So every now and then I hit a good solid week of sleeplessness…… my body gets into the pattern of going without, and it’s really hard to convince it to go back to at least trying. The last couple of weeks I’ve been falling asleep later and later, until I can’t sleep before three am and I have to be up at seven. So I started drinking…… a couple here a couple there…. until I was hanging for those cans as soon as the girls were in bed. It almost became the one thing I looked forward to doing, like that first crack meant the beginning of my time….. sound familiar? Yup….. I could certainly have continued down that road to a very bad place. It just felt so good to be numb, and being that my nights are the worst time for me, it was nice to feel numb instead of dreading the breakdown that would surely happen without. The girls sense when I’m not coping…. and sadly without realising they become more challenging, and my fuse gets shorter. I kept crying the other night and I was desperate for them to go to bed so I could finally stop holding it in, and of course Poppy chose this night to get up and down three hundred times….. and then in the end asked me if I was sad….. and I said that I missed Daddy very much tonight. She went back to bed, and ten mins later I heard her crying, and I went up to her room to talk to her. Rubes had snuck in and asked if she could sleep with her and she’d said she’d really rather not as she was very tired. (Rubes was obviously sensing my sadness too….) Rubes had since fallen asleep, but she clearly felt bad for that, and also she knew I was not happy and she wanted to help me, but couldn’t. Just when you need to fall to pieces you have to find another ounce of strength in an otherwise completely exhausted body, and use it to convince someone else that everything is going to be alright, although you’re having a hard time of convincing yourself of that in the first place. When I finally got her down and it was after ten pm, I just lost my shit entirely….. I was howling till my stomach muscles ached…… I felt like a child who was beyond calming down, and I couldn’t stop. I cried for the girls, for what they would miss, for what they had, and how good they’d had it…… I cried over my wedding album, still the greatest wedding I’ve ever been too…… I cried over the daily texts and emails that I had abruptly stopped receiving nine months before…… for the anniversary weekends off that Mum and Dad gave us every year……. for the mischief we’d gotten into when the kids were away…… for the family nights in cuddled up on the couch….. for the caravan trips that we should have been sharing…… But most of all, I mourned the future we would never have. Every few days we spoke of our retirement and what we’d get up to. We felt that everything was about the kids till they were old enough to mostly look after themselves…… but then it was our reward to get a motor home and do Australia….. then head over and drive around the UK staying in little old B&B’s and jamming in Irish pubs. Everyone has something that gets them up in the morning…. and that was ours. Just ours. Now it’s just mine. And let’s be honest, these things are not quite the same on your own. I will NEVER, and I really mean never…. accept that he was supposed to die the way he did. No goodbyes, no time to say what I needed to say…. to thank him for the greatest life that anyone could have ever given me….. he made me laugh more than anyone else on this Earth, and he showed me more love than anyone else could. I know people always say the kids come first, but he was on par for me. I didn’t want one without the other, and I told him regularly. I don’t care how that sounds, because it’s true….. life has no humour for me right now. I laugh cause I should, not because it’s funny. I smile cause I have to, not because I want to…. I get up every day for the kids, not for any other reason. It might sound depressing, but that’s only cause it is.
So I took over a group through meetup which is for widows and widowers under the age of 50. When I became a widow last year, even Centrelink didn’t recognise me as a widow, because you apparently need to be over fifty! It’s some stupid government thing so you can’t receive a widows pension……. It’s the most offensive thing to be told after 12 weeks that your bereavement time is over, and now you need to be actively looking for work to access any funds from them at all. Three months, and apparently you should be right to enter back into society.No offers of counseling, help getting back into work, help with the kids…… what a crock of shit! Then although I already had a job, because I’d dropped my hours I still had to report fortnightly and show them that I’d applied for work and turn up to interviews with an employment agency to keep the pissy amount of money coming in. My work made me permanent part time, and gave me 33 hours a fortnight to get them off my back…. thank God, but what a disgrace. Today it has been nine months since I lost my best mate. I feel no better, no stronger, more lost and more angry than ever. I have settled into life as a soul parent, and it’s bloody tough. Just because I function daily, does not mean that I’m better. I choose to not make a big deal about it, I don’t want people to worry, but I don’t have my happiness back…. or my sense of humour. I feel fake when I laugh sometimes….. but maybe you gotta fake it till you make it. The girls are still up and down, and seeing as they failed with their counselor (she called me to say “I’m just not getting anything from them, so need to pull the plug on it for now……”) Of course I thought it was going really well because for once Rubes was actually talking instead of sitting their in silence with her arms crossed! She has had enough therapy over the years to sink a battle ship. The last session with a psychologist she went to last year “before the event” she had selective mutism for the whole hour. She grabbed the whiteboard marker and started doing a game of hangman on the board. She slowly spelled out the sentence ” I am never coming here ever AGAIN!” in a handful of games! Needless to say the psychologist instead of thinking “what a shithead….” thought she was an incredible specimen, and probably wanted to write her thesis on her….. That bloody kid. Trenton adored that side of Rubes. He found her challenging as hell on a daily basis, as we all do, but that side of Rubes is so smart, interesting and different to most. It never ceases to amaze me how bright and interesting she can be. When she’s not pushing your buttons, she’s an absolute wonder! I know he’d be so proud of how she’s handled this situation…… He’d be proud of both of them. Hopefully of me too.
