Blast from the Past

October 7, 2009

Feeling very weird this afternoon. I realized that I haven’t felt sad in a while. From about noon yesterday and on, I’ve really felt myself slipping back into our familiar old daily routine. The phone isn’t ringing as much, not as many people are coming by, and Little Dude is back to ‘normal’ on his schedule. I am doing things the same way as I always did before, throughout this entire deployment. The day is exactly the same now, only minus a phone call and a few emails. And it feels normal. And that feels so wrong. I think I am sinking into a weird state of denial or disillusion. As long as nothing triggers my thoughts in that direction, I could go on for a while pretending like everything is ‘over’ and ‘back to normal’ and one day The Hubs will call with his flight itinerary and I will start getting things ready for his homecoming. That is exactly how I feel right now. It just feels like he is still deployed and still coming home one day. I have this constant feeling of waiting humming in the background and I am not sure what to attribute that to. Is it that I am so crazy that I am waiting for him to come home still, or perhaps my subconscious is waiting for me to come out of denial and accept that he is gone? Part of me really feels like I need to do something to trigger myself and the flood of a breakdown that is lingering behind the huge wall I have put up, and then the other part of me is too afraid and sad to do that and is perfectly content to stay in my little dream world. I just think it is so weird that I haven’t felt sad or haven’t really felt anything for the last two days. I must be a cold heartless bitch. But maybe I’d rather be that than feel the misery I think is waiting in the wings somewhere. I really want to run away somewhere for a while, maybe go to Utah to hike the trails with T or go to Kentucky to have a beer with L. Somewhere that is completely different and maybe would shock my system into realizing that life isn’t normal right now. Okay, I am rambling.

Lonely Enough

This is another song I’d never heard until Camp Widow. I managed to not cry all day Thursday, all day Friday, and half of Saturday…until I sat in the ‘Mad at God’ workshop, which started out with this song. The flood finally unleashed, and I bawled like a baby. I still do when I hear it. But that’s not such a bad thing.

Full recap nearly finished, check back tomorrow!

Little Big Town — Lonely Enough

It’s been a long time since I prayed
Let the words fall where they may
Forgive me now
for what I’m about to say
Tired of being on my knees
Sick of begging you please
Since the day you took him away from me
God, how much more do I have to hurt?
How far down do you wanna see me go, tell me
God, you don’t know the sadness of this place
You’ve got the angels and the saints
So give me back my love
Don’t you think I’m lonely enough?
You’ve got the power in your hands
To change the master plan
Every star and every grain of sand
You can bring him back today
Just roll thestone away
Before there’s nothing left of me to save
God, how much more do I have to hurt?
How far down do you wanna see me go, tell me
God, you don’t know the sadness of this place
You’ve got the angels and the saints
So give me back my love Don’t you think I’m lonely enough?

I love little big town. Bring on home is one of my favorites. It’s what I send to Kev when he gets too down :)

10.5 years later, this song stirs up those feelings I had after he died. Thank you for sharing. It’s good to be reminded of him all these years later.

Jen de Jong

wow, Erin. I’m sobbing for you. I can’t even imagine the kind of loss you live with each day. What I love about this song is how it not long gives words to what so many must feel, but also gives permission to be mad at God, which is the path to reconciling with God. (I went through a different but similar path when my TBI robbed me of my writing career 3 months before my first book released). You inspire me.

Blast from the Past

October 4, 2009

It’s dreary and cold outside, and I’m exhausted, and T left this morning and my house is empty for the first time, and everything hurts, and the baby won’t nap or stop crying, and I just don’t have the energy to do anything but the necessities with him, and I don’t see the point in doing my laundry or cleaning the house, and I have a to-do list that won’t quit that I can’t even start, and I just can’t believe I’ll never see or speak to Bryan again, and I don’t want to to be alone but I don’t want to see anyone, and today should have been an exciting day because we would have had two weeks left until he came home, and I just can’t accept that he isn’t still just deployed and this will all end soon and he will be home, and I am breaking and I just can’t do this.

Going Back to ‘Those Days’

Am I the only widow who sometimes wishes she could go back to the very beginning?

By beginning I don’t mean the beginning of my life, or the beginning of my time with The Hubs. I mean the beginning of my journey as a widow. Those awful dreadful days of notification and services.

This is something that shames me to say, but I feel like I need to get it out. Sometimes I see photos of services honoring a newly fallen hero, and I wish I could go back to those days.

It took me a long time to come to terms with that reaction and to figure out why I feel that way. Well, I still don’t think I have it completely figured out.

I think it’s a mixture of things. In those early days, the numbness helped me separate myself from everything. I was in shock and didn’t believe reality yet. I had gone into ‘business mode’ and was focused on taking care of arrangements and the necessary preparations. I was busy, and I had people around to help me and tell me what to do next. Now, ‘comfortably numb’ is gone for the most part and I have to face the reality of his absence.

Also, in those early days everything was so focused on HIM. He was in the forefront of everyone’s minds, everyone talked about him and wept for him and he was truly the sole topic of our lives. Now, it is still like that for me, but life has moved on. He is still there in everyone’s thoughts and heart, but not at all as public and vocal as in the beginning. Sometimes I want to shout his name and scream HE IS STILL IMPORTANT.

