new life

3 weeks.  3 fucking weeks since he died.  I want to pinch the air and scream.  Yesterday I cried for him because he will never pick out wine for me, and talk to me about wine or beer and what he loves about the latest beer he discovered.  He would talk about a beer if he found one and tell me about it for quite a bit.  Then if he happened to talk to my brother, or father or someone that “really liked” beer, he would tell them too.  He did not drink too much of a good beer.  He honestly enjoyed the beer and he savored a beer.  sometimes he fell asleep too.  I would find the half empty beer beside him but the best part is that I or he would put it int he fridge and he would drink it the next day.  I have his beer kit downstairs, I have some of his beers he made.  I bet they will be really good soon.  I’ll enjoy them for him.  

I can’t touch the clothes still.  They are still laying at the end of my bed on the floor.  I’m just leaving them there.  

3 weeks, he was in the bed crying out with pain and he was having trouble breathing.  I thought he was being silly.  Now i know.  I know what I missed and I will never forgive myself.  

Finding a therapist seems to be a diffidult thing.  Getting everything done while in grief is also hard.  Have I gotten children insurance yet?  no.  Have I called the bank?  no.  Have I gotten trash pickup?  no.  Have I read my bible verse?  ummm no.  

what have I done?  I have done homework with 3 children  I have talked to friends on the phone.  I let my dog in and out.  I washed the dishes.  I laugh at my youngest when she dances for me.  I kiss my babes goodnight.  I lay in the bed across from Anna so she can see me there so she will fall asleep.  I listen to music that soothes my soul.  I ride in car lots because it’s not death.  

If I sleep all night it’s a celebration.  Even if it’s to 4:30 am.  that’s good stuff.  

i miss you john.

Jesus and Chickens

This is going to be my mad entry.  

So my mom in law is….. very conservative, very in love with the Lord and Jesus and also very in love with her Pekinese “prissy” and her new to her again, her… “chickens.”

While talking to me about handling grief and all of this, she talked alot to me about Jesus and the Lord.  I have to admit, i kinda doodle and stare and half listen.  Why you might ask?  Why, Ashley, you need to show respect.  Well it’s because….

Anyway she was talking about how we will need to pull together and show support for one another and we are all we have.  So I casually said because i wanted her to feel like she could help that I have to travel sometimes and maybe she could come down and stay with the children. well she said….”oh honey, I can’t, I have to stay up here and keep the chickens and the dog.  Now you can bring them up here and I can watch them up here in VA.”   WTF?

Really mom in law, your dog and chickens will rank above my 3 gorgeous children that crave family and love and even you, but you once again put yourself and whatever is important to you at that moment above family. 

I have such stories to tell about how crazy they are and what John and I went through balancing them in our lives without becoming sucked into their drama.  They used christianity to judge and manipulate and it put a sick feeling in my head for them and Christians and those that preach and then show hate.  I know that the belief is that we are all sinners and she and her husband were.  I just am once again protecting my children from her strange advice and thoughts.  How will I balance this now?  I can’t just not go to her house, my children want to see her, so I will have to take them by.  grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr  

stupid prissy.

paperwork and banks

So don’t try to deposit your dead husband’s check into your accounts because, they won’t.  It’s an issue of having a piece of paper saying you have the right to that property.  Which takes a trip to the court house.   Also don’t try to take his name off of the children’s saving’s accounts because if you don’t have another piece of paper that says you are the boss of the children’s accounts then they won’t let you….. UNLESS  you bring your children.  Now the children are all minors and so they would have to stand there and be present in order for their father’s name that is now dead to be closed and add their mom’s name.  I refused and then I cried in the bank.  I told her I had not cried until then all morning and this put me over  I was so mad.  She offered me a short term loan to cover a payment coming out on Monday but I did have the brains to write a check from our other account to deposit into this account to cover it.  Lovely.

So I got in the car, and called my boy scout attorney (friends husband).  Me to Lawyer-  “Lawyer, the bank would not let me do this or this without this big important word for document and another big important word document”.   The boy scout lawyer thought a minute and he said, “Hey, do you have another bank?”  “yes!”   Boy Scout Lawyer guided me to drive to other bank, go through drive thru and DO NOT MENTION ANYTHING ABOUT JOHN, and deposit checks.   So I did. and it worked.  Bingo! 

