The Journey Through Grief of a Young Widowed Mom

My grief journey after losing my husband of six and a half years. I am 27, and he would have been 28, in September 2006. We have three little boys, 6, 4, and 2.

Friday, December 15, 2006

An Old Email That Was Never Sent

Mickey has had a hotmail email account for eight years. It just mostly fills up with junk. I decided I should probably clean it out since it had 400 emails in it. After I cleaned out all of the junk I checked the draft folder and it was a letter to me that had never been sent. It was from October, two years ago. It was from around the same time I got pregnant with Owen. Mickey had come home for a brief leave because we didn't know when they would finally let him out of the Army. We had left in May because we thought it would be any time. Three weeks later he came home for good, but at that time we had no clue. In the email he said it had only been one day but he missed me and that he hated being away from me. He just wanted to tell me loved me and missed me. He signed it, your husband Mickey.

I miss you too Mickey. I love you too and it has been four and a half months, and I don't like to be away from you either. I know you are in a better place, and I try to remember that. You were supposed to be here to help me raise the boys. Not sure why God wanted you home so soon. I know you had a lot of pain here, maybe God didn't want you to go through that anymore. I don't know how Heaven works exactly, but I can't wait to see you there. I can't wait to hug you again and we can sit and talk about our boys for an eternity. I am okay most of the time. I know I have a big long future ahead of me, and I try to remember that God will take care of me. It really feels empty without you and sometimes it is still hard to believe that I will not see you again. I have been separated from you before for this amount of time, but never without seeing you or talking to you, but then I also knew that you would come back. This time the wait is going to be much longer before I will see you. I wonder if you would want me to remarry. I think you would. I think you would want me to have someone to help me raise the boys. I know that you don't have worries in heaven anyway. I will never stop loving you. They try to compare being divorced to being widowed sometimes, but there isn't a comparison. In a divorce there are hurt feelings, and a loss of love and affection. I loved you with my whole heart the day that you died, and I will never stop loving you like that. You will always be my husband, and the father of my sons. God can do amazing things with the heart, and I expect that someday there will be room for me to love someone else. I don't think I will have issues about comparing them to you, but I will have issues with comparing my life with you, to what I may have with them. We had a pretty dynamic life together. It wasn't always easy, but it was good. You were someone that I loved completely and could spend hours doing nothing with and still have a good time. I miss just watching TV with you, and rubbing your back. I can still hear you ask me to rub your back and complaining about the cold lotion hitting your back. I can still hear you say "Hello dear". I still pray for a dream with you. People have them all the time. I had them when Grandpa B died. I have been praying since the day you died for a dream like that so I could day good bye to you, to see you one last time, but I haven't had one. I don't think it is a dream either, but for some reason God hasn't sent you. If I could only see you again and talk to you, even if it is a dream, I think it would be very healing for me. The email I found in your draft box in your email was good.

Mickey, I know things weren't always easy for us. I know that I made it harder for you sometimes because I didn't know how to deal with your PTSD. We had a really rough patch there, but we both loved eachother enough, respected eachother enough, and were good enough friends to sit down and deal with it. It wasn't easy was it? You made me talk to you though, and I am thankful for that. We were really starting back out in a wonderful place again, and then you died. I am glad it was after we dealt with things, but why did you have to go so soon? I don't want to be the strong woman. I want to be your wife who leans on your for help. I don't want to be someone everyone is proud of for doing so well. I want to be your wife and running the house and taking care of you and planning our lives together. We didn't get to take all of the boys camping. We never even used the RV together. We had such nice plans.

I thought I was ready to say good bye to you, I thought I had. But I haven't, and I'm not. I can't even watch a video of you without feeling like I want life to end right now so I can be with you. I know that you wouldn't want that because there is something here for me to do, including taking care of our boys and who knows what God has in store for them. Talk to God about making life easier for me with them huh? He gave us three beautiful, smart and rambunctious boys, and I just want to keep them away from all of the bad things in life like every parent. I just pray that I can be the mom they need to help them develop the character and faith they need to make it. If they have half of what you had, they will be fine. You made it through a lot of junk to become a strong, proud, loving, and honorable man, and I expect they will too. I just hope that it isn't through too many trials both for their sake and mine. We talk about you all the time, and the boys remember things they did with you, or that you said to them. It makes me happy to hear them remember you. We pray every night that we remember you from day to day. You are still a very big part of our lives though you aren't here. We haven't been through every season and holiday without you yet. Something will come up and it will feel like yesterday. Especially things that happend this summer, when you were still here, very much alive and we had big plans. Mickey, you were so full of life and love, we could never forget you. I pray that at least one of the boys have your sense of humor and goofiness. It was made you you.

