Well it has been about 3 months again since I posted a blog. I often think I should sit down and write but don’t really know what to say that isn’t redundant from something I already posted. Through this entire process I’ve tried to be so transparent so people knew what this is truly like. At some level there was still safety for me in this because literally I was just giving factual updates on Jonathan’s physical condition. Or our Physical experience. I would share how we were coping and things Jonathan and I would share together. Now, there isn’t any of that. This is simply just talking about my emotional state and what it is like to live after you loose your spouse. This is a much more vulnerable position for me to be in I feel like, but here goes.
To start, I should admit I have probably consumed more alcohol in the last 3 months than I have ever before. (Yes, even college… But I was married in college so I wasn’t the typical 20 year old) I don’t think by any means I have a problem, but I have a completely different social life now than I have ever experienced before. Girl friends want to go out for dinner and a glass of wine. Or come over for a hot tub and a glass of wine. I try to get out and be social, it seems to help most of the time! Typically, in adult social settings, there is alcohol. I’m not drinking at home by myself, but I would need to change my medical questionnaire from “consumes alcohol 2-4 per month” to “consumes alcohol 2-4 per week.” I know I’m not having a glass of wine when I’m sad and I’m not doing it because it is going to make me feel better. I’m just recognizing this is something that has changed in my life in the last few months.
Now with that being said, I’m so grateful for the friends I have in my life. I loved having so many people when Jon was sick, and I still I have a huge network of amazing friends. I have a wonderful neighbor friend that comes over almost every Tuesday night to hang out and girl talk. I have friends that run with me now. I have friends that I now text all the time, some times very late. I’ve connected with old friends from high school who I get together with more than I have in years. Then I still have my usual friends that I see everyday at the gym or for BBQ’s. I have new “Cancer Friends” who understand things no one else does. I so appreciate these relationships because without them, the loneliness would be so much worse.
I have learned that I struggle with certain dates that are going to inevitably come and go. Birthdays, anniversaries, holidays or events that we would be at together. I hate being alone when these things happen. The anticipation often ends up being worse then the actual day or event. I over think it, or dwell on it and make myself sad. So my tactic has been to make sure I’m not alone when I know something is coming. In august, I was with family and friends camping for our anniversary. Then to the Lake with cousins. I was so busy and with so many people that sitting and crying wasn’t really an option for me… mostly because we were having fun and I didn’t need to! But then there are events like weddings, showers etc. Normally I would have fun and loved being happy for my friends. I have found I don’t do well in these settings at times now. Often leave early and cry in the car on the way home. I think people just want me to get out and do normal things that I would normally love. But being reminded that others are so happy and are experiencing the most wonderful parts of life, feels more like a reminder that those parts of my life have ended. This last month I have made progress with this though I think. I had a friend tell me she feels like I’m faking it less and she sees parts of the old me again. But she hit the nail on the head… acting happy for someone (Because you are happy for them) but when you aren’t happy in general is a very hard place to be. I just hope my friends know I’m trying very hard, even if I’m faking it.
Now that school has started and the auction has finished, I’m getting back to a normal routine. At the gym every week day morning and have nearly lost all of my pity party pounds I gained 3 months ago. Dinner time is really hard for me. I would cook for Jonathan. Now I eat tuna out of the can with a pickle, maybe a salad or something equally as pathetic and just make the boys chicken nuggets or French toast. The boys don’t eat what I eat and so why would I cook for just me? I’m trying to be healthy so eating out isn’t going to work either. So evenings are often a reminder of big changes in my life. Typically I would have a huge taco feast and have the football game on. (I truthfully haven’t really watched one sporting event since Jonathan died. I think I’m avoiding it a little bit…) Now, No dinner and No sports! My poor boys…
This last weekend I met a girl my age who lost her husband in a car accident. We talked about our difference in experiences. The sudden shock or the drawn out process. I also was talking to my friend Harmony (Who lost her husband to cancer) about the loss we have experienced with cancer. It is almost as if you start grieving the day of diagnosis. Each day it felt like we lost something. The ability to walk, the ability to get on the floor with your kids, intimate things, appearance… The list is long. By the time our spouses died, we had begun the process of loss months ago.
