hugging and squeezing my hands.
All day I just lay there, sobbing.

^^  A baby in a basket makes any post better ^^
But not the kind of sobbing that happens when your pet dies, or when you hear a really sad story, but the kind that exhausts every muscle and every cell in your body cries out in agony.
You feel physically drained. So bone tired.
And you just don't care about anything: what you look like, what your children are doing, what you have or have not had to eat, what anyone else is thinking, whether or not you are saying or doing the right thing.
It doesn't matter. You have disconnected yourself from everyone, including yourself.
The situation has become too overwhelming to deal with and all you can do is cry.
For days. And it doesn't really make you feel better.
I have had those kind of cries, where you just let it all out and feel cleansed.
This is different. You just turn into a dazed, robotic version of yourself.
I guess it's survival mode.
Our bodies have an instinct about these things and once the numbing sets in and the xanex kicks your butt, you can sleep.
And it's a break, a break from the devestation.
And from the decisions.
There are so many decisions that have to be made when someone so close to you has died.
And they have to be made right away.
But that is another story altogether.
Next time.

Have I got a story for you ...

^^ He's so handsome^^
If there is anyone out there dealing with loss, death, sadness or the like, then we should be friends.
It would be nice if we could hold hands because sometimes all you really want is a good hand to hold.
I deal with all of those things every day.
Sometimes I deal with it like a put-together adult.
Other times I am sobbing with my face buried in the carpet, my grocery bags splayed out around me on the living room floor.
I try not to let others see that type of reaction too often because then I get looks of pity.
I know that they don't mean any harm, and the looks of pity are really an expression of concern and uncertainty and lets face it, I would be casting the same look if I wasn't going through the loss of a loved one.
Two loved ones, really.
You see, I lost my husband of ten years ... recently.
It was 8 weeks and two days ago exactly.
We went through undergraduate school at BYU-Idaho and then another four years of medical school.
We have three young children, ages 7, 5, and 2.
And we recently moved for the 14th time to our final destination, Eugene, Oregon so Scott could join a fancy optometry practice and we could start our real, grown-up life.
He worked at Eyecare Focus for three months and we saw for the first time in our marriage what money looked like.
Real money, that you can spend.
So we decided that as our first act as real adults we would buy a house.
A beautiful, new house that would give our children a healthy place to grow and live.
It would make up for all the grody apartments we lived in while in school as dirt-poor students. Forever.
But someone else had a different plan.
Which sounds cliche, but really is the honest-to-goodness truth.
If there is anything I have learned thus far, it is how very little control I have over most things.
And how God's plan is a lot more boundless and far-reaching.
Anyway, at 1:37 a.m. on January 31, Scott left this life and all of us behind in an unanticipated turn of events.
It is called atherosclerotic coronary artery disease.
And it usually only affects the elderly.
Or so everyone thought.
You can read a little more about it here.
Nevertheless, my world came to a halt.
I was completely lost.
Still am really.
And my kids are without a father.
And I am living with my dad and step mom.
With my kids, like sardines.
Which leads me to my second loss.
Which actually happened prior to Scotty's passing.
My mom died on April, 23 2010.
It too, was sudden and unexpected.
She walked herself into the emergency room early Friday morning and was gone just a few hours later as she was being life-flighted to OHSU in Portland.
She never even knew that she had acute leukemia.
She was 49, a young 49, and was determined to reach the age of 100.
I would have put money on it too, if I was the gambling type. Which I am not.
I was devastated. And my kids spent a fair amount of time in front of the T.V. during the months following her death.
But through it all, my own family remained intact.
And that provided some comfort and stability.
But losing Scott was a whole different ball game.
Now all those responsibilities that he shouldered are racing around in my mind all day, every day.
I become hysterical at the smallest hitch.
I sobbed myself into a puddle the other day because my youngest microwaved my phone.
It smelled like burning and it was just one more thing I couldn't handle.
But then the following day I was out running errands and I saw the best thing.
A very beefy man, a strapping lad with a serious face and hulking arms crossed in front of my car riding a mint green cruiser-bike with a brown basket attached to the front.
He was very solemn and determined.
And I realized in that moment that there were things to be happy about.
That life goes on, maybe not in a way we expect or even planned, but they go on and we can either run and catch up, or get mired down and miss out.
Today I choose to run and catch up.
Tomorrow may be a different story altogether.
I will let you know.