But even more than these things, in those early days his memory, his voice, his presence was still fresh. It had only been a short time since I heard his voice. His emails were still at the top of my inbox. Mail still arrived in his name. Although he had been deployed for over 6 months, his toiletries were in the bathroom an his truck was in the garage and I still FELT him. He was still an active member of life and still ‘existed’. But now…

Sometimes I wish I could go back to September 12, 2009. I wish I could feel the agony I felt when my doorbell rang, I wish I could throw up in the bathroom as commanders stood in my living room, I wish I could stare numbly as girlfriends packed my suitcase and hyperventilate as someone helped me off the bus to meet his body in Dover and silently weep cold tears as I picked out a casket and shake uncontrollably as a good friend held me up when the 21 gun salute fired and Taps played. I wish his last voice mail was still on my phone and I could actually save it before it deleted itself, and I wish the flowers he sent me the day before he died were still alive.

But if I could really wish, I would wish he were still here.

I’m rambling. But I wonder, am I the only widow who sometimes wishes she could go back to the early days? Is this weird, odd, morbid? Does it make me a ‘drama queen’? I feel guilty feeling it, I feel like I should be offering more to those who are in those early days, not selfishly thinking ‘I wish The Hubs were still in the headlines’. Sometimes I wonder if this makes me an awful person, and I wonder why I feel that way. I know I’m putting myself on the line admitting all of this, I just hope I’m not alone, hope it makes sense to someone.

For those who are struggling through those early days, I hope you are not offended by this outpouring of thoughts. I know you wish you were NOT in these moments, I remember feeling the exact same way, wishing they would just hurry up and be OVER. Your spouse is getting the recognition they DESERVE, and I would never EVER want to take that away from them and YOU. My heart is with you and I wish you peace and comfort.

<3

No Erin, you are not alone in those thoughts! It is as though everyone else has moved on from the drama and we are still stuck. Their lives continued, we are stuggling to continue. I miss the support I received at the beginning and since it has been almost 2 years I don’t feel like I can share my struggles with my friends. So, instead we find solace in each other. Others that are traveling the same path. We are not alone and I know you know that!

Erin

YES Sandy! Exactly! Thank you <3 And huge hugs. I hate that we are in this, but glad that we are in this together. Thank you!

Jamie

No matter how many hours, days, months, and years pass he will always be a thought in your mind, a feeling in your heart, and sometimes the words from your mouth. He is your husband and will always be important even if he’s not mentioned enough these days from others. I can’t imagine what you must feel so often regarding the absence of his life in yours. I don’t mean to sound unmoved from your loss, but Mark has been on deployment four 4 months now and sometimes when I’m alone at night and my house is quiet, I find myself thinking about him and every fiber in me, especially my body, aches for him to be with me. However, I know that it will be a while longer before I see him again and that gives me a feeling of pure outrage. Like I said, I don’t mean to make it sound like I know what you are truly going through because I don’t, but I kinda know about feeling helpless and frustrated because I can’t make his deployment go any quicker and all I want as his wife is for him to be home with me where he belongs. I know that it’s been a long time since we’ve really known each other when we were little girls feeding the chickens. I always thought you were so strong because you carried that five gallon bucket filled to the rim with chicken feed and you didn’t seem at all that the weight was bothering you. We had so many memories since our families lived so close. If you ever want to call or hang out, I’d be more than happy to. I have so much time these days!!! Take care!!!

Jaclyn

Erin,

I think I understand what you’re saying unfortunately. Dad has been gone 5 months now and when it was fresh, everyone was thinking and missing him and crying and going over their great memories of him. Now, I feel as if I am the only one crying all the time and trying to remember his voice and our phone calls and our visits. When it was fresh, it was only a few days since I had seen him, talked to him or hugged him. His clothes still smelled like him, now they have no smell at all and I am scared I will forget that. When it was fresh, there were so many people to talk to about how distraught I was and most could share my feelings, now I feel as if I am bothering people by constantly wanting to talk about it when they are trying to move forward.

Bryan will always be your husband, your first love, the father of your amazing little boy, in your heart and in the heart of MANY people. Sunday at the run, I was so emotional. I just felt him all around us, supporting us and thankful for what we were doing for him and all of the other soldiers and their families. He has not and will never be forgotten. The signs may no longer be up and the newspapers may have moved onto something else but, he will FOREVER be loved, missed and thought of.

I am a phone call away if you ever need to chat,laugh,cry or vent. I am here. Love you.

Aimee

You’re not alone, I promise you that. I have said for awhile now, that I wish I could go back to that day. More so because I want to be closer to him. Everything was so fresh. The feeling of getting an email or a call was still possible. I would go back in a heartbeat, if I could. Hugs to you!!

sue

Nope, you are not alone. It only makes sense to want to go back to a time you felt closer to him, when all your family and friends rallied around you both, and when every sense was hightened.

We become fearful of losing memory the farther ‘out’ we are, it’s natural. Not being a drama queen, no question about that. You’re living a reality no one would want to be in, where even the early raw days make you feel closer to your husband in time.

I hope you can start to move forward, as we all have to, without letting go of our past. My best wishes to you!