Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Rambling thoughts...

I am going through another round of depression, of sadness, of disbelief about Brian's death.  I still, even more than a year later, don't get it -- why?!  Why did this happen to him?  I look at pictures of his big, broad smile; the twinkle in his eye; his red hair and strong nose...and I just can't believe what happened to that person.  I can't believe he's no longer here with us.  I can't believe I won't see him again. 

I feel guilty that last January 17, I didn't realize that something was seriously wrong until it was too late, and I wonder if calling 911 sooner would have made a difference.  (The medical examiner thought it probably wouldn't have.)  Is it my fault?  I can't bear to think about it, yet I can't escape those doubts and that crushing guilt.  I know hindsight is 20/20, but I still hate myself for not asking more questions about how he was feeling, for not doing a Google search of symptoms, for not insisting that we go to the hospital.  I've never confessed these feelings to anyone, and it's eating me up inside.  I'm frustrated that he didn't realize something was wrong, that he didn't tell me that it was.  We thought he had a chest cold or pneumonia; it was a pulmonary embolism.  Now, I am a hypochondriac, especially when anyone else is concerned.  When Mittons got a urinary tract infection, I watched her like a hawk, afraid that she -- like Brian -- had a problem far worse than her symptoms or demeanor would suggest, like kidney failure.  I worry all the time that one of the cats will die under my watch, just like Brian did.  Every time I am sick, I at least entertain the possibility that I am dying.  The crazy thing is, I don't care if I do -- I'm not suicidal by any means, but I also don't care if I do die, because I will be with Brian again.

I just watched the DVD photo slideshow that we put together for Brian's visitations and service again -- a lifetime compressed into pictures for the duration of three songs.  There are so many precious memories and good times and happy faces in those several minutes, but it's not enough -- it doesn't reflect the unique tenor of his voice, the way his arms felt around me, the idiosyncratic expressions of his face in the course of any conversation, especially those in which he doubted what he was being told by the person on the other side of an argument (I saw that best when he would talk to Hart), his posture, his scent.  Photos aren't enough for me.  I just miss Brian immensely, still.

I know grief works in cycles, and I'm feeling that intense sadness and loneliness right now, combined with guilt.  So I'm at a pretty low point.  I would just give anything to spend another night with him, to just have 24 more hours.  I recently dreamed that I was somewhere, and I had just seen Brian walk away, and I was screaming at the top of my lungs, "BRIAN!!!  COME BACK!!!"....over and over, I made this plea; I knew even in the dream that it was futile, but I had to try.  I had to try.  It's probably residual guilt for not praying hard enough on the day he died, between the time the paramedics came and the time we got the terrible news.  I know that day that I was trying to keep it all together, that I was fearful (and I think I pretty much knew) of the news to come, and that I was already going into a state of shock.  It's a blur, but I know I didn't pray as hard as I could have, and I will always -- ALWAYS -- feel guilty about that.  Believe me, it's not because I didn't want him to live.  I don't know if it's because I didn't know how serious the situation was, or because I knew exactly how serious it was.   

In any event, I've done a lot of thinking about religion, destiny, and spiritual matters this year.  It's a pretty personal thing to put out there for the world to see, but I will say that some of my views have changed.  Also, I'm still investigating the possibilities to determine what exactly to believe. 

I've heard people say, "Don't put a question mark where God has placed a period."  I got this advice from people in the aftermath of Brian's death, written in cards; I've heard it at grief counseling groups; I also drove past a truck with this on a bumper sticker the other day.  It makes sense, pragmatically -- I can either live the life I have, or I can spend all my time and energy thinking about things that were not meant to be.  Clearly, one is more productive and healthy, and will lead me to a better life.  However, it's still hard to do.  I think it's even harder when the period that "God" has placed in your life follows the sentence, "I am taking away the love of your life, the best thing to ever happen to you, the source of your happiness, and the person with whom you always wanted and intended to build a future and grow old." about pulling the rug out from under me, God. 

I know a lot of this seems like things that have come up before, or that I perhaps should be "over" feeling.  Well, I guess I'm just now realizing as well that grief -- that scary, looming dark soul-sucker that will forever be in my life -- can and will rear its ugly head at some of the most unexpected times and places.  I was starting to feel really good about where I was and then -- bam! -- I can't stop crying today.

This is probably one of the least composed and logical posts I've had in a long time, but it is reflective of how I'm feeling and what's going through my head at the moment.  I haven't posted anything or done any writing in a long time simply because I didn't know where to start.  Perhaps by getting out some of these bad thoughts and by letting the tears flow heavily for a day or two, I'll be able to get my focus and optimism back.  Hence, the rambling blog post.  Probably not fun for my readers, but I hope it helps me.


  1. Sending you a great big hug Wendy. I can't even imagine what all you've been through this last year. HUG!

  2. I'm thinking of you and wishing you well. I'm so sorry you are going through all of this. I can't even begin to imagine what you are going through - but I think you are one of the strongest people I have ever known (even though I knew you a loooong loooong time ago).

  3. After Dave died I had dreams for ages that he was still around. I had one particularly vivid dream that I could see him and no-one else could and it was really frustrating because he was 'right there' and everyone else in my dream just thought I was crazy. It was always sad to wake up from dreams when Dave had been in them.

    And the thing about not minding if you die but not being suicidal, apparently it's quite common after you 'lose' someone you love (according to a counsellor I saw). I would find myself driving along thinking, if I died in a car crash right now it really wouldn't be so bad. I wouldn't mind. I don't think it very often anymore, but sometimes the thought comes to mind.

    The question about God and spirituality is a big one all the time, especially in your situation. Personally, I'm a Christian and lent on my beliefs a lot in the aftermath, but it was still really hard. I didn't go to church for a long time because I didn't have anything to say to God. What would I want to say to a God that let an 18 year-old boy die in a car accident only days after finishing his final exams? What did I have to say to a God who couldn't look after Dave? How could I trust Him to look after me?! Where was He in all of that? Why was He so quiet? I've found some answers now, but I definitely still don't have all the answers, and part of me is resigned to the fact that I probably never will. I'm not sure where you're at with all of that, but I guess it's good to think about it all and consider all your options.

    Thinking of (and praying for) you,
    Blue Eyes xx

  4. Wendy, I think about you everyday. Stay strong and know that there are so many people that love you and are here for you whenever you need anything.

    Tiffany Ricklefs

  5. Wendy,
    I hope this painfully honest reflection of your feelings helps lift some of the weight and pain. Thinking of you lots! Love and miss you!