I slept like a bag of shit last night…… My sleep was riddled with strange dreams with Trent in all of them….. I was either trying to get to him, or him to me…. but either way it was hopeless and we could not reach each other. When I dream so vividly about him, the morning after I relive the fact that he’s gone… and how he went. It’s like a living nightmare. Maybe it was sleeping in his bed, or sleeping with his baby next to me. I realised this weekend down in Port Albert that I feel like I’m an actor in someone else’s life. It doesn’t seem to be mine. I’m going through the daily motions, getting up, sorting the kids, preparing for school/work, planning the meals…… but I am like a shell of my old self, and I’m really just doing what I’m doing because I have no choice. I don’t even find things funny anymore. I find myself making jokes because I feel if I don’t, then people will really question how I am, and quite frankly I’m sick of saying “fine.” Cause I’ll never be fine again. I’d kill to just be fine. Trenton and I used to talk about how lucky we were that our lives were not mundane. We adored each other and after nearly ten years, still made each other laugh our heads off every day. He was a lazy bugger, and the biggest argument we ever had was him not working in the garden, or having motivation to get out and help do up the house etc. God, to have him back even just to have a big old fight with him…… I’d give all my limbs for such a thing. Yesterday I met up with another Widower….. he came through Port Albert with his two girls aged 8 and 11, and we took them to the park and chewed each others ears off about our lives. He lost his wife to cancer four months ago, and he watched her die for eighteen months. I can’t fathom it, but I’d kill for one day to say goodbye to that man. What on earth I’d say, I can’t even imagine….. thank you for the best years of my life? For helping me raise Rubes from one….. for giving me Pops? For being the best friend I’ve ever and will ever have? I know I’d beg him to stay, to find a way like he always did to help me through the toughest times….. and boy there were plenty. Someone asked me once if I had anger that he left me to raise the kids alone. Are you fucking kidding me? That man was cheated out of a life, and he adored his life…. he was finally finding content since years of trying to get on the same page as me with our parenting of Rubes, he was loving his new band, his home, his friends, his girls…… I am not angry at him, I’m livid for him……. I am disgusted at the fact that he should never have died at 37, and I will fight to the death with the hospital that gave him pain relief for his ankle not once, but twice in seven days instead of checking his calf for a clot. One tiny clot that took him away from us and changed the course of our lives forever. Today I fucking hate the world on his behalf……
Our first Easter Trentonless…… It’s been a tough one. I can’t say his birthday didn’t take the cake (pardon the pun) as far as shitty days go…. but our first Easter in his childhood home, with his Dad and sister, the kids and Marie….. in his room, his bed, surrounded by his things, his memories….. geez I wonder sometimes how hard it could get? It seems every occasion is a slap in the face reminding us of this giant void that sucks all our happiness into it, leaving only pain, sad thoughts and emptiness. Depressing I know….. but it’s true right now. The kids have been pretty good….. I can tell when they are a little off as Ruby gets more challenging, and Poppy has these howling tantrums that go on for hours and she can’t put into words why….. They mostly don’t relate these things back to the loss of their Dad, but I know there’s a pattern around these special occasions. I feel like we’re all down here putting on a brave face, almost pretending we’re just enjoying another lovely family event, but is that for the kids? Our sanity? Not sure it’s healthy….. but not sure the alternative is a better one! No right or wrong… I know, blah blah. I have joined a support group for Widow and Widowers….. I immediately feel understood and I love reading other peoples stories, how they’re coping and at what stage of the grieving they’re at. We’re all so different, and yet there is this unexplainable understanding between us all. It’s so nice to have comments from others in the same boat….. none of us wishing the other there, but happy to receive comments anyway. It is nice to get on and vent my pain/feelings, but actually get responses, unlike on this blog which is mostly for me to unload. And it’s nice to not be surrounded by people bitching about how lazy their partners are (like that’s much in comparison to not having one anymore….) because although I would have joined right in for fun, it’s not so fun anymore. I would never say it to these people, as I don’t expect them to stop doing what come’s naturally, because lets be honest, women love to compare the annoyingness of their family members……! And at the start of most catch up’s with the Mums that exactly what we do, then the kids etc etc….. it’s kind of fun! But when the hubby jokes start rolling, I feel like I don’t know where to look. I want to say “Yeah well mine’s the laziest, he’s really not helping around the house anymore…..” but I know it wouldn’t be looked upon as quite so funny just yet. Ahhhhh life….. you are a tough bitch sometimes. Happy Easter.
