Monday, September 27, 2010

26 Candles

For those of you close to me you know how much I had been dreading my birthday. I didn't want to 'celebrate', I didn't want any reminders, I didn't want to mark the day at all. I wished nothing more than to pretend it did not exist or have it disappear at once into the past.

The very mention of it was enough to choke me up.

Let me explain why.

For the first time in my life, I am now as old as Craig. By this time next year, I will officially be older than him. The year after that I will be older still. And so on and so forth.

For this reason my birthday grieves me more than his did, more than our anniversary did, more than any other occaision.

I dread aging. Not for the reasons other people do (although I will cling to my youth as long as humanly possible like the rest of us) but because it is a sharp and painful reminder: My life will continue on and Craig's will not.

I will age and grow older without him, while he remains forever frozen in time - the 26 year old husband and lover of my youth.

Time marches forward unforgivingly. My future will barrel onwards, neither slowing nor stopping to align with the abrupt halting of his.

It is a painful and suffocating loss.

I cannot hold onto him forever. I cannot bring him with me. There will only ever be a greater and greater distance between us.

So for those of you who wondered at the strangeness of my requests or disinterest in doing much of anything, this is why. I apologize to the people I didn't see and for my lack of enthusiasm. I greatly appreciate all the cards, gifts, and well wishes. I really do.

Just know that this is why it was a painful day for me.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Front Line

Upon widowhood, the people in your life immediately split into three factions.

The first, the DGI (Don't Get It) Masses. They seem to be the most prevalent but this is likely just a trick of the mind - they seem to crowd around you the most simply because they are so damn memorable. They often are too busy thinking of themselves or how they feel to bother being concerned with what comes out of their mouths. They pop up all over the place - at the grocery store, at work, at home, even at the bloody funeral.

*Said in a spooky whisper* I see DGI's. They are everywhere. And they don't even know they are dumb.

I won't get into all the entertainingly ignorant things said to me over the last six months - they are too many to count and most deserve their very own post. So lets move on.

The second faction, which is actually larger (instead of just seeming so) are the Indifferent Masses. These are the crowds of acquaintances, friends, neighbours, family, coworkers, and random strangers who are so moved to discomfort at the idea of death (particularly their own) that they avoid you at all costs.

These are the ones who have not bothered to call, email, or stop by even once in the last six months. 'It's not my place' they tell themselves. 'I don't know what to say' they insist. Many of them I have even begged to help me, suggesting words or actions that would bring comfort, but they have refused with their silence. In truth, they are merely scared and choose their distant comfort over the possibility of a few awkward moments. Or perhaps they have just forgotten that car accidents are not contagious.

They are perhaps the most hurtful because their distance shouts that they care so very little for me and what I am going through.

The third group is one that does not get nearly enough recognition. They are brave, they are uncomfortable, they are willing to risk a few tears and an ever-running nose. This tiny handful of friends, that my counsellor refers to as 'the front line', have been there every day. They are the ones who call even if they have nothing to say. The ones who stop by just to make sure I'm not shutting myself up and hiding from the world. The ones who give up their time and peace of mind to be sad with me when I am incapable of anything else or to cheer me up when I need it.

They run errands, take care of paperwork, drag me out of the house, make me laugh, let me act strangely, forgive my widda brain, and never once make me feel like I am anything but their Emily, loved just as much as I ever was. They do not judge my actions but merely support me in what makes me happy, knowing just how fragile that happiness is. They cannot possibly understand but do everything they can to try to. They see me at my worst and are genuinely happy in the moments when I am at my best, because they are the few who can truly recognize the difference.

I wish there was some way to recognize them or pay them back in full. In a world where indifference reigns supreme and people so easily slide in and out of your life, they are treasured gifts. And I am so grateful for each and every one of them.

So today I just wanted to say, hugs and love to all the 'front line' out there.

May you be blessed beyond measure.

Monday, September 20, 2010

The La-Z-Boy

Last Christmas Craig bought himself this gorgeous leather La-Z-Boy recliner. He loved it and wouldn't let anyone else sit in it (if he caught me sneaking in there, he'd give me a hard time for wrecking his butt groove).

