Wednesday, July 21, 2010

getting mad at the dead

So, I've been getting mad at Brian the last couple days. I freely admit this because I realize it is normal and doesn't make me an evil person with terrible thoughts. It doesn't discount the relationship I had with Brian and it doesn't show him disrespect.

I received news recently that a lady I know through friends, who has this really cool business (that's her family in the pic) recently moved to Singapore. While back in the states this summer with her family, Joe, her husband who works for Cat, tragically, suddenly and unexpectedly died in the presence of some of his family while preparing to run a 5K in Florida. Very young, late 30s, healthy man. Heart attack. All their belongings are in Singapore. They have no home and no car in the states. They have 4 children ages 5 to  9. Their families are all from Ohio. They have lived in Peoria for years prior to moving to Singapore.

And I could SOOO totally relate, but then not at all. I had time to prepare for Brian's death. He was sick and it was coming and we were warned about it. She had no warning. I can relate to all your belongings being in another country and having no home and no car. We were living in Canada when Brian went in for surgery, yet came out never performing many of the basic functions of life normally again. All our belongings were in another country. Brian never returned. I can relate to having no home and no car and relying completely on those around you just to help you do basic life duties, but not to the degree that she is experiencing this right now. Not even a fraction.

So my first reaction is immediate empathy for this woman and her kids and what I know they are about to endure. And all the life-changing huge decisions that will need to be made and some of them quickly. And all the uncertainty when just trying to hard to hold it together for the sake of the kids. And just trying to determine where home is on top of it all. And my experiences in all these events are a fraction of what she is about to endure. But, I can relate and I want to just hold her hand and help her, but it isn't for me to do.

My second reaction was anger at Joe. Yes, you read that correctly. I was mad because how dare he die like that when they had a plan. They have a good life and a plan for their future. Now what?

And then I got mad at Brian for the same reasons. We had a plan. We were very financially responsible and had a plan for college and retirement and had mutually agreed-upon goals and lifestyles. We HAD A PLAN! And after living for the past year like nothing has really happened except handling grief and making room in my heart for a potential new relationship and clearing up the emotional air, things are starting to change. I am going to work part time this fall. I am going to have to re-prioritize my gym and work out time and life in general. Grant and Gavin are playing separate fall sports and will require oodles of running here and there. This was not part of the plan. Angie staying home was the plan. A mom and a dad to split the parenting was part of the plan. It makes me kinda mad. How dare Brian die in the middle of the plan?!

And the garage is a mess. I got mad at Brian the other day because I don't want to deal with the garage mess. I don't want to deal with the expired fertilizers and 15 bottles of nearly empty oil and bug killers, etc. That was never my job. I don't want the garage to be added to my already too big pile of crap to do. I DON'T WANT IT! Yes, I realize I sound like a 2 year old. I'm okay with that. I don't want to remember when the stupid van needs an oil change. I don't want to HAVE to mow the lawn because no one else is here to do it especially when I am packing and preparing for a 5 day trip, yet knowing it needs to be done before we leave for that 5-day trip. Life wasn't designed for one person to handle everything. This wasn't the plan. And for some reason the last few days, probably accentuated by the recent news of the family above, I have been getting resentful of my situation and mentally throwing a temper tantrum instead of just handling it like I began doing even before Brian died. I'm mad.

I guess grief still comes up and haunts you at unexpected times even when you seem to be doing really well. I should know that.

So today, I went to the cemetery for a spell. I threw my mental and emotional temper tantrum and told Brian and the air and the ground that I was mad. I cried and talked out loud a bit saying, "This isn't the life I signed up for. This wasn't part of the plan!" Then, I wiped my face and drove home.

Later, I'll mow the lawn.

Because, in the end, this is my life. I have to live it.



  1. Oh, Angie--you explain it all so well. I hope you can connect with this woman because although your situations are not exactly the same you are one of the few people that can begin to understand what she is going through.

