- mowing the lawn
- cleaning the bathrooms
- doing the dishes
- grocery shopping
- and on, and on, and on...
Monday, June 18, 2012
Six months without Aimee - a reflection
When Aimee died on December 18, I could not even begin to imagine a life that didn't have her in it. I couldn't fathom raising our daughter alone. I had not concept of how to single-handedly manage:
Even more, I couldn't imagine not sharing my life and my love with her. I couldn't see how I might succeed at being a good parent without her guidance and encouragement.
And I didn't want to. If I'm totally honest, I did not want to keep living. I wasn't suicidal, but the desire to live was completely gone. When I thought about my remaining years, I simply hoped they were blissfully short. And I felt like if I were faced with death, I wouldn't fight it - I'd embrace it. Those who were around me and with me back then, I don't know if you saw or sensed that about me, but it's true. That's how I felt.
Even the presence of my beautiful daughter was only so much of a help. I knew she needed me, and I wanted to be there for her. But that's not the same thing as a strong desire to live.
Over the last six months, things have changed some. I have settled into a new routine that gets most things accomplished. (Deep down I knew I would - I'm FAR from the first-ever single parent!) I somehow managed to get Rowan through two tummy bugs and bronchitis, the second half of her first year of preschool, and all without her looking like we were homeless. I even got her weaned off of her binky and threw her a birthday party (or rather, paid someone else to throw her a party).
I've held up at work. Not always as well as I'd like to, but enough that none of the important stuff has been dropped. At home I've done laundry, bought groceries, etc. (I haven't cleaned much at all - I'm still using the service that my colleagues across the country all chipped in to pay for, which runs out at the end of next month.) And that brings me to my next point: I HAVE NOT DONE THIS ALONE.
I have had a LOT of help, support, and encouragement. Early on, people brought meals or watched Rowan. Coworkers covered my work and let me ease back into my job. I've received cards, books, and even tickets to a baseball game as a recent Fathers Day gift from someone I've never met (which as I recall was a client of Aimee's). I have been more blessed than I could have ever anticipated.
And this blog has been a lifesaver as well. Having a way to vent, cry, or otherwise release my emotions in a safe way on a platform that others could support me or commiserate with me has been so good for me.
But more than just that, I am starting to feel 'life' again. I wrote recently about the 'guilt of joy in grief', but what that really indicated to me was that I had actually FELT some joy, even if briefly and with guilt. It's a step. It's progress.
I will live.