July 21, 2016

I made it through another day.

My boyfriend died 18 days ago. I spent most of my day in therapy with my kids. We were there for 2 1/2 hours. We each had our own time alone with our therapist. We all left feeling a lot better.

812bzhlrxxhlShe had the kids read Tear Soup, a picture book way below their age and reading level, and they both got so much out of it. I thought they would talk about their lives and get some sage advice from a not family member. Turned out she worked with them to understand what they’re mom is going through. What I’m going through. Because my beloved boyfriend died 18 days ago. I had no idea they needed to understand that. I’m so thankful that she did.

I had my first EMDR session. A former logical New Yorker (miserable, out of my element) turned intuitive California girl (happy, comfortable in my own skin), I was super skeptical. And it worked.

She asked for a few sad memories. I quick rattled off about ten. She had me find a happy place that didn’t involve him. I was suddenly in a beautiful garden in the sunshine, reading a sign that says, “Dragon drool is good to drink.” We went through the sad memories and the trauma. I was able to break each one down until I was able to say, “I got nothing.”

I’ll need more work around this. I’m going back for more. She doesn’t think I will need a lot of therapy. I told her that I was finally done with therapy within the last year. I was so good! Happy. Healthy. I’d finally let a good man love me. And I let myself love him. I was stable. I was even clearly recognizing my parents’ emotional abuse, and I was able to just roll with their bullshit and not engage. I was done with therapy, God dammit! Or as we say around here often, God dammit Rupert. Because if its funny later it’s funny now!

But the fact is that life is hard and weird fucked up shit happens. Like my boyfriend dying. So therapy it is, once again. Part of me wonders why I bother, since we’re all just going to die someday soon anyway. Part of me knows it’s because we need to make sense of the shit and enjoy what little time we have.

My biggest takeaway is that my monkey brain is going to keep trying to untangle and make sense of his senseless death. And that’s okay. It can do that. I don’t need to get emotionally involved. Just let the brain go and do its thing. But like with my parents, I can’t change it but I can change my reaction to it.

I’m not in that beautiful hotel room wailing on the floor hearing that life changing, awful sentence. And if/when I do get stuck there, I have a way to escape. I’ve created a path, and it’s in my brain. Moving from that place will, has, finally allowed me to breath a little. It’s created a bit more ease.

I spent my afternoon building an IKEA cabinet. I started it, oh, 5, 6, 7, 10 days ago for my housemates. It had been sitting in the garage since I moved in. I almost returned it a few months ago. Now it’s a nice dark wood set of drawers in their closetless bedroom. It feels good to have completed a project.

We almost went to the crash site tonight. But it felt so good to be on the deck with friends, quietly enjoying our buzz and talking, sharing, listening, caring about each other. We have a calla lily and wildflower seeds. We’ll get there.

I miss him.

July 19, 2016

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This is far and away the hardest thing I’ve ever done.

The grief sits in my chest like a knot. Sometimes it’s small and quiet, others its huge and expanding and tight and overwhelming and boiling over. But it’s always there.

I’m still on the floor of the hotel room hearing the sentence and feeling the worst adrenaline rush anyone can ever feel. Hearing myself wail, watching my friends watch me on FaceTime, collecting my children as they fall.

We all have time with the therapist tomorrow. I hope she can help me leave that place. It’s the last place I ever want to be. It’s the worst moment of my life, and I need to leave it. I’m aware of it and I’m talking about it and I’m not going to be there forever.

Alexa called him a father figure tonight. She told me the story of how he put together the large foreign currency puzzle on his own and glued it, mounted it, and hung it on his wall. I said, “I hadn’t heard that story. I love that I can still learn about him from other people even after he’s gone.” She started crying and we just held each other.

anders_zorn-the_widowI’ve been reaching out to other widows. Can I call myself that? I feel like a widow. 30 years of off and on friendship, one year in love and planning our future together. I’m a widow at 45. I’m Rupert’s widow. I wonder if these women and I can build community. Support each other as we grieve, slowly step back in to life, eventually living but always remembering and loving and hurting.

I made it through another day.

July 19, 2016

I’m so tired of being sad and tired. I’m depressed and I’m anxious and life is HARD. Everything is just hard right now. I’m getting out of bed every day. Showering most days. I’ve even prepared a couple of meals.

I have no concept of time. At the end of every day, we set the house alarm and congratulate ourselves on surviving one more day.

The thing is, I liked being happy. I liked being in love. I liked missing my boyfriend, and counting down the sleeps till we see each other again. We were to meet up in paradise. Please, we are atheists. We were to meet on the most beautiful Greek island and continue our love. And then he died.

il_75x75-456101455_7ctmThe shock of that is still with me. I still can’t wrap my brain around it. How the fuck can this be my reality? What the fuck happened???

The pain is deep and tight and hard and real and raw and it hurts everywhere. My love has died. I still love him and he’s dead.

Eventually, I’ll take H to boarding school, A and I will settle into a routine, and business school will kick in hard and fast for 21 months. Until then, my priority is self care. Stay home and feel these awful feels. Mourn and grieve and cry and ache. It just sucks.

His tiger onesie has become my lovey. I sleep snuggled up with it. I carry it with me. At first, I was dragging his box of ashes with me, but that started feeling awful. Thinking about my beautiful man as ash inside that box on my lap, on his pillow. It was too gruesome.

