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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.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

How can it be possible??

In only a matter of days now, it will be one whole year since the love of my life was killed. It still doesn't seem possible that it even happened, let alone that it's already been a whole year.

I still have flashbacks of that day, like it just happened. It's got to be similar to what a war vet goes through when they have flashbacks of combat. I'm brought right back to the moment when I woke up at 4am, thinking I should call Matt. Then waking up again right before the knock on the door. The feeling of dread at hearing that knock, and knowing immediately when I saw the police officer what he was going to tell me. Sydney in her crib, Jacob at my side. I have a hard time breathing, eating or functioning at all when I flash back to that day, and it's been happening more frequently the past few weeks. I've lost a few pounds again. I still feel like I'm living a nightmare and need to just finally wake up, except I can't. Neither can his parents, brothers, children, and everyone else who loved him. I know his coworkers must feel the same way- like war vets. I can't imagine them having to go into that room, or even the test bay without at least thinking about Matt, or reliving the nightmare of finding him there - lifeless. The sound of the sirens and frenzy of the paramedics, police, etc... They must be traumatized, too.

I remember thinking way in the beginning that I didn't want to dwell on the time milestones of Matt's death, and I've been really trying to keep that in mind. But no matter how I try to convince myself, the past few weeks have been extraordinarily emotional. One minute I think I'm doing just fine, and the next I'm sobbing with hardly any warning. No matter how I try to rationalize the whole thing, it just makes no sense and it never will. The whole grief process. It just SUCKS.

As my fellow sister widow Jackie said, the hardest part is watching your kids grieve. As their mommy, I want to fix their boo boos, and protect them from any kind of pain. But this is one thing I can't ever fix for them. For Jacob, it's been challenging. He wants everyone to know his daddy died. I convinced him that we shouldn't send cards to all his friends telling them that Matt died because they already know. He's been acting out more than usual the past week, probably in response to my emotional state. Sydney only knows what she hears, and she repeats things that Jacob says, like, "I wish my daddy was still alive." Except when I'm crying, then she says over and over again in a panicky tone, "We'll help you! We'll help you!" A two year old - or even my five year old - should NOT be expected to feel responsible for helping their mother in that capacity! Breaks my heart. Even though she might not be actively grieving since she can't remember (which is heartbreaking in itself), it makes it hurt for me that much more with the thought that these incredible kids have to grow up without their awesome dad. Boy did they get the shaft - he was the fun one.

A couple of my friends are flying in this coming weekend to be with me. I'm so thankful. The weeks/days leading up to this have been hell. Literally. I talked to another friend today... She said that this year has been a shitty year for everyone we know - it really has. She said that she is going to consider November 16 as the beginning of the new year instead of January 1st. I kind of like that idea.


Em said...

Many hugs to you and your family.

Cliff Fazzolari said...

Hi Andrea,

There are more people than you know rooting that your days are filled with more love than grief - it's a constant hammer and you don't have to get used to it, but we all have to get on with it. Not easy, my friend, but I'm there with you too! Congrats on selling the house.

Anonymous said...

With you this week in spirit. Much love.

Joy said...

I am so sorry for your pain. I will be praying for you.

Robin said...

I am with you on the flashbacks. They take my breath away. I forcefully make myself think of something else. I am hoping they fade with time, and I do think they have slightly. I understand all that you said and I am praying for some peace to go your way.

Jorie said...

I'm sorry, Andrea--those flashbacks indeed sound just agonizing. For what it's worth I just think you're so strong and I think your kids are incredibly lucky to have a mom like you. xoxo

Crash Course Widow said...

Sending you lots and lots of hugs. That first-year anniversary is a real bitch. It messes with your head, heart, and emotions long before it actually arrives. I hope and pray that the actual anniversary itself isn't drastically worse than the last few weeks have been...but on the other hand, it's also so weird (or at least it was for me) when it's not the second-worst day of your life. I hated that whole first anniversary and the last weeks leading up to it.

I'll be thinking of you. xoxoxo, Candice

Danielle said...

I hope that you have fun with your friends.
Hugs to you!

Glenda said...

Congrats on selling the house! Once less thing to worry about! I hope and pray that the company of your friends and your 2 beautiful kiddos helps you make it through the 1st anniversary. Sending you hugs XX

Shannon said...

Oh Andrea...
I just went the other day and purchased a memorial stone for a walkway at the local Hospital where my sister was most of her last 4 months battling lung cancer. I completely "lost" it when I saw the walkway. It was so beautiful. I started bawling like a baby. Everyone was starting at me like I was nuts! Oh well, it will be a year Jan.3. I can't believe how fast this year went. It has been a shitty one. It seems since she has passed, my entire family has fallen a part. My mom is not the same, no one comes around anymore, the holidays will be sad, and there is really nothing I can do about it but try to keep MY spirits up for my kids. That is hard to do when you start to cry "out of the blue", isn't it? I can't imagine your pain, losing your partner, best friend and confident. I sypmathize with you Andrea. You are such a champ, and I know you are crumbling on the inside. Youe really are one of the strongest people I know. Hang in there! And know that Matt is always watching over you all. Shannon

Anonymous said...

Definitely thinking of you this week. I just passed the 6 month mark, which was really hard - I can't imagine what a whole year must feel like.

And, I absolutely agree with the pts syndrome with the flashbacks. It's intense. My heart is with you and the kids.


Boo said...

Andrea, I too have the flashbacks and they do take you right back there, I know how the horror strikes you, it is simply dreadful and so upsetting that it's hard to describe it.

I too am dreading the first year anniversary, but have decided to focus on something positive, so doing a sponsored walk for widows less fortunate than myself. I think it's apt ... and it should ensure that at least I'll only spend half the day bawling.

So glad you have friends coming - friends are our lifesavers :-)

love to you xx

Angie said...

I'm about a couple months behind you on the countdown and as it approaches I see what you mean about it getting harder, crying out of nowhere, and my son too is sometimes strong for me. I hope your friends will be able to entertain and distract you or just comfort you if that's what you need.

Thinking & praying for you and your little ones.


Megan said...

(((HUGS))) and prayers, Andrea!! I wish I could take your pain away!! I'm so glad that some of the GD's are able to be with you on this horrible anniversary.

Heather said...

Hi Andrea,

I have been following your blog off and on having found it through Rick's blog.

I often find I can relate to a lot of what you have written, but don't always know what to say in response.

I passed 21 months on Friday so I am ahead of you on this road. I wanted to let you know that I started to do a lot better at 9 months and then absolutely fell apart again at the year mark. It has definitely been getting better since then.

I read and post quite often on a message board for young widows and widowers and just wanted to let you know that what you are going through right now is so completely normal. Sometimes, I find the biggest comfort comes from knowing that others have experienced the exact same thing as these milestones pass.


Suzann said...

Holding you close in my thoughts during this difficult time.

Amy from VA said...

Still here thinking of you. Our hearts go out to you and the kids.

Supa Dupa Fresh said...

I can barely remember the first anniversary itself, but I remember that the days before and after were much harder than the day itself.

I hope you have plans to be with people on those days, or at least take a few minutes to cherish your special self and breathe.

I hear you on the kids. That's been the hardest part. But the good news is watching how wonderfully they look ahead at the same time, and in time, you'll see signs of healing through their eyes. Yes, you will.

(Plus, if you need to hear it again, you are a wonderful Mom and you are listening.)

Much love,