Writing out our journey together throughout C's fight with cancer helped me process so much of what was going on at the time. The feelings, the highs, the lows..... finding the words to turn them into my entries helped me make order of the chaos. I think I need to continue this outlet.....
Moving into our second season without C, the numbness and shock have firmly worn off and made way for intense sadness and anger.... especially for both K and myself. Trying to find our own ways to deal with the intense emotions that neither of us know what to do with, we constantly battle against ourselves and each other every day. Not always the hallmark card of warmth and tenderness, a lot of our interactions are very intense and very raw, buffered by the tiniest string of restraint I can muster. There are times where we yell instead of hug, scream instead of talk...... we are working together to change that pattern, but change doesn't come easy.
I have found that making myself as busy as possible with every single physical activity that crosses my path, any reason to not be in the house we shared and still trying to stay away from people has become the norm. Being in groups of friends, even those who love us most is so hard. Feeling like every time I enter a room, everyone has been talking about me and that all eyes are on me. What is she going to do? What is she going to say? What do I say to her? I have to say something, just try not to say something that will make her cry...... are just a few of the thoughts I feel floating by me as I walk around, trying to move through life. Even around those who don't know me, I feel like there is a giant neon sign over my head "widow". Moving quickly through crowded rooms, I have become a master at the disappearing act. I have reduced my inner circle of friends to an insanely small number and even only a portion of those will I talk to honestly. I have found that a lot of my words have a bite that other people can't handle or fear taking on, so I tend to keep things to myself. For those who really want to know, there is nothing you can say that will "make" me cry, most of the time I am on the verge of tears anyway, and it may not be anything you say that triggers them. I remember my husband's name, it doesn't hurt to hear it. He had cancer, I know that. It was aggressive, he was so young, I am so young, the girls are so young....... I know these things too. There are many things that are said that throw me into a rage, it is extremely easy to do lately, but you won't know that..... that is what the punching bag in my garage is for.
K struggles with feelings so intense and no good way to express them, except for screaming, hitting and raging at anyone in her path. The moments where it hits her are, like myself, unpredictable. Her anger covering up the most horrible sadness of a child who has lost a parent and feels alone. At her most recent counseling session her declaration of "I want to kiss daddy, I want to hug daddy.... but I can't" sums up the pain in her heart pretty well. Unfortunately it tends to manifest itself most often in striking out and hitting me where it hurts.... "you are the meanest mommy" "you are the worst mommy ever" "I wish you weren't my mommy"..... I struggle to find calm and patience to see through her words and find the root of the pain and address that rather than the words being thrown at me in the heat of the moment. K's fixation on feeling lied to, that we didn't confirm her fear that daddy was going to die, that she knew it was going to happen but nobody listened to her has made her keenly aware of and intolerant of lies whether they are purposeful or not. Her worst times are like a mirror, as she and I are exactly the same. Anything to avoid feeling the hurt and the pain that is unrelenting, not really worrying about collateral damage. She is starting to open up and come to me in these times of pain, trying to break the cycle we have created together.
H has been very factual in how she has processed everything that has happened, she has wanted to know everything from where was the cancer located in daddy's body? how did it move to the lungs? were you there when daddy died? to did you see him go to heaven? Her faith that daddy is finally not hurting in Heaven and that God is helping him not miss us so much is both comforting and horribly sad for myself to hear in her quiet, purposeful voice. As daddy's birthday approaches next week, she is definitely starting to feel the emotional aspect of everything and her pain at the upcoming holidays is more obvious. The tears flow a little freer now with her remembering last year's Christmas and wondering if we can have a Christmas this year without daddy is hard for me to think about let alone reassure her about, though I do the best I can.
Baby T has continued to be the source of joy and blissful ignorance, comedic relief for us all. She still points at pictures of daddy and recognizes him...... I hope that his image is always one she recognizes. This summer she started demanding bedtime stories, and as I rock with her at night reading the same books that C used to read to the older two my mind often drifts and I can still hear his voice reading them. One day I will be thankful for this...... one day.