Dates Schmates

This weekend, like clockwork, I’m struggling to feel like I’m staying afloat. My emotions are all over the place & the littlest thing either makes me cry or snap or a combination of both.

Today would have been mine & Mike’s wedding anniversary. We would have been together for 20 years this year. In case you are new here, Mike is my late husband – he passed away suddenly away in 2015 when he was 33. It’s a bit of a double whammy for me. It’s also the anniversary of my daddy’s death. He died in 2004 at 44. Both my dad & my late husband were named Michael, so I call them ‘my two Mikes’. I miss them daily, but when certain dates hit – like this one – and I’m very emotional.

Today, I woke up to rain and that certainly didn’t help my mood any. I woke up and cried for a few minutes…  It was the very first thing I thought of when I opened my eyes. Stupid brain – why couldn’t it flood my brain with funny things instead? Like a good Carol Burnett routine or something like that ? I didn’t want to just lay in bed and cry so I decided that I was going to get up, get dressed, & put on some makeup. Make myself feel good, you know? That should help! Then, maybe get out of the house for a bit.

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It wasn’t 5 minutes after I’d put my makeup on that something small made the tears come again, and the next thing I know – I can’t make the tears stop. My eye makeup was running down my chin at this moment, and there was no fixing it. I felt like I was done with the day and it was only 8am. I took off my makeup, put my pajamas back on, and crawled back in the bed. I slept on and off until about 10:30am (which is not like me, I’m usually up before the sun comes up). I wanted to start the day over. I needed to start the day over. Neither my late husband nor my late father would want me to spend my day like this.

So, I got up and took a long, hot shower. I used up every single bit of hot water that my water heater would give me. While I was in there, I doused myself in lavender essential oil. Literally – doused. Lavender is supposed to help stress & lighten your mood, right? Then I got out of the shower and proceeded to bathe myself in Aveda’s stress relief lotion…. So, I basically smelled like an incense store at this point but whatever. Next, a facial. I grabbed my favorite sheet mask and a cup of coffee. I slathered some leave in conditioner on my hair & slipped on my most comfy slippers. A mini spa treatment at home, if you will.

I needed some calm. And that honestly helped so much. I can’t tell you how much better I felt afterwards. It’s important to practice some self love when we are having hard days. So important.

It’s now a bit after noon and I feel way better than I did this morning. So much better, in fact, that I might try that whole ‘getting out of the house’ thing again.

Someone said to me last year on this day – ‘dates schmates – it’s just a number on a calendar. Get over it’. I must say, that was super helpful. I mean, it just made me feel oodles better. Oodles.

I’ve thought of that comment many times today, and I think it’s crap. I want you all to know that it’s crap.

Loss is hard. Whether it be your husband, wife, parent, child, grandparent, friend, etc – loss is hard. The hardest thing you will ever have to face in life. When anniversaries and birthdays and such hit, those are hard. Don’t let anyone tell you any differently.

I halfway didn’t write this because I don’t want anyone to think that I’m doing it for attention or sympathy or any thing of that nature. That’s sometime a fine line to walk between trying to give support to others & feeling like I’m cry babying about missing my husband.

I’m writing this because I know that I’m not the only one who is dealing with loss. I share with you my story and struggles in the hopes that I can help someone else. Many of you have reached out to me with your own similar stories and I want you to know that you are not alone. I want you to know that it’s ok to be sad when those dates hit – no matter how long it has been. I want you to know there is no right or wrong way to handle your grief journey. I want you to know there is no time limit. I want you to know that I understand how lonely it can feel when you’ve lost someone special. I want you to know that I understand when you break down.

I also want you to know that I believe in you. I believe that you will pick yourself back up after you’ve fallen. I believe that you are strong. I believe that you are capable. I want you to know that life is beautiful. I want you to know that there will be bad days, but there will be so many more good days.

I want you to know that while sometimes the waves of grief are huge and will swallow you whole – that there are so many more times where the waters are calm and peaceful. Storms will come and go and they will stir up those huge waves, but the storm will pass and the waters will be calm again.

It might be stormy now, but it can’t rain forever.

I’m going to get through today. And I know you can too. If we believe that tomorrow will be better, we can bear whatever today throws at us.