What are we talking about today?

Some days have themes. I don't necessarily post something in each of these topic areas every week.

Sunday: Church-related or spiritual things.
Monday: Running.
Tuesday: Books.
Wednesday: Transportation.
Friday: Green living.

18 August 2015

I'm Holding On, and I Won't Let Go

Six months ago today, I woke up a widow. (Be warned that this post is not going to get any happier from here.)

Things since then that should have been major life changes--moving, graduating, complete change of job responsibilities at work, an ER visit--they feel pretty superficial by comparison. (Just for fun, I took a look at the stress scale thing. You don't want to know what my score is.)

I've stopped dreaming about Chadwick for now, and getting out of bed in the morning has gotten easier than it was. I still have an irrational fear of losing someone else at any moment. I don't know what to do when one of his favourite songs pops up on the radio. I've found out just how many times a day I think about something I'd like to tell him when I realise halfway through reaching for my phone that there's no one there. There's still a chance every minute that I'll suddenly need to stop what I'm doing and lay on the floor and cry.

I can't stop staring at his last tweet. And when I close my eyes at night, I still see him laying on the floor where I found him that morning.

On the other hand, I've gotten very good at controlling my emotions, and mostly don't cry in public. Apparently I've been fooling even my good friends into thinking that I'm happier/stronger/more resilient/insert adjective here than I really am. I have a squadron of said good friends who are on call for bizarre tweets or ranty texts or incoherent Facebook messages at all reasonable hours, and even some unreasonable ones. (Thanks, y'all!) I try to vary which friend I'm emptying my brain onto from one day to the next so no one has to hear all of it.

Theatrical therapy (mostly) helps. Friends help. Throwing myself into goofy musical-based craft projects and stalking Broadway & West End actors on Twitter sort of helps. (You know, until they start tweeting about how awesome all their significant others are.) Listening to the Next to Normal soundtrack on endless repeat helps way more than it should, but I'm not about to walk away from something that works this well just because it's not quite an apples-to-apples metaphor for my own life. (Incidentally, that's where today's post title comes from. It's a pretty sweary musical, so don't click if you're easily offended.)

One of Chad's favourite songs was "Empty Chairs at Empty Tables." (This is one of those facts I have to be careful of mentioning to people, because it's an intensely sad-making thought if you dwell on it for a second.) I think he would have loved seeing the version currently on Broadway. I saw it for both of us, but sometime in the next weeks and months and years I'll stop doing things for both of us. One day I'll wake up and realise I'm doing things for just me. I don't know if I'm dreading or welcoming that day. I probably won't know until I'm on the other side of it.

I'm still standing. I'm holding on. I won't let go.

18 comments:

Tana Palafox said...

I'll never forget. always praying for you Su.

Lelo and Stitch said...

Sweet Su praying for you!

Lelo and Stitch said...

Sweet Su praying for you!

Lelo and Stitch said...

Sweet Su praying for you!

Nora Sue said...

hugs

Melissa Wilson said...

As always, so eloquently written. Your ramblings are so much better and well put together than any of my ramblings. I find myself still picking up the phone to call my dad. He passed away not quite 3 years ago. I just changed phones and it wasn't until an hour after I did it that I remembered why I still had that old one...I was savoring the last voice mail from him, listening to it often. So, it is like the bandaid had been ripped off completely because I no longer have that. Have you seen the Rachel McAdams movie "About Time"? It was a very poignant story and relative I think. You're always in my thoughts and prayers. You are stronger and braver than you think you are.

Melissa Wilson said...

As always, so eloquently written. Your ramblings are so much better and well put together than any of my ramblings. I find myself still picking up the phone to call my dad. He passed away not quite 3 years ago. I just changed phones and it wasn't until an hour after I did it that I remembered why I still had that old one...I was savoring the last voice mail from him, listening to it often. So, it is like the bandaid had been ripped off completely because I no longer have that. Have you seen the Rachel McAdams movie "About Time"? It was a very poignant story and relative I think. You're always in my thoughts and prayers. You are stronger and braver than you think you are.

Deborah Phalen said...

I love you and am always praying. I hope you know you can call/text/message me anytime - day or night.

Andrea Smith said...

I love you, Su. I'll be praying for you especially today. I have not walked through the valley you are in, but I feel sure that this is part of why Jesus came to earth as a human. He understands your pain as both God and man. Anyway, I'll be talking to Him about you.

Delores said...

Such a hard road to walk. I hope things become easier for you but it will take time.

J E Oneil said...

Sorry for all that. I wish I could be there to hug you in person.

Rachel Wiseman said...

Thinking of you and praying for you. Love you Susan.

Lee said...

Cheeky Su I had no idea!!! I'm so sorry, and cried with you when I read your blog. I wish there was some way to ease that pain for you... I love you and am thinking of you!! Your friend Lee

Lee said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jAr said...

Truly incredible, Su. You are amazing.

Vapid Vixen said...

Oh man. I just stumbled on your blog this afternoon while at work and am trying my hardest to keep the tears in. Staring at the ceiling pretending to ponder helps. And also, the empty chairs song is like a punch in the gut every time I'm lucky enough to hear it from the stage.

Su Wilcox said...

Aww, what a sweet comment! It's nice to "meet" you! And you're so right about "Empty Chairs." Such a powerful, heartbreaking song.

joyJ Owen said...

I know it isn't easy (of course, I don't know just how uneasy it is). But a) you're talking about it honestly. b) No one expects you to get this grief thing "right" because there is no right. There is just the grief and the process. I am with your other friends when I say that you have a safety net. Just call and it will magically appear at your door with a cup of hot tea and scones. At least it will if you call *this* safety net. *hugs*