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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.

Monday, October 19, 2009

"Today is the first day of the rest of my life."

It was a year ago today when I wrote those words. Little did I know that in less than a month from then, our lives would be so altered.

A year ago yesterday, I initiated myself into the blogging world with this. What a blessing that was. I never would have known of the widowhood community that has helped me survive the past year. The community that has offered so much support, though I feel like I've neglected them being so consumed with my own grief. I promise I'll give back.

I was laying in bed last night, listening to Jacob cough, trying to figure out why I'm so stuck and wondering how to move forward. Attempting to think objectively, I realize that first of all, I know that everyone does this grieving thing at their own pace. It can be two steps forward, one step back, or one step forward and three steps back. Everyone is different and every situation is different. I'm one of those people that doesn't have enough patience with myself. Rationally, I know it's gonna take time, but I'm tired of hurting, tired of grieving. Tired of all these negative emotions. I'm just plain tired.

I realize I'm probably stuck because I haven't reached the point of "acceptance." I'm still pissed for Matt because he was at the best time in his life when his life ended. He finally finished school, just got his dream job, was finally fulfilling his goals which also included enjoying his wife and two young children. He was young, healthy, and so deserved everything he worked so hard for, and he was only able to enjoy the fruits of his labor for such a short time. It's so unfair.

I'm brokenhearted for my children, because they won't get to know their amazing, involved, loving, strong, fun, patient father the way they should have. He had knowledge and skills he needed to pass on to them.

I'm sad for myself that I didn't have him longer. We were so in love. I was so fulfilled with him in my life. I loved knowing that my children would have the one thing I didn't have growing up - a mommy and daddy team. A good, healthy example of what it's like to grow up with married parents who enjoy being in each other's company, and who like parenting the kids they're raising and appreciate the life they're living. A husband who did more than his share of the work around the home. I had it pretty easy.

So often I try to put myself in his shoes... what was he thinking during his last moments? What have been his thoughts and feelings since? Is he angry, sad, disappointed, at peace? Knowing Matt, he was probably pretty pissed at first, and sad, but he's so level headed and even tempered that I know he made peace with his fate. If I could ask him how he could be OK with this, he'd probably say he didn't have a choice, so it's either be at peace with it, or in a constant state of anger and denial. Who wants to live eternity with that? With death comes wisdom. (I don't know where I came up with that - it just popped in my head and I had to write it down.)

I suppose if he can come to terms with it, I should try to, too. I don't want to live what life I have left in a constant state of sadness and despair, wishing I could turn the clock back. I know full well that is not in my power, and it's fruitless to even think about that. A waste of energy and emotions, though there are moments when I just can't help myself. There are times when I can barely function, and then there are times when I think I can totally do this. By some miracle, I've gotten this far; I can make it the rest of the way.

I actually think that one of the things possibly holding me back is guilt. Is it OK for me to get to the point where I can accept what has been dealt to us, and maybe even be happy again? (That's a rhetorical question...) Logically, I know it is OK - I would want that for anyone else going through this shit. But it's different when it comes to wanting that for yourself. At least for me, it's almost like I can't let myself past this hump yet because maybe I should feel like shit longer than this after losing the love of my life.

One of the things Matt and I had talked about was who would die first. After some discussion (and me crying at the mere thought of it), he came to the conclusion that I should die first because I couldn't handle it if he died first and left me behind. I was totally in agreement with that decision! The thing I wasn't in agreement with was when he told me that if I died first, he would marry again. My response was, "WHAT? Hmph!" It's strange the things that we discussed for being a young, healthy couple, but I'm sure glad we did.

So, today is the first day of the rest of my life. 36 should be interesting...


Notes From the Grove said...

Oh my goodness. You have the same birthday as my husband...I had no idea.

I wish I had the right words. I enjoy your updates and am always wishing you and your sweet kids the best.

I hope you can find some happy in your birthday :o)


Island Roys said...

Congratulations! I think you have come a long way and today is a good day to start the rest of you life. Really, that's all we have, is today. So make today great. Enjoy the journey and find what makes you happy today.

Robin said...

