Missing You..Year Two

Dearest Andrew,

(Technically, I am a day early but when the words hit, they hit & not sharing them when they are full of emotion seems to defeat the purpose-so I am sharing a few hours early.)

Here I am, another year past without you. Two eternally long years that have gone by in the blink of an eye. People say “You’ve made it so far! You’re so strong!” You & I both know it’s not really been living. It’s more survival, a bleak existence of sorts. When I hear how “strong” I am, how I’m an “inspiration,” I wonder what those same people would say if they were a fly on the wall when I am home. Alone, lying in bed after work because I have no reason to stay up, or crying into the pillow because I’m exhausted from trying to be the survivor they see, the one who still misses her best friend so deeply that every day is such an effort she wonders why she is even bothering.

After two years, I keep waiting for my emotions to catch up to the cliches. “Time heals all wounds.” “Give it time, you’ve been through a trauma.” Time, time, time. I’ve had enough of this time. I’ve had enough of the pain, the tears, the “normalcy” that everyone else but the few of us broken by your loss have been able to return to.

As I lie in bed, still awake, despite being here for hours, my face crusted with salt from crying all day, which is almost a permanent feeling at this point, I remember the memories of that last week. This has been going on like a rerun for weeks now. I occasionally venture back to other days with you. Funny moments. Our arguments, which were heated & filled with passion for our respective opinions. How we were never afraid to be honest, good or bad, happy or sad. Except about how we felt towards each other. We had a deal. We wouldn’t talk about that. Neither of us could handle that at the time. But we spoke every day. Often. We knew everything about each other…good, bad & ugly. We loved each other in spite of all of it, & kept showing up. To nurse old wounds, make each other laugh or just offer dinner. To watch movies, snuggled into the couch. To be the closest friends two crazy people could be. To give each other unconditional love & acceptance because that is what we each needed at the time.

I’m not naive enough to sit here and say we were going to be “besties forever,” but we were perfect for the time we were blessed enough to share for as long as we were blessed to share it.


Well, perfectly messy. Perfectly crazy. Perfectly not perfect. We both had baggage we brought to the table each day. Lots & lots of baggage. So much, I’m surprised there was room for us to be in the same building.

The day you went home to Jesus, you left yours here. I’m so glad you no longer have those heavy burdens. Unfortunately, I now carry more. I wonder if you look down at me with frustration. I wonder if you scream down from heaven “I’M BETTER NOW THAN I”VE EVER BEEN! Let me go, silly girl.” I can picture you shaking your head at me, calling me crazy. I’m reminded of the many times you would open your arms to hug me after I’d had an extra crappy day. That is the memory I rest in.

After all this time, 730 days without you now, I have come so far, yet not moved an inch. I dread the idea of coming out of my grief & functioning like “normal” because then you are officially gone, although my head knows you left 730 days ago. I dread the idea of staying in my grief because every day is torture. I live in a state of purgatory in between. Some days I think I get too distracted & forget to remember you. But I haven’t, you just weren’t at the center of the day. How can I love others so deeply but feel like my heart died with you? My entire existence is an oxymoron.

In these letters I always tell you what’s new in my life. Today, I miss you as much as I did 729 days ago & I suspect will still be the same 729 days from today. At this point, I have learned that being graceful is more than being like Jackie Kennedy & that loving is more than being a parent. They are both more of being like Jesus. And like you were. As hard as you may have tried not to be, you were the heart & hands of Christ in the manner you handled people. I thank you for reviving a place within me that needed to have the passion fueled for His people & for accepting me as I was to be your friend. Thank you for allowing me to walk beside you for the remainder of your days. And I know that despite the expanse between us, you will walk beside me the remainder of mine.

Much love sweet Andrew,


The 35th Birthday

Today would have been Andrew’s birthday. I “celebrated” by going to work & having dinner with a friend. There were no balloons, no gifts, no cake. Not even a mention of it by anyone today except by me at dinner.

