Six freakin’ months. Dan has been gone for six freakin’ months.
I have started this post over and over and couldn’t find the right words to explain what I am feeling. This grieving process really is a roller coaster of emotions. Grief disrupts our lives in so many ways. Grief brings fear. We each handle grief in our own way. Some people withdraw, some cry publicly, some hide their grief and cry in private, and some of us just keep busy and never slow down because when we do it hurts….a lot. I would say that I am the kind that keeps busy. If I didn’t have two little crazies I am sure my grief journey would have been different. But yeah, I may have gone a little batshit crazy immediately after Dan’s death. I put my house on the market, sold 3 cars and bought a new one, sold the house, bought a new one, packed and moved, and many other things that could be characterized as crazy widow status!
Thinking back though, I took the busy route because I didn’t want to even notice that everyone else settled back into their normal routines but my routine was empty. I didn’t want to focus on how to fill that empty space so I filled it the best way I knew how.
I often think back to the beginning of this journey. I remember the day of October 14th when Dan found out he had a brain tumor and how we both thought he would not be a statistic. I think back to October 19th, the day he had his first brain surgery, and how ‘new’ we were to the Hopkins family and how scared we both were when he was rolled away into the OR. I can recall that entire day and night like it was yesterday. The waiting was unbearable. When I left the hospital in the wee hours that song “If I die young” came on the radio. I couldn’t even speak or drive after hearing those words. And there is no such thing as coincidences which I now really believe. My gut that day told me that this was the beginning of the end for Dan. And even though I had those terrible feelings I could never ever share, I had to be strong for our family and stay positive until the very end. The only time I cried was in the shower or in the car alone. I also had many months to grieve the loss of Dan before he was ever really gone because quite frankly he was never the same after October 19th.
I know that I will never know ‘why’ he was taken from us so early but what I can do is keep his memory alive and acknowledge my loss and try my best to live each day as best I can. I know Dan would want me to live, laugh, and cry as a tribute to our love so that is what I do with the help of some very special people in my life. I know that Dan is looking out for us and I see the signs to show me that he is with me. I hope with all my heart that I am making him proud.