Six months ago today was Valentine’s Day. I spent the morning in a yoga class and then drove out to Rocky Mountain House with Nick to meet up with our wedding officiant.
Our officiant’s name is Keely and in order for her to marry us, we had to go through pre-marital counselling with her. We talked for two hours with her about finances, babies, stress, long-term goals, and so much more. It was actually really cool to have a constructive conversation with a third party listener and Nick and I both felt really good about what this was going to do to strengthen our relationship even more.
That night we went on a Valentines Day date. It was so delicious, and we shared a bottle of wine. We were sitting next to a young couple who had just got engaged. They were much younger than Nick and I. I remember Nick looking at me and saying thank god you are an easy bride. That was true. I made it very clear after we got engaged that I would not be spending time stressing over wedding details, which is why we pretty much had the whole thing planned within three months.
Nick and I got into a fight on our date. We were talking about joint accounts and prenups. Hahaha. Seriously, I don’t even know why we even started talking about this because neither one of us ever had any intention of sharing our bank accounts and we were both okay with that, but for some reason, we fought about it that night and almost slept in separate rooms. So Nick and I spent our last Valentines Day together fighting.
Some would think that this would cause me regret or upset me, but it doesn’t. In fact, it does the opposite. Nick and I kissed each other goodnight, and went to sleep. The next day was a holiday, so Nick was off, but I had to head into work. I kissed Nick on the forehead, and I told him I loved him, but don’t kid yourself, I was still a bit pissed off.
That day we started texting back and forth around 9 am. Like nothing had even happened. We made plans to look at an acreage that night, and it was as if the fight the night before was just a weird dream. I can not tell you how thank ful I am for this because I had no idea five days from then he would be dead. I don’t regret our fight because the way we got over it so quickly just goes to show how beautiful our relationship was.
I came home from work that night and Nick was in the garage with Justin, which was a regular occurrence. They had put up shelves for the stereo and Nick was so damn excited. He kept saying look at them, don’t they look good? I wish I would have been more enthused because he really was excited. He was excited because if there was one thing Nick and Justin loved, it was hanging out in the garage with the door open, so they could invite neighbors over for a drink as they drove by.
I had no idea five days later; Nick would be dead. I had no idea five days later Justin would be telling me Nick was dead. I had no idea five days later I would be calling Keely and telling her she no longer had to marry us, but I needed her for something else. Keely did the sermon at Nick’s funeral instead. That was one of the most difficult phone calls I had to make, and I had to make a lot of phone calls.
I realized today that this week lines up the same way the week did before Nick’s death. Today is the 14th, and it is a Sunday. Saturday is the 20th, and it will be six months since the Saturday Nick was taken from me. I can’t believe it has been six months since I have seen Nick and as much as that hurts my heart so deeply, it brings me a little bit of comfort knowing that I am six months closer to seeing him again.
I went through our closet the other day and started pulling some of his things out to send to his Dad. All of a sudden I was ripping everything off the hangers and throwing it on the floor. I have been very mad at Nick lately and for some reason, I found throwing his clothes on the floor very therapeutic.
I am trying to use that anger as motivation and strength instead of becoming self-destructive and unhealthy, but it is so much easier said than done. I am supposed to be getting married two months from today and I am not. I am not getting married because Nick made poor choices. Nick left me that Friday afternoon knowing exactly how much I loved him and yet he still made poor decisions.
I know some people might find my blogs offensive or aggressive or perhaps unfair, but I was supposed to be getting married in two months, and I am not because Nick is dead and I am fucking angry.
My blogs are not meant to offend; they are meant to share the aftermath of a preventable death. I know people have been reading them and as a result making changes in their training and equipment and for that I thank you. I thank you from the bottom of my heart, but that still doesn’t make me any less angry or any less alone.
I started back to work last Wednesday and the first thing I noticed that morning was that I had never gotten out of bed for work from that side before. It’s the little things that you really notice when you are trying to get back to routine. The things that aren’t routine after all are what you notice. I have been sleeping on Nicks side of the bed since the very first night he was gone. For some reason, I felt it would be easier to look at my spot empty than it would be to see his spot empty.
I got up and walked into the bathroom, and something was missing. Normally Nick and I would meet at the bathroom door, and we would just hug. Lots of times it felt like we were going to fall back asleep while we were standing there. For some reason, Nick and I never felt like we had enough sleep the night before so we would just have one last rest in the doorway of the bathroom before we would start to get ready for the day. That was missing.
I was standing in front of the mirror singing away and realized Nick isn’t downstairs making smoothies, and I am not going to be getting a kiss goodbye before I leave the house. My routine is no longer routine after all.
Wherever you are Nick, I love you. I love you from the bottom of my heart but my God I miss you. I miss our fights (but mostly making up), our hugs, our cries, our late night nacho’s (even though we both regretted it within minutes), I miss everything, and most of all I miss our routine.
Wherever you are Nick, I love you, but this is not what I had planned, and I am so angry at you. My anger is fueled by so many things, but mostly I am angry at you because you left me alone in what was supposed to be the best year of our life. I was supposed to marry you in two months, and you left me.
Wherever you are Nick, I love you, but yesterday I spent an hour with Jennie filling out a statutory declaration indicating what she knew about our commitment to one another and I will be doing the same thing with Justin. I may have a chance at receiving your pension; chances are slim, but it’s worth a shot. I am angry at you because you went out to the back country, you made poor choice, and you left me with nothing. I am so angry Nick, and I am going to channel that anger in a way that prevents others from being in this position, because this position is so hard to pull myself out of but I am doing my best.
I love you Nick, and I will move forward but this is not easy, and a part of me blames you. This week is going to sting, and I don’t know how I am going to get through it without replaying so many of the what if’s in my head, but please give me the strength to walk it, because I can’t do this alone.
I didn’t ask for this, and I did nothing wrong, but I am the one paying the price and living the consequences. I am angry, and I blame you, but Nick, I love you and I always will.
This is the aftermath. Take it in. It ain’t pretty, but it’s reality.