Man, if words could completed devour a soul, I would be an empty shell. My three year old is so beyond his years, it really just amazes me….yet fuels the denial at how fast he grows. He has experienced one of the most traumatic events that a child can experience at a young age. His resilience and faith is quite extraordinary, but he continues to grow and grow each day and that time passing is bringing about questions. Questions I was hoping to avoid for just a bit longer, but my three year old, going on eighteen, is starting to feel and notice the absence. ” Is daddy still at work?” “When is daddy coming home?” “Mom, when dad gets home can I hug him?” “Is daddy going to come home soon?” All of these questions just pierce my very core, and make it difficult to answer with confidence.
How do you answer questions that you really wish you didn’t have to because you still hoping at times that your reality was just a dream? How do you explain death to a child who doesn’t understand that concept in any way, shape, or form? On a quick side note, when did three year old starting saying mom instead of mommy?!?!?!?!?! Sorry, I digress. I knew this day would come and I am aware that this is only the beginning…the really hard questions will come later. Every time Henry is inquisitive, somehow I am able to hold it together on the outside, but my soul is screaming for its other half. Mourning the loss and attempting heal something that will never truly be complete. Having to deal with this almost daily just seems to bring me back so far…almost back to being in denial that this is all really happening. This may shock some of you, but I am honest with my kid. I have told him that his dad isn’t here any more he is with Jesus. I explain that even though we can’t see him, he remains secure in our hearts. Its when my son gives me a big hug after these moments and says ” I love you, mom”….I just loose it. In all honesty, it is in these moments that I can feel Adam’s presence. I mean I can feel his hand on my shoulder and can smell him. That brings my so much strength it’s unreal.
Although we all grapple with some sort of denial daily, allow those around you both physical and spiritually to provide you with the strength needed to overcome your doubts. Keep an open mind about all things possible and even those you think are impossible, because when deal with doubt, denial, or any kind of crisis you never know what you will experience…or who.
Okay, I have been seeing some things on social media that have really bothered me. I am completely amazing that there are some who have such negative opinions of working and stay at home moms. This, honestly, just makes my blood boil! I can’t imagine that this is even a thing, but of course, anything is possible in our society it seems. A mom’s job is difficult enough, and seeing such disheartening and sometimes straight up nasty things posted or shared just brings me to my knees. We can’t even begin to understand other’s circumstances….well not truly so who are we to judge!
I have always been a working mom, not because I wanted to, but because of necessity. In order for my husband and I to provided the life we wanted for our son we both felt we needed to work. I assure you that this did not make me love my son any less. Frankly I feel like I just treasured the time we spent together that much more. Being a working mom does not translate to “wanting someone else to raise my kid”, ” Putting my career in front of my family”, or loving them any less. I look at it more like I am exposing him to the real world. Sure, I did this when he was six weeks old, but I have a great daycare and this allowed Henry to become very socialized and start building that immune system. My family always came first. If Henry was sick or required me to be at home with him, I was. I wouldn’t even do so much as to check my email most of the time. If I was home… I WAS HOME. Although I spend less that 24 hours a day with my kid, he is still my priority and I continue to work with him on many things even when I am exhausted. Kudos to you working moms, who have a full time or part time job and come home exhausted, but continue to parent your children and loving them each and everyday. YOU ARE AMAZING!
Now, let me just start by saying, I don’t know how you stay at home moms do it. I can’t imagine spending 24 hours a day with my kid. Granted, I am pretty sure Henry has a little separation anxiety, but you guys are BEASTS! It is not easy constantly being pulled in a million different directions all day long. You all have the patience of Job, and I applaud you. I wish I could go into more detail of what it is like, but honestly I don’t know. I do work in education so I guess I barely scratch the surface in the summer…in just those few months I am ready for daycare to be open again! You guys are the professional jugglers of “momming” and self care. I am just thoroughly impressed with your skills! Keep doing what your doing!
