You need to write…
You need to write Jess!
I don’t know about others but when I need to write I NEED TO WRITE! I get shaky and the chills. My mind races. Until I open my notepad and begin. Like a creative flu.
I’m at this point in my grief cycle where I don’t know up from down. It’s unlike before there is a comfortability like a warm heavy blanket in winter. I don’t feel this purgatory of sadness, although I am sad. I have just detached from all the pain leading to this point. If this is a mental breakdown I’ll take it. I’ve had fleeting moments like remembering Meridith say to me after a hug that she felt the need to slap my ass lol weird weird I know but I truly believe that was Dave. I sat at my desk starting at a spreadsheet gritting until the the tears subsided. With a hard swallow and a swig of monster I was back to joking.
The past few days have been intense to say the least. As I sit here I amazed at my ability to run off sheer willpower. Last Monday I was able to sit down with a fellow widow. Her grace and her eloquence while she spoke of the last few months of her husbands life. The raw honesty from the minute she sat down. She was exactly what I needed to ground me. To prepare me for the coming days lingering near by. Although she most likely doesn’t understand the gravity of the gift she gave me over Starbucks. Or maybe my head is blowing it up. Either way I am so grateful for widows and widowers like herself.
My days were long though and I struggled immensely, mostly at work. For a few days there I scared even myself. I could feel February Jess bubbling under the surface. Taking ahold of a very weak and beaten down vessel. I went from yelling at my boss to sobbing to joking to almost quitting to sobbing on the floor outside of the elevators for our floor to isolation to calm. Did you follow that? Yeah I fucking know. Absolutely some of the worst days I have had. If it wasn’t for two strong and compassionate friends at work I probably would have jumped off the building that afternoon. No joke. It was really really bad for a minute.
On Wednesday night I had dinner with the mother of my great young love. Again my HP presented a strong woman. Another significant piece of this last week. I was never super close with her but I never felt uncomfortable around her. I knew we both had the same end goal in mind. Like a soldier in the ruts for years with me. We both got to see sides of him that few had. I think she knew even in the thick of it all I did truly love him. The closure I received walking away from that dinner was indescribable. It was like she knew exactly what I needed to hear that not even I knew until there it was. Sound waves permeating the warm autumn evening. Hours before I nearly passed out walking up to her and Pam but now I felt safe again. I drove away overwhelmed with gratitude for them, for him, for whatever the universe is up to.
Two days later I loaded up the kids and did my six hour adventure to the place I last saw my husband. The place I had found him. “This was my duty as a wife” I reminded myself. “What would make Dave happy? Stay in the moment you’re so close to the end of year one. Do it fucking right!” That drive was excruciating. It felt like how I think it would feel to fall from a skyscraper. Long enough to know it’s going to be bad and have time to think about it but not the ability to change it. “Keep going. Keep going.” Luckily I was pleasantly surprised at how comforting it was to be there. It still doesn’t make sense.
When I decided to go to Detroit I wanted to create new memories for everyone including myself. As I thought I asked over and over what would you do on your last day? Then I knew. Lions and family. Sunday I was able to do that in honor of you Poopa. The feeling of being at Ford Field sitting next to three generations of Trobaugh men and true Lions lovers I felt so accomplished. So many times I didn’t think I would make it there for you but there we were. Then we came home to a house full of family. Ham as always. I smiled to myself when you’re mom said she was making it. You were there too I just know it. That was the first family gathering where I didn’t feel like an empty shell in the corner.
To conclude this pilgrimage on Monday morning I sat down with an ex girlfriend of Dave’s. They had been together six years and had always been very important to him. When she reached out after his passing there was no hesitation. I was meant to talk to her. When we decided to meet I wasn’t sure if I was making the right moves. Something pushed and said I needed this too. Breakfast was so smooth like we had known each other before. I could see things about her that I just knew he must have loved. (I’m a creep I know) we laughed, we cried, we pigged out! It was an extremely cathartic event that I was grateful to have the opportunity to experience.
Going into year two I just really hope I’ve made you proud. I have grown so much. Learned so many new things about myself. Slowly learning to love each one as I know you would. I have learned my loss is not my own. How to respect all parts of you while still being me. I have become a master of deconstruction and reconstruction. I surprise even me. I know that just because I have pushed so hard this year does not mean suddenly I am done. I do believe that I have taken grief by the horns and now know how to better handle the waves. I look forward to starting a new chapter. Year Two. Whatever it brings I know it will only benefit who I am meant to become.
I love you more than you could fathom. Thank you for spending the rest of your life with me.