My last entry was a while ago, and the title was “Embrace the Suck.” I can’t tell you how much I have had to embrace the suck over the last little while and I am overwhelmed with thoughts, emotions, and the reality that has become my life.
First off, I miss Nick.
I drove home to Medicine Hat today to pick up my Dogs from the kennel. They were there while I went on a week long road trip through British Columbia with Scott and the girls. It was a great trip, and we had a blast, but inside all of that joy and excitement was a sense of sadness that has been creeping in a lot lately.
A few weeks ago Scott and I drove out to Banff to meet my cousin Tammy and her boyfriend for a visit. I introduced them to Scott, and just before we were about to go out for dinner, Tammy shared the exciting news.
She was engaged.
I would be lying if I said I didn’t have an instant gut-wrenching feeling in my stomach. Not because I wasn’t completely thrilled for her, but because I had instant flashbacks of my engagement to Nick and everything that happened afterward.
My cousin isn’t naive, and she knew this wasn’t going to be the easiest moment for either of us. She was gentle, understanding, and allowed me to have my moment of joy but also a moment of sorrow.
I remember making the calls, posting the Facebook message, and taking in all of the excitement of my engagement and it will always be one of my fondest memories with Nick, but this time I had to pull myself together and be happy for my cousin and join her in HER celebration, not mine.
I am not going to lie; I had no idea how to do this, but I managed and we had a great visit.
I honestly don’t even know how to write about this without appearing selfish and unfair, but I knew I had to share this experience so that others who are in my shoes know that they are not alone and that it’s okay to feel sorry for yourself when these types of exciting moments come up.
Let me be clear, I am so happy for Tammy, and I feel honored that she asked me to be a bridesmaid, but I can’t help but think; “always a bridesmaid, never a bride.” I used to say this before I met Nick as I have been a bridesmaid several times and wondered if it would ever be my turn.
I was so close but not close enough.
Please be sensitive to those who have suffered loss. Know that they can be genuinely happy for you in times of joy, but those feelings may parallel feelings of heartache and grief.
It is not selfish; it’s real and unavoidable.
One of the hardest parts of grief is knowing how to manage multiple emotions at the same time, and how to honor your grief while still honoring your relationships. Those who can understand this will be able to walk alongside someone who is suffering. If you can’t understand, the sufferer will disengage.
I can’t believe this summer is almost over. It has been so busy and filled with changes and new adventures.
Scott and I just finished our first family trip with his girls. It was a blast. I am not going to say it was all sunshine and roses and without exhaustion and frustration because let’s be honest; anyone who can go on a week long road trip with a six and eight-year-old with out wanting a whiskey and an Advil, deserves a medal.
They also need to write a fucking book about how they did it.
Last night we returned home late. We were exhausted. I was planning to go straight to bed, but as I was checking my e-mail, I noticed a notification from my scene card and deals on rentals. One of the movies that popped up was the movie, The Shack.
Over a year ago I was told by someone to read this book. I was told to read it, but to wait until I was in a better head space because it’s a bit heavy. I ordered the book on my Kindle, but I never got around to reading it. I was too busy reading self-help books about how to fix your life when it all gets fucked up. I have read over a hundred books in the last year, and I still have no idea what I am doing, but at the same time, I feel like an expert.
Last night I watched The Shack with Scott. We didn’t talk almost the entire movie (which is extremely rare for me). We sat in silence fixated on what was going on. We lay silent, and we cried.
The movie was heavy, but I wasn’t sad; I was at peace.
I always knew that I had angels or shall we call them workers of the Universe? Call it what you want because I still don’t know what to call them. What I do know is whatever, and whoever they are, they are there, and Nick is one of them.
When I went to the medium on February 21, 2017, she told me that Nick takes every opportunity he can to send me messages so I know he is with me and I know this movie is one of them.
I have been struggling with what to do with Nick’s sled. I struggle because it was once a piece of Nick that I could never imagine losing and now I have no idea what I should do with it and whether or not he would want me to keep it.
I struggle with the anger that still creeps up in my heart over what happened that day, and why Nick didn’t come home. I struggle with the anger stemming from betrayal following Nick’s death and why I was left to fend for myself and depend on my family when there was a way for me to be financially taken care of.
I deal with this often and these thoughts keep making there way in no matter how hard I try to free myself from them. Since I am the five-minute girl, I have been getting really good at putting them away, but they always return.
After watching The Shack I was reminded that it is not up to me to judge or to question, it is up to me to make good out of tragedy.
I have never told anyone this before because quite honestly I am not sure anyone would believe me.
The day before Nick died, as I drove to the mall to pick up our wedding rings, I thought to myself,
“What would I do with Nick’s ring if he died before our wedding?”
I remember exactly where I was on Deerfoot and I remember thinking, “My God that would be awful, but I would definitely burry his ashes with it.”
It turns out I was wrong.
I kept the ring.
The other day I took Scott and his girls to Quarts Creek staging area. I couldn’t drive past without pulling in for a quick stretch and to breathe in the air that Nick breathed in moments before his death.
Every time I go there, I look around, and I imagine. I imagine the boys ride off with four and only returning with three.
That night I had a dream. It was a quick dream, and I don’t remember a lot of it but what I do remember is the boys being in an avalanche and one of his friends digging himself out of the snow and hysterically calling out for Nick.
I know this isn’t exactly how it happened, but the feeling I had when I woke up was one of empathy and sadness for those who were with Nick that day.
This anger is something I have been trying to work through for almost 18 months, and with the moment at quartz, the dream, and now watching The Shack, I have realized this:
Life is moving forward, and Nick is not coming back, what is the point in being angry?
Before this entry gets too long, I want to ask you to watch this movie if you have suffered any type of significant loss in your life.
Like the person who recommended it to me said, watch it when you are in a good head space.
I am not a religious person, and I still don’t know what to believe, but I do know that there is something guiding every one of us and we have to stop to take in those moments that feel like signs. We have to interpret them in our own way, and then we have to figure out how they fit with our soul’s journey.
Today I cried for the entire trip from Chestermere to Medicine Hat.
This journey is so hard, but if I can give one bit of advice it would be this:
Set aside time to work through your thoughts and definitely write them down. I would be completely lost without alone time, a pen, and a platform to share my thoughts and lessons.
I would be lost without all of you.
This advice isn’t just for those who have suffered loss but for anyone who is struggling with finding peace. I am still learning too, but I can say without a doubt, being insightful and diligent with addressing your inside voice will help you become a better and more content you.
Tonight before you go to bed, or if it’s morning, before you start your day, ask yourself this:
Is there something that keeps coming up in your mind that needs to be addressed? If so, why haven’t you addressed it?
Grab a journal and write down your thoughts. I promise, those negative thoughts can be addressed, and you will feel so much better once they are. Seek help if you need it, and know that everything CAN and WILL be okay.
If I can do it, so can you.
“Sometimes it’s not the pain that makes you suffer; it’s your own NEGATIVE THOUGHTS that make things seem worse.” -unknown-