How Are You Doing?

People ask me how I am doing.

I understand the concern, but I don’t know how to answer the question.

It has been 33 days since the accident. On April 20, 2011, my entire world fell apart. I still cannot think back to that day. I don’t mean that I find it hard to discuss; I find it all but impossible to even think about.

So instead, I just try to take one day at a time. A good day is one where I get out of bed, shower, put on pants, go to work, eat enough to get by, and take care of garbage, laundry, etc. That takes a monumental effort. Honestly, I think the only reason I don’t just stay in bed all day is that I can’t even get eight hours of sleep, and so I may as well get up and do something. Staying in bed would be worse. I cry every day. I try to focus on work, but I’m a long way from contributing 100%. I try to do paperwork, I try to write articles on this blog, I try to respond to email, but most of the time, it is just too hard.

And I have bad days. It’s always the surprising reminders of Ailish. I watched The Office on Friday, and James Spader guest starred (and did so excellently). He played Alan Shore in one of Ailish and my favourite t.v. series, Boston Legal. I immediately recognised him, paused the show, and turned to Ailish to express my delight. And of course, Ailish wasn’t there.

I don’t even really understand what it means to say that Ailish is dead.

May 23rd, 2011 11:44 PM

Yep, that’s what overwhelming grief looks like. It sucks, big time. Still, you’re doing awesome if you are getting out of bed, going to work, eating (mostly) and sleeping (some).

And I think it’s safe to say that the public in general is grateful for the putting on pants thing. ;)

One day at a time is how you get through. Eventually, you will realize that a day went by and you didn’t have to cry .. then it’s a few days … then it’s a few weeks … The pain slowly leaches out of the memories and you can remember without being struck by the heartache. I don’t even know how it really happens, only that it does, and that you have to just stagger through the days of sorrow and anger and tears and frustration until it’s all run it’s course.

I promise. I’m at the other end of this long, long road, I promise it doesn’t last forever.

Unfortunately, it tends to feel like it will when you are at the beginning of the road. Or the middle.

Hang in there, call for help if you need it (my mom filled my deep freeze with easy to reheat meals, which helped me a lot), do only as much as you can without overextending. Let the sorrow be what it has to be, and hold on.

May 26th, 2011 3:10 PM

I remember when my Dad died how I kept forgetting it actually happened and thinking he was still alive and then walking down the street and freezing because I kept seeing people that I really thought were him from behind…it eventually stopped and sometimes I actually missed thinking I saw him because it was nice to think he was still here. I remember heading back to Australia after a few weeks after the funeral and going on the Overland Trek through Tasmania and it a few hours into the hike that it really hit me and I just felt like the mountains were suffocating me and I couldn’t breath, it was probably after that where I truly started to mourn his passing. Slowly life starts going on again. I do remember after the hike, getting back to Sydney and going to a pub with friends and this big American guy from New Orleans started to sing, Amazing Grace and I just started to cry because it was played at his funeral and i knew he would have absolutely loved this guy’s voice (as well as his brightly coloured suspenders!) and then without any words the friends I was with all joined hands together and started singing it and it was one of the most beautiful moments of my life. My Dad couldn’t have been more there then and I couldn’t have felt more love. Probably the first time I actually felt happy again and felt that strength inside. It must be so much harder with a spouse though because that is the person you have spent your days with and no one can replace that comfortable feeling of just knowing and loving each other. Just keep letting yourself feel and give yourself time, that’s all you can do. …and of course eat…and if you want and Teake is away like he is right now…you can feel free to fill in as my labour partner:) I am sure me screaming and snorting obsenties through my nose and trying to convince you to go and buy me a bottle of vodka will temporarily get your mind off everything;) Love you:)

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