I have been what I referred to as a “wild card” this month. Mark’s birthday was earlier this month. Last Saturday was 18 months since Andrew died. And today was his birthday. There have been a lot of tears. I have been what I consider grouchy. And I have been loving & giving. I have gone to my room early many days because I just didn’t have anything left in me, not because I was tired.

I still wonder how the people left behind are supposed to carry on in life like everything is happy & lovely when we have such a gaping hole left in our hearts. Not that I am not happy. I have very happy times. I find humor in life. I give hugs. I love people. I enjoy experiences. But there is always that hole.

So Andrew, tell me. Is there life after death? Not your death, sweetheart. I know there is for those that have died. Up or down, our choice. But is there life after death for those of us left grieving? What exactly is the process?


The process for me has been a bit bland. I have forced myself to work everyday. Well, most days. I shower. I brush my teeth. I eat. I go to church. I volunteer. I go out with friends. I do the normal stuff I have always done. It’s in between those times that I find myself pondering what the next step should be. Is this the process? Is this what everyone does? I don’t know. I wouldn’t dare ask. I’m ashamed of my hiding. I’m embarrassed that I prefer to lock myself away at times than to speak to people. I am self condemning myself for still missing Andrew, being sad, lonely, wishing I had answers.

Answers. How I wish I had the answers. After 18 months, I still have no understanding as to why that night played out the way it did. I have no answers to the questions that have gone unanswered for a year & a half. If anything, I have more.

What have I learned throughout the torture? Lots of things. Do we really need to discuss that again? Fine. I will share one. It’s a recurring theme so don’t roll your eyes when you read it. It’s Love. It’s simple really. Unconditional, pure & genuine love. Don’t miss the mark by ignoring the brokenness of the people around you. We have the capacity to change our worlds just by giving our hearts away. I know that by trying to live my life with this type of love, I have changed my own life, for the better. I hope I have changed the lives of those around me for the better, as well.

Some of you have heard this story. But last week, a co-worker (a person that I feel is fairly unhappy in life. Is it just work related? I don’t know.) was at my desk talking about how I just strolled to my car in the rain. (Remember last Summer, I posted about playing in the rain?) So I mentioned that it’s just water. No need to get upset about it. She began to talk about an umbrella her parents had bought her years ago. It had her initials engraved in the handle. It had broken a while back & she was wishing she had gotten a new one. She had such a light in her eyes over this umbrella. She ran back to her desk & emailed me a picture of it. At my lunch that day, I got on Amazon & ordered the umbrella. When I got it this week, I went to work, left it on her desk with no note. She came running to my desk with the umbrella & tears in her eyes. She said I should not have done that, she knew it was expensive. She was awestruck that I would have done something like that. She went back to her desk & emailed me another thank you. I said I could tell it was special to her so I thought she needed to have a replacement. She said I have the most generous heart & that it has been so so long since someone had done anything that nice for her. I began to cry just as my boss, also a long time friend, came around to my desk. She asked what was wrong. I showed her the email & I said “That is just so sad. What is wrong with us?” I emailed my co-worker back explaining that I was in tears, because I had missed it. Because there are people in my life that feel unloved, uncared for & have no idea how valuable they really are. I told her that we all need to be generous with our hearts all the time with all people. My boss told me that the price of the umbrella was brought up. She told them that if I felt something was needed for someone, I would never look at the price. She said that they are all better people for having me in their lives. I cried some more.

I don’t give away umbrellas for the compliments or the credit. I give away umbrellas because that is what the heart needed. I give because I love. I love because God loves. I try to be aware & cognizant of the needs of people around me. If I can fill the heart or soul, I do. God provides the finances, the words, the opportunities. Sometimes that means I buy umbrellas. Or dinners. Or refrigerators. Or groceries. Sometimes that means I tell brutal truths, give hugs, send text messages of encouragement or bible verses. But I always, always, ALWAYS show love, grace and hope. My heart hurts for the hurting. I guess because I know how broken feels.