  2. Oh, honey, I'm not a widow - but I get that "Hey, this wasn't the plan!" feeling. Throw in a little of "I don't even deserve this!" and I'm right there with you.

  3. I have tempter tantrums sometimes but I feel like a heel because my reasons pale in comparison to your reason.
    Praying for guidance and strength for you. I think you're doing a great job.

  4. I don't mean to make light of what you're feeling, but I gotta say...

    Dude, you don't need a husband. You need a wife.

    You know I've got your back!

  5. I think it's completely OK for you to stomp your feet & flail about & cry now & then. It makes perfect sense to me!

    Love ya honey! Wish I lived there so I could give you a hug. Sounds like you need one today.

  6. It's a sad story of yours..I'm sorry to hear about your loss..I know it wasn't that easy. But you need to move on and accept that for the future. I hope to hug you. Just let your tears out, it somehow makes you feel better. Take care.

  7. I remember the first time after my husband's death when I realized that he wouldn't be able to dance with our daughter at her wedding. Now that was anger. I cannot speak for all widows, but I believe that most of us go through a period when we cannnot believe that our husband's left us with all our work and their's too.
    Hang in there. You have the Lord to lift you up and you have family and friends to hug you when you are hurting. Later the anger will turn into a hurt and it won't feel as bad. You will always have the feelings but time will make it easier to live with. After thirty years I still tear up when I think of Tom and all he missed.

    Karen W. in S.W. Ohio

  8. Feelings don't have to be logical. They aren't facts, they are feelings. And yet they are very real. Loss is loss, loss is change, and both are usually harder than not.

    I'm so glad of the chance to catch up with you here. I'm grateful for your writing, and blessed as your reader.

  9. Teri (Laurentius) MooneyJuly 22, 2010

    You will always have your "little grief moments" even when you remarry and share life again with someone else. I still have those moments once in a great while and it is "ok". Love ya! {{Hugs}}

  10. Hi Angie,

    I just found your blog thanks to the blogher network and just wanted to say hello. Looking through your blog list made me think that we have a few things in common. One thing I can tell you for sure, tantrums help. Especially because at the end of the day you will mow the lawn and deal with the garage because there isn't anyone else to do it. Thankfully there are widowed people all over the web, cheering you on. You go girl.


  11. I also found your blog through BlogHer... Unfortunately, I can relate. One of the reasons I moved across the country after my husband died was because I couldn't mow our 3 acre lawn, plow the snow from our 200 ft driveway, deal with the bottles after bottles of various different types of oils, pesticides, pool chemicals (and the pool that we just put in after I got done telling him that I would agree to getting it only if HE would assume the responsibility of taking care of it). I'm mad at him for a lot- including leaving me and our kids, and putting them in the position to have to grow up without their dad, and me without my husband. The nerve!!!! Though, I know he didn't have a choice. Hugs for you.

  12. There are many times in this life when we want to stomp and scream and yell "I don't want to play this game any more."

    You are absolutely normal, going through normal emotions is a part of healing. I am so impressed with your ability to have your tantrum and then pick yourself up and get right back into the business of carrying on.

    One suggestion: If there are people around you who offer help--accept it. Tell them you need help cleaning up the garage. Make it a neighborhood project, or a family project, a Church project, etc., so you don't have to make all the decisions. Make a party of it and afterward have something good (and EASY) to eat. Never turn down help, you'll have a turn in the future to give it, but right now you need to receive it.

    Kudos to you for how you are handling your life with a changed plan, going forward with much faith.


  13. Honestly, if this makes you feel ANY better at all... I can tell you this... I think we ALL look around at some point and say "I didn't sign up for this"... maybe not for the exact same reasons, but yes... that feeling.

    I haven't checked in with you for a while, I'm sorry the bf didn't work out, but sounds like you've been very smart about it. And, you look terrific, whatever you're doing, keep doing it.

    Keep forging ahead, you'll get to a good place.