Monthly Archives: December 2010

Cutting

Michael’s obituary was in the paper last week. The 20th, I believe. I bought two copies of it. The paper sat in a bag on the love seat until just a few minutes ago.

I took the papers out of the bag, grabbed a pair of scissors, the same ones I used to wrap Christmas presents, and cut them out of there. They are both now in a safe spot with the program from his funeral. The flowers his daughters gave me at the funeral are in a vase above my sink, the yellow rose is drooping and almost gone, it looks how I feel. Drooping, sad, depressed. The two red roses are blooming and beautiful still, as if the love instilled in them lives on.

Maybe, that is exactly what it is. The body passes, the soul moves on, but, the love remains. The love that we had for Michael is still there, the love he had for us, is still there, it sits on a different plane but, it remains.

I know they won’t last forever but, they are a nice reminder of Michael, and of how wonderful his daughters were. How even in their pain, they came up to me and both hugged me so very tight as I cried at his funeral. They may not have been his biological daughters but, the love between the three of them is almost palpable. Both girls spoke at his funeral, short lovely tributes to their Daddy. Tributes that made us laugh as the tears ran down our faces.

The girls Mom and I had began to become friends prior to Michael’s death. We talked on Facebook, a bit, had meet one another a couple times, and in fact Jenn is who I contacted the day Michael died. She is the one I got a hold of because I just knew what he was about to do, didn’t know what to do, didn’t have his address, as I knew where he lived, just not the number.

She was the one who called the police, and the one who had to tell me that he was indeed gone, that the feeling I had when that last message came through was correct. And, we have bonded over all of this. We both loved Michael, he was one of our dearest friends, we had both dated him, and knew how sensitive of a man he was.

Now, we talk about all sorts of things, not just Michael. Don’t get me wrong he is a topic of conversation. How could he not be? he has been gone just over ten days.

Ten days and I look like I have aged ten years. I never realized how grief has such a physical weight to it. It is leaden and sits on your shoulders, pushing you down toward the ground. Every step seems to be at least twice as hard as normal, and every normal life activity seems to take up to much of your strength, your effort, your everything. Yet, you push on. I did quite a bit tonight. It helps. The busier my hands our, the less my mind can concentrate on “Michael’s gone. Michael’s in a vase* Michael’s dead.”

I made a double batch of spaghetti sauce, cooked spaghetti, cut the ham up and froze it in meal portions, cleaned out the fridge, froze some squash soup, folded and hung almost every piece of clothing we own. I scrubbed the kitchen, everything other than the floor, that will come tomorrow. Just a couple hours of very busy work to help my mind.

Now, it is 3 AM, I am worn out physically, and my brain is settled back on “Michael’s gone.” I do not get this. I do not want to understand this. I do not want to move on, yet, as those left behind, we have no choice. We move on, or cut out. Slowly but, surely, we have to put one foot in front of the other, remembering the love, but, moving forward.

*(Dawn and Kelly kept saying vase so, now my brain does, too, instead of urn. at least it is a nice looking vase.)

A cry

Yesterday was horrendous. I knew that the day of Michael’s funeral would be one of the worst days of my life, and it was. The 16th trumped it, because that is the day we lost him, but, I can think of no other death that has been worse. When I lost the three grandparents I have lost I was much younger. 5, 6 and 12, my second Mom I was in my 20s but somehow that wasn’t quite as hard.

My heart shattered yesterday as I pulled up to the funeral home. I was there very early, as I couldn’t sit home alone any longer. I sat in the car waiting for anyone to get there, as I did not want to go into the chapel, where his ashes were, by myself.

Just writing that “his ashes” is horrendous. The only ashes I should be complaining about is if he were smoking a cigarette, not him being in an urn. How is this possible? How is he in a jar? Why is he not texting me whining about being tired? Or picking on me for procrastinating on going into town to finish the last few things I need to do?

Back to yesterday, there were pictures up of him, including a digital frame that scrolled over and over through some of the best shots of him from recent years, a couple from when he was a kid, including one with his sisters and Mom.

The service was ok, I am not a fan of preachers doing a sermon at funerals as I believe it should be more about the person you lost, but, the parts that were directly about Michael were beautiful. All his nieces and nephews got up, and his one nephew, Brett, sang a song he had written for his Uncle. It was beautiful and Brett has an amazing voice, if he doesn’t break into music I will be shocked.

The whole service, I cried. I’m a crier. When I am sad it just pours out, and it poured out all over the chapel, the car, Kelly’s house, and the car again on the way home. Then, when I was eating dinner last night with Tre and Tony it started again. Tre knew I had lost my best friend, but, wanted to know how he died. I couldn’t lie to the child, I explained to him what happened. I explained how Michael was depressed, and lonely, and missing his Mom, and how he thought he would be happier not being here anymore.

