Was that you?

My Sugar,

Today’s new normal involved getting up at 6:30 AM to get our toddler ready for a full day at daycare and me ready for my first day back to work since you died. Last night marked a full week of our daughter waking at 2 AM wanting nothing but cuddles and refusing to return to her slumber until she received 2-3 hours worth. They say this is the prime age for separation anxiety, but losing you and having everyone stop visiting must have something to do with it.

Needless to say, today was a rough day. I ended it by cleaning up our daughter’s toys and settling in to fill out more paperwork related to your death. Reading the doc’s reports brought me to tears and when I walked across the room, I saw this on the floor. ..
The first letter of your name.
Was that you?
Or am I such the walking zombie that I left this out?
If it’s the former, I hope you show yourself more.
I am still in disbelief and miss you so very much.
We fought so hard, I still can’t believe you actually died..
It’s all so surreal.

With a heavy heart filled with love for you,
Your Sweetness

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Moments of Anger, Moments of Isolation

Just over a week ago, I had an appointment at my late husband’s bank.  We never had joint accounts. I took care of all the bills, he merely transferred his share of the funds to me each month.

I was shocked to learn that he’d taken out a personal line of credit which was now racked up to a decent amount which I am apparently now responsible for as his “next of kin”.  After losing my husband a mere four months after a shocking cancer diagnosis, you’d think the universe might have some good news for me for a change.  Apparently not.

So.. given that I’m newly widowed with a mortgage and daycare to pay for on a single income, I obviously can’t pay this debt, so I asked my sis-in-law who i’m close with to ask his parents if they could help.  You see, they own their home and have no debts whereas we have a massive mortgage and a pretty sizeable line of credit we racked up when we were both unemployed at the same time.  They also didn’t offer to help with his funeral – the planning or the costs.  Their response to this request was to inform my sis-in-law that he owed them a pretty good chunk of $ that they’ll never get back.  WTF!?!?  Seriously…!?!?  This is their granddaughter’s future…!  It also has to be said that they spend their retirement days out shopping and casino hopping so they obviously have some funds to play with.  Or they have a gambling problem.  I actually hope it’s the latter.  If it’s the former and they’re this selfish, I’m going to struggle with making any effort to allow them to see their granddaughter.  No, I’m not that cold, but I sure won’t be doling out any hugs when I see them.

Which brings me to today – just over one month since my husband passed and I had our first family function (his side) to attend.  Not only did my 19 month old and I have to take the bus to and from the party (a mere 15 minutes away), but his mom actually gave ME the cold shoulder.  Didn’t once ask how I was doing.  Other members of his family actually told me how hard it was for them without him physically being there.  Again.. not one of them asked how I was doing!  How can they not realize that what they felt for a few hours today is what I feel every f*cking day!?!?  When you lose your person – the one you shared a home, a bed, a child, a handful of text messages with every day – the pain and emptiness are ALWAYS there.  Yet they rarely check in on me and his parents have only called once in the month since he passed.  For all they know, I could be a complete mess, a broken person, a puddle, neglecting their grandchild, making poor decisions for both of us.  I’m not, obviously.  My head is on straight and she is my priority.  I’ve yet to cry in front of her – even when she asks me almost daily now for him in her broken 19 month old language… “Daddy?  Where?  Miss him. Miss Daddy.”  Breaks my f*cking heart every time.  I’m grateful that she’s so bright and has the gift of what seems to be a photographic memory as she will always remember him, but during these times of sadness, disbelief and isolation, it makes it difficult to stay strong and put on a happy face for her.

I’m also finding that I have moments where I’m so angry at him.  So very angry.  Why would he take out a line of credit when we were only on one income?  Why didn’t he take out life insurance when I nagged him about it nearly every month for over the past two years?  I know this anger is displaced.  I know I’m angry at the world, at Fate, at anything that had a hand in taking my best friend, my partner, the father to our child, my soul mate from me so quickly and at such a young age.  Our relationship, like most was complicated, but he was always the absolute best father a child could ask for and as someone who only grew up with negative father figures, I’m so angry at the world for taking him from us.  For taking the experience of having a doting father from my daughter and from again depriving me of what a father/daughter relationship should be.

