Thursday, May 3, 2012

1,2,3,4

I'm almost five months out, but I feel more like I'm five months in. People said from the beginning that "time heals all things." Oh how untrue that statement is. Time doesn't make anything "okay" it just makes things different. Each month seems to change, but it doesn't get better. I think one has to go through it to fully understand. This post has a brief recap of the months so far and how my emotions have evolved throughout- not getting easier, but getting different. I'm learning my new normal.

 Month one
My previous blogs cover the big events of month one. The first month included going from place to place from Germany to home, from home to Dover, from Dover to home, from home to Arlington, and finally back home- exhausting. I truly took comfort in nothing the first month except for the sky. I felt like it was a little gift from God and Jalfred and it gave me the ounce of peace I needed to survive. I started school exactly a month from the last time Jalfred and I spoke on the phone. That was incredibly difficult. I still cannot believe to this day I went back so soon. I remember during the first month getting anxiety attacks often. I would randomly burst out in tears and hyperventilate. All my emotions would suddenly manifest themselves at once and hit me like a truck. I remember the first time walking back into a hospital to visit my Nana, and yet again, another bout of panic. The smell, the lighting, everything brought back memories from Germany. Everything was extremely intense the first month, like a dagger was repeatedly stabbed into my throat, I was constantly gasping for air and bleeding out simultaneously. I was always tired, even when I did get decent rest, I woke up with my eyes feeling heavy. In that very first moment when I would wake up, I would forget that Jalfred was gone, and then once I was completely awake, it would hit and I would start to sob. I would fight with myself to get up and out of bed. Emotional tragedy is more tiring than running a marathon.Yet, the mind and body force you to do what you have to towards the beginning. You're in complete survival mode.



Month two
I visited the place where Jalfred and I would have officially said our "I dos." It truly was everything I had imagined and more. My mother in law and I went there together. When we arrived it was already set-up for another wedding happening that evening. I looked at the beautiful sunset, the beach, and the alter, and walked down that aisle alone. I stood at the place I should have been standing on one of the happiest days of my life. I stood where Jalfred and I were suppose to be standing together. I looked at all the chairs that were arranged and thought of all the loved ones we had that were going to be there supporting Jalfred and I on that very special day. Jalfred's mother and I walked down to the shore and watched the sun set slowly. I remember closing my eyes and breathing in deeply and smelling the wonderfully familiar salty beach air and imagining that Jalfred was standing next to me, breathing it in too. After the sun set, we turned around to head back and I looked up at the hotel and saw through the penthouse windows another wedding reception happening. One could almost feel the love, warmth, and joy shining from that room, yet we were out on the now dark and cold beach while another couple was enjoying everything Jalfred and I had wanted. It made my chest burn. However, I'm glad that we went to visit the setting because I was able to let go of all that I worked so hard on for our wedding day and better focus grieving the lifetime I was missing out on with bear. I obviously had stopped preparing for our wedding after Jalfred's death and although I tried to unsubscribe from all the wedding alerts I used to have, they seem to fill up my inbox still and it stings a little bit each time I receive a new one. It's another reminder of the dream wedding I'll never have...but more so, the dream marriage with my dream man that is gone forever.


This month I also quit my job. My work was extremely kind and allowed me plenty of time before they asked for me to come back, but I just couldn't do it. I couldn't have the added stress of a job plus school, plus grieving the loss of my other half. It was too much for me to handle. I had to drop something and this was it. I couldn't even think about taking care of dying patients while I needed to take care of myself first. When I work, I want to be there 100% for my patients and I just couldn't do it at that point. It was too soon.


