One Month

One Month

Tomorrow will be one month.

I know the saying “time flies” is something that everyone is aware of, but I’m not sure I can describe to you how much this past month has been a blur.

Initially, I feel like I was being led through it by my family and friends. I guess I was, because if they weren’t here I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have gotten out of bed or eaten or planned a proper memorial for my husband. That first week it was a constant state of swollen eyes and to be perfectly honest, complete lack of will to live.

Don’t interpret that statement as thinking I’m suicidal, because I wasn’t then and I’m not now. I just couldn’t fathom eating, because there was no point. I couldn’t sleep, because there was no peace. I couldn’t find joy, because there was no joy.

After the memorial, time has just run together. I differentiate the days by people coming and going. I went back to work a week and a half after Tim died. Luckily, it was quiet at first due to summer vacation (and people being afraid of me a little bit). I went through the motions because I knew how, but I remember thinking it was a “good” day if I accomplished three easy tasks… don’t tell my boss though!

In the month since Tim has died, I have laughed and smiled. There are times I forget, and I have even had a day or two where I didn’t cry one drop! Mostly though, my grief has been like a storm. In the beginning, I’m tossed out into the sea and I don’t know the sky from the water. Then for a while I manage to float, but still the rain beats down and the lighting strikes dangerously close.

Now, it’s more like a heavy fog has settled. There’s still rain and the occasional howling wind, but mostly I shiver with wet clothes and a chilling dampness in my heart.

I know people mean well, but I’m really tired of hearing “how well I’m doing” or how strong I am. I don’t feel strong… I am a mess. I worry his family will see me functioning too well or listen to me cheerily talk on the phone, and think I didn’t love him enough. I worry my panic over large bills arriving at my house that I can’t pay will be interpreted as “Wow Lauren is just looking to get as much money from everyone as possible.” Actually if I’m being honest, I worry all the time about so many different things.

Slowly, I will get back to the established routines I can keep and also create new routines in this new life. Some things I’m a little excited about, like my niece being born in a few weeks and decorating 100% my own place for the first time. Others I will do because I must.

A few weeks ago, Tim visited me in a dream. Unlike the concert event I blogged about, I knew the minute that I opened my eyes that it was him speaking directly to me. I deeply crave that kind of interaction again, and am so fearful I won’t ever get it. If I don’t, I will learn to accept that he’s moved on to something greater that I can’t understand. Even so, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t plead to him out loud and in my journal to come talk to me and reassure me one more time.

Things are heavy here now, because my heart is heavy. I’ve been reading blogs by other young widows, and they’re very helpful for me to see that there is a future for me after all this. Right now, I can’t fathom ever having a “normal” life again… but others I’ve read about have. However, none of those bloggers were writers before they were widows, so they didn’t start telling their story until around 6 months after their husband’s death. I’m not sure if it’s a good or a bad thing, but I’m documenting my reality pretty much real time for whoever wants to follow along.

I don’t know what I will do in the future, or sometimes even who I am now without him, but I have one month under my belt. Just 30 more days until the next.

29 thoughts on “One Month

  1. I appreciate your honesty and continuing to blog about such a personal experience. While I can in no way relate to the way you lost your husband, I read a few similar feelings I had when my husband left me very abruptly 11 years ago. One day, one month at a time – know so many are with you in thought.

  2. I wish I could tell you that the first month is the hardest. I struggled with guilt whenever I did something fun. It all came crashing back to me when I left my first horse show without my dad and I couldn’t even call him to tell him how it went. I had to cancel on some friends that I was meeting afterwards for froyo because of that damn storm. Your comparison is beautifully accurate. Unfortunately the storms do reappear occasionally out of the blue when you’re having an otherwise normal day. It will happen less and less, but it will still happen. *hugs*

  3. Such beautiful writing. Strong or not, positive or negative, through any of the storms, know that you have a whole tribe of people that trust you and your intentions and are always here for any sort of comfort we can offer. <3

  4. My brain is a muddle of things I want to say but nothing seems right. Basically live your life and don’t worry about what others think. You can’t live to please everyone. It’s much better live a life for your own happiness. I hope that made sense.
    Also I love your storm analogy.

  5. Your ability to have such insight to an incredibly tragic and heartbreaking situation is a gift. Thank you for sharing this journey – there is no doubt it will help others through loss. People need to know it’s ok to break down, to be weak … but also it’s ok to let other help, to rebuild, find new hope.

