Wednesday, July 27, 2016

A year ago this week, Harv, Anthony, the girls, and I went to Kalaoch, WA on the  Olympic peninsula for our summer vacation. It's a spot that we have loved for many years. It's a wide-open beach, very few people... just big ocean and big beach. It's refreshing and lovely... All we do when we go there is hang out in the cabin and walk on the beach, take naps, build a fire in the fireplace, play some board games and eat... And then we repeat the next day.

We went to Kalaloch last summer after a series of doctor's appointments that seemed less and less hopeful and after learning about possible treatments that would be harder and harder for Harv to handle.

When we came back from Kalaloch, I told Harv that he didn't have to do any more treatments if he didn't want to. He said he didn't think he could.  And, we knew (and we didn't know) what that meant. 

Thus began the journey to our good-byes.

Every day since I lost Harv, I keep learning new things about why I miss him. You've read some of them before. You most likely knew him well enough to know some of those things for yourself. 

There aren't many men who are as kind and patient and generous as he was. I waited many, many years to meet that man...and he was worth the wait. He made me feel loved and appreciated and valued. He was my best friend.

It occurred to me recently that one of the things I've been missing is having him here to talk to. I could talk to Harv about anything. ANYTHING. And, he never stopped loving me. 

I have great friends. I have friends who I talk with about many things. I have wonderful children with whom I talk about many things. I have family with whom I talk about a wide range of topics. 

But Harv. With Harv, I could talk about EVERYTHING. I didn't have to filter things. I didn't have to worry about how I'd come across. I didn't have to worry about offending him with my opinions. I didn't have to tailor my discussions for his maturity level.  I didn't have to be careful with him because I knew he could handle whatever we talked about and I knew he loved me regardless.

That's what I'm missing these days. 

My soul mate. 

My confidant. 

My best friend. 

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

I miss Laura, too.
Way more than you would know.
Definite hole.
She should be here.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

I don't know if guilt is a part of grief or not, but I feel some. And, I don't know if my feelings of guilt are justified or not, but I still feel 'em.

I know that I wouldn't have been able to change the outcome of the lives of the people I miss, but now -- when I can't even change anything at all -- I want to go back and get a tippy-end-of-life do-over.

During the time of Harvey's illness, I chose, specifically, not to change the way I acted as his wife and as the family coordinator and planner and mother. People always say "Treasure these moments" because they go so fast. I KNOW they go fast, but I specifically chose not to act all lovey-dovey when I wasn't feelin' it 'cause that just wasn't natural.

Truth be told, there were quite a few times during the stress of Harvey's illness that I did not feel lovey-dovey. I tried. (My family members may not have been aware, but I DID try to be sweet.) But I'm just not really good at faking whatever emotions I feel. I might hold them in, but eventually those feelings -- good or bad -- come out... pretty much just like I feel 'em. 

There were many times when I just really didn't have time to "appreciate" what was around me...'cause there were appointments to get to, school events to attend, dinners to make, dog to walk, household to run. 

So even while Harvey lay in the bed at hospice house, I feel like I let some moments slip. I didn't want to...but I think I was so busy taking care of the business of his illness for so long that all I really knew how to do at that point was wait.

Thank goodness I paid attention right before (and I mean RIGHT before) he breathed his last breath.

But what I WISH had happened... what I would like to do over... is to have had even ten minutes of just me and Harv time... Ten minutes where I could say all the things that were/are in my heart. And, in a miraculous world, I would have loved to have had ten minutes where he talked back.

Harv and I were pretty good about communication throughout our relationship. We didn't hold back. And, I know that I know that I know that we both knew how much we loved each other... And, I still want a do-over.

I don't know how a person balances being real and authentic with fully appreciating every blankety-blank moment in a less-than perfect situation. But can somebody make sure he knows that he knows that he knows that he knows that I really, really, really love him? And that I'm sorry I was grumpy sometimes and inattentive sometimes and selfish and impatient? And, can you ask him to just very clearly send me a message to let me know he knows?