I’m not broken anymore. I am healed. With a few cracks. I am like an old house, with layers & layers of paint that have begun to be stripped away. I know that underneath all those layers, I am a beautiful, strong & sturdy home for broken hearts. I have an open door for anyone in need.

Happy Birthday, Andrew. Enjoy your red velvet cake. Jesus is the best baker. Your smile is missing in my day. The world is missing your heart. That giant, kind, loving, broken heart. Much love sweet friend.

For the rest of you lovelies, watch for opportunities to share your heart. It always returns two fold. At least. Love you all.

MY Thoughts About Deep Grief

This has been an ever evolving post. I began listing my thoughts & feelings back in June of last year. I wanted to be able to look back at this process and remember how I felt going through it. To see if I was actually crazy like I felt at times or if later those emotions would be understandable. Answer? Understandable. So here are my thoughts on deep grief:

A process understood by no one until they have lived through it. A “period” of your life when living is the most painful thing to do. A realization that your life will never be the “normal” it was before, & your new normal is unwanted. A time when people are uncomfortable around you, & your loss is more compounded by watching them walk away or feeling isolated from them. Being so uncomfortable in your own skin, you hate to be alone but are too depressed to reach out to anyone else. Listening & watching everyone else continue their lives while feeling cemented to your pain & yet being stuck in the need to remember leaves you feeling crazy & lost. Wishing & praying everyday for a rewind to never have that last moment with the one you love. Never wanting to admit that your feelings inside are so sad, so lonely, so uncomfortable because people may think you have lost your mind, so you smile & say the right words at the right times to make them think you are fine & progressing. Realizing that the “normal” you also died that day, to be replaced by a new version with a permanent hole in your heart & life. Struggling every day to find a place of happy existence. Feeling a disconnect even when with the people you love the most-like you are never fully present. Having superficial conversations when people are uncomfortable with any discussion that may include your loss or feelings about it. Learning to forgive people for their neglect of you during a time you needed them most. Learning how to reconstruct a relationship, even if it is only broken in your mind, in order to save it. Learning to do deep introspection to process & shelve the pain. Seeking God for purpose of the loss, purpose of the relationship, purpose of your life. Granting yourself freedom to cry, remember, love & long for someone. Recognizing that very little in this world is worth the loss of a relationship, so few things are worth a heated & ugly argument, yet also realizing that boundaries are necessary for your healing & learning to set some. Understanding how far a hug can truly go for someone. Realizing when others have a loss, that words are futile, lack meaning, & support really comes in the form of presence & depth. Allowing God permission to work His will in your life without trying to stand in the way-because you are too tired to do so. Learning how to love people’s uglies-because they are worth it. Struggling to practice self care-showers, rest, healthy food, exercise. Recognizing that some days, bare minimum effort is worth a gold medal. Understanding that you are now the stinky cheese with some people, and being ok with it. Getting used to having your emotions on display for all to see, because they are spilling out of you uncontrollably. Having your “filter” disconnected. Learning to enjoy that, just a little. Walking through the first year being the hardest-every memory in your head rears its glorious head throughout that time, causing reactions from tears to laughter & back to tears. Accepting how the second year still sucks but at least it doesn’t suck the wind out of you. Holding onto every single memento you can-toothbrush, random pieces of paper, the tape used to hold your nail on, the jeans still bloody, every picture ever taken-looking at them often & wondering if it helps or hurts but not caring because it’s what you need in that moment. Feeling ashamed of your lack of progress because some of the people around you need you to perform as before. Using the process to heal other hurts so when you finally reach a healthier place, all of you is truly healed. Releasing anything that is holding you back in life, old beliefs or old vows, so that you can let your heart shine into other’s lives. Granting yourself grace & forgiveness for taking as long as you need. Knowing when that time has been fulfilled & you can let go of some of the grief. And comprehending that doesn’t negate the relationship or the loss, both are still very relevant, but are no longer a crutch or a wall.

