Wednesday, June 18, 2014

From the Ashes

I woke up today with a heavy heart. Rick has been dead a month today.

It seems shorter. It seems longer. I don't know how to feel about the concept of time anymore.

I was going to vent about how I was stood up by the attorney today at the courthouse, where we had an appointment to do estate stuff. I was upset on an already emotional morning, I was mad, and I was overwhelmed. I feel at times like everything I try to do has a snag. A setback. I get up earlier, take time from work, drive to a different city, and in the end, nothing gets done and my time gets wasted. I did call the attorney and we did talk. And we are trying again tomorrow morning. So I'm going to give him the benefit of the doubt and be thankful in my heart that he's helping me. That's the only thing to do.

My family celebrated my mom's birthday tonight. I felt weird being there without Rick. I don't feel normal without him. I can smile, even laugh, and I can talk and feel and work. But I'm not normal. Not inside.

Even as I type this, it feels like he's in the next room. Like maybe he'll call out to me at any moment, maybe ask me a question about what to watch on TV tonight or what we should make for dinner over the weekend. So many pieces of his life are removed from my house now. Even as I say "my" house, I shudder involuntarily like I'm cutting him out of something.

But yes, so many pieces of his life are removed now. And some things remain. His golf, for example, remains on the DVR. I wasn't able to let go. I feel like I need it there. His snack bowl, which I jokingly referred to as his "receptacle," is still sitting on the kitchen counter. His glasses are in his desk. Why these items? What makes them different? Even I don't know the answer to that. I got rid of his toiletries, his photos of me, his magazines, and his posters.

I guess it's what happens when death becomes reality: some things go and some things stay.

His physical self is gone, but my love for him is still here.

I don't like to make myself miserable by starting sentences with "If only..." so I try to avoid it at all costs, but...
If only I could see him one more time. If only I could hold his hand just once more. If only I could hear his voice.

The last of the miserable and pointless wishes made me remember that I had a few voicemails he's left me on my cell phone. So I sat here in his chair, hit the "speaker" button on my iPhone and listened to Rick's voice fill my living room once more. I realized too late that poor Tumbler would be happy/confused/disappointed by Rick's voice. Now I feel terrible.

Rick and I were not one person. We were two very separate people and I have always known my worth and identity without him. Yet part of me still feels like with every part of our life that leaves, dissolves, and dies, part of me is leaving, dissolving, and dying too.

And that is really scary.

One month has already gone by. What will happen in 2 or 3 or 4? I've already lost so much...I'm afraid of losing more.

As easy as it would be to crumble, I have to make Rick proud. And even as I type that, I hear his voice in my head: "Don't make me proud," he'd say. "Make yourself proud." I'm smiling, because I know that by making myself proud, I'll make him proud. So it all comes full circle.

And I hear my own voice: Be a phoenix.

I won't let fear hold me back. I have no choice but to move forward. So I will. I'm going to do my best to be like the phoenix - to rise from the ashes to a new life...and begin again.


  1. Dear Arielle through this you have shown amazing Strength and Courage sending you love and hugs . Ann Richardson

  2. You are brave and strong and a beautiful pheonix. Always remember that even the strongest of pheonixes can have bad days, give yourself permission to have weak moments or days, there are lots of people who will gladly carry you when you fall.

    Love you.


Help me feel less alone.