Monday, August 13, 2012

525,600 minutes

Today it's been a year:  One entire year since Iain died.  One entire year since I've seen him, heard his voice, felt his arms around me.....the list goes on. 

People often say, "Wow - I can't believe it's already been a year."  All I can say is that if time is passing quickly for you, then count your lucky stars that things are either going your way, or that busy-ness is one of your biggest problems.

It's been my experience that time does not pass quickly for those who are suffering. I have felt every bit of the five hundred twenty-five thousand, six hundred minutes of this last year.  I can almost hear the second hand slowly ticking as it echoes loudly in my grieving heart.

The summer has been full of slow, loud ticking. Selling our house...tick, tick......moving in with my parents......tick, tick......Father's Day....tick, tick....Gianna's 4th birthday....tick, tick.....our wedding anniversary.....TICK, TICK.....the arrival of Iain's parents...tick, tick.....and the One Year Anniversary of My Husband's Death....TICK, TICK, TICK. 

Is it possible to be bludgeoned by the second hand of a clock?  It must be. It's certainly what it feels like. It's brutal.

And here we are at the anniversary date when the majority of Western thinking people expect those who are bereft to have somehow graduated from their grief.  It really starts to happen after just a few months.  Instead of  the heartfelt "How are you DOING?" accompanied by the obligitory head-tilt, the question changes to "You doing okay?" paired with the head nod which typically signals that they really don't want to hear anything other than an affirmative answer.

Instead of hearing inquiries of my grief journey or the state of my heart -- most people feel the need to berage me with questions about my impending future (which I am in no way able or willing to answer). 

Don't get me wrong - most questions are innocently asked and fairly easy to answer.  Many people are respectful when I tell them that I really don't know the answers right now.  But there are just as many people that seem to believe it's their duty to help me figure out the answers immediately either by asking more questions or by giving suggestions in how to live out my life.  I have had more "advice" about schooling for Gianna; whether to buy or rent a home and where it should or should not be; if and when I will return to work and what I should consider doing; how often I should be blogging and how I need to get working on a book.  Yada, yada, yada.

Making it through the day, through the emotions, through the faith questions, through the tick-tick ticking, raising a very busy, very curious, very smart four year old girl is really about all I can handle most days. 

I'm tired. I'm not this cranky all the time, but life is still hard. Stil.  Even a whole year out.  Most people's lives have returned to some semblence of normalcy.  Mine?  Not so much.  I'm displaced (home-wise).  I'm still broken.  I can't seem to figure out which I like least --- being a widow or being a single mom.  (I've decided that it's the combination of the two that is most difficult.)  I will never ever be done with this grief. EVER.  I will have more normal moments.  I will not always be entirely consumed like I have been. I know that.  But the clouds are just barely clearing.  I feel the need to say that.

I didn't just lose my husband. I lost the father of my child. I lost my very best friend.  I lost the one person on this earth who knew me the very best. I lost my provider. I lost my sounding board. I lost my counselor.  I lost my favorite roommate.  I lost my lover. I lost my soulmate.  I lost part of myself.  There's a part of me that is never coming back.  Part of me was buried in that casket with Iain.  I grieve her too. 

I'm not on Facebook much anymore.  I'm tired how trite everything sounds and when I'm in the depths of despair, I don't really want to read about the laments of not being able to find the ingredient of one of the latest Pinterest recipes.  Recently, I was bothered after I posted a picture of Gianna and I.  Someone recently commented about how nice it was to see us back to being our happy selves again. (It was a very lovely comment - but is was just the way it struck me.)

We do have happy times --- every single day.Every single week. Have you met my daughter? She is joy personified. I may not proud of a whole lot lately, but I am proud of having been able to create some sort of "normal" happy life for my daughter. That, unfortunately, doesn't come without price for me.

There are so many people grieving significant losses out there. People are carrying heavy crosses.  I feel the need to paint a more accurate picture of what it feels like (obviously from my own perspective.)  I imagine some of it translates to other issues too - not just deaths, but divorce, mental illness,pregnancy loss, infertility, foster/adoption drama,  serious illness, addictions, woes/loneliness of the aged, etc.

I guess this is my way of purging.  I haven't posted on the blog for a month.  It might be a record for me.  But when I go through weeks and months posting about normal, happy events, there's that piece of me that feels the need to put on the breaks until I'm able to spew some of my darker reality into the blogosphere. Just to be authentic. I don't want to paint that picture of Graduation from Grief. 

I am truly not writing this to gain pity.  We are going to be okay.  It just sucks. No amount of faith or prayer takes away pain.  I continue to struggle in the balance of strong faitih and being honest in my grief.  We all have our crosses. I just feel the need to shed light on grief.  I know a lot of people don't get it.  I am so grateful for that.  I hate to think that others experience what I do. 

I just got a message from a dear friend that another young mom was burying her husband today under very similar circumstances to me.  She has a four year old son and she is at the beginning of this journey.  I carried her in my heart today.  I offered her intentions up at the special mass we had for Iain today as well as prayers for her husband and son.  I hope you might offer a prayer for them today.  (And we never turn down prayers!  It is truly one of the few things that provides comfort.)

So, are we okay?  Good.  Then I guess you'll forgive me for not proofing this.

Off to start the 525,747th minute of my altered life.  Buckle up for a boatload of pictures  soon. :) 

11 comments:

  1. Oh Maria, you and Gianna have been in my thoughts and prayers so much this week! So sorry for not calling, I offer up lots of sufferings for you! Your journey just seems so hard to me, the grief is so consuming but I praise god that G helps usher in the joy! Every time I think if Iain I think of his huge heart and his magnificent way helping you become Gianna's momma! He truly was a knight in shining armor!
    Xoxo

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  2. So necessarily put Maria. I love the rawness purge of emotion. And I'm sorry it's yours to bear. I don't know the loss of a husband but I know the difficulty of raising a sick child. Similar because I too get the sideways nods with slightly slandted eyebrows as if my life were some plight that deserved pity, followed,ironically, by the "well he's ok right?".....as if time alone has somehow managed to heal the child completely or that because I'm standing before them with my wits about me, life must be perfect. When I find someone who struggles with the "why" in life as much and as HARD as I do, it's comforting. Especially because you paint such an honest human picture of it..It's so good to read these blog posts. Miss you. Laura

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  3. I didn't proofread either apparently :) sorry

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  4. Maria, I think of you and Gianna so often! Every time I do, I send up a prayer for you. Much love, Shayna

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  5. What an honor to look into your heart. Thank you.

    Love you

    Sandy

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  6. Maria, you have always been a beautiful light, and it shines out of you effortlessly with such grace even through your darkest times.

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  7. I love you, Maria. Thank you for being so real.

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  8. I'm so thankful you shared this post. I know this year was not easy at all, but time will continue to help you heal...this I know to be true.

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  9. This is beautiful. Thanks for sharing. God bless you.

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  10. Maria, I wish I knew the right thing to say. You and Gianna are on my mind a lot, and in my prayers always. Love you and I hope we get to see more of you this year at dance and/or at pre-school :)It is always a treat to visit with you and that precious girl of yours.

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  11. l will lift up extra prayers today for you and Gianna. May God wrap his arms around you and may you feel his peace and his love. Thank you for sharing .

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