Who Am I?

Who Am I? 

The last month I have been in a deep state of grief.  I fell into this dark hole I didn’t know existed.  Silly me, I thought the worst was past.  Boy, was I wrong.

I don’t even recognize myself anymore.

My person, my other half who helped define me for nine years is gone.

Who Am I?

The person who knew me better then anyone else is dead.

The person who could always calm me down or cheer me up is never coming back.

The person who held my hand while I gave birth to our two beautiful boys won’t see our sons grow up.

The person who held his hand while he was dying is numb. I have changed. In some ways I have changed for the better, and in other ways, for the worse.

Who Am I?

Grief is incredibly exhausting. It makes me forgetful.  I walk around in a giant fog.

My brain is constantly thinking about the past while trying to move forward at the same time. Over three months out from his death and I am merely in survival mode.

Completing tasks around the house is like climbing a mountain.  Sometimes the mountain is a little hill and sometimes it is giant. But that mountain is always there.

Every. Single. Day.

Who am I?

I’ve gone from being an extrovert to introvert. It takes a lot of energy to leave the house. It takes even more energy to spend time with other people. Crowds never made me anxious and now, being with more than a few people at a time overwhelms me.

I feel constant stress and pressure as the solo parentSome days I wake up feeling like I can conquer the world. The next day, it takes all my concentration to take care of my two little boys.

Who Am I?

I have allowed grief to push me over the edge and mutter “This isn’t fair. This is hard.”  Two sentences I didn’t allow into my vocabulary when Adam was living with cancer. Because it could always be worse, right?

I am trying to accept my life is hard.  Once I can fully accept that reality, maybe I will start to appreciate what I am doing in life to move forward.

I have decided to focus on what I accomplish at the end of the day instead of what I didn’t. My accomplishments some days are waking up, getting everyone dressed, fed, and keeping us safe.

Who Am I?

Grieving doesn’t work the way my Type A Personality wants it to. I move forward every day but still look back, missing my best friend, my husband, and my sons’ Daddy. Some days it hits me out of nowhere. “What the hell happened? Is this my life? This is UNFAIR!”

I am irrational one moment and understanding the next because one of the worst events in my life has happened. Most things in life don’t get me excited or upset anymore, yet I long to have those feelings. Long to not be so numb.

Who Am I?

Grieving has made me completely disorganized. I have a hard time returning phone calls, even texts. I returned an email from two months ago last week. I will pick up the mail once or twice a week. I hate opening the mail. Seeing his name on bills is another reminder he is gone. Another reminder to call the energy company and tell someone my person died.

Who Am I?

My grief started long before he died. There was grief before the grief. Compounded losses when he had cancer and losses on top of losing him.

I am constantly reminded of his absence.  The absence of sports being on in the house and hearing wrestling on TV before bed. The loss of watching our favorite shows together. The loss of having my person to share our inside jokes with.

The loss of having my parenting partner there to back me up at dinner time when our toddler is throwing a fit and our baby is throwing food off his tray. The loss of having a second parent to put down on a form. The loss of calling him every day at lunch time to give him the daily report of how the boys are doing.

Who Am I?

The person who knew me best, who would know how to pull me out of this deep dark hole I am in is gone. Gone. I know where he is, but it doesn’t make it any easier.

I am working on finding new ways of pulling myself up when I am down. I am starting to see the light above this dark hole and ready to climb my way out.

I will probably stay here a little while longer yet, but it is a relief to know I am feeling something again.

Until then, I will find the good in each day. I will continue to smile. I will continue to laugh.

I will pray for God to guide me through my grief.

Because this is the only way to find who I am now.

 

Feel Good Friday – 656

I have decided to try a different outlook on Fridays. Instead of waking up and counting the Fridays since I last kissed my husband,  I am going to think of a happy memory.  After his diagnoses, we had to dig a little deeper to enjoy all the daily moments because they were bittersweet.  Adam would want us to keep smiling today and remembering how awesome he was…because Adam never lacked any swagger.

Adam was a gem.  Most of you already know this. His friend and I have been talking a lot lately about Adam, his humor and how proud he was of himself.  And he was proud, ALL the time.  We have had a lot of good laughs about him lately, it feels so good to reminisce.

His dry humor and the way we would tease each other is one of the daily things I miss the most. Sometimes he would take it one joke too far, and his response was always “I kid, I kid” followed by a big Adam hug and groveling.  His friend Witt was always the butt of Adam’s jokes when they were together, okay, even when they weren’t. The more Adam teased you, the more he showed his love.

My notes for this post are growing fast.  I have a smirk on my face, so let’s do this! (An old co-worker of his gave me permission to use as many exclamation points as I want now, but I don’t want Adam to start hiding things on me in the house so I’ll make sure to tone it down.)

He organized about 536 wrestling DVDs in October.  A friend completed the last 120. (Photo taken 10/5/16)

656. This is the number of wrestling DVDs Adam collected from other wrestling fanatics, who converted old VHS recordings of matches to DVD of 1980s and 1990s AWA, ECW, WCW and WWF. Adam was so excited when he received a big envelope in the mail of 50 or more DVDS at a time to organize.  He would download them to his hard drive and then to the iPad so he could watch them anywhere, anytime.

In October before he passed, he bought this giant, heavy, suitcase DVD organizer. He was so proud of it while I cringed thinking about where we would store this monster. On this night, three days before we learned his cancer was back, I watched him start work on organizing 656 wrestling DVDs. He was so serious about it.

I enjoy a good, hard belly laugh when I look back on a video I have of him organizing them, while I tease him in the background. He doesn’t say a word, but his smirk grows bigger and bigger the more I dish it out.  This was Adam and I.

Watching wrestling together in the hospital.

Now, I am grateful we have it. Wrestling was something that helped ease his mind during his cancer diagnoses. When he wasn’t in the mood to watch it, I knew his mind was in a bad place. One of my worries, yes, worries, was who would help me teach the boys all about old school wrestling? I mean, I have probably watched over half of these matches in this suitcase with him, but Adam was an expert on all these wrestling. Books, blogs he read and participated in, he was invested.

When I asked him who I should go to, who knew the most about wrestling, his obvious response was, “nobody knows as much as me.” {Insert my laughter while Adam had a stone face.} I listed friends off, and he put them in order who I should go to for help on “all things wrestling.”  Adam then looked me square in the eye on that hospital bed, five days before he passed, and said “Julie, you are going to have to do some homework on your own.”

My husband had a lot of confidence in me, and I’ll never forget these words. All things wrestling was part of our last heart to heart, where he gave me his blessings and advice for the future without him physically by my side. Do my homework. There was a lot he told me to do my homework on and I will, because he had all the confidence in me, just like he had in himself.

Adam never gave up on trying to grow my love for old school wrestling. He never let up on watching Japanese wrestling on TV before bed (incredibly distracting to listen to wrestling commentary in another language while trying to drift off to dreamland). He never gave up on teasing me. He never gave up on making sure I knew how amazing he was. He never gave up on showing me how much he loved me and the boys. And he certainly never gave up on living, down to his final Friday.

I will never give up Adam, and I will do my homework.

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