So this week (on Thursday), we will see the 24th week since John has passed away. On July 31st, it will be the official "6 month" anniversary date since John passed.
On one hand its hard to believe its come so quickly, but at other times, the 6 months has felt like 6 years.
After almost 6 months...I still struggle with everything daily. There is still so much sorrow, so much crying, still some feelings of disbelief (although I'm not delusional- obviously everything happened, and I know it did...it just feels very surreal sometimes), but mostly just a lot of feelings of sadness and grief and guilt and "what if's" and feelings of just wanting to see his face or hear him speak to me one more time. I know I cant have that, but it doesn't stop me from wanting it.
I'm thankful that the kids seem to be doing....OK. I often say I think they are doing far better than I am. This whole situation is so so hard for me, but if my kids were struggling as much or even a fraction as much as I am, I don't know what I would do. Its hard enough to keep myself together, if I had to hold the world together for 4 kids...I'm not sure I could do it. That isn't to say they don't have their moments- they absolutely do. It may be a special day for one of the kids (a recital, etc.) or sometimes even just a regular day and one of them will say "I wish Dad/John was here to see this...". Its hard to here them say it, but I'm right there with them, so I always tell them "You know what? I do too. We all do. Its OK to feel like that, we all miss him a lot. I know if he could see us, though, he would be very proud of us." Or maybe there will be a random day where it hits one of the kids hard and they cry a little bit. All I can do is try and comfort them. I'm not sure if I have a harder time with it because I just have so much more of him to miss, or because my kids haven't yet TRULY realize what they've been robbed of. I worry for when the time comes that they will be old enough to grasp that concept, because I know it breaks my heart to think of what has been taken from them and the fact that they don't even really get it yet.
One of the Dr.'s I see over all of this said he is noticing a bit of improvement in me. I kinda of laughed and said "I wish someone could convince my brain of that..." but I told him I appreciated that he didn't try to give me the whole "Oh wow, you look like you're doing wonderful!!" spiel I tend to get a lot. Its basically the unsaid equivalent of "Hey, you look like you have gotten it together so you must be all better now, right???" I don't think people mean anything harmful by it- I really don't. It just makes me realize how much they don't get it. I assume that because I try to continue on with my life in as "normal" a fashion as I can, some people read into that like "Well, I'm kinda sad but I'm OK now." But I'm not. Not even close- I'm very sad. I am not OK. I still cry a ton. I still struggle with everything. Yes, I do get up and go to work. Yes, I do parent my children and take them to do a good bit of stuff outside of the house. Yes, I see my friends and I go to dinner with them and whatnot. But I continue to wake up every day, so what else am I going to do? I'm past the point of needing to stay in bed all of the time (it makes me feel extremely unproductive which in turn just makes me feel worse about myself...although I'd be lying if I said that sometimes I don't want to, or that occasionally it doesn't happen...its just not something I can do every day without feeling guilty about that, too, and I already have plenty to feel guilty about), its still very hard to come to work and want to be here, but again, I feel completely unproductive when I don't- and sometimes work IS a distraction, which I still need. Taking my kids to do stuff or going out with friends is merely a tactic to keep my mind off of how much my situation sucks and how sad it is. Especially on Thursdays, since those are such hard days for me. I'd rather go out to dinner with a good friend, then go home and go to bed over sit in my house and think about how much I hate Thursdays and replay that fateful January day in my head over and over again.
I still have people who really do get it. I recently went to Memphis to honor John's memory for his birthday (it was actually a few days after his birthday as I had promised the kids that we'd celebrate Daddy's birthday together, which was....extremely hard for me, but I did it for my kids), and stayed with a friend of ours we've known there for years. She said it better than I've heard anyone say it in awhile. She told me "I know you are still broken inside. But I think you are doing so well considering that I know how hard all of this is. I know John would be so proud of you, even though its a daily struggle to keep going. I know he would not want you to be sad, and even though I know that is so hard for you to overcome, you are trying to pick up the pieces and keep going and you're absolutely amazing. Keep going, things are going to get better for you, I know it. It wont be overnight, but one day, it will be less of a struggle. And maybe one day you will move on. It'll never be the same as what you had with John- it just wont. But that doesn't mean that one day you cant be happy again. I know you don't feel like it right now, but I believe one day you can be happy again." She may not be aware, but she has had the most succinct and touching outlook on my situation of almost anyone I've dealt with. Also, because it came from her, it meant a lot. She was an amazing friend to John and I, I know she misses him too, and I know she knows the struggle going on inside of me. The fact that she knows that even though on the outside, I probably look like I am doing "OK" that I am actually still very broken inside. How could I NOT be? I appreciated her words so much. I have a lot of people still who do get that I am not OK and that my life is hard and that I am so so sad, but when she told me that before I left, I just couldn't help but think of how on the mark she really was about how I feel. I do realize I cant ever have what I had with John with another person, but considering my age, I do realize that yes, I probably will move on one day...and I guess I hope I am happy again (although back to the guilt I always talk about- even the thought of "being happy without John" leaves me with feelings of guilt...even though he told me he WANTED me to move on, even though he was very clear he did NOT want me to spend the rest of my life alone and miserable...it makes me feel guilty to think of moving on and being happy...perhaps that will fade in time.) But as far as my friend and her kind words to me- I appreciated those words from her more than she probably will ever know.
June was just a hard month in particular. I'm not sure if I wrote about that. Not only did we have Father's Day, but his birthday. By the time his birthday came around I was so ready for June to be over, I was exhausted from being so depressed in June. Two "firsts" (first Father's Day without him, first birthday of his without him...) in one month was HARD. I really dread of these "firsts" and wonder if in the following years these situations will be as hard, or if its just THIS hard right now bc its the first time they have happened.
I have to admit I hope that they will not continue to be THIS hard because currently they've been absolutely dreadful. In the next 3 months will be 3 of my kids birthdays, so I worry how hard its going to be to celebrate their birthdays without John there. I realized the other day that Thanksgiving is the day after what would've been our 9th anniversary. I've already been wondering how- or if- I am going to deal with that. Part of me wants to leave town and not deal with it, but I've come to realize sometimes trying to avoid situations like this doesn't work out like you'd think it would...
But its going to be awfully hard to feel thankful that day, I know that for sure. Its hard to feel thankful any day that I have to consider what I've lost and what the kids have lost.
Christmas is another holiday I worry about- already. I especially worry how the kids will do with that one.
Worry and guilt and sadness and regret and anguish. These seem to be staples of your life when you are in the position I am in. Its exhausting. It hurts. Its depressing. Sometimes all you want is for all of that to STOP. But that is so so so much easier said than done.