My entire point is this..us moms need to stick together!! Whether you have a career, need to work to make ends meat, or are able to stay at home with your littles… YOU ARE A ROCKSTAR!!!!!! Those who are throwing shade one way or another are more than likely just bitter with their situation, but please don’t let it get you down. Embrace your situation! Be a mom with pride and lift up your fellow moms! As I said before, we can never truly understand what someone is going through, but we can band together and provide an unending support system that allows us all to be successful.
Today marks a full 365 days that Adam has been gone. I would say that everything is okay and moving right along, but it isn’t. I am having to face the music yet again. It’s insane to think that we have traveled once around the sun and the most amazing man with the absolute best giggle hasn’t been here. Holy cow time flies! I feel like this title is quite appropriate given its historical meaning and how much it is true of our family.
Many of you didn’t know my husband, but he had an uncanny ability to make light of just about every situation. I mean it was kind of a super power. I can hear him now, “Drink some beer and have some good food and you will be alright”. I could go on and on about all the amazing things he said and did, but the biggest accomplishment he has was living his life! Adam never missed an opportunity to LIVE IT UP! His charisma and love of life really rubbed off on everyone that he came in contact with. I hope and pray that when he reviewed his life he was happy with all the events, the good and the bad. He taught me a very valuable lesson. You never know how much time you have so live it up. This day will forever bring sadness to our hearts because we lost someone so dear, but it will be a constant reminder to continue to live life! This day will forever haunt me until the day and die, and I am okay with it. Although Henry and I are moving forward with our lives, it doesn’t make any day any easier. We are continuously growing and learning how to cope and survive.
I chose this title because it was spoken when reference the attack on Pearl Harbor. I can relate. Oh before I get started, Adam and I both loved history. I mean our date nights consisted of WWII documentaries and wine! For those of you who don’t really find History as stimulating as we did, the attack on Pearl Harbor was a surprise. It happened early in the morning and caught everyone completely off guard. So many people lost their lives that day. I feel that describes this day for me. At 3 a.m. I was told that my husband was gone. Out of the blue he has a seizure and that was it. No goodbyes, no preparation, no closure, just gone. If you have ever experienced any kind of loss, THIS IS THE WORST! It leaves so many questions unanswered, so many details unknown, and so many memories unmade.
I wish I could say there is a magic word or something that would just make it all go away, but their isn’t. The reality is the pain is still there and sometimes felt stronger on the anniversary of death. Scratch that, it is felt stronger because you constant relive the feelings that you had on that specific day. It’s awful and exhausting. The good news is…just like every thing the hurt will become more bearable because we learn to live with it. This truly is ” A day that will live in infamy” for our family.
Alright, who of you are extremely hard on yourself about anything and everything? How many of you get anxious because you didn’t accomplish all that you wanted to in a day? Wish for more hours in the day? Well let me tell you, I am every one of those and more. I constantly found myself completely overwhelmed by the expectation I had of myself and my life. A life changing event, a death, made me open eyes. I had to let go of what I thought my life should be and start embracing what life I had. I started to understand I wasn’t truly living life. Don’t let your wants drive your life. Take the bull by the horns and show life who makes the rules.
Okay, they best way to describe my life is chaotic. I am still trying to figure it all out. Everyday I am completely overwhelmed everyday, but I won’t change it for the world. The thing that overwhelms me the most is and forever will be my greatest accomplishment. I’m seriously this boy knows how to really blow my mind. For example, he wanted to take a bath early one day. I thought hey this is great he hasn’t napped one minute… EARLY BEDTIME?!?!? ( A mom can dream right?) I was in the office starting to plan for the school year and I heard Henry say, ” Mommy, I’m done. I’m ready to get out.” Mind you I am just a room away and can hear everything! As I walked into the bathroom, my son had washed his face with the toilet water… I mean seriously?!?!? Of course he said I need to take a shower and clean up. If that didn’t make me second guess my parenting, I don’t know what could! Needless to say, Henry was clean, fed, and happy as can be, so that day was a win in my book! By looking at it this way my life is composed of 99% good days, so I should always feel accomplished. Henry is my number one priority and as long and he is healthy and happy I am #winning!