Month three
This beginning of this month I remember being very angry. My family and I got into arguments and fought about a lot of different issues which didn't help my situation at all. I would just get into my car in the middle of the night and go driving and just scream at the top of my lungs. I would yell at God and curse at him. I would get angry at Jalfred for leaving me and I felt like it was his fault. I shut some people out of my life and told  some people off. I punched a glass window in my room and now carry a faded scar on my fist. I would scream and sob curled up in a ball on the floor of my room all alone screaming "WHY, WHY, WHY." I would try to make deals with God so that he would bring Jalfred back and I would fantasize about it all being just a nightmare. I asked God to take my life, I begged him. I felt like God was laughing at me being in pain, I felt so abandoned by my maker. I questioned his entire existence and if there even was a God, that if he was a fair and "good" God. I would physically get sick from being so upset and would heave and vomit out of anger and pain. I got angry about the fact that Jalfred's wedding band was being withheld from me by Jalfred's "father." A man I had never even met when Jalfred was alive, a man that wasn't invited to our wedding. Jalfred already wore his wedding band and was wearing it when he was fatally wounded and his affects ended up with the "father"- which was not Jalfred's wishes, nor was it on his paperwork. So Jalfred's mother and I have had to fight throughout our grief to get these belongings back because Jalfred's absent parent is not willing to share, even though he left Jalfred's life years and years ago. I have never felt so angry before. The last thing Jalfred wore in his life that meant everything to us was given to a complete stranger who won't respect Jalfred enough it give it back to the woman he chose to give a ring to first...


I began to find some peace in writing and learning how to calm myself down. Every night I would take bubble baths and listen to classical music to relax myself enough to go to sleep. I would take sleeping medication before my baths so that by the time I was done, I could lay my head on my pillow and fall right to sleep. That way, I didn't have to think about the images and the pain. I also found comfort and distraction in being around good company. My two best friends have been there for me since day one and have remained there for me. School and studying was another way I could "escape" from the intensity of the pain briefly, at least enough to give my mind and body a much needed time out.

Month four
This month is still just has difficult as month one, but the pain is different now. It's achy. I feel like I constantly walk in a thunderstorm cloud with raindrops that are tears, lightening that is pain, and thunder of fear. There's always the deep pain underlying everything I do. I have had some better days and some worse days, but it hurts all the same. My brain tends to "shut off" more now. I like to get distracted in technology so that my brain can rest from the hurting. I don't feel present in the moment, but more like a zombie. I go through the motions but I'm defiantly not all there, at least not all the time. I fear that my anxiety will go through the roof at any moment and I'll have an attack. I'm trying so hard to keep everything under the surface. My brain is still very foggy and I have trouble with memories and remembering still, but it's getting better. Everyday I seem to think of a new memory, and that is my saving grace. I can finally close my eyes and see Jalfred's face so clearly, his alive face. I can finally feel him around me, and feel his love stronger than ever. I'm also slowly but surely mending my relationship with God. I see their love in little things like a simple rainbow, it reassures me that I'm not alone.


I have a burning desire to feel alive again.I've been feeling very restless lately. It's like I need to go somewhere, someplace to run away and grieve but I don't know where I feel I need to go.I've also been trying to get involved to help keep Jalfred's memory alive. Feeling his presence and trying to find ways to honor him are what's getting me through these days. Everyday is still a challenge and I never truly know what's going to be next. I still am just putting one foot in front of the other and looking forward to the day my bear will walk me through the gates.

4 comments:

  1. Came along you story by a fried posting the image at Arlington on FB. Terrible the way war distroys families, even ones that didn't get to chance to start. Where did Jalfreds folk come from? My close family is all in NOVA/DMV. But by FB found we got folk in all parts, even little cousins who served and have fallen for thier nation proudly...

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  2. I just wanted to let you know that you are a beautiful person. I know that the reasons that your emotions are running so high is because you loved Jalfred with all of your heart. All of your emotions are normal, you are grieving. There are five stages of grief that everyone goes through anger, the bargaining with God, the depression, denial and then somehow acceptance.
    I wish that I knew what God has in store for you, it might make the process easier knowing that He has some purpose for allowing this tragedy to come into your life. But He does promise that He will cause ALL things to work for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. Jalfred was called, and now he is home with His Father in Heaven. You are still called and though Jalfred is not here, God is going to still cause this to work for good in your life. This situation is not good, it is one of the most tragic stories you could ever go through. But God will cause it to work for good in your life because you love Him. I am praying for your Spirit to be encouraged and that you will continue to hope in God to carry you through this.
    God bless you sweet girl.

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  3. Thinking of you and Jalfred on Memorial Day. God bless you.

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