  6. My grief is like a storm…. Wow Lauren… chills, again. People say how strong you are because they (including me) don’t know what to say. There’s no “right” thing to say really, because you’re feeling so many different and conflicting emotions. And of course you’re worried about what people will think if you do or don’t act a certain way, because the flip side of the coin is there’s no right way for you to feel or behave, either. I am glad you made it through the first 30 days. This blog has gone from a cute and fun diversion about a girl in Texas and her nerd horse to something much bigger, a look into a very personal, emotional, profound human experience. Just like you said reading other young widows’ blogs is helping you, I think what you’ve written will help others, because you decided to share what you’re going through right from the start. While there may come a time when you decide you don’t want to write the blog anymore (for whatever reason), what you’ve done so far is really important, and moving, and beautiful in its pain and honesty and reality and love and everything else.

  7. I don’t know if this helps, but a woman I know lost her husband to cancer last year. She started a blog detailing his decline and has continued it after his death. It’s heartbreaking, but also heartening. She’s a huge inspiration and really wants to help others in a similar situation.

  8. Lauren, please don’t worry about how others view you during this time. I felt that way after my dad died – don’t act too happy, don’t act too sad – I didn’t want to come across as an uncaring bitch or a drama queen. Just be you. You deserve to talk happily on the phone sometimes, just like you deserve to cry your eyes out whenever you want. I wish nothing but the best for you.

    My dad visited me in a dream after he died (he fought a long battle with addiction as well, though it took him more slowly), and it was wonderful to see him healthy and happy again. I’ll never forget that dream, because I swear it was real. I’m sure you’ll never forget yours either – and I bet he’ll come visit again. <3

  9. First, I am very sorry for your loss. I have been reading your blog for some time now, but I have yet to comment. I just want to give some advice, since I work in the insurance industry and I just had to go through this with the death of my father. I would recommend reaching out to all bills prior to death and request a bill reduction (I was able to get $50,00+ of medical bills cancelled through this process).

    I would just speak with someone in billing and let them know that unfortunately the party has passed on and then request for assistance through a bill reduction. I had to provide a copy of the death certificate a few times, and a few other times they offered a reduction over completely closing out the bill, but it is worth a try.

  10. Continuing to send you hugs and positive vibes as you navigate this storm. I’m so glad you continue to blog so honestly about all this. You are an inspiration.

  11. Lauren your writing has become quite something. I think you should try a hand at some poetry or perhaps a novel to help with your grieving. I have no advice just know I’m thinking of you in this trying time. Big hugs.

  12. you have a very beautiful way of expressing what this period in your life is – even if it doesn’t feel very beautiful. my thoughts are very much with you!

  13. Lauren your writing continues to be beautiful and your lovely heart shines through it. Keep writing, here or elsewhere, I’m almost certain one day there will be a book with your name on it.

  14. Just wanted to share some empathy about the “strong” thing — it’s hard to respond when people say that, at least for me because part of you wants to shake them & say, “Can’t you see it’s all fallen apart??! I’m tired of looking ‘strong’!” while at the same time I know they are at a loss & are just trying to be supportive, yet I just want to collapse right there & beg for help (except my brain refuses to emotion in front of people).

    I continue to also read some articles, papers, stories about and/or by people who have had to grive their Person while still so very young (I was 32). And also just about loss in general, of all kinds. We sort of know that grief is a universal emotion, but really LEARNING that is difficult & yet it helps hearing the words of others who have had to survive this particular version of hell. I hope it makes you feel a little bit less alone, as it does for me.

    As for blogging, we all grieve in our own way. Being part of who we are, I think it’s connected to whether we are introverts or extroverts to some extent, but with more categories; some find catharsis in sharing the way you do, some after taking some time, some never can. But sharing that kind of emotional honesty does help other people, too. There are so many of us looking for any kind of light in very dark places. And a shared experience, even a tragic one (especially a tragic one), can be a life-saving beacon, that I can state for certain.

  15. Your blog is beautiful even through the sorrow. My dad passed a few years ago due to cancer. My mom was here in early July helping me out. I read her excerpts of your entries, and almost the whole entry about picking up the ashes.

    It opened up a very interesting conversation between her and I. So on many levels you talking about your journey helps others.

    I hold you in my thoughts and thank you for you candidness.

  16. I don’t know what exactly, but I do think our souls continue to exist after we depart this world, and I do think they can visit you, like in your dream. I hope you take comfort in knowing that his struggles are over. I’m sure he’s incredibly sorry, and would want you to make the best of the time you have left. Keep at it.

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