In Death, All Truths Are Revealed.

liesOh honey, you must be very happy you are not alive today. How did you manage to keep up your charade for five years? How did you live with yourself? Five years of lying?! Everything I thought you were was a lie. We were going to be married, honey. When were you planning on telling me, on our wedding night? God, this explains so much now.

I have been mourning who I thought you were for two months. I have been devastated and destroyed. Now I have no idea what to believe. Was anything you ever told me real? I poured my life out to you and laid myself bare, completely vulnerable and trusting for the first time in my long life. And in reciprocation I got a manufactured story and betrayal.

You met a girl online and told her a pretty story of a flawed guy who just tried to live a simple life. Then you let our relationship get serious and still didn’t tell me the truth. You were stuck. You made up this big fantasy to make yourself seem like the type of guy you thought someone like me needed. And when we were finally going to move in together you fessed up, on two out of the three issues. But you knew that one last issue would have been one too far and we would have ended. But instead of taking the risk and being honest with me you kept going. Even when I forgave the other things, you still kept going.

We moved in together and lived together for three years. Your children became my family. You let me leave a hard built career with full benefits. You let me leave my friends and family. You let me cash out my hard earned retirement to help us build some ridiculous company that was never going to happen. You let me move my mother out here. All based on lies.

You destroyed my life. But what is worse, I let you destroy my life. I protected myself for years. I did the responsible thing, always. The one time in my life I take a risk and this is what I get. How could you have done this? You basically conned me! What kind of person does this to someone? How did you live with yourself?

I know why you started it. You were an out of work electrician, living with his soon to be second ex wife and then with his parents. You were just a normal guy with a complete lack of self responsibility and ambition. So you pretended to be someone women would respect. You thought we would be more willing to get involved with your fantasy guy than with who you really were. People do this online all the time. But if that is what you were going to play then you should have let me go when I broke things off early in our relationship. Instead you manufactured a tragedy that would bring me back to support you, and give you another chance because hey, I kind of caused the tragedy by breaking up with you, right? You asshole! God, I am so gullible. You didn’t let me go. You pulled me in deeper. You let me fall in love with you and plan a future with you.

Now you are not here and I am forced to be the one to defend you as well. Why should the victim have to defend the perpetrator? I hate you for this right now.

I know you loved me. I know you were insecure and found yourself stuck in a terrible situation you didn’t know how to get out of. I know you never intended to destroy my life. But you never even gave us the chance to find out if we could love and be successful in honesty. I never told you I was looking for some hero you thought I needed. I had a mailman for a grandfather, a tree trimmer for a father, a salesman for a step-father and normal boyfriends my whole life. Not telling me the truth means you never trusted me to know the truth. I know you feared I would leave you, and maybe I would have, let’s be honest this was HUGE. But if I am honest with myself I probably would have been mad and then stayed. Shit, where would I go?

You were afraid I would see you as a loser, that I wouldn’t respect you and that I would call you all of the names your parents called you every day. You needed me to look up to you. You needed someone on your side who wouldn’t treat you like shit. As much as you liked to pretend you were perfect and everything was fine, the truth is you were damaged. And if all these lies are anything to gauge, you were deeply damaged. I wish I had known how bad it was, maybe we could have worked on it together.

Maybe you didn’t even know it yourself. Maybe you were a psychopath and I was lucky to get out with my life. But I don’t think so. I think you were a desperate, broken little boy who was trying to create a new life for himself. But you were selfish. You wanted us so badly you didn’t care enough to make things right between us. You didn’t care enough to realize that this depth of betrayal could do extreme psychological and financial damage to me. You only cared about yourself. Did you ever love me? Were you capable of love?

I don’t know what is real anymore. I don’t know what was the truth and what were the lies. I love you, and yes, I miss you. Maybe someday I will be able to forgive you as well.

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You Left Me.

grief aloneWell Honey, I haven’t written lately because I have been avoiding. I avoid feeling the pain. I avoid thinking about you. I avoid the future. I avoid everything. Because if I have to deal with it, then I am going to have to deal with the pieces I am avoiding the most – my anger with you.

You left me. I know you didn’t choose this, but the result was the same, you left me. You did exactly what I feared would happen. How many times did I tell you “If you die, I die”? But you were still relatively young. You thought you were still 12, invincible and living a happy life. But it was all an illusion, so that you could avoid reality. Now I am left here dealing with it, without you.