It was John’s last check.  It was so little.  I need to follow up on that.   What teachers make a month sucks.  

grief

This is something I have barely known.  My mother, father, brother and friends are still alive.  I’ve lost my grandmothers, and some friends in college but this is something powerful that I do not have any power over, no way to control it, it consumes me, it tortures me.

his clothes.  I bagged the clothes that did not mean anything to me.  My gosh he has a lot of kackies.  I even put in some shoes.  I lined up his favorite shoes on the shoe shelf.  I looked at the shirts he had just worn and I can’t do it.  A  huge laundry basket sits at the end of my bed on the floor overflowing with his clothes.  Clean clothes that I don’t want to fold and put up.  So I leave them.

I cleaned some of his teacher things out.  What am I going to do with all of his tacky teacher gifts.  He loved them, he kept them and displayed them with pride.

I try to clean with my mom, i just pick another project, she goes to town and organizes and I sift and piddle and stare. If I let myself feel the darkness, then  I’m a goner.

VT played last night, I watched kickoff and when Miami scored soon, I turned it off.  I woke up this morning and VT won!  I missed it.  John would have known.  He might have even woken me up to tell me.

I put Anna to bed last night and she missed Daddy, she cried and it broke my heart.  So I crawled beside her and she fussed because I squished her legs so I got in Kaegan’s bed and fell asleep while she fell asleep.  oh Anna, Daddy loved you so much.  The other two are not talking and I don’t know what to do with that.  Kaegan says Daddy in reference to something but that’s it.  She asks if i’m ok when she hears me cry.  Will does not bring it up.  He lost his best friend.   oh grief, what to do I do?

Yes, the children will fight while scattering the ashes, over who get’s to scatter next.

It was a gorgeous day in Montreat, we arrived in the mini van with minister in tow, parents, children, husbands family.  Just a crowd of 10.  A nice man met us there and he had “prepared” some areas.  I wondered what that meant but thought ok, i’ll see.  We walked up and he showed us where John’s plaque would go and we admired the beautiful area.  He then showed me where he had “raked” leaves away from the ground if we wanted to scatter on that dirt.  We walked closer to the creek and I knew that’s what we would do.  

“Where’s dad”?  

“oh he is in my pocket.”  

WAIT you say what?????  (So the children and I have easily gone into calling John’s ashes, “Dad”.)

Anyway, i’m staring at the beautiful creek, feeling all emotional and the children are like, anxious.  like…. we are on an adventure.  It’s interesting to watch children deal with grief and family and mourning and so on.  I don’t know what I expected, I think I thought they would cry all the time.  not so at all.  They just get up and go, 

So we approach the creek, questions and the dialogue goes like this, “where is dad?”  “Can I go first?” “no”, “I wanna go first”, “no i wanna go first.”  “OK, go ahead Kae”.  I open the capsule for us to see his Ashes.  I had looked a few hours before and I was floored.  I had never seen ashes.  They are kinda white/gray and it’s not just ashes.  it’s also pieces of bone and teeth.  Our minister in tow/bff was with me when I looked and he explained.  So i opened the capsule and the children looked.  i watched them.  the look of wonder.  I did not explain much, “it’s dad” is kinda how we left it.  (SEE another post I need to write about Will and his cremation research)  ALSO i am forever explaining too much and John always said, “Ashley you don’t have to tell them everything”

So Kaegan sprinkled in some into the creek, then Anna, then Will, then I did.  There were comments like, “how much more?”  and “is that it?”  (seriously?)

So we walked over to this beautiful section by the creek and walked to the end.  Just the children and I.  Kaegan knelt down and started scattering, slowly a design emerged.  Will said, “it’s a fish”.  I started crying.  of course, art with ashes and of course a fish, for dad.  wow.  our daughter spread ashes and created a fish for dad.  but while this is happening, Anna is watching….. she wants to go.  “I wanna do it, i wanna do it”.  Kaegan says,”hold on Anna”.  Will says, “Anna wait.”  As Kaegan pauses, Anna grabs the tube and she is ready to do her turn.  “NO Anna.”  the 13 year old vs.the 6 year old then get into a grab and tug fest with a tube.  I’m crying and then i’m fussing.  Then I’m laughing at how absurd this is.  Great, my children are fighting over who get’s to go next.  I just laugh and think, do you see this John?  he would laugh.  

Anna makes a heart out of the ashes.  Will says no to this scattering.  Kaegan then rakes the leaves over John’s ashes and we turn around.  The kids run ahead and I see our family crying and watching us.  ok, i think, i’m ready to go.  We walk away.