I have always been an optimist, upbeat and positive to the point where it annoyed many and I’ve always believed that everything happens for a reason.  This experience has shaken my entire belief system.  What reason could there possibly be for depriving our beautiful, bright, innocent daughter of growing up without her father’s love?

I am forever changed.. Gone is the eternal optimist.  I no longer believe that everything happens for a reason. There is no reason for this that I will ever find acceptable.

 

One Month Without You

My darling Sugar,

Today marks one full month since you passed.  Each day does not get easier.  It feels like just yesterday we were in the hospital, fighting, hoping we could turn it around. It also feels like a lifetime since we embraced and exchanged I love yous.

I walked the streets in our neighbourhood today and I was a myriad of emotions; envious of the young families I passed, annoyed by those complaining about things that just don’t matter and in shock that people passed me without seeing my sadness, not knowing how empty and broken I feel.

This journey has taught me to be so very thankful for our daughter, and the people in our lives who truly care and have been there for us. It has also taught me to truly not sweat the small stuff and to live each day to the fullest and tell the people around me just how much they are loved. 

As the days, weeks, months and eventually years go by, I don’t expect to miss you any less but I do hope the ache in my heart and lump in my throat dissipate.

I hope that you’re able to see us and see just how bright, funny and beautiful our daughter is already growing to be.  At only 19 months, she seems to comprehend all of this more than she should – often looking at me and saying “Daddy?  Miss Daddy.  Miss him.”  You will always be alive in her.

We love you.

Your Sweetness and Cuteness

Email Written by Me to Family and Friends after Preliminary Diagnosis

Dearest family and friends,

First of all – a happy new year to all of you.

We were able to speak to a few of you directly, but before word spreads, we wanted to send out an email so you have the facts from us as we know them so far.

I’m afraid ours is off to a challenging start.

After a few weeks of pain in his tummy, Sugar saw a doctor on Dec. 30th.  Long story short – we spent most of the afternoon and evening at Mount Sinai emergency on New Year’s Eve and have been told that his liver and lymph nodes contain several masses that are “probable malignancies”.  We won’t know exactly what we’re dealing with until they can schedule a biopsy in the next week or so.

We’re staying positive – we’re lucky enough to live in a city with a world class cancer hospital – but keep expecting to wake up from some strange dream. 

We’ll update you when we know more.

Thank you all very much for your ongoing love, support and positivity.  We will get through this together.  

Hugs and love from the 3 of us to all of you.

This Young Widow, Sugar and Bub

Email Written by my Beloved Sugar to his Friends and Family About his Diagnosis

Written and emailed on January 2, 2014:

Hey My Dearest Friends/Family,

Happy New Year!

I’m writing this email to let you know how [This Young Widow] & I spent NYE.

My immediate family is already updated but wanted my extended family to be informed from me directly.

Background:

I was feeling stomach pains for a few weeks and thought gas but it came to a point that I couldn’t sleep at night.  On Dec.30th, I went to the walk-in clinic to get checked out.  After going online, I had the symptoms of Gall Bladder stones and time to get them out of me.  Doctor sent me for blood work and an ultra-sound, said they’d call me back in 48 hours with results…

I had my phone turned off for the day and realized I had missed 2 calls from the walk-in clinic and that it was urgent to call them back as they had my results from Ultra-Sound.

Dec.31st:

I called the walk-in clinic and they told me to come in immediately and get a requisition and head to Emergency at a hospital.  Got to Mount Sinai Emerg and got checked in thinking wow these stones need to come out quick.

First doctor said he couldn’t read my ultra-sound images that I brought and that he wanted to do a CT scan of my chest/abdomen. After several hours of waiting another doctor came in and dropped the bomb on [This Young Widow] and I that I had ‘masses on my liver and nodes’.  They said my blood was perfectly normal/healthy, blood pressure perfect/healthy, it just sometimes happens.

Our next steps is to wait for the specialists to get back from holiday vacation so they can perform the biopsy to confirm what they say is consistent with malignant (cancerous) growth.  I’m told they will reach out to me next week to set up the appointment, then wait for results, then set up the treatment.

We’re staying positive and know whatever the results of the biopsy, we will get through this.

We love you and appreciate you all so much!

Sugar, This Young Widow, Bub [our baby girl]