You knew you had blood pressure problems, but you refused to explore solutions. You were afraid, I know that. You didn’t want to lose pieces of yourself. Your ability to be 100% coherent. Your ability to have a strong sex life. Your ability to eat whatever you want. All of these things made up the type of life you treasured. But I treasured you. Because you refused to give up these things, to explore alternatives, to try… I had to lose you. And that really pisses me off!

I am left alone in this unfamiliar city. I am left alone in this unfinished house. I am just left alone. God damnit, honey! I am so mad at you. I just want you back. But there is no fixing this. Now I feel guilty for not being the harassing nag. I didn’t drag your ass to the doctor every week. I didn’t risk our happiness for your life. I know you wouldn’t have gone. I know you would have hated me for turning into your parents. But maybe you would still be alive. You might have left me, and I would still be alone, but at least you might be alive.

So yeah, I am angry with you. I am mad you are gone. I am mad I feel guilty. I am mad that I am alone. I am mad that I still feel like you are going to walk in the door every damned day. I am mad that I have to imagine you resting your hand on my head while we sleep. I am mad that I had to lie to you in the hospital; to tell you that I would be okay, you would be okay, you wouldn’t have to be locked inside yourself forever – and you weren’t, because you aren’t here anymore. And I am not okay. You are not okay. Everything is completely screwed up. And I just want you back.

I love you so much. I miss you so very, very much!

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Me Without You?

whoami

I have spent the last week depressed, in a fog, simply putting one foot in front of the other… or keeping both of my feet firmly tucked into bed. I finally cleaned up our hobby mess from the dining room. Fixed the modem. Watered the plants. Grocery shopping. Haircut. A dozen meaningless actions. Then I read 6 books in one weekend and felt terrible about myself.

I am doing everything I can to avoid thinking about us, about the future and even about me. I started using your towel hook in the bathroom and keep kicking myself for it. I finally put your shoes away in the closet. I hate doing laundry when nothing of yours is in the hamper. I want to keep you here with me, but I know you won’t be coming back and anything I do to recognize that hurts. I feel guilty for living my life without you, even though I am not living my life at all.

I had a grief session today and realized all of these things make me feel like I am trying to forget you. I am having difficulty with the fact that you are not here so all of these things are what I have left of you. But they are just things. I am scared to move forward without you. I feel guilty for even thinking about who I am without you.

Before you I was my job. For 20 years I was completely tied up in work. Then when I moved across country to be with you I became “us.” We lived together, worked together, did everything together. I let down my guard and trusted we could actually forge a new future as long as we had each other. Now you are gone. Now it’s just me.

Who the hell am I? I am angry I even have to ask that question. This isn’t how it was supposed to be. But I don’t really have much of a choice, and that pisses me off more than anything else. It is bad enough I have to live without you, now I have to figure out who I am going to be without you. I can’t go back to being that girl who works 16 hour days, 7 days a week. I can’t go back to relying on a company who only intends to drain me for all I can give then toss me aside for the next fresh corpse. The thought of being who I was before you is so appalling I get physically nauseous, it is nearly crippling.

So now what? I don’t need to figure that out today, but I do need to figure it out. What if the person I want to be can’t support herself? What if I can’t be that person here, where we made a home? What if I discover I don’t want to be anything without you… worse, what if I do? What if someday I discover I can be happy without you? What if someday I can answer that question, “who are you?” and it has nothing to do with you at all?

How do I take you with me when you are not here anymore? I miss you, Honey. I love you.

 

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It’s Been A Hard Week.

I’m tired, honey. I am just not sleeping well and it has been a hard week. Your one month mark was Sunday. None of us handled that well.

Your daughter and I had a long talk Monday night and I think the ice that formed between us after your death is mostly gone now. We just didn’t know how to behave with each other. She was still in shock and trying to just move on and I was (and still) clinging to you as much as I can. It is starting to hit her now. You just can’t push grief aside, it will always come back to bite you. Each of her last couple of visits home from college recently had been all about your death. I don’t think she was capable of coming back this spring break and dealing with more. She needed to take care of herself a bit. She needed some time, but I think your family is trying to get the kids to clean out your old stuff at your parents place. I told her to tell them to slow down, it isn’t hurting anyone where it is right now and trying to deal with it immediately will hurt the kids. They both need some time.