I make some plans. I am going to get a pole barn like we had planned. I need a place to put the boat, and the car or truck, the paddle boat, the RV. I want to take care of those things and I don't have the help to do what I need to do with them during the change of seasons. Shane agreed to finish the floor of the boat and I will hold him to that. I won't be able to do much with it by myself I don't think, but I can learn. I want to have the boys out fishing and playing in the water as we would have had been doing. I will take them camping as much as I can. I will take them to Maine to experience where you grew up and all the adventures you had there, all of your old camping spots and stomping grounds. Someday I will finish the garage for another bedroom and a family room. I will still need the space with three teenage boys. You wanted them to all have their own rooms anyway. I think that I might adopt another boy someday though. I thought about that before you died, and I think that it would be a good thing to do. I don't know what God has in store for me, but I will just trust that He knows what He is doing and accept what He sends my way.

It feels good to write to you like this Mickey. I wish that you could write back. I feel better receiving that email from you though it was from two years ago, I know that it did and does still ring true. I have all of the letters you sent from Kuwait the first time, and the emails we exchanged before we got married, and then all of the Iraq letters. I will always cherish those. They will always be a testament and a reminder of the love that we shared with eachother. I will take good care of your boys honey. They are my world, my life and they are more precious to me than anything. I will always remind them of you and how much you loved and enjoyed them. I love seeing pictures of you guys together. I love Mickey Lee.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Feeling Better/Christmas

I am feeling better, so that is good. The boys were watching a Holly Hobby movie today and it was a Christmas movie. The focus of the movie was a lady with two little boys who had lost her husband the summer before and how the children worked together to make Christmas better for them. They helped hang up decorations, bought the boys presents, took the boys out to play, etc. The mom didn't want to accept anything at first because she didn't want to accept Christmas without her husband, but she finally realized that life goes on, especially with the two little boys.

That was interesting for me to watch.

Life keeps going on despite tragedy. That is way it works, and the way it will always work. Little boys don't have the same hook ups, same emotional baggage or the capacity to worry about the future, because all they know is that they are being taken care of, that they are loved and that everything is okay. That is God really wants all of us to be, but it is hard to do.

I don't have a lot of Christmas spirit this year. I didn't get anywhere near the decorations up as I usually do. Just don't feel so Christmasy. I am feeling sad about Christmas being over already because of the hype leading up to Christmas goes away Christman night, and it shouldn't. I wish we celebrated Christ more, I wish there were more events surrounding the celebration of Him. I know that I will read the boys the Christmas story. I tried to find videos about the real Christmas, but they don't carry those things at Meijer or Walmart. Maybe online. For those who don't know already...I told James that there is no Santa Claus. I know that will seem like a huge thing to some people and a squashing of childhood spirit, but it isn't. James is very logical and said that he understood because how could Santa Claus fit down the chimney anyway, and that he had been with me buying presents before. He's very logical. I didn't believe in Santa Claus when I was his age. My reason for doing this is to refocus our family on CHRISTmas I want my boys to understand what it is really about, and not our cultures tendency to rename it the Holidays, and the Holiday tree, and Holiday presents. It is a HOLYday, and it should be kept that way, and I have chosen to make the steps to ensure that my children understand that.

I would love to do more with other people around Christmas, but I'm not up to throwing a party. I think everyone else should and invite me :) I can't wait for baby Faith either. That will be so nice to have my niece. I hope she makes it before Christmas.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006


While I know that the feelings of loss and lonliness will keep coming up, I think they were made worse or my coping abilities were thwarted by the fact that I hadn't taken my Paxil for like a week. I couldn't find it am horrible about taking meds unless they are right in front of my face. So yesterday I searched until I found it and took it and so hopefully that will help me moderate a little bit better.

My sisters are coming home this weekend and that makes me happy. They hang out with me and they hang out with the boys. I wish they hadn't all had to leave! They are all doing well where they are, and it is probably better that I don't depend on other people anyway. This way I am forced to deal with reality. It keeps me in the realization that they all have their own lives, and it will always be that. Actually, it will get worse...well not worse, but you know what I mean. They will get very invovled in college or their jobs, and the ones that aren't married, will get married and have their own families. If they aren't local, I'll probably only end up seeing them a couple of times a year as it goes when people grow up and have their own careers and families. I wish we could all be here, but I don't think that will end up happening. I think that is one reason why I want to that I have someone to call my own that won't leave, that won't have another focus somewhere else, someone to help me in my life, with my life, and doesn't have devotion, responsibility elsewhere.