I feel like this is a recurring theme in my posts, but understanding the importance of seeing the positives is key. This doesn’t mean I don’t get frustrated with things throughout the day or have a horrible day at work, but I have to look at the important things when evaluating my day. I know it is difficult to see the light, when every where you turn (Media, Radio, Social Media, etc) there is so much negativity, pain, and hate. We all know that this can negativity affect our lives if we allow it. I am not saying be oblivious to the goings on in the world, but I am saying make sure you are spending your time and energy on what matters. You may be thinking, but I already do that. Do you really? It is necessary for us to re-evaluate and do it often when it comes to priorities. Things happen on a daily basis that require it! Think of your priorities like the stock market. They are constantly changing, and you aren’t monitoring your “portfilio” you could be putting energy where you won’t see a return. Be vigilant my friends. Here is something you can use to determine if you have won the day. Review each thing that transpired, if there is one thing that will put a smile on your face then you are VICTORIOUS!!!
Stained glass windows are some of the most beautiful artworks to look at it. There is something about the way the light shines through that is just breath taking. It is quite amazing, because all through you see all the places were the windows were broken and put back together, that is not what you focus on. You see the bright and beautiful colors and design that has been carefully crafted. My friends, we are all beautifully broken. Some of us may just have a few fissures that have healed, other have extensive damage, but we are all are still so beautiful. Our faults, failures, and losses create these, but our friends, faith, family, and most importantly ourselves create the beautiful soul that we possess.
How quickly we become obsessed in changing all the things that we do not like about ourselves, that we do much more harm than good. I am going to look at this from a parent’s perspective first. I have doubts about pretty much all the decisions that I make for my son. I have to use the experiences, feelings, faith, and anything else in my arsenal. As much as I want to keep my kid protected from every tiny thing that could hurt his pride, hurt him emotionally, or psychologically I have to handle the dangerous things for him, but allow him to experience some. This will allow him to understand consequences, but also learn how to pick himself up and keep moving. Some would call this mental toughness, but it is so much more. Each time we make a mistake that upsets us, we create a small crack in our soul. Whether we admit it or not, we have to heal from each one. The best part is that is creates the masterpiece that we each are. Guess what…there is a catch. In order for us to be the best version of ourselves and be able to teach our children self love, we have to love 100% of ourselves! Oh man that is a pretty incredible thought. Does anyone even love 100% percent of themselves? The more I digest that…it seems pretty impossible. Luckily, there is a “cheat code”! As long as we are willing to focus on the positive even when thinking about things that we wish to change we are on our way to success. It is okay to want to work to be a better version, that does not mean you aren’t satisfied, it just means your vision has changed or maybe your situation has changes that require you to evolve.
We as humans are capable of enduring so much, and have been given the ability to adapt. Don’t be consumed with all the negativity and stress that is in your life. Allow the light to shine through, nourish your soul, and see the beautiful masterpiece that you are! No one is whole, and we are not meant to be. Let us all embrace our short comings in our relationships, parenting, and all other aspects of our lives. Once that is achieved we will be beautifully broken together and lifting each other to the next level. Don’t focus on the fissures and scars of your past, but the amazing future that you are creating.
Grief is such a nasty thing, and loss is the cause of it all. The most beautiful thing is with every end there is a new beginning. With death comes life. Although it is trial by fire and eventually that fire consumes all, from those ashes something new is nutured. The last few months, I have felt that change, I have trully experienced the newness of life. So many things that changes and I am now able to embrace that change…well most of the time. I still have bad days, but I assure you the good outweighs the bad!
As I went through this year without my love and partner, I experienced some crazy things. I had to adapt to the new way of life. I had to accept the path that I was put upon. I fought long and hard to remain in my comfort zone and where I wanted to be. Eventually the reality of the situation caught up with me, and I realized you can’t live in the past. By attempting to, I missed out on so many things. Gatherings of friends, special family moments, and so much more. As soon as a realized that I had become a hermit, a recluse, I put my foot down! No more…. Well really something happened that just helped me realized that it is time to move forward… FOR REAL! I had a dream that just reminded me of what my duty was to my family and friends. Adam and I were sitting on the beach, listening to the waves and having a very deep conversation. I can’t remember specifically what was said, but a silence came between us. After what seemed like an eternity, he looked over at me and said, “It’s time. You have suffered enough, let me go. All is well here. I am surrounded by many who love me, and always know that I love you and will wait for you.” Tears were falling like rain because I knew he was right. I had to let go. He gave me a kiss on the forehead, and said something very Adam. ” You will never loose me, because it is very clear that henry has my personality and knack for loving you like crazy and driving you up the wall.” With that everything faded. I know it sounds silly but I woke realizing that I needed to start looking to those around me and not always trying to relive what was. Every since that night, I have felt a change. I am more willing to do things with others. I don’t seem to get panic attacks as often when going into a big group of people. I have felt at peace with all that has transpired. He pulled me out of the ashes, and reminded me to embrace the person I have become and live the life that I was blessed with.
