June 14, 2009

Little box, big ache

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , at 1:54 am by letterstoelias

Hello again my Love,

I tried watching a movie tonight to see if I could distract myself for even just a few minutes, but it didn’t work. I was feeling particularly low on energy today – there didn’t seem to be any ‘special’ reason, aside from the usual pain of missing you that is. We went to Barb’s house for dinner last night. It was nice that she invited us out and she sent me home with enough leftovers for a couple nights. You would be amazed to know that, I think, I’ve only had to actually cook 2 dinners in the last 53 nights. It’s one of my biggest concerns, trying to cook every night. You always made the most amazing meals, and you could make something wonderful even when our cupboards were nearly empty – making something out of nothing. Of course when we were first married I cooked for myself all the time since you worked every night, but since we didn’t have kids at the time a pot of mac and cheese or my famous perogies, veggie dogs and corn all cooked in the same pot suited me fine. Now that I have these two beautiful little mouths to feed that just won’t cut it. I’ll do my best though. I just wish you would have let me cook at home more often and maybe I could have learned a little more . . . ah well, at least you didn’t have to suffer more by eating much of my cooking, so it’s probably for the best.

I was hoping to be able to tell you that the Red Wings won the cup yesterday, but they were beat by Pittsburgh. To be honest, I didn’t even know the game was on until my mom invited me over to watch it. I hadn’t really watched any games since the night you died. I still find it hard to use the ‘d’ word. I hate it. I far prefer ‘passed away’, but it is what it is. Death has a way of making people uncomfortable, which is yet another reason I still struggle going out. But you weren’t really afraid of dying and I don’t believe I am now either. You handled it with grace, dignity, strength, courage. You found away to accept the outcome of death while maintaining hope to stay alive. To stay with us. It’s truly an inspiration. Besides, though I hope/plan to be around here for at least a few more decades – when my time comes it only means we will be together again. I don’t know how I’ll survive those decades without you yet, but I imagine I’ll find a way. Though it doesn’t really feel like it now, I’ve read that it’s possible – words written by people who have been in my shoes, so that counts for something I figure.

The girls miss you. We talk with you every night and share ‘happy memories of Daddy’ before going to sleep. We talk about you during the day too in many ways. E told me of another ‘dream’ she had yesterday; though I don’t believe it was a dream but more a wish. She told me that all of a sudden you were actually alive and ran up and gave us all a big hug. She won’t cry about you though and she doesn’t like it when I do. We talked about it the other day. I think the pain of crying is scary for her and she feels like if she starts to cry she won’t be able to stop. I often feel that way so I can’t imagine what it’s like to a four year old. As for C, she and I were lying on the bed looking at a picture of you yesterday – at first she was smiling and pointing and saying what I’m sure means Daddy to her (but it sounds completely different), but then she just held the picture, staring at it with a confused sort of look on her face for a minute or so. Whenever we talk to you she always smiles up at the sky, waves and does the sign for ‘I love you’. Beautiful and heart wrenching all at the same time.

She’s starting to get a bit of a temper now too. It’s more humorous than anything though . . . she pounds her fists and says ‘No! No! No! NO!’. She’s trying to talk much more now and is still just as goofy as her Daddy. E loves being helpful and is pretty much over the hump with potty training. She argues points with me a lot though and has wicked negotiating skills. Good qualities, but frustrating too. They are starting to play together much better, though I still spend a good deal of the day refereeing. And cleaning up pee. C is actually potty training herself and things are going pretty well, but there are still lots of misses. As it’s been so hot lately I just usually let her go bare bum – I know you’d think I’m crazy for it, but at the rate she’s going it probably won’t be long before she has the hang of it. E also surprised me today by climbing up the ladder on the swing set and going half way across the monkey bars on her own. I don’t know when she became so brave. Their dance show is next weekend. I’m looking forward to it and dreading it all the same. Dealing with the empty seat beside me will be undeniably excruciating. But I’m trying to prepare myself for it now so perhaps the edge will be taken off.

