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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.

Saturday, February 27, 2010


Julie, the wonderful insurance lady that came over yesterday, invited the kids and I to go bumper bowling this morning as part of a fundraiser they were having. Jacob was over the moon about going (he's been asking to go bowling) and Sydney is now old enough to participate.

There was a huge group of people there as part of the association of realtors and their families, and we bowled with a great group that we met for the first time.

A couple of them were a man and his four year old son, Sawyer. Sawyer is a little cutie and he got along great with Jacob and Sydney; they really all played together so nicely. Sawyer's dad also has a baby girl who is a year old, and she and his wife stayed at home. The dad played with Jacob and Sydney so sweetly - you can tell he's a great dad to his own two. He's a gentle giant like Matt.

He bounced Sydney on his knee, and she said "aAaAaA" so she could hear her voice shake as she bounced. When she would walk away from him, he'd let her get so far, and then pull her back as she squealed with delight. Those are the kinds of things that Matt did with Jacob, that he would have done with Sydney when she got to this age. She was only 18 months old when he died, so she wasn't quite ready for rougher play like this - after all, she just learned to walk at that point.

As I watched him interact with my kids, my heart broke. This is the kind of stuff my kids crave. This is the kind of stuff I crave for them. Of course I kept a smile on my face and tried to just revel in the joy my kids were getting out of it, but I had a hard time keeping it together once we got in the van to leave.

I'm going through a tough bout of grief right now, and every little thing is setting me off lately. God I miss Matt so much. I miss everything about him. Even the stuff I used to complain about. I miss every little thing.

We got home and put in one of Jacob's favorite movies, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. I'm so burned out on this movie it's not funny, but I was too tired and sad to say no.

I never noticed until Matt's death just how many kids' movies have a widow or widower as the main character. The mom in the movie was dead. In the movie Underdog, the mom was dead. The Secret of Nimh, the dad is dead. Cinderella, The Little Mermaid, Sleeping Beauty... all have a parent who is dead. What's the deal?

Jacob mentioned how the mom was dead in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, and then he said it - it's been a while -
"Mom, when can we get a new dad?" Ugh.

I just want the old one back. Is that too much to ask??
I know, I know....

I made poor Julie cry when she was here yesterday. I showed her around the house and pointed out all the things that Matt made. She looked at the pictures around the house as we went through. Sydney pointed to the one of Matt and me on our wedding day, and said to Julie, "Mommy's a princess!"

We were talking in the playroom for a few minutes while Sydney played in there, and she asked Julie, "Where's your daddy?" because as I mentioned before, she asks everyone where their daddy is, and asks me where hers is at least three times a day. Julie didn't think anything of it as she answered, "He's probably at work." Then I have to go and tell her that she wants to know where everyone's daddies are, and Julie's eyes got wide and she said, "Ohhhhh...."  Then her eyes welled up.

For the most part, I'm pretty good at pushing the grief aside, but for the past couple of weeks, it won't let me. It feels so fresh. I'm even regressing into the phase where I have the urge to tell anyone who doesn't know that my husband died. And it really makes me mad that a fun morning with my kids doing a fun activity that we enjoyed so much together would have to be bittersweet.

I'm so fucking sick of 'bittersweet' that I'm choking on it.


Carrie Lynn Fazzolari said...

It can't be easy Andrea, and you made me cry too! There is an interesting article in The New Yorker about the process of grief - that theorizes that instead of the "stages" of grief being the typical, grief is actually quite individual. I will get a copy of it and send it to you. After I read it, I stopped questioning why I felt like I was going backwards and just let the pain come... and eventually go... and then come again...

You have a beautiful soul, and when the time is right, you will find a man to share your life and your children with (he will NEVER replace Matt, but he will enrich Matt's presence).

I'm sorry you are hurting. I am sending a big, fat, humongous, gigantic hug your way!

Jan said...

Andrea - I am feeling for you today and hoping for a better tomorrow.

Danielle said...

I have no idea how you feel, I do know that I wish that no body ever had to go through this.

Mama_Bear_Sarah said...

*sigh* I get it. i so get it. i'm hear with you ...thinking of you.

Kris said...

I can feel your pain, Andrea. The grief is awful. I don't know if it will ever truly leave us alone. I, too, am tired of bittersweet and would give anything for one more day of happiness with my husband. I know the same is true for you. You're in my thoughts. I hope things start becoming a little less difficult for you.

Glenda said...

oh Sydney breaks my heart... thinking of you Andrea and the kiddos and sending you hugs XXX

Andrea Renee said...

Carrie, thank you for your sweet message and the huge hugs! Right back atcha.
Sorry I made you cry, too...
I'm holding you and the rest of your family close to my heart this difficult week.

Crash Course Widow said...

There will always be times when the grief surges back up and you're (supposedly) "regressing." I still have them occasionally, even 'oh so far' out at almost 5 years. It's just how grief works...and it's not regression.

I've had a few of those bitter (no sweet about them), hard moments with Anna and other dads lately too. It's so foreign to her how physical dads can be as they play and chase her around, and it caught in my throat as I watched them that she never got to do that with her dad. I don't even have the slightest clue how he would have been with her, since he never saw her crawl, walk, or run, much less be able to horseplay with her. And if I still have some of those moments now, at 4 1/2 years out, they would have been torturous at only 15-16 months after he died, like where you're at. That you were able to keep any semblance of a tortured smile on your face is a remarkable accomplishment in grief.

That second year of grief and widowhood is such an odd, awful time. For me, I expected life to be different and easier, the grief to be lessened, when it really wasn't much different from the first year. I know many, many widows for whom the 2nd year was worse than the first. It was a shock for me that I hit my lowest, my most depressed, in the third year; I'd naively thought that I wouldn't be a 'statistic like that' because I'd tried so hard to be such a good griever and widow in that first year. Turns out my expectations that grief was something that I could control, plan, and shape was a ridiculous fallacy.

Hang in there, my friend....It'll get better eventually. xoxo.

I found that my "verbal vomit" about telling random strangers about Charley and my loss continued well into the second year too--particularly once I moved at 16 mos. out. I needed new people (the door-to-door vacuum salesman, the lady who measured for my new blinds, the man who installed them, neighbors, miscellaneous strangers who I never saw again) to know about my loss, to acknowledge that it happened and was tragic.