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Stumbling through my first day alone - A journey through grief (11)

Posted on March 15, 2016 at 7:45 PM

Even with my eyes closed the light penetrates my slumber and I suddenly can hear the cars passing on the road below. I recognize the comfort of my bed and instantly wonder if Derek’s passing has all been some horrible dream. My eyes spring open and I look for him, but he’s not beside me. As I start to awaken and see the bag from the hospital sitting on the floor. My heart sinks and I know it’s real, he’s really gone. I’m distraught and I can’t understand how the sun can be shining, how people are just going along with their day like nothing happened. I lay there motionless as the weight of my reality sinks in. My eyes feel so swollen and my stomach sick. Lost, I roll over to the other side of the bed and pull his pillow close to me. It smells like him, I close my eyes again and soak it in. As I lay there I hear the faint rustling of the baby playing in her crib. Then it hits me, the kids need me why am I still in bed? I jump up only to sit back down. My head is spinning and I feel weak. My second attempt meets with success as I’m able to actually stay upright. As I enter Anna’s room she smiles up at me from between the bars of her crib. Her blue eyes bright and beautiful. Before I can even reach the crib her arms are out for me to scoop her up, which I gladly do. We make our way to the other bedrooms only to find them empty. Once downstairs I hear my niece as well as all of their little voices in the dining room. As soon as Jeanne sees me she rushes over to hug me then quickly returns to her seat. I muster up a “Good morning guys” as make my way around the table to give hugs. Jenn looks up at me and I feel as though she sees right through my façade. I’m lost in that thought and evaluating myself as she asks “Do you want me to get you a coffee? I made a pot a little bit ago”. I quickly reply “it’s okay, I got it”. She approaches and takes Anna stating “then I’ll grab her breakfast while you do that. I’m all set I’ve already had breakfast.” As I walk into the kitchen I drift off again, my thoughts go to the smiling face and warm hug that would greet me each morning as I reached this point in the kitchen. I long for my “good morning beautiful” and the comfort only he could bring. I catch myself as tears start to well up and I return my focus to the task at hand.

Over the course of the day I manage to make funeral arrangements, buy two burial plots and pick out a head stone. While I was out Becky took the boys out to buy dress suits and Derek’s parents had a wreath sent over. My family had all of our rolls of film developed so I spent a good part of the afternoon sifting through stacks of pictures trying to find one of Derek for his memorial service. Towards the end of the day a firefighter from the Fairfield Fire Department showed up at my door. I recognized him as Murphy from department gatherings. He stood before me and started to speak, as he did his voice cracked and his eyes filled with tears. I stood stoic, emotionless before him in the doorway. As tears rolled down his cheeks he handed me a $500 money order to help with expenses. He let me know that both oil tanks were filled and a load of firewood would be there shortly. I managed to thank him and ask that he relay my gratitude to the others at the station. He told me that if we needed anything to let them know. He seemed so uncomfortable and eager to escape this awkward encounter as was I. I’ve never been good at accepting help from anyone but find myself now in a situation where I cannot refuse any offers for assistance.

I’ve settled all the children into their beds for the night. While tucking Matthew in we discussed a new seating arrangement for the dinner table and the need for silly words for each other. Things we can say or think of when we want to cry so we’ll smile instead. Nickel was crying after everyone else fell asleep so I went in and laid down with him until he drifted off. Now as I sit here on my bed releasing the tears I held back all day, my heart is broken. I’ve surrounded myself with his pictures so that I can at least see him when I fall asleep and wake up. I pray that God give me the strength to make it through this and heal my children from this horrible pain. I cry until the blessing of sleep comes where I can hope to see him once again.

 

Categories: A Journey Through Grief

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