Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Of Guilt, Fear and Silver Carts

After saying that I wasn't going to write about my journey through grief I realised that this
is so much part of me that I can't but write about it!!
So the past few days the thoughts that are racing through my head have settled into a rather nasty cycle.  Starts with the guilt.  A few days before hubby died I asked him to drive me to Costco, a good hour and half drive. He was happy to take me, always he was happy to take me places and do things for me.  He wanted me to be happy.  After that trip he became very tired, to the point of complaining about being tired.  I should of noticed that he was  over tired, that this wasn't normal for him.  I keep thinking that if I had made him go to the doctors, maybe he wouldn't have died.  Maybe this hell I am in wouldn't be real.  But who knows.  My mind tells me that in his family all the men died young, that for 3 generations he was the oldest male.   He passed his 50th birthday,  we thought he wouldn't see that.  That the time we had together was good and he is not suffering in hospital somewhere. but my heart just cries out for him, I should of done something.
Then comes the fear.  How do I go on?  How do I face the empty years ahead?  I'll be busy, I still have four kids at home which means lots of cooking, cleaning, laundry and the day to day stuff that makes up life.  But I have lost my best friend, the one who knew me.  All these feelings I have now are the things we would of talked about.  I had plans and ideas, a vision of how my life would unfold from here.  I would slow down my teaching, take more holidays, have time with hubby, without the kids sometimes.  We would go shopping together and he would complain about not having enough meat.  All these dreams, ideas have to be reworked.  But I don't want to do that!!  I'm afraid of loosing my memories of him.  I'm afraid of a lonely old age.  Yes I have my kids but they have their own lives to live and I can't demand companionship from them.  So guilt and fear, nice companions.  During the day I am basically okay, it's the nights that are hard.  The 3 o'clock panic attacks that are hard.  I need to sleep!!
And of course the "silver cart".  It's a shopping trolley. Nobody here can drive, I can walk to most of the shops near here but carrying stuff back is hard!!  So I bought a cart.  It's okay for now but I am hoping that Mikey can get his license soon!!!!!

See a nice little cart, folds up as well. No the skateboard isn't mine!!!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

My Blog

I started this blog as a way to share about my life in Japan.  I was hoping to share the crazy things we do, both my family and the rather strange culture that is Japan.  But after my husbands death I am finding that all my time is spent either crying or trying not to cry.  I have read some blogs by other widows and have found great comfort in the fact that I am not alone on this terrible journey.  But I don't know if I want to put out in cyber space all the raw and ugly emotions that go with the grief process.  So what to blog about when all I think about is how upside down my life is now and how this new normal is not normal and never will be normal?
Well one constant thing in my life are my kids.  They are the reason I crawl out of bed in the morning!
Mikey,  my eldest, is just 21.  He has had to step up and help out with everything!!  There is so much that has to be done,  so much paper work and forms that I can't read.  Also he is working part time, he has to get his drivers license, so he is saving as much as possible.
David is driving me crazy.  He has the same sense of humor as my husband!!  Loves to play jokes on people, most of the time it's okay but sometimes he can get really under peoples skin.  He decided to decorate some tangerines the other day!


I"m going to eat you

A lost comrade

Tangerine Man?
But he is also a good boy!  He does the dishes, puts laundry in and goes to the shop without being asked!
Christopher is working very hard for his high school tests. Poor kid has to study every day.  I hope he is doing okay because I have no idea how to help him. 
And of course Hannah, who has become my shadow, is being very sweet and brave.  My Mom died when I was 42 and had been away from home since I was 18.  But her death left a void in my heart that I thought would never be filled or healed.  How much more difficult for a 10 year old kid!!  That breaks my heart.  She is having a hard time with one of her friends.  Her friend is a nice girl but rather strong and Hannah is feeling very vulnerable at the moment.  She needs to be with people who can support her and offer some sympathy! Not with kids who just want to whine and be bossy.  I walked to school with Hannah this morning, but when we got to school she couldn't go in!!  So we came home!!   We are lucky that the teachers are understanding and won't push her too much but rather try to support her!!
For me, tears, more tears, screaming and shouting at the unfairness of it all.  But I have so many memories of my hubby, he tried so hard to make me happy, but that was almost impossible!!! 
When I think back I can see that we had a great life, I just wish we could of had more time together!!

Saturday, January 19, 2013


So a new year and for us a new life!
We were totally unprepared for my husbands death.  Even a month later it feels unreal.
I keep thinking that he will walk through the door any moment, asking me what I'm doing.

I should of written this before but couldn't.  Hubby's funeral was very beautiful.  Mikey and David with help from hubby's good friends arranged everything.  David got rather upset with the funeral home guy, he was pushing to have all these fancy things.  But we stuck to our guns.  The funeral was held at home, for the kids that was easier than going to some strange place.  It also gave us time to be alone with the body, to say goodbye on our own after everybody left.  The funeral home did a beautiful job in changing the room I use for teaching. 
 This is the room we used,looks nice

The picture we used, I didn't change the clothes, hubby never wore a suit and tie, this is how I remember him              

 The funeral was beautiful and simple.  We didn't have the Buddhist priest.  That was one thing hubby said he never wanted.  He felt that the priests, at lest in his experience, were out to make money, not caring or helping the grieving family. So we had a prayer, some hymns and some  of my husbands friends talked about him.  Then we offered flowers and incense.  Nice and simple.  I was shocked that so many people came, over 50 that day and over the next few days over a 100 people stopped by to pay respects. 
The next day was the cremation.  I stayed home with Hannah and Christopher, there are somethings that I just can't do and seeing the skeleton remains of my beloved is one of them.

The next few days went by in a blur.  As I wrote we got through Christmas, then going to high school for Christopher. Hannah and I got the flu, which knocked us about for 2 days.  Mikey got sick as well but he wouldn't go to the doctor. 
New year came and went.  Kids went back to school.  I am so proud of all my kids, they have handled this very well.  Christopher is in the last term of junior high school and has entrance tests coming up.  The first two days back at school he had tests.  I honestly thought he wouldn't do very well.  But he got the best marks ever and out of over 200 students in his year he ranked 42nd. 

So my new life.  Not the one I want but sometimes we have no choice in things and this is one of them.  One thing I know is that my hubby really loved me.  Sure we had our fights and problems, but nothing major.  Hubby would go to any length to make me happy.  I wanted more time with just him,  I love my kids but was looking forward to empty nest and just me and hubby time.  Now......not looking forward at all.
I get through this day and the next but no plans, no dreams for the future. Maybe as the intense pain I feel lessens (if it ever does) I can start looking forward again. 
Sorry this is rambling and the pictures didn't get put in properly.