Sunday, October 26, 2008

Processing baby steps

I've never had an issue with sleeping before. As a baby my mom would have to wake me up to feed me. As a teenager I would sleep 12+ hours a night and still feel like I could sleep a dozen more. In my twenties I took naps every day. And now, now I can't sleep through the night. Four a.m. wake up calls are becoming the norm. Every night I try something new. Sleeping shades, chamomile oils, lavender, reading, writing, and tonight's trick - eating something. Could it be that simple? Am I just hungry in the middle of the night?

There have been so many changes in my life, both big and small. Big things are obvious, but the little things sneak up on you and take you by surprise. Emotional triggers can be looming on every corner - a photograph, a song, a view of the mountains, doing simple everyday tasks has taken on new meaning.

After staying with me this weekend, my friend Kerry suggested I try moving some of the photos. Not to get rid of them but to see if that will help the healing. So yesterday I removed the photos from my bedroom of us dancing, laughing and one of his irresistible smirk. In the dinning room I moved the up close and personal one where you can look straight into his eyes and partially see his soul. Our beautiful wedding photo that greets you upon entry to our house, which has been hanging since we moved in 7 years ago, came down.

Obviously there's no manual of when one should do these things. On day 78, you should move one photograph that is in your entry hall and replace it with something else. How convenient would that be? Somebody telling you how to redirect your life and manage grief. Take this pill and your troubles will melt away. Sip this potion and that deep chasm in your chest will fill up. Unfortunately that's not the case and these emotions have to be dealt with up close and personal. And I'm sorry Lance, but pain in this instance is not just temporary. Maybe you should reverse that saying - pain is temporary, quitting is forever to quitting is temporary, pain is forever.

In reality, the photographs are a poor substitute for him. They focus on the immediate fact that he's gone. This wonderful man who I intended on spending the rest of my life with, having children with, growing old with, is gone. No matter how much I hope, pray, dream, cry, scream and yell - he's gone forever. I must rebuild my life. Pick up the pieces and see if I can find some happiness again. Long term acceptance comes to the forefront of having known such a wonderful man who was taken away long before I ever wanted to let him go. And taking down some photos symbolizes just one step of an endless staircase in making that happen.

Tonight's the first night without them in my room - and I'm ultra aware of their missing presence. My room feels empty despite the piles of laundry Makiah has made into her personal mattress. It's quiet. The city is super still at this time of the morning. Makiah's sighs are amplified. It's sad, but will hopefully get easier. Ugh, it's nearing 4:30 and no sign of sleep is in sight.

Baby steps, baby step.

2 comments:

from across the driveway said...

i too was awake at 4:30 am, i'll have to tell you why when I see you next. i was telling Charlie in the driveway this morning. we should have some sort of secret code when each other is up - then grab the scrabble board, make us some chocolate chip cookies, and play silly scrabble, a game Lucy and I used to play. Extra points for using the silliest words possible. I am positive you would kick my butt!!

Cassie Daughtrey said...

Jen,

My heart is broken for you and I'm just sorry. I wish you could just give you a feel better pill or formula and like you said, there just isn't one. I wish I had good advice, but were I in your shoes, I don't know what I'd do. I'm so grateful you have your mom and great family and friends to rely on (including us) to get you through the hard times. I have been catching up on your blog and glad to see you had fun with your mom in Italy, and are enjoying the fall so far back home. We'd really love to get together and either watch a funny movie, go for a walk, whatever!

On a lighter note, I, too have a bright orange jacket (not trendy), but Sierra Designs from back in my REI days. It is also loud, obnoxious, and awesome. I look like a construction cone. We should wear ours together and get our pictures taken at Sears. :)

Cassie