It is so hard for me to believe that in so many ways the second year really is more difficult than the first. I know I've read that for some it could be. I just could not see how that was possible. And it isn't in all ways but in many ways, it definitely is and I'd like to talk about that.
While the crying and the melt downs in public places is better; the grim realization has set in that this is forever and in many ways this year is actually worse. I am much more depressed. The shock has worn off now completely and I now see that long after I'd thought it was gone, it had still been lingering, protecting, pushing me forward. Long after I thought I was facing this full on and that I was at least in "mid-recovery", I was steeped in deep denial; glossing over it, covering it up with "busy" and pretending. Busy has come to a screeching halt and now I can't muster enough strength or energy or wherewithal to be busy no matter how hard I try - which by the way is not very hard. I just don't care anymore. If I could just sit and eat dinner on a TV tray in front of the television, read an hour, sit in a tub of hot water and then lay in bed and play solitaire on my Kindle till I get sleepy - I'd be good. That would be my perfect evening. Oh wait, that is my every evening. But sooooooo not like my evenings "before". Never been a big TV fan. Maybe an hour in the evening to wind down was about my max. It just always seemed like a major time suck and I always had far too much to do to justify very much TV for all of the housework, cooking, laundry, family time, pets, church, writing and I could never find time to stay ahead of it all. And all of those still exist but suddenly they are all so terribly unimportant. I can sit for hours and binge-watch ten year old episodes of Alias without feeling a twinge of guilt at the pile of laundry I tripped over to get to the television. Dishes in the sink - fine. Bathrooms need cleaning - so what. Floors looking like you need to run the mower and grass catcher - I'm good. Nothing seems important me anymore. Everything except family seems like petty annoyances. I have zero desire to actually "do" anything. I can barely find enough energy to function on a low level and get by from day to day.
In the beginning I couldn't think about these things and I was in the middle of caretaking and doing what I could for the living - postponing grief as it turns out . Just getting from one day to the next the best I could. This year that is no longer the case but you still have to have a reason to get up and I have no reason. No hope. No purpose. I don't want to "do" anything anymore. I think I need that puppy now or a donkey or something. (Latest book - Flash) Whatever - but I need a reason to go on.
The second year is harder too simply because it is the second year and I thought if I could make it through the horror of the first - I would have "made it." I would be better. I would want life again. I would be able to see good in things again. I would have energy and hope and faith again. I would be out of the danger zone.
Not so much.
Last year when I first started this blog it had been "Four Weeks" - the blog was a life vest to a drowning man. Now...well I am floating adrift. I don't need a life vest but I'm still in the water. I'm not drowning but this is not living either.
Last year I had "coping skills" - this year now I'm contemplating drugs in order to make it. What a hypocrite. I thought if you just kept pushing on and forcing yourself to function, ignored the pain, pretended the holidays were not holidays, kept the kids alive and with me through happy stories, funny memories, pictures and videos. If I read all the books, attended the right meetings, listened to the preaching, listened to the right music, talked to a counselor, wrote out my feelings and managed to cling to life by tooth and toenail and just make it past that magic one year mark - I would be "out of the woods". The reality has hit me like a brick that not only is it not true that I will be okay after the first year but in fact that I will never be okay again.
Losing them did not change the number of chairs at my Thanksgiving dinner table or how many gifts I would buy at Christmas or how I spent my Sunday afternoons. Losing them --changed everything. Absolutely everything. Not everything for a year or two years or five years but forever.
I don't even recognize this life. I had goals, hopes, dreams and a strong abiding faith. My whole life, those were the things that kept me going. I truly do not understand how this can make me no longer be me? I am not me. God is not God. Everything is just wrong. And these are the things that I did not know last year. I guess I couldn't face it or didn't realize it or God knew I couldn't withstand the full impact of all of that yet. I guess it was all I could do to put one foot in front of the other and remember to breath. And yeah the first year was horrific and yet in many ways the second is still kind of worse as you come to the cold realization that the horror is never going to end.