11 April 2011

Four Years

John died four years ago today.

This is the first year that his deathiversary snuck up on me. I have been preoccupied with other things (buying a house! work! general life!), and it was not until yesterday at church that I remembered. Last year, I shared the three year anniversary during joys and sorrows at our church service; I was a weepy, emotional mess, but there was no better place to be in such a state. As I sat in church yesterday, it came back to me, and I realized that today was The Day.

By this morning, I'd forgotten again, and it was not until I had to write the date on a paper at work that it came back to me. It felt good, in a way, to be caught unawares, like some sign of "progress," whatever that's supposed to mean. I wrote about it on Facebook, asking for people to share memories of John. And as the memories rolled in, so did my emotions. People had the sweetest, funniest things to share. It's not just 20/20 hindsight that casts John in such a flattering light; he was a truly great guy who was loved by many.

I was pretty useless at work today, weepy a few times and forgetful and unfocused otherwise. Frankly, for the past few weeks, I've been in a similar state. Not so much the weepy, but the forgetful. I have forgotten a bunch of things lately: birthday parties and gatherings with friends and bill payments and meetings at work. I'm generally a much more forgetful human as a parent and since John's death, but the past weeks have been particularly acute. Coincidence? Likely not.

Upon arriving home, I ended up yelling at Maddie and Riley, really yelling, about something mostly trivial. I hadn't yelled at them in a long time. It felt horrible, yet freeing. That rage still lives in me about John's death: rage that he's gone, rage about how he went, rage about the injustice of life, rage about not having something I want. It's totally inappropriate to take that out on Maddie and Riley; I know that, and I berate myself mightily for it. Afterwards, when the rage had died down, we talked about it, and we all cried a bit, me more than them.

I miss John when I don't expect to. In general, I miss him more now that our life is, relatively speaking, so steady and even keel. I'm content with my life. I'm sure things would not be perfect if John were here. But he'd be here, and I miss him, and when I imagine what it would be like, it's happy.

16 comments:

Grace said...

I think about you often. Sending you a virtual hug...

Lals said...

The Death Anniversary is always difficult, no matter how many years it has been. For us, it will be 23 years this year. It's hard to believe that I have now lived more than twice as long without my father as I did with him, and yet the Death Anniversary always hurts. There is nothing to say, that will lessen the pain. Like Grace, I think of you often, and send you hugs.

PS. Have you found the Dougy Center yet? (It's located in NE Portland.) We went there as children, but they provide support for adults as well. It is phenomenal.

Sylvie said...

I'm sure it would be happy. Thinking of you, especially today.

KathyB said...

Thinking of you! Glad people were able to help you honor John's life by sending memories - I'm sure the kids will appreciate that so much as they get older. We miss all of you!

Peg said...

I am so sorry for your loss whether it was 4 years ago or just last year. I don't think we ever "get over" losing those we love. Last year was the first anniversary of my sister and brother in law's deaths and for the week before and days after all of our nerves were frayed. Things were said that shoudln't and tempers were lost. Don't be so hard on yourself. You're doing an awesome job and just having the self awareness to admit why you lost your temper and talking about it with the twins is wonderful. Hang in there.

AraS said...

Almost every parent yells. Usually more than we should. Kids forget and forgive. Obviously you don't make a habit of it, so don't beat yourself up too much. *hugs*

*magnolia* said...

I'm so sorry. Thinking of you, especially today.

Lyndsay said...

Sending thoughts and prayers your way...

Val said...

{{{Big hugs, Snick. Big hugs.}}}

Janine (txmomx6) said...

This has happened to me quite a few times, too. I find it so interesting that even though we may not be consciously "checked in" to what the date, and its significance is .... our subconscious seems to know exactly what day it is .... and what it represents. And it communicates fairly well with our emotions and our physical state.
Coincidence?
Not at all.
Sending you hugs from Texas .....

Anonymous said...

You always say so well what I have felt. My husband died 5 years ago last month. And I am still surprised by how often grief smacks me down when I least expect it. And how when I am happy, it is still with an undercurrent of bittersweet because I would be happier if he were here. And how there are people who seem to think I should no longer miss him because, after all, it's been FIVE YEARS!!

Your previous commenter was right on target as well--our subconscious is always aware.

Jen said...

It sounds like this year was easier, if a bit trickier. I'm glad it was possible to have it sneak up on you, but sorry it still packed a bit of a wallop. My husband's third death anniversary is Easter Sunday this year. I haven't quite figured out what to do, but I'm going to do my best to make the synchronicity a positive thing.

OTRgirl said...

Your self-awareness in the middle of the sneak attack is one of the many things I respect about you. It is bizarre how your subconscious knows anniversaries even when you don't feel aware of them. That happened to me year after year. I think that finally after the seventh year the emotional sneak attacks finally subsided. It's hard while they last though.

Wish I could come over and make tea and just sit with you and listen to John stories.

jo(e) said...

Hugs.

(another) karen said...

thinking of you...

karen

kirida said...

Thinking of you. The anniversary date is hard, but so are the other days you don't expect. I know how that feels. Thank you for sharing.