Carson could not wait to start lacrosse. He asked last year but you have to be 5 to play pee wee so this year he was finally able to play. He started practice last week which is twice a week. Based on the fact that he won’t stop talking about it I think he loves it. He even asked if he could play in college! Let’s not grow up too fast Carson but yeah, a scholarship to Duke would please your mama.
After all, he wants to be just like his older cousins who play. Let’s just hope he stops asking to grow out his hair like them too.
It is so darn cute watching these little dudes in full gear. Here was practice last night, he is in the neon yellow tee. And yes, it was in the 40s and he was wearing shorts. I pick my battles I tell ya!
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.
I love listening to my boys talk as they come up with what they think are the most brilliant ideas ever. Their minds are so innocent and I wish I could somehow keep it this way forever.
So Tyler got new sunglasses and could not wait for a sunny day to wear them. Today he woke up with the sun finally shining. As we were getting dressed for the day he grabs his sunglasses, runs to the window with them on and runs back to me proclaiming “I can see daddy today, he’s up there.” Tyler is my little medium who talks to spirits by the way (more on that in another post). I asked what daddy was doing and Tyler said he was getting dressed for the day too.
Shortly after, Carson joins in and asks how long has it been since daddy died and when is his birthday because we are going to celebrate daddy without him. He asks me if it’s possible to put birthday cake wrapped in foil inside of a balloon and send it up to heaven. My response “of course we can.” How could I say no! Once I said yes, he said let’s do it on all of our birthdays so daddy can have cake too.
Way to melt my heart kid. So now I have until April 10th to figure out how to put cake inside a balloon!
Does mean: remembering Dan while finding a new direction in life, looking for meaning, and taking it one second, one minute, one day at a time.
Does NOT mean: loss of the years of memories, the relationship, or the love we shared for each other and our boys.
Moving forward does not mean Dan will ever be replaced. The hole in my heart will remain but my heart is growing and open for more.
A friend of ours posted this on Facebook yesterday saying that this song came up on her playlist and she immediately thought of us. I just took the time to listen to it and it touched me so much I had to share it. The song is called Beam me Up by Pink.
My favorite line is “Let me be lighter, I’m tired of being a fighter” because honestly, I was fighting right there with Dan for all these months and had to be strong for him and my kids and to keep us going. Now I feel lighter. Lighter that he is at peace with no pain and suffering. Dan always told me he was sorry I had to take care of him and I always reassured him that there was no apology needed and it was my job as his wife and caregiver. In sickness and in health were in our vows and I stayed true and I know he would have done the same for me.
Take a listen when you have time, and sing along with the lyrics like I did!
I read this poem in the back of a booklet called My Friend, I Care that was given to me from my friend Tracey. I have read it over and over and over. This just really resonated with me and I wanted to share:
Don’t tell me that you understand
Don’t tell me that you know.
Don’t tell me that I will survive,
How I will surely grow.
Don’t tell me this is just a test,
That I am truly blessed,
That I am chosen for this task,
Apart from all the rest.
Don’t come at me with answers
That can only come from me,
Don’t tell me how my grief will pass
That I will soon be free.
Don’t stand in pious judgement
Of the bounds I must untie,
Don’t tell me how to suffer
And don’t tell me how to cry.
My life is filled with selfishness,
My pain is all I see,
But I need you, I need your love,
Accept me in my ups and downs,
I need someone to share,
Just hold my hand and let me cry,
And say, “My friend, I care.”
– Joanette Hendel (Bereavement Magazine)
And I am back. I have many posts written in draft form but never able to post them. The main reason is that they were painful to write and I was so afraid that Dan would read them. I am sure many are asking why would I be afraid of Dan reading my blog? Well because he doesn’t realize he is dying. And the things we have had to witness him go through in the past two months have just been awful and nothing I would ever want him to read about when his brain can’t process reality anymore.
The absolute hardest part of this whole experience is that he doesn’t know he is dying. While that truly is a blessing for him, it’s excruciatingly painful for me. I can’t say goodbye, I can’t tie up loose ends with his help, I can’t talk about anything that refers to dying.
My sweet sweet husband is lying in his hospital bed in my bedroom sleeping now up to 18 hours a day, not eating (other than a few spoonfuls of ice cream every now and again), and now barely communicating with me.
I love him with all my heart and I tell him 100 times a day how much I love him.
Please do the same thing with your loved ones. Life is way too short.