Have I told you how much I miss you? I can barely go in our bedroom these days – the room feels so cold and now I have to keep my eyes down as you are currently resting on our dresser. In a box. It was my brilliant idea not to leave your ashes at the funeral home while the urns were being made as I couldn’t bare the thought of you being left there, but now that they, you are in a box on our dresser – it kills me. Even doing the laundry tonight, as I brought my clothes into the room to hang put away, I hated the fact that there were so few clothes. I miss doing your laundry. I miss having a big pile of your t-shirts to hang up and jeans to stuff in the closet. Not that I ‘loved’ doing it before, but now the absence of your clothes to launder is just another sad indicator of the fact you are gone. I keep pieces of you everywhere I go – your wedding ring on my necklace, I carry your wallet when I go out, sleep on the sleeve of your jacket and usually in one of your t-shirts – but these are just material things. I am no closer to you because of them yet I can’t let them go as of yet. In general, material things mean even far less to me now than they did in the past few months. I want for nothing but you.

I was watching the girls sleeping for a bit last night, and it reminded me of all the nights I would stay up countless hours researching brain tumour cures on line and watching you sleep. I would listen to your ‘breathing loudly’ – not yet real snoring (as you wouldn’t let me call it that), but I felt it was a pre-cursor of what was to come. I would always smack you to roll onto your side and you would mummer that you couldn’t sleep on your side – but eventually you would roll over, stay asleep, and all would quiet again . . . at least for a while. Yet another less than glamorous aspect of married life I would so happily endure once again.

All this talk of sleep . . . it is late again so I suppose I should close off. ALWAYS in my heart,

~C~

P.S. I Love You

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4 Comments »

  1. Fatma said,

    Dear Chelsea;

    I have been reading your posts for some time now. In fact you are one of the first people who gave me hope when I first found out about my husband’s tumor and was shocked with the consequences of the surgery. You said that we would soon find out ways to laugh and talk. We did. The “d” word that has been staring at you for the last seven years is now staring at us, that’s how I feel. But somehow we manage to keep going and so will you. I have noticed after my grandfather passed away three years ago that when a loved one leaves us, they are leaving a huge space in our hearts. That space hurts but you get used to living with it. And thanks to our capacity to “forget” and create other nice memories, after some time, we still remember our loved ones, our nice memories with them, that hole still hurts but with the belief that this separation is only temporary, we will be together in the after life which is eternal. Besides, you have two great reasons to get better.
    Anyway, the whole purpose of this comment was to say that you have done a great job so far.
    Hugs
    Fatma from Turkey

    • letterstoelias said,

      Thank you so much for taking the time to comment Fatma,

      I am touched to know that I was able to give you hope at the start of your journey with your husband’s brain tumour. Elias and I often spoke about how if we could make a positive impact for people, if we could make even a small difference in someone’s life, then it would be – well, it’s hard to say ‘worth it’ right now, but it makes it easier.

      Thank you as well for your words of encouragement – all the way from Turkey! It means a great deal to me. I read on your site that you work on living in the moment – that was really key for Elias and I as it is for me now. I hope that you and your husband will continue to find ways to do so.

      ~C~

  2. Bridie said,

    The pictures of the girls are beautiful. I can’t believe how much Caia looks like Elias. Except, you know, minus the tutu… She definitely has his spunk too, that is for sure. I noticed it the first time we met her: she had that same mischievous look in her eyes and the same impish smile.

    I’m glad you are willing to share this with all of us–the good and the very, very painful–and I hope this blog continues to be a good forum for you to process your experience.

    • letterstoelias said,

      Thanks Bri,

      “I can’t believe how much Caia looks like Elias. Except, you know, minus the tutu… “

      I hope also minus the bare butt – I don’t think you ever saw his, did you??? =)

      I do feel at times Caia is ‘channeling’ Elias in some way. The other night at dinner she put her hairband over her eyes and was just being silly. I asked her if she was a goof, and she very seriously looked at me and simply knodded her head, then flashed the impish grin as I laughed. Eibhlin, too, in a different way has so many of his qualities. At times it’s almost paiful how similar they can be to him, but overall I feel so fortunate to have these little pieces of him with me still.

      ~C~


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