It’s hard to come to terms with the fact that the pain never really ends but that you can actually survive, laugh, be regular, just differently than we were “before.” But it also is ok to know that the difference is because you were able to love someone that will never leave your heart. While the pain seems overwhelming & unbearable, our greatest honor to someone we lose is to carry on with the memories we have & share our vulnerability when another person suffers a devastating loss by giving them the compassion we received or maybe didn’t receive but needed.

I have come a long way since that cold, horrible night last February. I don’t want to ever live through something like that again. But I know I am where I am now because God showed me mercy, showed me my real relationships, but more importantly, showed me who I am to Him. I am worthy of being loved again. I am perfect in His eyes. My heart is whole, & in a corner of it resides a special person that I was so very fortunate to love.

Healing & Growth

I took some time off from blogging. I know. It was more than “some” time. It was a long time. I was facing the holidays, the anniversaries of my robbery, & the loss of Andrew. I just didn’t have the extra strength to put out any further emotional efforts. My most sincere apologies. Shall I catch you up on the last 5 months?

Christmas was very difficult. I missed the surf & turf dinners we made together each year. I missed finding the perfect gift for Andrew & watching him open it with no reaction because he was a man. And an emotionally handicapped one at that. I missed my son. Not that he wanted gifts any more, just cash. But the holidays are a reflection on family. I felt like mine was missing a lot of people this year. So I chose to adopt a couple of teenage kids from a local church & surprise them with Christmas gifts. My church did this as a group & we were able to adopt over 100 kids. Considering that our weekly attendance is just around 225, completely inclusive of everyone, that’s a mighty number. We were able to hand deliver to our kids. We had the opportunity to watch them, interact with them, pray with them. I will continue this new tradition every year. Oh, & I was sick. Blah.

New Year’s Eve was also a hard day. More of not having him. I spent it alone. On my living room floor. Surrounded by pictures, tokens of us, of him, wearing his sweat pants & tshirt. Snuggling my head in the sweatshirt I wore the night he died. Yup. Total & complete crazy. I can admit it. I’m not even going to apologize for it. That was what I needed to do, so I did it. In the morning, I wiped the snot off my face, picked everything up, put it neatly in its place & prepared to face January. Which was fairly uneventful. That story will be saved for a rainy day.

February. Wow. Hard. I took off about 5 days of work. I cried almost every day. I went to the cemetery the day before the actual anniversary because I knew his family & friends would be there the next day. I sat on the cold February ground next to a little white cross, faded flower arrangements & pictures, little motorcycles & Angels people left. And I was sad. Sad for the family who are left with questions. Sad for the friends in pain. Sad for the world that lost such a sweet, ornery, generous man. Sad for me. But I also have something no one else has…his last moments. I was there for the last few hours. I know what his mood was. What plans we were making. What he was planning to have for dinner that night. I was there to hold him. Tell him I loved him. That I needed him to stay with me. To pray for God to save him, body & soul. As hard as those moments were to live through, I’m so grateful I was given them. And so, this February 20th, I spent curled up in bed. Crying. Sleeping. Ignoring everyone, everything. Again, it was what I needed to do. Then all of a sudden it was February 21. My first year was officially over. Did I have a “Ta-Duh moment” where I jumped from the high bars, threw my hands up & yelled “I MADE IT! TAKE THAT WORLD!” Nope. I stayed in my pajamas for a third day. Monday, I re-adulted. Back to work. Back to life.

March found me in court, dealing with Child Support. That my ex & I get to pay to a child that threatened our lives. Again in April because once isn’t nearly enough. This time he was there. It was anticipated. But I handled it with courage because I’m not the same girl he robbed & threatened a year ago. This new girl has lost a lot. She has learned a lot. She has grown stronger roots. She is not willing to be intimidated by bullies. Even if those bullies are her son and her mother. So take that world! 