It is so easy to be engulfed in fear of the future and love of the past. Don’t be pulled into that black hole. Be aware of those around, physically and spiritually. Our loved ones who have already went home, still have a way of reaching out. You just have to be willing to listen. For those who are experience loss, please know that you will overcome the grief, but allow yourself to feel it first. That is the path to new life.
Just when I thought it couldn’t get any worse… it did. Sure the my life was no longer engulfed in flames, but now it was completely destroyed. My vision and life were utterly destroyed. My world had lost all of its luster. My soul was completely broken and only a part of me was in “ working order”. I have entered the part where I was just on auto pilot…. An empty shell just moving through her day.
Morning: get up, get dressed, make lunches, wake up Henry, get him dressed, feed him, drop him off at school, and head to work.
Work, work, work. Everything took me five times longer because my mind was so preoccupied that it was incredible difficult… sometimes down right impossible to focus on anything.
Evening: get home, let out Mia, make sure Henry went to the bathroom, feed Henry and eat, do homework with Henry, bathe, get Henry ready for bed, and lay there (sleep was almost nonexistent) until it was time to do it all over again.
I followed this same routine practically everyday for what seemed forever. It was all I could do to keep moving. Henry needed a mom and I was there. I went through the motions and put a smile on my face. The person that was while Adam was here, died with him. I almost didn’t recognize myself. I had lost all desires. When I did sleep my mind revolted and would give me dreams that were so vivid and real that when I woke up I was hysterical. I just wished I could stay in those dreams. They were the only place where our family and I was complete. Seeing as that was not a viable option I continued with my routine and “lived” as best I could being an empty shell. These months were the worst. I felt nothing. I was just numb. In a rut. Routine was the only thing that kept me going. The sleeplessness became my worst enemy. My world and self had been reduced to ashes. I asked my self multiples time throughout the day… when will it get better? When will I begin to experience life again? Is this what my life will be like now?
Please check back for the next part to this post The Phoenix: Rebirth.
As we approach the first anniversary of my dear Adam’s passing, I have spent many days and nights pondering the years ups, downs, emotions, feelings, and most importantly my personal growth. These next few posts will be breaking down my year of grief and first year of being a single parent. Get ready for a roller coaster ride. This will focus on the first four months of grief and single parenting.
The moment that I was told Adam was deceased, I was completely and utterly broken. My whole being and expectation of life just burst into flames. I can’t even begin to describe the pain and the confusion that was comsuming my entire self. This feeling continued for quite a while. Each time that I walked into the room that he passed in, it was yet another time the wound was opened. I was attempting to keep myself together and busy. I had to stay strong for Henry, but really I was just falling apart. Every inch of me was hurting, physically, emotionally, and psychologically. My personality is to keep my emotions pretty private, so I put my best face foward for everyone to see. In reality, I know that it was meant to make me feel better, considering the fact that everyone who knew me was aware of how I felt. Henry’s positive personality and his constant energy kept me on my toes and moving, rather that doing what I really wanted…was to wallow in the sadness, loss, and depression. I could feel the searing heat and the pain every second. It made eating difficult, sleeping practically impossible, and just functioning enough to be able to get through the day. The sheer exhaustion was exacerbated by running after Henry and dealing with his difficulty with sleeping as well. There were so many times, I would call my mom crying saying I don’t think I can do this. I was completely overwhelmed and strung out. I had been completely consumed by the flames. This continued for about the first four months after Adam’s passing. It was an extremely difficult, but I was able to push through it.