Well Happy is a little over exaggerated I guess….. there were some “happy” moments, but let’s be honest, not so many this year. I’ve dreaded the 8th of April since I looked at is late last year on the roster and was very happy it fell on a day off for me. How on earth do you let a birthday pass with no acknowledgment? It’s not really possible, besides I will always celebrate the day he was born. NEVER the day he died. The girls and I spoke about it, and I decided to get the memorial garden going, and they decided they wanted to bake a cake. Whatever keeps your mind busy hey? The week before Dad came over and helped centre and level the fountain that was already in the garden…. (not an easy task it turns out) and then he very discreetly popped Trent’s ashes in before the name plate. As I said in my last post, it happened quite un ceremoniously so the kids didn’t notice. So on his birthday, Mum removed all the dead plants, and totally cleaned it up and then popped in the beautiful bright coloured one’s we’d picked out together, and together with the river stones it looks fantastic. I’ll have a spotlight put out there to face the name plate, and it’s the nicest and closest thing I can offer him as a resting place. His mum Sue came after work, and started baking with the girls, Dad did what Dad does best and got to work replacing all the Venetian blinds that Sooty had chewed the bottoms off, and Mum was out in the pouring rain doing the plants. The girls fought all day, the tension obvious in not knowing how to behave, and I had sat up till two am the night before drinking, crying and reading old emails from him. What a horrible start to a dreaded day. By five people had started arriving, and then the drinks started flowing, and somehow being surrounded by his closest mates and his Mum and sister made it bearable. You don’t feel so alone in your grief when others are struggling just as hard as you. I guess you don’t need to put on that brave face you try so hard to have in your everyday life. At one point I spoke to Warren, Trent’s Dad, and because he was unable to be with us, I went and bawled my eyes out for like half an hour in the bedroom cause I couldn’t be there for him. So hard, being three hours away from the rest of the family, and living alone. I feel helpless to help him, and by help I just mean be there for. Anyway, we drank, we ate, we talked about the big man…. it was the best version of the worst situation I could have hoped for. Guess that’s better than a kick in the teeth. Tomorrow night Lex has organised “Trentopolusa” (Like the giant music festival Lollapaluza) in honour of her brother. This I am looking forward to a lot more than Tue. We will all get together and drink, sing, jam, talk and hopefully actually “celebrate” this beautiful mans 37 years on Earth….. cause what else can we do?
So my latest project is Trent’s memorial Garden. I had a beautiful name plate made a couple of months after he died to make a spot in the garden to talk to him. But then selling, buying, moving and mourning got in the way. Recently I was sitting on the deck and looking at a part of the garden that the previous owner had put in and I realised it was the perfect place. Dad and I put everything in place, centered the fountain and buried his ashes under the name plate. It was very un ceremonious… to the point where I don’t think it hit me till now that my husband is now buried in my garden. Not really a concept most people get to face, or should. (Unless they are of the serial killer kind.) I couldn’t tell the children because I know they wouldn’t cope, but I could never see myself visiting a cemetery, it seems like what old people should do….. and it feels impersonal to me to leave your loved one next to thousands of dead bodies. It feels right to have him right next to me…. where he always should have been. Next week is his 38th birthday. Sue and Lex are coming around, as are my folks and his best mates. What else do you do on his birthday but celebrate his birth? I will not celebrate his death day….. that day can go and get fucked. Obviously being on Mums birthday I can’t forget it, but I will never give it an anniversary, I would rather celebrate him on the 8th of April yearly, for as long as I take breath. God I miss him.