Your son is going to NYC this weekend with school. I am glad, he needs a little something to take his mind off things as well.

Me, I had a hard day yesterday. I have been pushing off the grief too. I have been doing everything I can to keep my mind busy because every time I am idle I can’t stop crying or reliving the days in the hospital. The crying I can mostly handle. The flashbacks to the hospital are brutal. Those days are so vivid. So painful… okay on to something else.

It is hard to concentrate on anything for long, my brain wants to go back to the pain. You know how much I love to read, but I could only make it a chapter or two before I needed to take a break. It took me three days to finish a book I used to plow through in one. I feel like I need to be strapped into the clockwork orange chair with my eyes propped open just to focus on anything.

I am worried about the future. I know I am not ready to work again, but I am scared and feeling the pressure to get a job immediately. How does one get a job when they are crying all the time, they can’t concentrate, they are tired from nightmares and lack of sleep and every few days they get a panic attack. No one wants to hire that, lol.

We had a snow storm. My car is stuck in about two feet of snow and I honestly can’t find the energy to deal with it. That means figuring out how to run the snow blower, then have more flashbacks to how you gave me a quick run down of how it works. Just to spend an hour blowing off the driveway with tears running down my face in a real feel temp of 15. I think I will just keep procrastinating for a while and see if it melts down. The crappy part was I had to skip my therapy session this week because of the storm.

I miss your chest. I miss resting my head on your shoulder with my hand rested on your chest. I miss you grabbing my hand while we watch TV and you would tickle my palm. I miss everything. I miss YOU, so very much. Can the human body handle this much emotional pain? Maybe I will die from a broken heart. I don’t want to. But it feels like it could happen, like it should happen. But it wont, that’s my life, suffer through. I am tired of trying to just keep my head above water. I know I am just depressed right now, I recognize that. But we were supposed to be keeping our heads above water together. It was supposed to be us together!

I miss you so much. I love you so much.

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The End Of The World As I Know It.

rome-colosseum-50Yesterday my world came to an end. When you died, I died. You were my everything, my rock, my light, my compass, my entire universe. I can’t stop crying. I don’t know how to breath without you. I don’t want to do this without you. I don’t want to LEARN to do this without you. I just want you back. I hurt so much. I am so scared. I am so angry. God, this hurts so much.

This time last week we were happy, everything was normal. Now you are gone and everything is wrong. Food makes me nauseous. Your side of the bed is cold. Your not tickling me annoyingly just to hear me laugh and then whine. When I reach over to touch you, your arm isn’t there. I miss your kiss, your smell, your teasing, your need to sit on the toilet for a half hour at a time. I want you back so badly. I can’t do this without you.

How do I keep living without half my soul? I keep trying to convince myself that we are just going back to when we were long distance. But thats such a joke. We texted every day, skyped every night, visited every few weeks. For nearly three years. And THAT was hell! After more than another three years of living together… you became everything. Now I have nothing. All of our plans and dreams are gone. You’re gone.

FUCK!

Why didn’t we just get married. Why did I have to insist on a special wedding. I look at the beautiful ring on my finger and I am so mad you never got to put a band next to it. I am angry for every moment we took for granted. I feel short changed. Everyone tells amazing stories about you and I wanted a lifetime to create our own. I have no memories in this city without you. You are everywhere I go. This isn’t how it was supposed to be.

I just want you back. Please come back. I hurt so much.

I miss you. I love you. Always. Forever.

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And Then The Lights Came On.

candles

It’s been a busy week, honey. I had a couple of breakdowns. I had my first therapy session, which it turns out I really needed. Then yesterday we were having terrible winds and finally lost power.

At first it was interesting, something new to take my mind off… everything. I found the candles. I pulled out the blankets. I found the power brick to recharge everything. I settled in for a few hours of darkness. I watched a movie on my ipad. I watched some TV shows. I ran out of things to watch. Hours later still no power. So I settled in for a cold night with terrible sleep.

I woke up cold. The cats were going crazy trying to raise their body temperature through fights and chasing each other. Mom and I went out to get something to eat and to see how far the black out extended. It didn’t seem far, just the main stretch of road. Seemed a simple thing that would be fixed soon. Then I checked the web site for the power company… and freaked out. They weren’t projecting the power to be back until tomorrow at 10pm. By that point the temperature was projected to get in the teens.