I still get asked “how are you doing?” My answer “I’m doing really pretty good actually.” Now if this is a closer friend, after conversing for a while, I get the question “So did you and Jonathan ever talk about you dating?” (If this is a really close friend, Jonathan actually talked to some of them personally about it, or so I’m finding out now) I must be getting closer to that time frame in society where it would start to become more socially acceptable for me to start dating now. But then again, I have people who tell me not to even entertain the thought until after 1 year. Like that is a magic number… But maybe they know something I don’t! And at 3 months I was also asked why I wasn’t dating yet… So truthfully I don’t actually really know where I’m at with this. Yes, Jonathan and I talked about this. Actually in true Jonathan style, he was very clear about what he wanted. He wanted the boys to grow up with a dad. He didn’t want me to be alone. But he wanted me to find a really good one… He was never able to discuss specific details with me, because it was supposed to be him. So no he didn’t pick my next husband for me. But he was pretty clear about what he wanted me to do. I feel so blessed to have a relationship with Jonathan’s mom that she has even openly talked to me about this in the last couple months. She knew what he wanted too… But I’m not totally there yet. I really just want that singular best friend that fills all the roles that requires multiple friends to fill. I loved what I had and I want it back! I want someone to plan trips with, and enjoy vacations. I miss having someone to talk to in the car or talk just in general. I miss fun activities, like biking, golfing, pickle ball (yeah, we have a court and no one plays!) So maybe the better way to put it is that I want a new best friend… Not really a “boyfriend”. Is that even possible?
So if you know me, you know I’m very sarcastic and try to joke a lot. (often unsuccessfully) Shoot the sarcasm came from Jonathan! I joke about this being single thing a lot now. But there is a learning curve for me and an adjustment period for others. While on a trip with my cousin we were talking about this and he gave me great perspective. I’m living without Jon every day and it feels like forever that I haven’t had him. But for others who only see the boys and I every couple of months. It feels so fresh still to them. Like he should be with us. So this isn’t just about me either. I joke to lighten the mood, but I know it isn’t all funny. I guess I just thought I should clear the air on this topic… So for now I will just keep praying for God to make this abundantly clear to me what is supposed to happen with this, and that I don’t get so lonely that I do something stupid.
What else is there to tell about this process… I have noticed I don’t talk to Jonathan anymore at night before I go to bed. The boys still pray for Jesus to tell Daddy they love him every night though. I’m getting tired of being the only bad guy in the boy’s life. I never get to say “When your dad gets home!” And I’m the only parent to say “NO!” I think Jude tells me every day that “dad was more fun than you mom.” I still haven’t programmed my garage door opener to the car because I don’t know how. I can’t figure out my PayPal password. And Jonathan’s dress shirts are still on the floor in my closet where they have been sitting for probably 1 year now. (My goal is to clean the closet this month, I think I’m ready but it is overwhelming) I finally made the boys go to Children’s church and actually sat by myself at church, without friends. Like totally alone! I have something planned every weekend through November… So still obviously trying to keep myself busy. Although my mom told me I was like this before Jonathan died and she would be more concerned if I didn’t have anything on my calendar. I have signed up to start going to bible study again on Tuesday nights and Mom’s study once a month in the morning. (Which means I might have to explain my story and cry in front of people) I finally got brave enough to schedule family photos without Jonathan, only 2 months behind normal. Jax lost another tooth and Jude laughs at me when I try to spank him. It has probably been 2 weeks since I cried last. I get to go to The Price is Right with the girls and Chris Young concert with a couple friends next month. I have a HUGE dog now. I guess that is my life in a nut shell!
I’m hoping 3 months from now my next post will have more positive in it and things will continue to get better. I feel like things have improved in the last 3 months! Glass half full right?!