I made it through the second anniversary of the day I now despise. I thought all of those “firsts” would be the most difficult but it turns out the “seconds” make your heart hurt just as much. I feel that much more distant from Jason, not that his star doesn’t shine as brightly anymore but the sound of his laugh is much fainter.
I haven’t needed any additional challenges so of course it was the perfect time for my dog to get aspiration pneumonia. Aspiration…sounds really hopeful doesn’t it but it’s the worst type of pneumonia a dog can get apparently. We’ve been in and out of the emergency vets for the past month and some of those included overnight stays. Unfortunately the most recent visit required the furry center of my universe to spend 3 nights in the ICU. He was finally able to come home April 12th so I was looking forward to at least spending unlucky 13 with him. But no…he had another episode Wednesday morning meaning he couldn’t breathe well. How could a shitty day possibly get shittier? At least he didn’t have to spend the night.
What I did learn last week is how much my friends truly do care about me, and that means my dog too because anyone who knows me knows that he’s my four-footed soul mate. I received so many emails and texts asking how he was doing and one of my friends even brought over a care package to help me get through the worst day on the calendar…so it is in these most difficult times we realize how much we are loved. I also got a package from Jason’s sister which was a very thoughtful gift and an email that was more special to me than she probably even knows. Always looking for those silver linings and usually we can find them if we let ourselves.
Surviving the experience of losing the person I assumed would be in my life forever, and almost losing my dog in the same month have made me question what the hell I’m doing with my life, so I signed up to volunteer with Hospice starting in May and I’m planning to go back to school for Psychology in the Fall. Jason would be very supportive of these plans and I wouldn’t have decided to do either if it weren’t for everything that has happened over the past two years. I sort of feel like it is his way of challenging me because that was one of the things he did best and I’ll be better for it because of him.
And now I must cuddle with my handsome little man…
It’ll be two years in exactly two weeks. And I never imagined I could have survived the loss of him but somehow I’m begrudgingly here. I’ve gone through many coping mechanisms. There were periods of intense clinging to every little piece of him still left, including smelling his deodorant 20 times a day and memorizing his last to-do list, followed by months of complete denial when I couldn’t even say his name out loud or acknowledge I was ever married. I changed almost every detail of my current life because remembering the former one just hurt. New house, new car, new clothes, new friends and new memories that don’t include him. Forgetting was all just part of the grieving process and is also the reason I didn’t check my blog for months. It’s the reason I’ve avoided our friends and his family. However as the second anniversary of his death approaches I feel an urge to reconnect with him and remember…
I watched a documentary called the Barkley Marathon last week and it ignited within me a debilitating sadness because two of the runners reminded me so much of Jason. Their looks, mannerisms, professions, cadence when speaking…but most of all their determination to attempt what most people brush off as impossible. If Jason said he was going to do it, then he just did it. It had been months since I rolled around on the floor pounding at the ground with my fists, spitting and spewing every curse word I could think of and crying uncontrollably, but I did exactly that as I approached the end of the film and then I stood up red-faced and unable to catch my breath…but I stood up. The anguish and despair had been building for months but I would push it away. I would bury the memories and pretend like April 13th, 2014 never happened. I did anything and everything to forget…
Today I listened to one of his 14 saved voicemails. That was fucking difficult. Then I read the last text I ever sent to him…the one he never responded to because he was pronounced dead two minutes before I sent it. “How did you do?” was all it said. I imagine him asking me the same thing right now.
“Good enough I suppose”
My second holiday without Jason. All I can think is it will be over soon. It is impossibly difficult to be merry when the most important ingredients to the happy life you had planned are absent. The worst moment of this past year was at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve when everyone raised their glasses and kissed their significant others. Instead I looked up at the sky and gave the universe the middle finger. Perhaps that is why 2015 was so cursed.
I’m going to try my hardest to welcome 2016 with a better attitude. I have strategically planned the festivities to be held at my house so I can hug and kiss my dog at Midnight. I’ll still be without Jason but I’ll be surrounded by the friends who have helped me make it through and the friends who won’t be present will at least be on my mind. I’ll also be thinking about all of you who follow my blog and are trudging through your own grief. I am grateful for the support all of you have provided since I started this blog. Love you all and sending hugs.
For the past several months I’ve been more of a spectator of my own life rather than an active participant. I’ve nurtured all the wrong things and ended up depleted and tired. And then I finally had a “screw that” moment.
Time is my enemy. All I want is for the day to go by as quickly as possible so I can go back to sleep. That’s the only time I don’t feel trapped inside my head. I no longer count the last 24 hours as a victory but rather as a failure because I’m still here. I never imagined this year would be harder than the first year but it is and I can’t make sense of it.
I have this overwhelming anxiety and fear of never being able to escape the loneliness. My “Give a Fuck O’Meter” has hit a new low and it’s frustrating because I feel like I’m really putting effort into pulling myself out of the hole. My stack of self-help books on depression, meditation, cognitive behavioral therapy, mindfulness, grief, personality disorders, Buddhism, suicide, etc. could rival the shelves at Barnes & Noble.
I’ve done support groups and I go to counseling and I take medication but nothing works. Where am I supposed to go from here? I have tried everything and I’d even give Electroconvulsive Therapy a turn at the wheel if I thought it could make a difference.
I’ve given up on the elusive notion of happiness. I don’t even know what the hell that means anymore. All I want is to exist without the desire to not exist. But how?
I’ve ruined the few good things I had, and what I didn’t ruin just ended up ruining me. Let’s imagine happiness returned. It would’t stay long. Despair is just around the corner waiting to move in as soon as the Sun appears. I can’t even say I’m lost because I’m not sure I ever knew where I was or where I was going. I’ve had entirely too many people say “You’re never going to be happy.” Either way they were correct or I finally started to believe it too. It is certainly true now.
I’ve been forever lonely, even before and during Jason’s brief appearance in my life. But at least I had hope he might be the one to fix it. It all seems beyond repair now and why does it even matter because there is nobody to be happy for anymore. It’s me inside my fucking head with no escape.
This blog was a way to make sense of Jason’s death, or at least shout how pissed and angry I was about it. Now it has become a way to makes sense of the desperation I feel.