In just a few short days you will be three! I can’t even begin to process where the time has gone. This is such an amazing milestone, wild man. You have tackled every obstacle that has been laid before you. I am so impressed with your skill to problem solve. I mean, dude, you keep me on my toes because if you want something you will figure out how to obtain it. You have NO FEAR. This is both an amazing quality and a potential character flaw, but it will make you a fearsome competitor in this world. You have taught me so much more that I could have ever imagined in just three short years. You have been the poster child on strength and fortitude for me these last several months. Although and am I so proud and excited for all that you have and will accomplish, my heart breaks for you. You are missing one of the most important people in your life, your daddy. I miss him so much its hard to put into words. But you Henry, you have shown me that and remind me daily, that daddy is in heaven and he is in our hearts. He is always with us. I think to myself…” How did I get so lucky?!?!?” I pray that you will continue to view the world as your playground, and continue to make your way in this crazy world. Son, you possess a strength that I can never hope to understand and for that I am incredibly grateful. I know your father is providing you with all the stubborn and pigheadness you need! I’ll have to have a chat with him about that!
Thank you for being the light in my life. Thank you for always giving the best hugs, just like your daddy! They just make me feel all warm and fuzzy on the inside. I pray that you will never forget how much I love you! I know sometimes I can be a little moody and tired, but you have always shown me grace. Your love and compassion is overwhelming in the best way possible. I’ll love you forever and always, to the moon and back, to infinity and beyond. Our love will only grow. Our bond will forever remain strong, regardless of the bumps we hit along the way! Happy Birthday My little Three-Rex.
We are quickly approach the anniversary of Adam’s passing. The anxiety is high and the grief is extremely heavy. As I look back on all of the things that have transpired since that devastating day, I have a few thoughts I would like to share. For those of you who have experienced any loss of someone that you were extremely close with , the “first” of everything is the hardest…. or is it? I know you are thinking wait a minute…what are you saying Kari? Well, I can only speak for myself, but I assure you they are tough, but not as tough as the days/nights in between. I am hoping you will understand once we dive into it. It is easy to see the most striking details, however it is even more imperative that we understand the minute details of day to day life when dealing with grief and loss.
Dark matter is the absence of everything. Honestly, that is how it felt for a long time after Adam passed. I still have days/moments where the feeling creeps back up to the surface. I feel this the most when it is just me and Henry. Sure the first Christmas, Thanksgiving, and all other holidays were difficult, but I was surrounded by friends and family. That alone brought so much love and support to me. Even though we were missing the patriarch of our family, I couldn’t help but feel all the love and allow it to lift my spirits. It is the absence of that physical and emotional support, that the emotions run ramped and despair begins to move in. It is the late nights of wishing for his arms to hold me. It is the waking up and rolling over to an empty bed. This may sound silly, but having to make my own coffee. Adam always made sure there was coffee. Its the wanting to take a nap, but there is no one to watch Henry. Again, it is all the little things that we take for granted that become so huge when dealing with loss. Just think for a moment. When it is the easiest for your mind to run away and all kinds of thoughts and feelings cross your mind…when you are alone and not distracted by others or other things. For me personally, it is at night. I feel like this is a huge reason why my sleep patterns became so out of whack. I will not discredit the fact that every seizure Adam had was around 2am. The PTSD and the anxiety is what really causes the dark matter! I have to constantly remind myself that Adam is waiting for me, and we will meet again. Also, the fact that he is no longer suffering or feeling like he is a burden. As heavy as it is to bear, it will not break me.
In order for their to be dark, there must be light. Although it is difficult to see the bright side, I assure you it is there. You may only get a glimpse sometimes, but allow that glimpse to fill you with unfailing hope. As the days go by, we will be able to heal and move forward. Make the best of what you have. Hold on the memories that fill you with joy. Do your best to press on, and be okay when you have really crummy days. This is something that I working on every single day. I am trying to do better every day. You are stronger that you think you are. Don’t let the dark matter steal your joy or your soul. Yes, it is difficult, but healing takes work and time.