I am going to buy stuff today for the boys to make ornaments for Mickey and we will hang them on the wreath at the cemetary. I'll probably also buy some more helium so we can do balloons. That will be nice for Christmas. We'll have to make a tradition out of it. It is a way to included Mickey in Christmas with us, and I think that will help.

Last night I was really upset at the boys (yelling, short tempered) which I hate, but not taking the Paxil doesn't help. Anyway, I was mad at Micah for pulling all the books off the shelf as we were trying to get ready for bed because he was looking for a book to read. I kicked him out of the room and commenced to rant and rave and then a toy fell off the shelf behind me. James said, "I didn't do it. I don't know who did." I took a deep breath and told him maybe it was Daddy trying to get me to settle down. I don't know if I believe that or not, but it was kind of comforting.

I hate dishes and laundry. I wish I could throw away all my dishes and use paper ones. That is good for the environment huh? Sometimes I say screw the environment...I want my life to be less complicated. Cooking isn't fun for three little boys who hardly eat anything and are picky half of the time. Cooking makes more dishes and takes time to do and's not that enjoyable for me. It was better when I had Mickey to cook for, but even then he never gave me ideas and it was cooking the same old things. I liked to cook before I had children and when there was only two people to clean up after. I need to find someone that likes to do dishes :) Laundry is another non-favorite thing of mine. It would have been a lot more simple to live back in the day when they had two outfits :) I don't mind washing the laundry, it's the folding and putting it away that I don't like. I honestly would like to clean a bathroom three times a day to avoid dishes and folding laundry :) I like to have a clean house, and work constantly at that, except for the dishes and the laundry I can hide :) This really has nothing to do with grieving, except for the fact that somtimes it feels really useless because there is no one here to appreciate it or tell me I do a good job or thank me for it.

I want to take the boys and go someplace warm for a week or two this winter. It won't happen because it is expensive and I don't know anybody that has a vacant winter home in Mexico or an island somewhere. Florida isn't quite warm enough in Jan or Feb for a beach. Maybe a cruise. Something to get away. I don't know, it probably won't happen, but its fun to think about.

Well I am getting ready to take Micah into shop for his brothers. James had his turn yesterday.

Saturday, December 09, 2006


Opening it back up really hurts and I don't really want to do it. I have to reorder pictures of Mickey and Joel brought some over today that I've never seen before and it hurts to see them. I don't want to have to peel the scab off over and over again. I ordered some stuff today like an ornanment, a wall plaque, and garden stone for memorials to Mickey. That is just peeling the scab and it really isn't any fun. I would rather just stay as it was. I was doing just fine and now this is all coming back up again. I can't do anything about it, but I guess this is what happens, especially at holidays. I need help putting the photo albums together. I don't think I can sit down long enough and look at all those pictures of my life with him over and over again to put it together by myself. I miss him so much and there is nothing I can do about it. I guess I will just peel this scab and then let it bleed and let it scab back over...eventually it will heal right? But they always told us not to pick the scab because it leaves a scar...well that's too late. It was a horrible cut that will leave a humongous scar that hopefully doesn't disfigure. I just want to go back a year. I wish I had a do over button. I'd rather him hate me for telling him no to the motorcycle than to have to through this. I hate it, I hate it, I hate it. I am so tired. I don't want to be a single mom, I don't want to sit alone at night, I don't want to plan things alone.

I'm Not Ready

Sparing details, I have tried my hand at the dating world and it served the purpose of letting me know that I am not ready for that. All I wanted was to get to know other single people, and well, I am not sure how to do that, but I know it isn't as I was trying. I guess I will just let go and let God. I will hope and pray that He will help me to continue to heal and that someday He will provide someone else to love me and for me to love. In the meantime, I need to finish memorializing Mickey. I need to finish his photo album, and I need to plant the memorial garden in the Spring. I need to cry for him more, about him more and write more about my loss. I have been crying for two days. I want to put up more Christmas decorations, but I can't reach most of the stuff that he used to reach. That made me cry. I miss him and I want him here. I don't want to do any of this alone. I am more alone all the time, and it will keep getting that way because every one is going a different direction and will continue spreading out and getting busy in their own lives and I will spend a lot of nights alone here. I hate that. I would really like to have some single friends that don't have spouses or significant others to have to be devoted to. To be able to go out and hang out a couple of times a month with other people like me would be nice. However, I don't see that happening because I don't know any 20-early 30-something single people with or without children. I don't even know where to meet people or even where to go. I don't know how to do this because I never have. School...I will keep myself busy with school and take joy in my boys and my family. It will be nice when everyone is home at Christmas time. So, if anyone has anything to do, ever want someone to go to the movies with, shopping with, having a party, think of me so that I can be just Katie sometimes.