Monday, May 26, 2014

The First Night Alone

Last night was my first night alone in my house. Someone has stayed with me every night since Rick died. Sunday night, Monday night, and Tuesday night it was my mom. She slept in bed with me. 

On Wednesday night, it was my BFF Libes. She slept with me in my bed too. I had a nightmare related to Rick's suicide and was crying in my sleep. She had to wake me up. My dear friend Jenn was also staying over in the guest room. 

Thursday night, Jenn slept in bed with me. 

Then Friday night, it was my mom again.

On Saturday, my friends Jen and Huoi were "babysitting" me. Huoi stayed until after midnight. Jen slept in bed with me all night. No nightmares, but not much sleep. 

Sunday my friend Daniele distracted me with a lake walk at Peace Valley, a picnic, and the company of her dog Tango. 

Then last night... it was my first night alone. It had to happen eventually. And my parents live 15 minutes away, so there is always the understanding that I can call if I need them. I survived. I didn't sleep much... but I survived. Last night, I woke up every hour exactly. 12:43, 1:43, 2:43... until I woke up for good at 6:43. My sleep was fitful and it was strange that every time I woke and looked at my clock, the time was always at the 43rd minute. The cats slept with me, so technically I wasn't totally alone. But it felt so lonely.

My bed is too big for 2 cats and a cat widow.

I slept with an emergency lantern on all night - the kind that's around in case of power outages. The darkness just seemed too oppressive.

I can hardly sleep and I can hardly eat. One day this week, I was awake for almost 24 hours straight. I'm forcing myself to push through the sleepless nights and choking down food I know I need. I just feel like I'm living in the twilight zone. You know, like...Rick should be home any minute. Or He's just in the bathroom. Maybe He's already asleep upstairs. Or if I'm out doing something, he's just at home waiting for me. 

I survived last night somehow and it occurred to me this morning that today is Monday. So I wrote one of my anonymous letters to a stranger and left it with some wedding china place settings at Bed, Bath, & Beyond.

I'm trying to focus on survival. I made it through the first night alone, which it would stand to reason is probably the worst. My friend Amanda brought me lots of food to freeze so I don't have to cook for a while. I had dinner with my friends Jennifer and Matthew. They distracted me with kittens and humor. I powered through and didn't cry once in their company, though I did tear up a few times. Tonight is night number 2 all alone. I cry on and off. I'm trying very hard not to dread tomorrow: my first day back to work.

My heart hurts so badly. Nighttime is so hard. I miss the nights when Rick used to get out of bed to pee, then reach for and hold my hand when he got back in bed. It's never going to happen again and there is a permanent lump in my throat. The house is too quiet. I'd give anything to hear him snoring again.


  1. Sending you all the love in the world and hoping tonight is better for you. Sending you light as we speak. Hopefully its reaching you calm and peaceful in bed with the cats. Thank you for sharing this process here. I'm so glad you have this space. Remember that as alone as you feel, you are safe, you are loved, you are thought of, and you are held by all of us. And that, as far off as it may seem right now, this heaviness will lift in time. I love you, friend.

  2. No matter what I start to type, it doesn't seem like the right thing. I have always known you through your writing, expressing yourself, helping you love, hurt, grow and figure yourself out. Sometimes I feel like writing is the only thing that keeps my head above water, even when I feel like I don't have anything significant to say. I'm so glad to see you writing. Keep writing. And just keep swimming!


  3. My heart goes out to you, from dark bedroom to dark bedroom, tonight and every night from here on as you endure what no soul who loves another should ever have to. I only know you through a friend's high praise and kind words but I hope that one more voice here will be one more candle in the dark. You have my deepest sympathies for your loss, and my utmost respect for your courage in the face of it.

  4. Sweetheart Rick is an indescribably enormous loss. And this will take time, There are so many firsts and each one is going to be difficult but even when you feel there i no strength left you have within you a vast reserve of strength and courage to pull from - and that reserve was built, in part, by Rick. It is ok to cry - nobody is going to pull you up for that, or criticise you or roll their eyes. This is all so fresh and new and scary and painful. It is ok to cry. It is ok to ache with longing. It is ok to find this difficult. It doesn't mean you're not strong enough or not coping. It means you are grieving and hurting in a way that any person would in your position. I think returning to work may be positive, but can you speak with your boss and ask for some flexibility to leave if you have to or take little breaks. I do believe having occupation will help you providing you don't throw yourself into work or demand too much of yourself. Be gentle with you angel - you deserve that. Sleep with the light on if it helps. There are NO rules. It is what works for you to keep you healthy and get you through this safely that matters. I think having food in the freezer is a good thing and having contact with friends and family often will help sustain you. And you're cats by your side. This will ease angel - it will never be ok, it will never be fair and it will never be forgotten. But my prayer is that in time the precious memories will force the difficult ones to the back of your mind. You are so loved and we are all right here for you - anytime, whatever you need, whatever we can do. I love you poppet xxx

  5. I don't even know what to say, especially since I know that there is nothing that can be said to make things better. But I am glad to hear you have people to support you...and remember that you have people to give you virtual/online support as well. My heart hurts for you...sending love and light your way.

  6. Arielle, you have reached out to so many people and given so much hope when it's hard to find any, encouragement when it is desperately needed, inspiration when there may be none. I hope now you can feel all the people you have given this too sending it back to you and although we are not there physically I hope when you reach out in the dark you can feel every single person you have helped reaching out to take your hand and helping you through. I send you all my love. Take care of you.
    Hugs, love and light.
    From Steph
    PS...I realise you don't know me! I should have said that. I just 'know' you through Werfreedomfighters and you have given me hope in the darkest of days so I hope I can return this to you. XOX

  7. Arielle,

    I only know you through WeRFreEDomFighters, the ED Awareness Support Group on FB and also from the few wonderful statuses and things I've heard about you through our dear, mutual friend Jenn (Friedman). I am so glad that you have her and the many other friends you've mentioned throughout your first week or so of entries, and also that your parents live close and that your mother has been so very supportive through your immense loss. There are simply no words for me to even begin to try to say I can even empathize with you, as I have never experienced such a loss as what you're going through. Just know that even those like me, who don't even personally know you, have over the years felt your strength and been inspired by you many times and now want to share some of our strength and hope with you. It will never be "okay" or "the same" again, but I believe eventually - in your own timing - you will get through this. You've been through tough times before and came out stronger on the other side. Just be gentle and patient with yourself; no expectations. And always remember, as you stated in another blog post, Rick loved you and you two shared those words & a kiss before you left for work that morning, and even his last written words to you expressed gratitude to you for the love you always showed him. Try to remember all the wonderful memories the two of you shared over the years, treasure them always, and know that Rick is no longer in pain but resting in Heavenly peace while still always and forever with you in your heart.


Help me feel less alone.