You know this California lizard was not going to make it through temps that low. The house was running about 15 degrees warmer than outside. That was only going to get worse. I panicked and started calling around for a generator. No one answered… anywhere. I got in the car and started the hunt for a generator. The lovely reply from one of the sales clerks was “I hear Canada has the closest one available.” HOLY SHIT! So, I broke down and texted your brother. Who asked if I had checked with your dad 😦 . I am not asking your parents for anything more than I am already getting. Not going to happen. I think he understood and offered his girlfriends generator to use. Thank God!!

I ran over and picked it up. Your son helped me set it up. It billowed and smoked and the smell of gas permeated the neighborhood. I freaked out and turned it off. That didn’t last long. An hour later I gave it another try. This time it ran smoothly. I hooked up the old portable radiator, locked myself and the four cats in the bedroom and bundled up in piles of blankets. I shivered. I read. I panicked the generator would explode. I read. I worried if the generator would make it through the night. I read. I feared I wouldn’t wake up tomorrow morning. Hours went by and it continued to get colder.

Then the lights came back on. The heater flared to life. I realized I wanted to live.

I want to live. I don’t want to live without you, but I want to live nonetheless. I miss you so much that I feel like a walking, bleeding wound. Every breath hurts. Every minute is agony. But I don’t want to stop yet. So I’m going to try this thing. It’s going to take a while to get my shit together. But I am going to try. So I need you to wait a while longer because apparently it’s not my time yet.

I love you, honey! I miss you.

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The Funeral & The Furious

Hey Honey,

So it took me a couple of days to pull myself together after your services. The gathering was fantastic. So many people attended. Your son pulled together a great playlist wish included so many of your favorite songs. The slideshow and booklets I created were a huge hit. The N’s were so amazing, they brought tons of food and helped set-up, we couldn’t have done it without them. We brought some of your scotch and everyone had a shot for a toast. Gino gave one toast and nearly broke down, he simply said “to my brother,” you would have been moved. Your brother gave a second toast, the typical “to friends and family here and lost.”

Your brother welcomed everyone and gave a brief history of your urn. Then I gave my eulogy. I was shaking like a leaf but managed to get through it without crying. It was so hard, honey. I asked if anyone else wanted to speak… well, you know how people are – no takers. So I moved on to the toast and made a couple cracks about how you would have loved to hear everyone coughing over the scotch. All-in-all it was lovely.

Then things turned terrible.

I held it together most of the day. But the dinner with your parents and family friends was torture. All the happy couples lining the tables caused me to break down. Your son and I went into the hall so I could get some privacy. Your brothers girlfriend then decides to be a fucking cheerleader, scolding me with “you were doing so good, come on, you can do it, you can do it”… WTH? I wanted to rip her cold black heart from her chest and shove it down her perky little throat. But your amazing son gave her the look of death and she ran for the hills. You raised him so well.

Earlier in the day your dad’s business partner shared a story with me about how you told him of the day we went to the renaissance fair and bought the leather bustier, and how he couldn’t share that story with me when you were alive. He hugged too long and was too friendly. Obviously the scotch was taking its’ toll. But then at the dinner he told me if I needed anything not to hesitate and tried to kiss me on the mouth, but I moved my head and played it off with a hug. As I was leaving he did the same, but this time I was caught off guard and the fucking insensitive, disrespectful troll from hell actually kissed me on the mouth… and I instantly went into shock.

I drove home in a blur of anger and devastation. YOUR lips were supposed to be the last which kissed me. He wounded me to my core with that simple drunken mistake. I felt like he took advantage of me and kicked me when I was already too wounded to defend myself. It’s a simple act that under other circumstances would have been blown off and we would have laughed about it; you probably would have teased him about it. But on that day, with your funeral fresh in my heart, your eulogy fresh on my tongue and your ashes in my car… it became an act of abuse.

I am so incredibly furious with him. I don’t want to tell your family, they wouldn’t understand what it did to me. They would think I am overreacting to a simple drunken act of kindness. No one will understand what a betrayal it was in my condition. The worst is that I have to see him again. If I want our wedding ring I need to interact with him to get it. I will bring someone with me, but I hope I can find a way around it. I really don’t want to see him ever again.

Your son and I spent Sunday in a fog of depression. Then yesterday your dad took your car away. Piece by piece you continue to disappear.

I made the appointment for counseling yesterday; going next Tuesday. Maybe she will help give me a little perspective.

