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.