Tuesday, June 3, 2014


It's emotional and daunting trying to rearrange my house...because in doing so, I'm also rearranging my life.

I started with the cabinets...
I realized just how many things I use on a daily basis are on kitchen shelves that are much too high for me to reach. Rick always got a new roll of paper towels down from above the fridge. Rick always reached for the large salad bowl.

So I had to spend some time on a stool again rearranging my kitchen. I had to make it my own, because I'm on my own now.

Then there was the bathroom...
In a frenzy of surprisingly tear-less activity one day, I threw away his used items like his toothbrush, his razor, and a bar of soap. As each item hit the trash bin, my heart sunk farther down into my stomach... but all of this rearranging is necessary. Half-used toiletries can't stay around forever and they only made me sad.

I have not yet embarked upon the emotional journey of sorting through his clothes, shoes, belts, and ties. That's a task that I'll put off for a time until I've gotten through the mail, bills, and paperwork that needs immediate attention. I want to be able to feel each piece of fabric, kiss each tie, and smell my husband's cologne. I want to give time and attention, however emotional, to everything he wore. I rescued 2 dirty t-shirts from the laundry hamper the day after he died. They were the only two unwashed items in there and I couldn't bear to wash them or to throw my dirty clothes on top of them. The t-shirts are lying on a chair in my bedroom. Still unwashed. Just waiting.

Sometimes when I'm sad, I hold one and it smells like Rick is right there with me while I'm crying.

Then there's the living room...
Should I sit in his chair or mine?
I don't need his desk...
What should I keep and what should I give away?

It's all so devastating, so overwhelmingly laced with thought and worry.

The things around the house are easier to grieve through somehow. The medical bills, mail, and documentation is worse. Every day I come home to a stack of sympathy cards and a stack of mail addressed to Rick. Every day I call more companies to explain for the hundredth time that my husband is dead. It would be one thing if they were all caring, loving, sweet-tempered companies with little social workers like me answering the phones. But they're not.

I got a bill for $883 yesterday from Rick's pain management clinic. I called them today to explain the situation. He's dead. I haven't even paid for the funeral yet. I can't afford this right now. I have other outstanding bills too. This is not the only one. I need a payment plan.

The clinic wasn't even able to get me to a person in the billing department. They told me no one was available. But I need to get this done. I need this to be over. I need to put more things in my "done" pile than in my "to-do" pile. They couldn't help me and asked me to call back later.

I was on my lunch break at work, trying to get a call in since so many places have the same business hours as my work day. I hung up, slamming the phone down angrily 10 times in the process. Cue mini-meltdown with frustration and tears. Two of my co-workers had to come check on me, calm my crying, be good friends.

I'm not embarrassed of my grief, but I do hate making other people a) worry b) feel helpless c) feel uncomfortable. I also dislike getting emotional at work, because sometimes it's hard for me to turn off the grief bursts and get back to my professional self.

Tonight, I led my eating disorder support group for the first time since Rick died. It's important for me to get back in action, especially when it's for others. The women in my group are amazing as individuals and amazing as a group. The loss of Rick connects us even more, and it doesn't matter that I am their group leader. They care, they support me, they are eager to help ease my pain.

Rick would be proud. Of me, of them, of everything.

It's hard to come home at the end of the day, tears at the ready, so many tasks at hand. One thing is for certain - I have the best brother-in-law out there. Even from Florida, Rick's only brother gives me the moral support I need to push through the little moments that hurt so much. I know he understands the depth of this loss. I guess it's really true that misery loves company, because as strange as it sounds, I feel so much better knowing that his grief is on a level near my own. Whether he's cursing the companies who are billing me, giving me advice, trying to make this whole process easier, saying a kind word, or using humor to lighten the dark days, I am so thankful that he's only a text message away.

And Rick is thankful about that too. I feel it.


  1. Lovely I know when the tears and frustration and the 'grief bursts' come there is frustration because of the people who witness, the fears around work, the sensations of 'too much' but I cannot begin to explain to you how well you are doing. No matter how it might feel xxx

  2. You are so strong. I continue to be amazed by your strength and grace. Love you lots.


Help me feel less alone.