He only had it a couple months before he died so it's pretty much brand new, mint condition. I've been planning to sell it for some time since I never use it and it just takes up space in my already cramped living room.

A friend of mine came over to help me move it into a spare room to store it for now along with some other boxes.

Fine, no big deal.

I don't know what the hell happened. As soon as we re-adjusted the couches in the living room it was like the chair had never been there. I don't know why, but I burst into tears. All out sobbing, sniffling, you name it.


Just when I thought I was doing ok, not crying every day, making it on my own... something stupid like a chair derails me.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Stupid House

I want to sell this house. Badly.

Much as I love our little home, I'm tired of the constant reminder while I'm here and I really don't want to endure another winter driving up and down that road Craig died on. I barely survived last winter, don't know if I'd make it through another one.

Problem is, I have no money to buy a new house.

And, currently, no job.

I could rent, but I so hate 'living in transition'. As in, hey, this is not really my house and never will be, but lets pretend for the time being.

Craig and I did this for a couple years with our crappy apartment (500 square feet of less-than-fun accommodations) and lets just say we practically danced down the steps when we finally moved out of there.

Oh, and that reminds me, did I mention how much I can't stand moving? Too much work. All the boxes and the dust and the newspaper and bubble wrap and the lifting and breaking your back and the trying to find which accursed box your toothbrush is in... ugh. No thanks. Why haven't they invented the teleport yet? It would totally be worth it for moving alone.

For now, the goal is just to get out of here. I would like to have a nice home, a real home. Completely new, totally fresh, without any memories attached.

Time to start buying those lottery tickets, I guess.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

6 Months

Today is my 6 month Sadiversary.

I can't believe it has been that long - half a year already. From this day on I will be closer to the 1 year mark than to the date of the accident.

The 6 month mark is supposed to be some sort of magical date. Many widows say it is when their real grieving starts, noting how much harder the loss hits them around this time. Others have said this is when they began to feel some closure or when they felt comfortable dating again.

For me, it feels no different from yesterday or two weeks ago. It's just another day without Craig.

To 'celebrate' I am heading downtown to the bank to deal with more estate stuff and then I'm off to the lawyer's to deal with more legal stuff.

Yes, 6 months later, it is still a never ending to-do list.


Fortunately I did most of my crying yesterday and the day before.

Maybe today won't be so bad?

Here's hoping.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Sweet, Sweet Relief

It's over. It's finally over.

The other driver pled guilty to the careless driving charge yesterday, saving us the torture of going through a trial.

I was called to court in the afternoon to read my Victim Impact Statement. So much for nerves of steal. More like nerves of Jello. Pretty much thought I was going to vomit. Or worse.

But I did it. Did I cry through the whole thing? You bet. But for once, I managed to cry and talk at the same time (usually an impossibility for me) and strategically wipe my nose on occaision so as not to have snot running down my face. Win and win.

I think everybody was pretty moved in the courtroom, including the judge and the prosecutor. I know in the end it doesn't really affect the other driver's sentencing, but that's ok. I just wanted to have my say, to have the world acknowledge how important Craig is and that it really is a big deal that he died. For the first time since his accident I felt like I got my say and like the world listened. And it felt damn good.

The judge did seem to seriously consider jail time and even adjourned at one point to re-evaluate. In the end he decided not to for a number of reasons I won't get into. In the end, it doesn't matter to me. This man going to jail does not bring Craig back and has absolutely zero impact on my life. If the roles were reversed, and it was Craig who had killed someone, Craig who was facing potential jail time, I would be freaking out. No way would I ever want my husband to suffer like that or to be taken from me. So how would it help anything to take someone else's husband away and make him suffer just because mine is gone?

I did speak with the man (very briefly) afterwards and he begged for forgiveness, apologizing profusely. This is not some jerk who doesn't care and isn't remorseful. He is just another hardworking, average guy who really screwed up. Between getting my say, seeing everyone's reaction, and looking at this man I realized I really do forgive him. It was like all the anger and hatred I had for him just evaporated.