I needed the time off so I could prepare for February. (Ps… Nothing truly prepared me.) Then I needed more to recover from it. I have sought wise counsel. I have prayed intensely. I have been healed from many hurts. I have discovered that I love the written word for a reason. This. I have a voice. An intelligent & brave voice. I have a life worthy of sharing. Not because I’m hitting all the targets. But because I’m not. I’m a work in progress but more importantly, I’m a child of God. I’m blessed with an abundance of love & gifts. He wants to use me to share my gifts & I am finally ready to be used.

So World, look out! I’m standing up, speaking out, & bringing life back to places & people who have been hiding in the dark!

Friends, YOU are Loved & YOU are Worthy!!

Dearest Andrew~Month 8

By now, you must know I’m going to “check in” with you every few months. So here I am. By the way, just because it’s only every few months, I should emphasize that you are still my most beautiful nightmare every day.

How am I handling things 8 months into this new life? Well, I still cry, I still can’t quit looking at your pictures, I still curl up with the fuzzy pillow because it reminds me of you. I still have your toothbrush, my bloody jeans from that night, every silly little memento I may have collected along our way. I still haven’t had a date, nor do I have any prospects. I’m fine with it so don’t try to set me up.

I had a birthday. Without you. It was hard. I kept remembering last year. After everyone left, you jumped in the pool. Then we sat in the couch taking what I refer to as our “Progressive Selfies.” I have all 20 of them printed out but my favorite is the one that looks like you are eating my head. I love looking at them because you were so sweet & silly that night.

I am still learning, growing, changing. I have begun to recognize my strengths, my weaknesses, the oddities that make me who I am. My sadness is still driving me, whether it be keeping me too busy to think or to sit alone on my bed so all I can do is think. I find it hard to be social because people exhaust me. They need me to be “normal” but I don’t know what that is yet. I don’t want to find that new normal place because that would mean I have accepted you being gone.

I had “planned” (using that word quite loosely, as I am learning I have no plans that have come to fruition as I expected.), ok, I had planned to bounce back from my grief over you in a nice quick time, & show everyone that I would honor your memories by being strong, witty, perfect. What I have done instead is spend hour upon hour learning about myself. I have been “listening” to what God has been telling me. I have been learning about how my past drives me, how my experiences are impacted by the baggage I carry. I’m learning things that would have changed your life. I wish you were here to grow with me.

I have re-discovered a dream I had for many years to help women. A dream where women would gather around one another & lift each other up, supporting each other instead of tearing one another down or judging each other. Apparently, my grief & the acts that led up to it, will be quite helpful when this dream becomes reality. That means you will no longer be my little secret. Your life & death, our relationship, as well as my sexual & emotional abuse, my marriage, my son, my life, will all be utilized to help others in their struggles. I’m very intimated by the prospect, but if I am going to be honest, I am also beginning to develop some excitement. (Shhh! Don’t tell W, L & J! They are quite ready for me to admit this!)

Maybe some of the people I help will be your family. I have not spoken to them since your viewing. It breaks my heart. I know that they are in indescribable pain, as am I. I often want to reach out to your mom. I am afraid of her rejecting me again. Guess what I recently learned, I don’t do well with rejection. Who knew? Probably everyone. I may actually get the nerve up one day to try to speak with her. In the meantime, I pray for your family, your friends, the people who loved you. And I am reminded of how fragile life is, but more, how fragile we are. Despite the greatest strength within us, we are all wounded deeply by small actions or words every day.

I promise to continue to try & love the uglies. I promise to try to overcome my personal hurdles. I promise to not let negative words or thoughts win in my life, whether they are being thrown at me or I am trying to throw them at another. I will stop the cycle in my small world. My small world will become love driven. My small world will be overflowing with love.

Andrew, you are my most beautiful nightmare, my most precious memories, my heart’s content & discontent. You are missed so deeply & I long for the day when I see you again.

