I haven’t felt much like sharing my feelings lately. Yesterday would have been our 3rd wedding anniversary so I spent the day working from home and then opened a bottle of cheap wine at 5pm sharp. I didn’t even use a glass. I drank straight from the bottle which meant I had purple lips by the time I arrived at the tobacco shop to purchase a pack of clove cigarettes, something I always crave around this time of year. I figure 12 cigarettes a year won’t kill you any faster than running a half-marathon. So I camped out in my garage with my bottom shelf wine smoking a clove while I watched it rain and drizzle, a pastime Jason and I always enjoyed. Perhaps it was the pull of the Pacific Northwest calling to me. Sunny days were great but the gray rainy days are the perfect ambiance for a melancholy afternoon full of introspection and bit of self-pity.
I keep asking myself why am I the one riddled with sadness and anger when I’m still here and Jason is the one who got the short end of the stick. I think a lot of my anger is towards the universe for cheating him on his time. There is and will always be someone fundamentally missing from my life going forward and that thought can be so overwhelming at times. I had so much left to say to him, and to apologize for…such as nagging him about forgetting the car keys after we had just walked down 6 flights of stairs at the hotel because the elevator was broken, or the many times I behaved passive aggressively when he would arrive home too late from work.
I wrote a very long journal entry last night trying to collect and organize everything I wanted to tell him….and then I woke up again at 3am and wrote him a Happy Anniversary card which I had picked out months ago. I sealed it when I was done and placed it in the ‘sacred’ drawer where I keep the shirt and pants he was wearing the day before he died, as well as the newly purchased sunglasses he was wearing during his run. They are still streaked with his salty sweat stains and I haven’t tried to clean them or remove those small traces of his existence. Instead I go out of my way to retain the smell of his deodorant in his shirt and keep those last things that touched his body exactly as they were. His running socks are still stuffed into his shoes and I will never move them. I can’t go through our closet yet either. The only thing I’ve been able to part with so far is his large drawer full of running socks…and even then I kept his favorites. Last night I slept with the Project Linus blanket because I felt like it was the closest thing to his body when he died, and I just wanted to be that close to him again.
Tonight I actually became a little angry with him for leaving me here to deal with his ailing dog, a house I can’t really afford on my own, never-ending yard work and upkeep, and just the exhaustion of suddenly transitioning from a two-person house to a one-person (and sometimes even a half of a person) house. I’m just so tired. I received a letter from the HOA about needing to paint the fence. I know the HOA is an organization to be feared but tonight I just felt like hearing the soothing sounds of the shredder which takes care of all pieces of paper I don’t want to deal with.
I opened his iPad and installed all the new updates just to keep things running smoothly. I found myself looking through all of his pictures and listening to his playlists in iTunes. His iPhone was still playing music when I got to the hospital to see him. The hospital handed me the clear and sterile plastic bag with his belongings and I noticed “So Here We Are” was playing by Bloc Party on his phone. He must have been listening to his ‘chill’ playlist while he was running. Only he would listen to chilled out music during an intense run. I’ve now listened to the entire playlist and I’ve become a little obsessed as to exactly what song was playing when he collapsed and died in the blink of an eye. I just want to know what the last thing he heard was. I wish it had been my voice. I hope the music was something uplifting and soothing. I kept thinking “yes, so here we are” and now where do I go from here, without you.
Leaving him alone at the hospital that day was one of the hardest days of my life because I felt as though I was abandoning him in Raleigh, and I kept feeling like I was forgetting something the entire drive home. I realized it was him. I was leaving him behind in a cold hospital room by himself. And the second hardest day was the day of the funeral, and those few minutes we had to ourselves before they had to close the casket lid. I had written him a very long letter and left it with him so I am assuming it is now part of the ashes that sit on my dresser.
I never imagined I could miss someone so intensely with a pain that just settles into your bones and becomes part of your being, permeating every thought of the day and making even the happy moments just a little less happy. I wonder sometimes if he truly knows how much he is missed and loved. I tell him all the time but can he even hear me? I don’t know and that is part of what makes this so much harder. Where is he? I keep waiting for a sign or signal that he’s happy and he’s okay. I just have to believe that for my own sanity. And I am sure he is. He always landed on his feet.
And I believe I will learn ways to get through this but the pain that surfaces every single day is a fresh Hell to navigate…and the tiredness is just so all-encompassing. But there are many of us out there going through the same storm, as I’ve learned through this blog, so none of us are truly alone although it feels that way. We’re in this together and that gives me a small glimmer of hope.