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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.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Returning to the scene of the crime...

Everyone keeps asking me, "when are you going back to Buffalo?" I keep saying, "August" since August 22nd is when the 5K is taking place in Matt's honor, but I still haven't made reservations for the kids and I. Normally when anticipating a trip, I can't wait to book the flight and make arrangements, but for some reason, I've been procrastinating this one something awful. Next month. It's just around the corner, and I have yet to make any concrete plans.

Again, acting as my own shrink, I've taken it upon myself to analyze the situation, and I haven't had to delve too deeply to come up with the answer...

After Matt died, I struggled trying to survive without him in a life we created together. Five months after his death, I decided the best solution for me was to run away. Get as far away as I could from my former life that no longer existed. Four months after I made the decision, my children and were living in our new home on the other side of the country.

In my case, moving away has helped. But going back to the Buffalo area next month will be the first time going back to the place I lived my entire life, but now with no home; the home we built and shared is no longer ours. We have many friends and family who are willing to take us in while were there, but going back as a visitor instead of a resident is a very strange sensation. The whole landscape is different now. I only lived five months there without my love (a very blurry five months), and have now been in our new home just about a year without him. When I think about going back, the phrase "returning to the scene of the crime" keeps ringing through my head.

I'm scared. I'm scared of the flood of emotions that might drown me when I hit the soil. Scared to see how everyone has changed. Scared for everyone there to see how we've changed. As much as I am so looking forward to seeing everyone we've missed, I am so afraid to go back.


Kim said...

I have a similar experience to yours. The thing I learned was to give myself a lot of space and props - and tell people that I might "turn on a dime" emotionally at any moment. There were moments that it was hard to breathe.

Eventually I realized a few things that helped me personally that might not work for everyone - like: I have a sense of my beloved's spirit being with me. I have a strong sense of him most of the time. So going back, I felt that geography had impact, but that it also only a place in a larger context of life, if that makes sense? It is hard to explain.

I also started to - in my mind - thank places when I would visit them. Thank them for what they gave my beloved and I. Thank the home. Thank the park. The coffee bar. Thank them for giving you such great and precious memories.

I certainly do not have all the answers or even a couple answers for how hard any of this is. I guess ultimately I wanted to let you know that I am reading you and have a similar circumstance and have gone back and survived it. You are doing hard work. I hope you keep talking and processing it with us.

Anonymous said...

I don't know you well but, I know this you can do anything!!! I have no idea how you will feel about coming back here. I just know that you will think about how your kids will be and how you will be and that is the most important!! And for some reason you can't bring yourself to come then don't! And if you think you and your kids can then do it! Either way you are the strongest person that I have know!! I will pray for you and I hope your desecion is the one best for you and your kids!!


Kate said...

I can only imagine how tough that has to be. I hope at some point you can remember the life in Buffalo as a positive and you can cherish the memories you had here. I know you have lots of friends and family there who love you, maybe you can take solace in that. ((Hugs))

Crash Course Widow said...

I'll keep my fingers crossed that the fear, dread, and anticipation are worse than the actual experience of being in Buffalo...but you just never know on this crap journey which way it'll go.

I have to be honest--"our" house is one of the few painful spots for me. Even now, 5 years into widowhood and 3 1/2 years after I sold it and moved, I still avoid it...and unfortunately I'm only 30 blocks and 5 minutes from it. I don't have problems with other places we went here in Portland, but I have found that I get a number of unexpected 'whammies' when going places, like vacation spots.

I've found it helps to have happy plans as a distraction...but that's a strategy that might not work until you're a bit farther out, date-wise. I tend to get into more trouble when I'm by myself in those tough locations and have too much time to think.

Thinking of you and cannot WAIT for next month!!! Hugs, my friend!