Much love,


“Happy Birthday” Dearest Andrew

The last few weeks have been quite emotional for me. I can not go into all of the details quite yet, pending some investigations. It’s always easier to talk about something once it is completed. Right now, it would be a lot of speculation so I’m going to hold off. Just remind me later that I promised details.

So, as I’m sure you have guessed by the title, today was Andrew’s birthday. He should have turned 34 today. Yes, for all of you paying attention, I’m 42. So what? Lol.

Last year, I bought him a dozen cupcakes, 12 different flavors. I bought him concert tickets to see Brantley Gilbert because Aaron Lewis was opening & Andrew LOVED Aaron Lewis. We had so much fun at that concert. But we always had fun. It was part of why I loved him.

I am a cheap laugh, a laugh whore, if you will. I can giggle at almost anything. And laughing is my drug of choice. If you make me laugh, I’m yours for life. And make me laugh he did. Constantly. If we were on the phone, I would rarely speak because he would get me laughing right away & keep telling me story after story. If we were together, he would also tell me stories or he would tickle me. But my favorite was his dancing. Oh no, not because he was good. He was horrible.

One night I was feeling a bit cranky. I don’t recall why. It’s not important. But he turned on the radio, told me to dance. We did this all the time so it wasn’t a strange suggestion. (We typically expressed our feelings through music because he was emotionally handicapped. It was safest for him this way.) So this one particular night he asked me to dance & feeling extra smarmy, I said no. I sat on the couch & pouted. So he begins to dance. A horrible, tall, awkward, white man dance that no eye should see. But I saw it. And I began to giggle. And the more I giggled, the more he danced. Finally I was cracking up. When the song was over, I said to him “you are crazy. Don’t quit your day job.” He wrapped me in his arms, asked “Did I make you laugh?” Giggling like a school girl, I answered “yes.” He replied “that’s all I wanted.” And I was twitterpated. (See Bambi)

Today was a monumental first in the line of firsts in grief. Last week was the 6 months mark and today was his birthday. His family & oldest friends went to the gravesite tonight. I was not invited. That hurt more than I expected it to, more than my brain says it should. I miss him too. I hurt & ache from his loss. But because we were a private relationship, I grieve alone. I have a few friends & family that understand (maybe they don’t & pretend very well) how deeply I still hurt. But mostly I cry alone at night because it’s easier than trying to explain to someone something they never saw. Does that even make sense? His friends & family knew about me. We had talked on speakerphone numerous times. I would “hi mom!” or “hi dad!” from across the room at least once a week. His mom said she would quit calling on Thursday evening because that had become her normal night to call but we were always together on Thursday. He teased her & told her I was getting tired of the interruption. Then he told her the truth. I was glad she called. I never felt she was an interruption. She was his mother. She was part of who he was. She created this man I loved & I loved watching him talk to her. He adored her. He wanted her life to be easy & perfect.

It breaks my heart to know how different today was from last year. For Andrew’s family & friends. For me. I understand why I wasn’t invited. I am a reminder of their loss. They don’t “know” me other than the girl he spent a lot of time with and was always on the other end of the phone. It still stings. I will not allow any animosity towards them to creep in. I’m not that girl. I will only continue to pray for them, I know some of their pain. I’m not his mother or father, brother or oldest friend. But I was with him day in & day out. I had fallen in love with that goofy horrible dancer.

Happy Birthday Baby. I pray your party in heaven was lovely. I hope the cake was red velvet. I hope you ate some bang bang shrimp. I hope you watched me work really hard today. I held myself together almost completely. Just a few tears fell before I crawled into bed. I love you still. I miss you much. Good night sweetheart.