I love you so much! I miss you so much!

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I Am Forever Yours.

Today was your funeral services. Officially the third worst day of my life (2 = the day I found out you were not going to make it, 1 = the day you died). I have so much to say about today, but I am in no condition to say it. So, instead I will post the eulogy I gave for you. I love you so much and I miss you painfully.

 

Mark’s Eulogy, Feb 25th, 2017:

Since I have moved to Buffalo three years ago I have been repeatedly asked “How could you leave Los Angeles for Buffalo?” People look at me as if something might be physically wrong with me or wonder if I might be a little insane. But if those same people had truly known Mark, that isn’t a question that would have ever crossed their minds. Because when you find a guy like Mark you can’t help but take the leap and never look back.

Mark and I met online in some random chat room, two lonely people just looking to chat with someone. We didn’t expect much from each other, being across the country from one another. But we quickly made a connection. When you live so far apart from the other half of your soul all you have to hang on to are your dreams. We talked for hours about what our life could be together. We dreamed big. We dreamed small. And many days it was just the dream of falling asleep in the same bed together. When I finally moved out to New York it was like living a dream. We didn’t care about our differences. We didn’t care that we were living in a mobile home. We didn’t even care that our smallest plans were difficult to pursue. Because at the end of the day we had achieved the best dream of them all, we were together.

We didn’t get to see all of the dreams we planned. But I wouldn’t give up a moment with Mark. Mark was an amazing person and the best man I have ever known.

He was silly, and fun and lived to tease. He had an incredible talent to say the most inappropriate statements completely out of the blue. He could be sick and twisted in the most hilarious ways. And you did NOT want to play Cards Against Humanity with him. He loved to hear people laugh and be happy, even if he had to tickle them to death to do it.

Mark was an amazing friend, even if he didn’t know you at all. He was the type of guy who would run across the street to help the wheelchair bound retiree whose chair was stuck in the mud. He was the guy who helped a woman walk down a slippery sidewalk to her car. He played a video war game with a bunch of guys in Spain, virtual strangers who hardly spoke any English, but he got them all on a conference call to teach them how to play better.

Even in his imperfections, he was perfect. Some of you may know that Mark was a bit of a minor hoarder. Those of you close to him know what with every item he kept he had a story that went along with it. He cherished every item because he cherished every story and couldn’t bear to part from the memories.

But what I cherished most was what many people didn’t get the chance to see. Mark was sentimental and deeply caring. When I still lived in LA, he would wake up 3 hours early every day just so he could call to say “good morning”, and for anyone who knows how much Mark liked to sleep you can understand how important that simple act was. He would never fail to tell me every day “I love you more today than yesterday, but not as much as I will tomorrow.”  (Sorry honey, I simply couldn’t make it through that line). He would text me all day and chat on skype with me every night, for hours – that man could talk circles around any woman on this planet. Occasionally he would sit in bed with a smile on his face while he re-read our email exchanges from years before.

At his core, one of Marks greatest needs was to protect and care for the ones he loved. And while he viewed that act as selfish, he couldn’t understand how selfless he truly was. He never fought for himself, but he would have died for each of us. There is much we can learn from Mark, and the type of person he was.

Five years ago I wrote a message to him trying to express what he meant to me. A couple of weeks before he passed he was re-reading the note and suggested I read it again, so I thought today I would do what he asked of me.

 

Thank You, Mark

 

Thank you, for being my anchor, my compass and my guiding star

For enveloping me in your infinite strength

For keeping me centered and true

And for your eternal light that shines brighter than all the rest

 

Thank you, for navigating me out of the past

For teaching me how to live the present to the fullest

And for giving me a dream of our beautiful future

 

Thank you, for the youth and laughter you bring to every moment of every day

For your infectious sense of humor

And for that wicked little smile and twinkle in your eye that always precedes a highly inappropriate sexual innuendo

 

Thank you, for your consummate care, unwavering patience and unparalleled generosity

For inspiring me to be the person you see

And for showing me it doesn’t require courage to trust when you have the love of a partner who is trustworthy

 

Thank you, for taking my awakened heart into your tender custody

For making me feel like the most precious treasure you have ever owned

And for sharing your life and unconditional love with me

 

Thank you, Mark, for being the center of my universe and the other half of my soul. I am finally complete…I am forever yours.

 

– E

 

 

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