Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The New Journey

I was just looking up the "7 stages of grief":

1) Shock, Denial
2) Pain and Guilt
3) Anger and Bargaining
4) Depression, Reflection, Loneliness
5) The Upward Turn
6) Reconstruction and Working Through
7) Acceptance and Hope

Which is the stage where I misplace my cell phone and have no idea where I may have left it? Because whichever one that is, that's where I'm at.

It's a bit absurd that they can think that they can put all people in the same box and think they will follow the above steps as they grieve.

Hell, I've been grieving for months. Torn between watching Jim fight with every fiber of his being and being so terrified of losing him, sick or well. I couldn't begin to count the number of times I stood by the basement dryer and cried my eyes out, wishing things would turn around.

And yet there were so many times during this journey that I tried to think ahead just in case we did have to go through this worst case scenario. And I was able to work out some of the strategic changes that would need to happen.

My greatest worry is having Jerry feeling displaced. I hate that I need to figure out what to do with him before school and after school until I get home from work. He's too young to stay home alone, and he's not crazy about my before school options.

I just need to keep telling myself that children are resilient. That he will adapt to whatever changes we need to do. I know that I need to be strong for his sake. I need to be honest and say "Yes, it really DOES suck that I have to make you change the routine that you loved because your dad has passed on. But still, we just need to do it."

He is opening up a lot more this week, which is wonderful. At least he's talking, especially at bed time. He has a difficult time getting to sleep these days. He keeps saying he is "haunted by his own mind". which is filled with scary thoughts. And yes, the future IS scary. But we'll get through it.

He asked me last night if I would ever get married again. I told him "Maybe. But only if I could find someone as wonderful as Daddy, and that would take a long time to find, so you don't have to worry about that."

Jerry has always had an amazing view of the world. I need to remember that. He's not your average 9 year old. His little brain grasps some very complex concepts if they are explained properly. Jim was awesome at explaining things to Jerry. They could talk for hours about ancient Rome, castles, wars, history, computers... He never talked to Jerry like he was a little kid. He was patient and loving and engaging with him. I need to work at that because to me, Jerry is the last baby I will every have and I want to hold and protect him from the world. I need to find the balance that Jim was able to give him within myself.

And I know that I'm not alone on this journey. I know that we are surrounded by friends and family that would happily step in and teach Jerry how to hunt and fish, and tell him how his dad always brought along his sterno and a little pan and was always prepared to calm the "City Boy" in Jerry so that they could just hang out and enjoy nature.

I dunno. Maybe I'm at stage 4. I know I ought to be looking ahead. But each big holiday coming is going to feel empty. And just going to Walmart, I feel like everybody is staring at me. Like I have this gaping bleeding hole that everyone can see.

And I know I'm only feeling sorry for myself. I need to "Cowboy Up" and just go through it.
But I do insist on spending a great deal of time in the back yard this summer. Hell, I already am spending a great deal of time out there just thinking and talking to Jim.

On Jim's last day, I said "Oh, Honey! This is just too soon! You're supposed to get better so that we can have a fire in the back yard this summer."
He just looked at me and said "I'll be there."

By the way, I just found my phone. It was sitting here right in front of me all this time. I can just hear Jim now "Yup! No short Bus for My Wife, no sir!"

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