Matilda Grace

Dearest Andrew-Month 6

Dear sweet sweet Andrew,

Today is the 6 month anniversary of your death. Seems odd to call it an anniversary. Those are typically joyful celebrations of marriage or other happy occasions. In our case, it marks the end of our chapters. The finality of it is hardly relayed in the word anniversary. Yes, every month, every year there will be more of them, but I am facing them alone. Without you. Seems unfair. Sometimes it makes me want to lash out & yell at you about how I hate that you have done this to me, how you abandoned me & left me wallowing in this messy hell I have no idea how to get out from. Then I stand up. Remind myself that all I truly have to do is continue to walk forward & eventually I will be past the tears, the guilt & the heartache I feel now.

So my ex & I have been getting along fairly well lately. I will save the deets for later. But I know your first question would have been “does he want you back?” No. He does not, nor I him. But it’s nice to find that place we once had many, many years ago. He said to me the other day that it is time to remove your picture from my phone background & start dating. I told him I wasn’t sure I was ready. He said I never will be if I keep ahold of you so tightly. I told him a quick story about my two besties teasing me at work one day as I was talking to a male co-worker. One asked if I had dinner plans. The other was trying to give him my phone number. He said “did you go out?” “NO!” I replied. “Why didn’t you ask him out?” “Because I’m old fashioned & I’m not doing that!” I answered. He just laughed & said I was silly. You used to say I was silly.

I explained to him that part of me feels guilty. I am here to make the choice to date again, not date again, go to work, see my family & friends. I feel guilty that you are gone & no longer have those choices. Why do I feel guilty? I wish I knew. Maybe because you were saving me from myself that night. Because I was at my breaking point & was ready to give up. Yet here I am & you are gone.

I also am fearful. What happens if I do go out? What if he tries to kiss me? What happens if I actually have fun? What happens if he asks me out again? What happens if we begin a relationship? What happens to YOU?!? Where will you be in those situations? Right now, I keep you very close, in my heart. What if someone else tries to kick you out because they want in there? Can you both reside there peacefully? What happens if I put my best effort in to making things work with a new guy but I just can’t do it? I will have hurt an innocent person by mixing him up in my crazy. What if I flip out with a panic attack?

Any, all or none of these scenarios are possible. Right now, none. No one is knocking at this girls door. Sometimes I think I’m ready. I have grown a lot. I have cried a lot. I have learned a lot. But I’m still nervous. So sweet Andrew, what do you think? To date or not to date, that is the question. Actually, I don’t think that is THE question. It’s just one of many.

So here I am. 6 months later. Still crying. Still missing. Still wondering. Still wishing. But also, now, curious. What does my future hold? Who does my future hold?

My darling Andrew, I wish the answers were you. I wish I could hear you call me silly girl. I miss your voice. I wish we could have gone fishing this summer. Oh how I loved making you bait my hook & then before you could get your pole back in the water, make you take my slimey new fish off & rebait my hook. I wish we had been able to go boating. I was so looking forward to that. And redoing your grandpa’s  motorcycle. We were going to have a fun summer. Now it’s almost over. It has been rainy & gloomy, like I have felt. I have done nothing worth mention. I have survived. I guess that’s good enough for now.

When I pray, I ask God to give you a big hug. I ask him to make sure you know how loved you are here. To make sure you know how much I love you. I know my prayers are working. I find a little more strength. A little more peace. A lot more laughter. I know God is standing with me through this. He must be, without Him, I would never have made it.

I love you dearly my sweet Andrew. I will see you again when I get to heaven. But if you are ever passing by, please stop and whisper in my ear “silly girl.”

Much love,

Matilda Grace

Dear Andrew, Month 4

My dearest Andrew,

Today marks the 4 month anniversary of the day this world lost you. As I sit here trying to create a piece worthy of your life, I realize how short I will fall. Even still I cannot begin to think of the numerous ways you touched my life, my soul, my heart, without bursting into tears. Just today on the radio was a song that flooded my eyes and as the tears ran down my face I sat in disbelief that you are gone.

When we met over 5 years ago, I had no idea the direction life was going to take. Little did I know that you would become my best friend, my confidante, my motivator, my love. When you sent me that first text, I was like a silly school girl. Giggly, nervous, excited. I still was to the very last day 16 months later. You brought honesty to my life, youth to my soul, you retaught my heart how to love without expectation and condition. I hope you knew this.