And I have never felt so happy in all my life.

I am so relieved it's finally over and I can move forward.

Nobody else has to suffer, he acknowledged his guilt, nothing more is needed.

So thank you to everyone for the prayers and support. I don't think things could have turned out any better.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Dear God

I know we haven't been on very good terms lately. I know I've shouted at you, cursed you, screamed that you had abandoned me.

But right now, this minute, I desperately need you.

If you could please find it in your heart to forgive me and take a little bit of pity on me to help me get through this.

Never have I needed you more.

I have to testify. I am unprepared. I am not ready.

But I have to do this.

And it's going to take a miracle for me to get through it.

So please.

Please, please, please, help me get through all four pages without tripping over my words or missing lines.

Help me be clear, concise, and speak from the heart.

Take my words and let them be understood, let them make an impact.

Help me keep from crying (too much) so I don't have to stop or quit part way through.

Help me speak for Craig because he cannot.

I just need to get through this one last piece, and then I can rest.

Your Prodigal Daughter

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Done Like Dinner!

I have finally finished my Victim Impact Statement!

As predicted, I left it until the very last minute where inspiration finally struck, just in the nic (is that how you spell nic?) of time! Am breathing a huge sigh of relief. So glad to be done.

Now if I could just get through even one page of it without breaking down sobbing and having to repeatedly blow my nose. That'd be great.

No more stressing about this for at least a few weeks now. Once it's submitted, I vow to not think about it until I have to. Or at least not think about it constantly all day, every day.

I look forward to the day when all this court stuff is done and behind me and I can finally get on with my life.

Saturday, September 4, 2010


I'm having a heck of a time writing my Victim Impact Statement. It's completely stressing me out, I'm pretty sure I'm shedding even more hair than usual.

I have no idea how to start. I hate everything I write.

How do you summarize the impact on your life in a few short pages? How on earth am I supposed to explain and properly capture just how important Craig was to me and how big a hole his absence has left in my world?

I have a million notes, 10 or 15 different paragraphs started. I just can't get it right, though.

I want the judge and the defendant to grasp the enormity of this, of what has happened. I want them to feel how much this hurts, to really get it. The problem is, I don't think I can. I don't think there are enough words in the world to make them understand.

So what the heck am I supposed to do?

I am down to the wire here... just a couple days left to finish it and make it count before it gets submitted.


I can't stop procrastinating.

This is the most important thing I've ever had to write and I've never felt so utterly incapable.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

I'm Allowed To Be Mad

Off to court today to review evidence and prep.

Hey, maybe I'll get really lucky and get to see some gruesome shots of my husband's corpse. Super fun!

Yes, I'm mad.

Yes, I'm bitter.

Yes, I'm angry.

I challenge any person out there to go through this and never feel any of these things. I would like to see the widow who is all grace, happy and smiling, not bothered by her husband being killed.

Show me this widow.

I'd like to meet her.

Because as far as I can tell, I got a crap deal. I had a great husband, who I actually appreciated, which is a heck of a lot more than most people (hence an over 50% divorce rate, I guess). We actually had a good marriage, cared deeply about one another. We were good people.

There is nothing fair about this.

There is no higher purpose.

There is no 'big plan'.

Unless the big plan is to let horrible people have fun and easy lives while good people have to suffer. In which case, what a crap plan.

I'm allowed to be angry that some stupid idiot destroyed my entire life because he was a wee bit tired one day.

I'm allowed to be pissed that the God I followed my whole life decided my husband wasn't worth saving. That God either purposely decided to end my husband's life (and mine for all intents and purposes) in this horribly violent way or He just didn't care enough to pay attention for those two damn seconds it would have taken to save Craig.

I'm allowed to be frustrated with all the stupid people who say stupid things to me because they just can't bother to think before stuff flies out of their mouths. News flash: If you aren't widowed, you have no idea what this is like! Judge not lest you also get the opportunity to be judged - and you better hope you don't.

Sorry I'm not the cutesy, sweet, smiling widow everyone expects.

I'm just me.

And as a human, I have feelings.

Get over it.