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Matt and I were together for 10 wonderful years - met in 1998, married in 2002, until his untimely death on November 15, 2008. We have two beautiful, healthy children - Jacob (born 5/04) and Sydney (born 5/07)... the most precious gifts he could have ever given me.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Faking it.

For the past eight and a half months, I have felt like none of this really happened. It couldn't have. I'm just playing out some sick, twisted movie plot and going through the motions. Doing and saying what I think are the right things to do and say. Matt didn't really die; this is some horrible hoax, and I'm just playing the part of a widow and single mom. He's going to walk through that door any moment, like nothing ever happened.

Denial, anyone?

Especially the past few days with our wedding anniversary... Everyone probably thinks I'm handling things so well, but in reality, I just simply haven't dealt with it. I've been pushing it aside, and not letting myself feel. After all, I've been so busy with all the paper work, phone calls, arrangments, etc. associated with the purchase of my new home and move across the country, that I haven't even had time to process what's happening in my heart. Thank God. I'm using that to it's full benefit. It's probably not healthy, but that's exactly what I'm doing.

I've also been in complete denial about my uncle. I have not dealt with his death - at all. I haven't sent out a card, email, phone call, nothing yet. I haven't processed it in my head. It doesn't seem real, either. Another man who was so full of life and spunk.

I must have some defense mechanism that's working in overdrive right now trying to keep me sane, preserving my energy for my kids and this house transaction. My friends and family on this coast are totally broken up about the kids and I moving so far away, and as much as I'm going to miss them terribly, all I can think of is, "I can't wait to get the hell out of here!" It's not that it's bad here - not at all. I'm surrounded by so many wonderful people, and my life here was great. But I have to get out.

I feel a little guilty about all this, and about my lack of acknowledgment of my uncle's death, and about my lack of tears about leaving everyone here. But only a little guilty... I'm pushing the guilt feelings aside, too. I'm a cold-hearted bitch.

This self-preservation technique that I've been implementing for the past week or so is bound to bite me in the ass soon.


Danielle said...

You are doing what is right for you. People deal with things in their own way and everyone's way is different. Don't add guilt to your already overloaded heart. You are a great wife, mother and family member. People understand more than you know as long as you are true to yourself.

Ranch Girl said...

A saying came to mind as I read your post today - 'fake it til you make it' - I think that's all you can do right now. Saying prayers for you and your family.

Glenda said...

Just do what feels right for you and your kids. Don't add guilt to it! You are carrying a huge load for now. Best of luck with the move! This is funny:I'm a cold-hearted bitch. When my mom passed in 2004 I told my sister "my heart is black" My mom's death left such a huge void in my heart that no one can fulfilled, and I've moved forward because I have a family I have to be strong for too, but I def became bitchier :) Take care of yourself and your precious kids! Sending you hugs! XX

Boo said...

Andrea, like you I thought I had left the denial phase behind me ... but I'm still drifting in and out of that state really ... my heart goes out to you. xx

Carrie Lynn Fazzolari said...

A cold-hearted bitch wouldn't recognize what you recognized. You are an incredible person; keep listening to your gut because it will steer you right. The main priorities are YOU, your children and your feelings for Matt as they are now, and as they were then. That's it, Andrea. You will succeed, and if it comes back to bite you in the ass because of some defense-mechanism gone haywire, I will eat my sock. Keep doing what you are doing - keeping in touch, allowing your feelings to be known, and you will be fine. Your East coast family and friends will one day understand. And if you made a mistake by moving, you move back. Simple. One day at a time, my dear.

I wish I could hug you!

Kelly said...

Denial is one of the 5 stages of grief, or whatever that crap is. Don't worry about how you're dealing with it. Just deal with it the best way you know how. FWIW, I think you're doing OK. <3

Crash Course Widow said...

All that you wrote, I felt in that first year too. I ran, I hid, I was numb, I made plans (like also selling a house and moving)...yet I thought I was supposedly dealing with the grief head on. It took 2 years or more for me to figure out that I couldn't "do" the grief and that I had to wait and see where the roller coaster ride took me; I couldn't force it.

I had the disreality too. I kept thinking that if I just made it to the 1 year mark, everything would be okay. I think in some demented way I thought I'd really wake up and none of it would ever have happened. Not consciously, of course, but I always thought there'd be some "reward" at the end of it. Yet there never really was...except to find that nothing changed. I was still widowed; Charley was still dead. Yea...great reward, huh? The real horror was that, for me, it could get worse. I never expected that one....(But thank god everyone's different on this path.)

For me, dealing with it all took about, oh, 3+ years...not 8 months, and not only a year. And it's not like I have it all figured out by now, but I have most of it (I think? I hope?).

Missing you and everyone else like crazy tonight! Glad to get to hear from you a little bit with this post. Sending you lots and lots of love and hugs. =)

Shannon said...

I don't think it will bite you in the ass, Andrea; but I do think you are going to "crash" and all the grieving is going to hit you at once. From one friend to another, you need to take some time for yourself, wether it be a drive, or a trip to Matt's grave, or the church where you were married. Take some time for yourself to take a breath, take in everything BEFORE you leave and say won't regret it. You will have a clean slate to move forward on. I am not saying that is going to make you "all better", God know's that's not going to happen anytime soon, if ever, but it will give you a little closure. And right now, it sounds like that's what you need. Take care and always remember...I'm here! Shannon

Joy said...

Your not selfish at all, just hanging on as best you can.

I pray for you and your children.


Anonymous said...

I TOTALLY get the movie analogy - that's pretty much exactly what I've felt for the past three months (and 8 days).

I still find it so hard to comprehend that he's really not coming back. It's just so wrong in so many ways that I think that's why we have a hard time accepting it. I suppose that could be considered denial, but more the realization that things are not how they should be, certainly not how we want them to be.

Best of luck to you with your move and I hope that it is all that you need it to be.

Rick said...

That is O.K. to ride the waves of life. Move with your heart and deal with one day at a time. You are an AMAZING mother and you are doing an EXCELLENT job taking care of your family!! I don't really know you that well, but I am VERY proud of you!! A little sacifice now will grant you happiness later! When you come to a crossroad or a decision in life, ask Matt in your heart "what would he say or do at this moment" and you will receive your answer!!

Matt's Love for you is even greater now!!!

-amanda said...

It won't bite you in the ass for pushing it all will just be time to let it all out. part of being human is doing things on our own time, whether it be grieving, growing or just learning life lessons.

Anonymous said...

It's not denial. That would be actively pretending it didn't happen at all and that life is status quo.

Going through motions, feeling as though you are acting a part and having to remind yourself that it is real are all part of the grieving process.

Actually I found "faking it" helpful because it allowed me to get things done that no one else was going to do for me.

I am not sure even what people mean when they talk about "dealing with death" as though it was some kind of activity one pencils in on the calendar. Every day I got up and I dealt simply because I had life and child and job and the world in general expecting me to do so and I had to work my new reality into somehow.

I wouldn't worry too much about denial.

Gift of Green said...

I guess we're all in denial to some extent, otherwise we wouldn't set foot outside our front door each day. Thinking about you, Andrea, and getting excited for you and your move.

erynn said...

I often think about that too... sometimes I feel I get so caught up and busy with the kids, I wonder if people think I'm "fine" or "ok already" because I am getting out of bed every day, I am living life and I don't cry 24/7. It's a strange through, for me.

At some point, we are all going to have to face it and deal with it... but I am hoping that will happen at the right time, naturally.