Yesterday I was about to head to the gym, but when I went into my closet to get my hat, the pile of Nick’s clothes became even more glaringly apparent. Why today, when they have been sitting there since my last closet temper tantrum? I have no idea. That is grief. Unpredictable and messy.
I decided to put that pile of clothes away, but one pile turned into a few and the next thing I knew a tornado went through my room, and I had boxes and boxes filled with stuff.
Half way through this process I regretted it.
It’s funny because every time I went into my closet and looked at Nick’s clothes I wanted to punch a hole in the wall but now that they are gone, I am not sure what’s worse.
I have been told so many times that I don’t have to rush into anything and to take baby steps. Although I agree with that, I also don’t want to come back from my soul-searching trip with my dead “husband’s” things still lingering in my house. That’s right, when I come back he would have been my husband. Harsh? Sure, but it’s true. Nick had so much stuff, and he isn’t coming back for it.
On the wall directly beside my closet is the wood pallet picture my friends gave me of Nick way up in the mountains. The picture is gorgeous, and I had no idea how much it would mean to me someday.
Nick took the picture on New Years Day. He was in Gorman which was his favorite place. For a moment he had reception on his phone, and I received a phone call at around noon. I remember I was sitting at my desk at work when my phone said, “Nick Calling.” I remember looking at Shanda saying “oh my god, he never calls me this early in the day when he’s sledding.” I nearly had a heart attack. When I answered, he was so excited. He said, “We actually have reception. We need to build a shack in this exact spot and move here.” 😉
I may have rained on his parade because I responded by saying, “Don’t you ever fucking call me this early in the day again, Fuck Nick I thought something bad happened.” I had no idea less than two months later something bad would happen, and I would be receiving yet another call.
We took Nick back to his favorite place.
While I was rearranging my entire house and packing away Nick’s things I came across a box that I should not have opened. What did I find?
These invites went out not even two weeks before Nick died. Some people didn’t even get theirs yet because Nick insisted on hand delivering the invites to his friends. We got to most of them just days before his death.
I still think about that week every single day.
I leave for my trip in less than two weeks. To say I am anxious and terrified is an understatement, but it’s exactly what I need right now, and I can’t wait to be alone in places that I had never been with Nick. If you are a widow or suffered a similar loss, I guarantee you understand what I mean.
I am never going to get away from the pain and the memories of Nick, nor do I want to, but it will be so refreshing to build memories of my own; without Nick. I am trying so hard to look at this trip as Meg’s trip, not Meg and Nick’s trip that isn’t happening anymore.
On our “Wedding Day,” I am going to honor Nick the best way that I can, but the rest of it is going to be about me. It has to be about me because as much as I want to fight it, Nick is gone and he is never coming back.
To my widow followers:
Each time I accomplish another “shitty death task,” I think of all of you. I think of all of the incredible men and women I have met who have had to do these very same things or will have to when the time is right for them. It helps me to think about you because I know I am not alone, but it hurts me to think about you because it truly breaks my heart that you also have to endure this pain. Hear this; YOU ARE A WARRIOR because this is not easy stuff. Do it when you’re ready and do it, however, the fuck you want. There is no right way, and there is certainly no easy way.
I remember when my cousin and I had to clean out my Aunt’s closet. We did this a few days before she died because she told us she wanted it done. That was one of the hardest things anyone has ever tasked me with, but we did it because we loved her, and it was one of her last requests.
I had no idea just a few short years later I would be cleaning out my own closet and boxing up the belongings of the man I loved so deeply. The man I was going to marry. I was sad, and I was angry, and each piece of clothing reminded me of memory.
To my snowmobiler followers:
PLEASE BE SAFE.
The season is approaching faster and faster, and I am not ready. I am not ready for the first snowfall, and I am not ready for the first fatality that we will see on the news. I am not ready because I have a place in my heart for every snowmobiler that will be out there this season because Nick’s death has opened my eyes to how easy it is to get yourself in trouble, even when you think you are safe. The more knowledge, the better.
I would never tell you not to go into the backcountry on your sleds because it is an awesome sport that allows you to live fully, and experience the beauty of this earth, BUT PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE BE SAFE so you can keep doing just that; LIVING.
People who haven’t experienced this, DO NOT get it, but I do.
Every death leaves family members behind who have to complete the “death tasks,” so please think about that while you’re preparing yourself for a great winter. Yes, you may die “doing what you love,” but that doesn’t help those who love you. While I was cleaning out the closet, which was one of a billion death tasks I have had to complete, I was not thinking, “well at least Nick died doing what he loved”; I was thinking, “Why did you do this to me.”
There is no better time than now to start the conversations with your riding groups and decide who you feel safe with and how confident you are with your training. PS….GET MORE TRAINING. If your gut is telling you not to go, DON’T GO. If you don’t trust your friend’s abilities, find a new group. Seriously.
PLEASE STOP PRIVATE MESSAGING ME and START TALKING TO EACH OTHER.
Don’t get me wrong; I love hearing from people, and it makes me so happy to know people are reading my words and making changes in their kit, training, and groups; but please make sure you talk to each other.
Thanks again everyone for your commitment and support on this journey. The amount of people I have met and now consider a vital part of my life, is truly beautiful.
Welcome to Fall everyone…….