Disclaimer: this blog is a bit of a long one 😉
This past week has been one of many emotions. I mentioned in my last blog that I finally went into Nick’s garage last Saturday, and I am glad I did, but it was the beginning of a week filled with reminders that Nick is, in fact, gone which resulted in an event that I DID NOT anticipate.
On Tuesday, I spent the morning talking with my insurance company about the pay out for Nick’s sled, which, of course, is not going to me and will be written out to Nick’s estate. However, with that said, because the sled is insured under my policy, I am the one who has to take care of it. This is the one thing I can take care of, thank God, because the bank called me later that day advising me they are going to be taking legal action regarding Nick’s condo if things aren’t taken care of soon. Keep in mind; I was in the process of applying to be appointed the administrator of Nick’s estate and was treated so poorly by those involved that I made the decision to back down, as I mentioned in previous blogs. That was my Tuesday morning.
If that wasn’t bad enough, I listened to a voicemail later Tuesday afternoon advising me the insurance company learned there was a lien on the sled. Nick paid for his sled in cash, and I am quite confident he listed it as an asset when he refinanced his mortgage. Nick worked his ass off to pay for that sled in cash. Nick worked his ass off for everything he ever owned. Nick’s estate is being pissed away because those who want to be in charge are doing nothing to “take care” of what needs to be taken care of and it’s all about the money which I received none of. This was my Tuesday afternoon.
Tuesday evening was a little better. Mine and Nick’s friend Heather was helping me with something that has been stressing me out since the beginning of this journey, and so many stepped in to help as well. I would share the details, but it’s a secret ;). I was also advised by my new friend Trish, that someone she knew wanted to pay for my AST 1 (Avalanche Safety Training). My evening was getting better, and I was reminded that although there are selfish people in this world who care for nothing but themselves, there are also individuals in this world who are selfless and will do anything to brighten up your day.
I went to bed Tuesday night feeling grateful. I made some hot tea and was reading a book while laying in bed. I was at ease. My chest was heavy, but this has become something entirely typical over the last few months. It was just about midnight and my upper back started to hurt along with my left shoulder. I had the sharpest pains that would not let up. I didn’t think anything of it until I started having a hard time breathing and my shoulder was really aching. I decided I was just going to put my book away and go to sleep, and when I went to lay my head down, something said to me, maybe you shouldn’t.
I wasn’t sure what to do at this point, but I didn’t feel good, and something felt off. I sent a facebook message to my neighbor Brooke to see if she was awake and I told her something seemed weird. I told her I had also texted my friend Karyn who happened to be working the night shift. Karyn was on her way, and Brooke said she would stay awake until Karyn got there and told me to keep her updated. While Karyn was on her way, I started getting light headed, and my left arm went numb. WHAT????? I thought, am I having a fucking heart attack? I told Karyn the update, and she got an Ambulance on the way.
I felt so stupid, what the hell has happened to my life. That was just after midnight, and I was so upset. I finally thought I might get some sleep and instead I am going to have a heart attack. Karyn showed up, and I just cried. I was so embarrassed, and to be honest very scared. All this time I thought I wanted to die and in the moments I thought I might, I was scared. I think that means I am making progress.
The Paramedics showed up and conducted all of the necessary tests. It turns out I wasn’t dying, and I likely had a panic attack. Panic attack? I was laying in bed at ease about to go to sleep. Why did my body decide to have a panic attack? I was told the signs of a panic attack and anxiety attacks mimic heart attacks, but the good news was, my time wasn’t up yet. Thank you, Karyn (and partner), and Brooke for being amazing that night.
So here is why I decided to share this. There is this thing we all know called “GRIEF.” People who haven’t experience intense grief try to offer advice or tell people who are grieving what they “should” be doing. You should just try to get some sleep or try to stop thinking about “that,” whatever “that” might be. I wonder if any of these experts know what anticipatory grief is? When I went to my psychologist on Thursday we talked about my eventful Tuesday evening, and she asked the question, “can you tell me what you were thinking about before you had the panic attack?”. I couldn’t answer that. I told her I was just reading my book thinking about going to sleep.
We went on to talk about the week and whether or not any of the days were significant. Nick was supposed to leave to Vegas on Wednesday for his Bachelor party. He was so damned excited about that trip he could barely contain himself. Thursday was exactly two years since Nick, and I moved into the house and the upcoming weekend (which just passed) was exactly one year since we renovated our yard with my Dad. For the record, I barely thought about any of these things leading up to this week, and aside from the Vegas trip, I didn’t realize the significance of the week until I began talking during the session with the Doc. She finally said, “Megan, have you ever heard of anticipatory grief?” The truth is, I had, and I had read a lot about it. So tell me, experts, how do I control my grief when I don’t even know it’s happening?
I know this sounds harsh, and maybe as though I am referring to certain people or events that have caused me to feel judged. That is not the case, but I can tell you on behalf of all widows, or those going through intense grief; we can sense when people think we should be “over it” and we know when our support group is shrinking. I have no ill feelings toward anyone as it is not easy to bear witness, but to those who have, you know who you are, and I thank you.
I have no idea how to “get over it” when one minute I am okay, and then the next I am not and I have three paramedics and two cops in my house. My dogs are confused too. I do my best to enjoy my good days and trust me I do have good days but on the days I am not okay, please know, I have no control and even when I struggle on those bad days, I am still trying. I am trying so hard. I WANT TO BE OKAY.
As I said at the beginning of this blog it is getting to be a little long but I need to share one last thing. I have been discussing ideas for my “wedding day” with friends because I knew I could not just skip that day like it was nothing. The more I thought about it and the more I tried to come up with ideas the more anxious I became. Last night I had a talk with Nick. No, I am not crazy, and I have recently become very comfortable with having long cries at night where I am simply talking to my sweet Nick.
Last night I asked him, what am I supposed to do on what was “supposed” to be the best day of our life. He didn’t answer me last night but when I was driving on the highway, today headed to Saskatchewan it hit me. I never got to marry Nick because we chose to spend a year planning a wedding that was more about other people than it was about us. Neither one of us cared if anyone showed up but we wanted the big beautiful party, and we wanted it in the Fall, and we wanted it in the mountains. None of those things matter by the way. What matters is being with each other. Nick was my best friend, and I wanted nothing more than to marry him. We should have just eloped.
The last few days I have found myself trying to plan a party for that day that was meant to be about Nick and me. I know everyone wanted to share that day with us, and I know since Nick died, many wanted to share in making that day a little less painful for me, and I am so appreciative of that. But today on the open road Nick answered my question and the answer is, I am going to Nashville.
Nick and I were going to get married October 14th, 2016, and the day after we were going to fly to Miami to spend a couple of days relaxing on the beach. After that, we were going to hit the road in a rental car and head to Nashville. Our plan was to crank the country music and stay in cheap hotels along the way. I was so excited for that trip with Nick, and I still want to go so badly. I can not see myself making that trip with anyone other than Nick, so I have decided to start saving the few pennies I have and a few days before my “wedding day” I am going to load up my car with my wedding dress and crank the tunes all the way to Nashville.
When I asked my new widow friend Leah what she thought I should do that day she said she has learned to live by a saying that she learned in the widow community and that is “Do whatever the fuck you want.” Thanks, Leah, that is exactly what I intend to do, and I know I will create some pretty amazing memories on the way.