Andrea- I came across your blog from Matt Logelin site. First, I am so sorry for the loss of your husband. I read some of your posts and he appears to be a great guy. We seem to have some things in common. I also lost my husband, suddenly and tragically, when I was 35 (two years ago), I have 2 small children, etc. I can relate very personally to a lot of the things that you say in your posts. I hope that this new year brings you more acceptance, though I understand it is a long and difficult road.

Peace to you-

Sarah said...

Wow Andrea, I follow your blog, always check for updates. I think about you often, my heart hurts for you and your family and your husbands family. Although I have NO idea what it feels like to be a widow, I still keep you in my prayers and thoughts hoping that you will get past this hump. I think this post was so good, and probably the first step to getting over that hump. Just typing it out takes courage. Keep staying strong.


Suddenwidow said...

Happy Birthday, Andrea!!! I hope you have a good day! I can relate to everything you said in your post and as usual, it gives me comfort to know I'm not alone in the grief and uncertainty. Thank you for sharing your journey with us. And enjoy your first birthday in sunny California!

Anonymous said...

I had to smile when I read the part about your conversation about who should go first and why. My late husband and I had that same discussion once but with the opposite conclusion - that he wouldn't be able to survive without me. He also said he would remarry if I went first - I was a bit shocked - and I was more shocked when he said that he believed that I not only should remarry, if he died, but that I would.

"You'll be married within a year," he predicted.

He was short on his estimation by five months. He knew me really well.

You shouldn't feel guilty. About wanting to move on or that you feel stuck and aren't. My personal opinion is that we are moving on from day one but not aware of the fact until we can look back and see where we have been.

Have a happy birthday.

Jill said...

Happy Birthday Andrea! You are the strongest woman I "know" even though I don't really know you. You're an amazing person and mother and your children are lucky to have you. They will learn about their father and how wonderful he was through you. It's great that you are thinking of these things and writing it out, each step forward counts. All the best to you

Boo said...

Andrea, I wish you smiles that outbalance tears today.

I am fumbling for words ... there are none really ... as you well know, however I identified so strongly with what you are experiencing at this part of our journey.

The strength that was Matt's, I am sure he is sharing with you ... and added to your own ... you WILL march on and have a good rich full life ... I just know you will.

PurpleDogMommy said...


I've been following your blog in relative silence for about 6 months now. I've never had the courage to go back and read exactly what happened until today.

I'm sorry I took so long.

You are so brave. You would probably say you don't feel brave, but you are. You've picked yourself up, you've made a move, you've made hard decisions in this past year. Ones that you didn't think you'd ever have to make.

Your entries make me feel like I know you a little, so I'll say Happy Birthday and wish you some peace and happiness on this day.


Melina E.

Carrie Lynn Fazzolari said...

I think about you often, and hope that you find some peace in all of these emotions you are feeling - and will feel (I assume) for some time.

I also wanted to let you know that I saw the Matt Row Memorial garden and how it made me cry for you - in pride and sorrow. Now, Jeff and Matt share the same area as memorial sites and I am so glad for that.

Happy Birthday darlin'!

Jill said...

I hope you realize just how healthy that post was! I completely understand what you're saying and think I'd be saying very similar things if I were in your situation.

God Bless

Supa Dupa Fresh said...

Gosh, I remember all those feelings almost the same way. Guilt is normal. Being rational is, as you know, little help.

You sound perfectly good for where you are. I wish I could make it easier! Glad to be your widow-sister.

Oh, and a very happy birthday to you, and many more!



Anonymous said...

Hi, you dont know me but I have been following your blog for quite a while now.
I just wanted to tell you your doing an awesome job! You have alot of ppl rooting for you and your precious kiddos :0)

eastmoormom said... you reached across the country and grabbed my hands and just typed up my life...

Anonymous said...

Hi Andrea,

I've meant to comment on this post for a bit, but it's hard to find the words...

First - happy belated birthday

Second, I have to say that you DO offer so much to the widowhood community, if nothing else then by writing here. It's helped others, like myself, feel so much less alone.

For the rest - even though our circumstances of loss were different, I can relate to pretty much all of what you say, and it sounds completely normal and logical to me. I get the guilt feeling.

It IS heartbreaking. It IS exhausting. It DOES suck.


vimala said...

You are a really good writer. I wish you infinite dreams with Matt in them.