I explained how he was wrong, that he shouldn’t have left us, that nothing is worth dying that way over. I told him how very sad all of Michael’s family and friends are. I feel like I did the right thing, but, it is hard to discuss death with a seven year old.

The worst minute yesterday was when I walked out of Kelly and Dawn’s. I feel like that last link to Michael was being left behind. That last little bit hurt to the depths of my soul. I am sad. I will miss him forever and can not imagine how to spend the rest of my life without him here. Today is day one, as the week between his death and his funeral are just a blur of pain. Today, I learn to be without him on the planet.

Goodbye

I failed horribly at Holidailies this year. First we moved this month into our own little place and between packing, moving, unpacking (still working on). Then, on the 16th I lost one of my best friends in the world. Michael and I had known one another for half of our lives. He was such a important part of my life at 19 and 20 that a lot of our friends always thought we would end up married to one another.

We didn’t, obviously, but, we were friends, even through the time we lost from my anger at years old hurts, I still thought about him, wondered how he was, and hoped he was having a good life. And, when we made up and our friendship was renewed, I found out he had done the same over the years.

Michael was one of the most sensitive souls I have ever known. He could pick up on how you were feeling, even when you tried to hide it. If he hurt you, he felt the pain, himself and would do anything to make it better.

It is so incredibly hard to be writing about him in the past, saying was, and used to, and all of that. My brain is having the hardest time wrapping around the fact that he is gone. I miss him. Every minute since he left us, I have missed him.

I keep going to text him whatever silly thing I’ve seen, or done, or just ask him how his day is going. When it gets right around 12:30 AM, I expect to hear his text tone to let me know he’s home from work, so that we can joke and talk.

One of the things that has made this even harder is all the messages from his last day, how hard I tried to cheer him, how horrendously upset he was, and how I accidentally deleted his final text, which only consisted of “I love you, love Jenn, love my girls.”

I knew when he sent that text what he was about to do. I could feel it all the way to my soul. I contacted Jenn immediately, and she called the police to check on him. We both knew, even while we joked about kicking his ass for scaring us. We could feel it.

I’ll never forget the message I got from her telling me he was gone. Not in a million years. Nor will I forget the way my heart shattered as I hyperventilated and screamed for Tony. How I cried as I called our mutual friends and had to repeat the words, “Michael is dead, he killed himself” over and over again. Until, I couldn’t do it anymore and just sat there and sobbed.

How I wish I could change what happened. I have gone over our final conversation in my mind a million times since the 16th, wondering if I could have said anything that would have stopped him. I know everyone says it isn’t my fault, yet, it is hard to not blame myself. It is hard to know that I was the last person he talked to the one he sent his final thoughts to.

It is tearing me up inside. All I want is to wind the clock back a week and change this. I want to go back and change this, so that he is here, back with his family and friends, so that I can pick up my phone and harass him about anything.

So that I can hear his voice again.

I miss you, Michael. I always will. You are a part of my heart. Someday, hopefully when I am a little old lady, we will meet again. Until then just know you are loved by so many people including me.

Susan and Michael 1995 with their tongues stuck out.

Holidailies 2010

Hello Holidailies readers! Welcome to my journal. Let me hit you with a quick introduction and then into the meat of things. I am Suzy, 35, married to Tony for 12 years, Aunt to a bunch of little rugrats, a free-lance writer and in the middle of moving to a new home. I have been writing this journal for over ten years, the majority of that time here at mutteringfool.com and hosted by VerveHosting. I can not remember how many years I have written during holidailies. Thanks to Jette and Chip for once again doing this for us.

The 1990s seem to want to come back and smack me in the face within the past couple weeks. Actually since just a couple of days before Thanksgiving. Quite a few of my old friends, most from one time period of my life, have come back into my life, mainly via Facebook. The first couple times one of my close friends got back in touch with me was odd. The time period that they all are from was a rough one for me.

In fact, it is so rough that I very rarely speak about it and have only written about it a few times over the years. Talking to these friends though has overwhelmingly been a good thing. It has made me realize that I am not the Susan of 1994-1997 or so. No longer do all the things that happened haunt me. Oh, I still think about them, more so right now than I have in years but, it is more warm memories of the good things.

Memories, like one night when I was driving my Dad’s little tiny Chevette, my best friend, at the time, in the passenger seat and another seven people crammed into that car. Yes, nine people in a Chevette, riding around town in the same circuitous route that all the teenagers before us had driven. We were singing and laughing, they were rocking the car (sorry, Dad.) and my best friend just looked over at me through the jumble of arms and legs poking through the seats and smiled real big. A smile that I loved.

No, really, I did. I was head over heels in love with him. He never let on that he knew, at least not back then. We just kept on as we were, hanging out together, talking all the time and enjoying one another’s company. Eventually, things went bad, we had a huge falling out and didn’t talk for years, until this summer. Now, we’re again on speaking terms. His smile doesn’t do anything for me now, only my husband’s does that, but, it is nice to have an old friend as even a tiny part of my life again.