I spent a week looking at your pictures, not sleeping, not eating unless being force fed, sobbing every few hours. My brain screamed for logic of this loss, my heart screamed for you to tell me this horrible event was a nightmare and I would wake up to see you grinning at me. I waited for my phone to ring, for your texts to resume and save me from the grief that was enveloping me.

Since you have been gone, so many things have happened. I moved into my new place. Truth be told, my church moved me, I was too numb. In too much shock to think, breath, or brush my teeth. When I went back to work, I had to face the people that knew both of us, yet knew nothing about us. You would be so proud of how well we had kept it from them. There were moments when I felt like a sideshow act. People that knew who I was, but didn’t know me would walk by to see how I was handling this. Other people never said a word. But everyone knew. They were shocked by losing such a sweet, funny, amazing co-worker, they were shocked we were together, they were shocked I was there when you left us. So was I.

I lost my son two days after I lost you. His behavior had reached a new milestone, one you were there to see. I had to finalize the heartbreaking process afterwards. I couldn’t believe that in 2 days, my world had imploded. I can’t think of one event without thinking of the other. I ache for both of you. But I know he is still breathing, living while you are not.

I have learned many things about myself since you passed. I have learned that I am worthy of respect. I have learned that sometimes the filter I had glued to my mouth is best put aside. I have learned that it’s ok for me to still ache, yearn & hurt from losing you. I have found that crying in the car or at work to a song that reminds me of you is perfectly fine. Even more, it’s normal. I no longer care if the world loves Matilda. Right now, I love very little. I love the people that hug me day after day, the people that brought me food after my surgery, I love the people that listen to me say your name or tell a story about us countless times, I love the people that have touched me in ways they don’t even know about. I don’t love my clothes, my possessions, my jobs, my place. I have learned to only love people.

I have also learned numerous things about others. They don’t all have the capacity to love like I do. This isn’t a flaw, it’s in their wiring. It’s not my job to fix them, my job is to love them anyway. Most people cannot handle grief, in themselves or others, especially a deep heart & soul grief. Many people change the subject. Many pass over it. Many people just ignore me. I can’t lie & say these reactions don’t impact me. These are people that I had thought would never leave my side. But the truth is, I just make them uncomfortable. Their discomfort does not create a whole heart in my chest or heal my broken spirit. So we live side by side in an awkward silence filled with superficial conversations. Maybe even real & personal conversations, as long as they are not about you. I have also learned that it is ok to create boundaries for people that are too toxic. I can still love them but it must be done from afar.

So here I am. 4 months later. 25 pounds lost.  A good night’s sleep a distant friend I last saw 5 months ago. I haven’t washed the jeans I was wearing that night. They still have your blood on them. I can’t throw away the piece of tape you put on my thumb that night to save my nail from breaking off. Your picture is my phone wallpaper & several are taped to my walls, even in my walk in closet. I am lonely all the time. Even when I am surrounded or laughing with my friends. See, the adage that time heals all wounds is a misnomer. What happens with time is the ability to push aside the urges to cry all the time. At some point it felt as if I had cried every last tear out of my body. They returned. But it becomes easier to hold them in. The overwhelming sadness underlies every other emotion that may cross my face. People see me smile, they think I am fine. They don’t see me lying in bed every night unable to sleep, crying into my pillow, begging God to rewind time & bring you back to me. He has yet to answer this prayer. I am beginning to think He won’t.

I still love you with all of my heart. I miss you every second of every day. I don’t know how long this thing called grieving will continue or if it will linger on forever. I don’t mind it too much. If I can’t have you here with me, I need you close by in my heart & mind & on the wall of my closet. I pray you are having fun in heaven. I know I will see you again one day. In the meantime, don’t be disappointed in me for crying over you. The impact you left in my world was deep.

Until we meet again, all my love,