Sunday, February 8, 2015

I'm not Made of Stone

PREFACE: I wrote this in January, prior to going to camp widow.  It was kind of a "Where I'm at" statement to myself.

My wife is fucking dead. No sugar coating it. There's no "finding the words" to make it seem sentimental and spiritual. That's not what I am, and it's not how I think. She didn't either. Obviously, in public, I know when to tone it down a notch so as not to offend, but this isn't what I'm doing here. You try holding your spouse's hand, and feeling it go from warm to ice cold, knowing that you will never feel the warmth in it again, and tell me what words you can find.

I'm 34 years old, and my wife is dead. I will never get the chance to grow old with her. She will never get to see our daughter even make it past second grade, let alone be there to see her graduate and grow up and marry. Shelby will never have her hair dried or nails painted or take another picture or any other mundane thing that moms do with her mother.

There is no more “we”. It just Shelby and I now. That IS NOT the fucking same as “we”. I love Shelby with all my heart, and I will do everything in my power to keep her safe, healthy, smart, and happy, but she is not my goddamned wife. Shelby didn't choose me. I’m left to pick up the pieces alone. Yes, I have outstanding parents and in-laws. Yes, Shelby is the most exceptional little girl and is very easy to raise. Yes, I have a good job, the bills are paid, and we aren't struggling in the physical sense. Yes, many, many widows have it worse than I do.

No, it is not fucking easy.

One of the most poingant verses I've heard in a song is from a band called "Five Finger Death Punch", and the song is "Wrong side of heaven". It strikes so close to my feelings that I've titled this blog after it, and I'll probably have it tattooed on my ribs.

"Arms wide open, I stand alone,

I'm no hero, and I'm not made of stone,

Right or wrong, I can hardly tell

I'm on the wrong side of heaven, and the righteous side of hell"

Chew on those words for a second. Try as hard as you can to put yourself in the mind of a 34 year old man that spent 12 years of his life building a family, and taking care of a woman that wanted nothing more than to not need to be taken care of, only to have it ripped away. I'm welcoming the help I'm receiving with open arms, but I am still alone. I'm not a goddamned hero, because a hero would have successfully given his own life to save his wife. I couldn't. I just couldn't be that fucking hero that she and Shelby needed. I can't get over that feeling. That I'm a goddamned failure. Go ahead and say what you will about how it was out of my control, or in god's hands, but I don't believe it. I've no clue what I'm supposed to do going forward. Should I focus all of my heart on Shelby and only Shelby for the rest of my life, and just be content in being alone? There isn't a manual for this shit.

I don’t have any motivation to do anything except go to the gym. Why should I? My mind races every day with different thoughts, fears, anxiety, plans, wants, and just plain daydreams. It’s all bullshit. The only constant has been wanting to be with Megan again. If I could ask her one question and receive an answer, it would be “will I get to see you again?”. It’s the only question I would ask, and it’s the only one I don’t want to know the answer to. If the answer is “no”, then what the fuck do I care about anything? The last 12 years would just feel like a waste of fucking time. If the answer is “yes”, then I would feel some comfort, but there would definitely be some dark thoughts about taking my own life just to be with her again. If I confess that to someone, then suddenly I need mental help or I’m a danger to myself or Shelby. I like to think anyone that’s identified as a widow or widower has had those thoughts, but I don’t know. At this point, I’m just going through the motions. You know the whole cheesy, “you complete me” thing? It’s fucking true. I am no longer a whole person. I’m half that. I’m trying my hardest to keep it together for Shelby not because that’s would Megan would have wanted, but because it’s the right fucking thing to do and I love her. It’s all I have to give, and as time goes on, I’m losing hope that I can keep it going.

I don’t have anyone to just sit with at night once Shelby's in bed. No one to make plans with or discuss stupid shit like TV shows or the latest gossip. I feel like the only person that even likes me is sitting in a fucking box in my dining room in powdered form. Over the entire 6 months, Megan got 2 full days at home with us. All I can remember from all of that is just sitting on the floor, in front of her on the couch, watching TV, and she ran her fingers through my hair and smirked. I miss that so fucking bad. That’s the kind of affection that we had. We didn’t do the fucking hallmark holidays like valentines or sweetest day. We were beyond that. This was a random Thursday night, and I felt more loved by her then than at any other time.

Watching Shelby cry over having too much homework or not getting a cookie makes my blood boil, and it takes everything in my willpower to not want to yell.. She hasn’t cried since the mass about Megan. I cry every goddamned day at some point. Sometimes it only lasts 2 or 3 minutes, sometimes it lasts for hours. If you see me smiling, it’s either A) because I was distracted for 5 seconds by something funny and/or calming, or B) I’m faking it because I have to. At first I said she was “my rock”, but really, she was a captive audience that was doing OK with it so far. She couldn’t run away or avoid me talking to her. She’s been moody lately, and I don’t know if it’s her own version of dealing with it, or if she’s just getting a little older and that’s just going to happen. It would sure be nice to have Megan to discuss it with, even if she didn't know the answer.

I’m sick of people telling me that Megan is watching from above, or guiding us. If she’s supposedly guiding me, she’s doing a really shitty job, and not in a funny or sarcastic way. I can’t even dream of her any more. I can’t picture her voice. One of the things I want most is to just dream of her. I don’t even care if it was a nightmare, I just want to see her in my head again, and it needs to be non-forced and in my subconscious brain. She is simply not fucking here in any way, shape, or form, and I'm terrified that she's gone forever, and even the good memories are going to vanish.

I’m trying to distract myself with things like the gym or TV. It’s gotten to the point that I’m just flat out telling people that I’m broken, lonely, and in a bad mood, and I just want to hang out to have 4 hours of relief from it. Guess what? I’ve spent the past month by myself, alone with my thoughts. It’s like I have the fucking plague. Like suddenly I’m going to infect people with my problems or demons. I don’t expect others to be in my state at this point, but stop treating me like I should be happy-go-fucking-lucky before you want to be around me. Stop trying to give me advice or condolences, and let’s just forget about it and hang out. We all have fucking problems. Mine are pretty goddamned big. That doesn’t mean that I want to sit and talk about them and bring everyone down with me.

I’m coming to the realization that what I thought was good progress over the first few months was actually just being numb to the whole thing.


  1. "It's like I have the fucking plague" I used to say those exact words ALL THE TIME. Yes.

    The part in here about Shelby and the things she will never have breaks my freaking heart. I have lived that experience all my life. It has been hard to grow up without my mom. It is totally and completely shitty, for both of you. For all of us.

    This was so well written. Keep going.

  2. I love this post and love your honesty. "If shes guiding me, shes doing a really shitty job." Man, I felt so much like this in the whole first year or so. I was so sick of everyone telling me he was "with me" because I couldnt feel him and it pissed me off. I do feel him now though. I dont know why. Maybe you have to go through the really shitty painful parts of processing everything first, before feeling them becomes clearer. Or maybe its just all a bunch of bullshit. Who the hell knows.