My boyfriend was killed in a solo motorcycle accident sixteen days ago.

I hate that sentence. I hate all of this. I hate the pain, the longing, the constant questioning why.

My boyfriend is dead. I’m wearing his mother’s ring. My address is the final destination on his death certificate. His ashes are on my mantle. Some of his most personal possessions are in my house. His mail is being forwarded here.

Everything is wrong.

July 18, 2016

timeTime is so strange when you’re desperately grieving. It’s been more than two weeks since my soulmate was killed on his motorcycle. His memorial was three days ago already. I’m trying so hard to leave that moment I got the phone call, the worst moment of my entire life, sitting on the hotel room floor wailing. Though 5,000 miles away and 14 days ago, I’ve been stuck there for two weeks. I just don’t know how he can be gone forever.

I’m working on getting up off that hotel room floor, and I’m working on acceptance. This is the hardest shit ever.

July 17, 2016

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Tonight is different.

I miss him. I miss everything about him tonight. The tight knot of grief in my chest is still there, but it doesn’t hurt right now. I know it will be back, and it will grow and overwhelm me, but right now, it’s letting me breathe. It’s letting me just calmly miss the fuck out of him.

My housemates and I were sharing war stories of our lives earlier tonight and talking about the unbelievable stories we have. No middle America-work going-tv watching boring lives here. We’ve all dealt with crazy shit that makes it amazing we are here at all. That’s when the phrase jumped into my head, “My Year with Rupert.” I could collect all our stories from hanging out when we were 19 years old, how we reconnected at 44, our ridiculous adventures together, and his tragic death at 45. What I learned from him. How easy it was to be together. How happy we were to just be in the same room. The weird Grateful Dead connection. The depth of trust from the shared grief of Alexius’s death in 2005. The outside pressure from other people to try and tear us apart which only caused us to lean in more. Who knows, it may just be masturbation, or it may be an amazing way to process and heal, and it may be a useful self help book. It may also be a discipline I won’t make time for. Or maybe I’ve already started it here two weeks ago.

I miss the fuck out of Rupert.

July 17, 2016

I have two theories. There’s bound to be some graphic shit in the next paragraphs. Just to warn you.

The first theory is that something happened to his bike, and he lost control and it hit a tree and he had a massive head trauma that killed him before he hit the ground. The flaw in this theory is what a careful and trained motorcycle rider he was (ugh, the past tense!). He would have thrown himself off that motorcycle. He may be mangled, but he would not have hit that tree with his head if there was anyway he was conscious. He knew how to crash. He’d practiced that.

Theory two is a heart attack. He had lost 80 pounds in the two years since we reconnected. I think he was over 250 at his heaviest, and he was only 5’10” (there’s that damn past tense again). He was smoking hot, weighing around 175 when we were together.

I’m not a fat hater. But I see pictures of him heavy, I remet him heavy, and he was barely there. When he first came over, I saw him in his sexy green eyes, but the rest of him wasn’t Rupert, the wiry short kid I smoked weed with and slept with his best friend as a teenager. I would have walked by him on the street like that, not recognized him. It had been 20 years. Depressed from his parents death, Alexius’s death, his beloved Chesapeake Bay retriever Roscoe P. Dawg’s death, and his second divorce. Chain smoking. On cholesterol meds. Bitter.

I think he had a heart attack on that motorcycle.

I think his left side seized up, and he couldn’t grab the brakes. His right side clenched in pain, and he gave the motorcycle too much gas. He lost consciousness, and he hit that tree so hard that he was dead before he hit the ground.

It’s so awful. It’s the end of my world whatever happened. But somehow, it makes me a little more at ease to think it was his time, that heart attack could have killed him in front of our friends, or me, or my kids, or at work. But it happened on his motorcycle, doing what he loved, heading back to my house (I’m listed as his final destination on his death certificate), to be with my friends that were now his friends. The people he’d told that day how excited he was to meet up with me in Greece, how madly in love with me he was, and how he was the happiest he’d ever been in his whole life.

I think he had a heart attack on that bike, and I think he would be gone now anyway.

Either way, he’s still gone, and it doesn’t matter. But I’m alive, and I need to make sense of it.

July 15, 2016

It’s not that I don’t want to live without him, it’s more that I don’t want to live when he’s dead. All I want is for him to not be dead.

I treated myself to a massage today. My massage therapist is a very good witch. So intuitive and wise and seeing. On her table, I said, “I can’t leave the moment Jared said that horrible sentence and I was on the hotel room floor wailing, “Oh my god oh my god oh my god” over and over and over again. She said, “Two things. First, let’s look at your language. ‘I can’t leave.’ Instead, say, ‘I can leave…’”

“Second, add something to that moment, something beautiful.”

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I was able to do the first easily. The second was blocked for a little while. Then I knew what it was. I had felt like there was something else J said on that call, another part, but of course that’s all be really said. So now, what Jared said to me on the phone is, “Rupert was killed in a motorcycle accident, and he was the happiest he’d ever been in his life because of the two of you.”

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I’m still suffering, and he’s still gone, but I AM able to leave that moment. I AM able to leave that moment. I am.