A community of peers created by the Soaring Spirits Loss Foundation
Well, today was a day I'd been dreading for awhile. Taxes. Amanda was the organized one in this relationship. She was the secretary/file management/bill payer/clerical/personal information specialist (gossip) of this outfit. My duties were mainly custodial. However, as I'm sure most of you are already aware, with her death there was a lot more to consider this time than there was last year. Rolled over retirements, making sure I had both of our information, her and Samuels medical expenses. All in all it went ok. No negative surprises. Just a big empty feeling that today was yet another important thing I would have to do alone. Without her. She'd been getting our tax stuff together since 2008, so I havent had to worry about the particulars in 5 years. The same lady has been doing our taxes for the last 3 years. Last year we were 2 weeks away from Samuels birth. 2 years ago we had just gotten out of the hospital because Amanda had a misscarraige at 12 weeks.
So, even getting our taxes done has an emotional resonance.
So far we've had her birthday, which was hard.
Thanksgiving, which was really hard but not as bad as I thought.
Christmas. Christmas was awful. I just felt rotten in the pit of my stomach and cried so much at Christmas. I'm tearing up now as I type this. But it was Samuels first Christmas so I had to press on for him.
New years was just lonely.
And then there was Valentines day. HA! Valentines day is not just Valentines day for us. Our first Date was Feb. 16, Samuels birthday is Feb. 13. Plus he was very sick (contagious sick) so i had to call off his party. So valentines day this year was a 3 headed monster of pain and dissapointment. Not as painful as Christmas for some reason but very close.
And this doenst include the happiness/pain/guilt feelings everytime Samuel does something for the first time. First word, first step, etc.
Maybe I shouldn't sit here and rate the pain but it's the truth. Some days just hurt worse than others. Some days just have more of an emotional impact than others. And we did so much together it seems there is another anniversary of something everytime I turn around.
It's been 6 months now. Another half a year to get through of firsts without her. Still have Easter, mothers day, 4th of July and our wedding anniversary.
What about you guys? What was the hardest "first without" that you had? And how did you deal with it?
kimkirt - the boys' events are some of the hardest for me too - 16 mo out, they still look into the bleachers, audience and for a second, I can tell when they remember Dave's not there. About breaks my heart each time.
Kim, I don't think I could have said it any more eloquently than you did . . . firsts stink! My husband died December 31, 2010. In the first 6 months, it was Valentine's Day, our 30th wedding anniversary, his birthday, my birthday (which was also mother's day) and then father's day (our kids' first without him). Yuck!
But, the best words of wisdom I have gotten from anybody through this whole process has been from a 75-year old woman who was widowed for the 2nd time. She told our group that, depending how you handle the first year, the second may not be much better. I did NOT want to hear that, but I actually did thank her after the meeting, because I needed to hear that. It gave me the incentive to dive into the grief work and face all those firsts head-on, rather than just getting through them. I made sure I had a plan for handling the days that I knew were going to be difficult. We were in a bad car accident a few years ago and I broke my sternum. The last thing I wanted to do during the 2 years it took to heal from that was to get a mammogram. But on his birthday last year, I finally got one. I had promised him the year before (while he was sick with cancer) that I would get one, but it just never fit in with his treatment schedule. I felt like I honored him by taking care of myself that day and by living up to a promise I had made to him.
All of those first are tough, but I've now gotten through them. And, I really think that because I dived into the grief work so fiercely, I feel like I'm in a good place this second year. I still miss him terribly and I don't think that will change any time soon, but I'm okay. I had a friend tell me recently that he can see a big change in me in the last 6 months. I told him that I feel like I've turned the corner in my grief and that the worst of it is over. I survived a year of watching him fade away and I survived another year without him. I feel like I can handle anything!
I was totally taken off guard by how emotional I would feel after getting our taxes done this year. It was normally something where I was relieved after the appointment was completed. Not this year. I had them done on a Friday and had a really tough weekend following that.
Sometimes it seems like the hardest days come without warning. I am typically able to make it thru the actual events/holidays, but then have a huge melt down the day after.
I was working on my Taxes tonight and was doing just fine until i got to the medical bills. With every bill i picked up it would remind me where in KC's treatment we were and then i would picture how sick he looked at that time. Finally I had to put it down and walk away. I hope tomorrow I do better with a clear head.
As for the hardest first it was my husbands Birthday. It was just 3 weeks after he passed and in his family we have 3 of his sisters birthdays on the same date. We had to celebrate for them, we can't just take away their birthday because we lost him. That I think will make it hard every year....
Hi Larry...my husband died on August 12, 2011 and our 30 year anniversary was in October. For me that was the hardest....that's what I thought....then Thanksgiving....then Christmas....New Years and so on. Every first is so difficult. It's been 9 months now and I can't wait for the first to be over. What helps me most is my boys and their families have been right by my side. I am so blessed to have such a close and loving family:))) ((Hugs))
I lost my husband last august, the day our baby turned 10 months old. so there have been a lot of firsts here. our daughter's birthday was just two months after he died then three days after that would have been our third anniversary. i was still in shock at the time. but i made it a good day. i went out to the mountains and spread some of his ashes. thanksgiving was not too too awful. then his birthday was dec 21st. i don't feel like i did what i needed to do that day. i was in the middle of a road trip from md to fl with my one year old. i was tired and didn't do anything special to celebrate it. then christmas. the worst day of them all. it was so very bad for me. my parents had a lot of my family over and not one said anything about my husband. it was awful. then new years. i really made an effort to work through the grief and not be alone. valentines day didn't bother me a bit. we never did anything for it anyway. my birthday was last month and that was pretty hard. last weekend i hosted a trash clean up at a place we used to spend a lot of time. a few of my friends came and we put a piece of granite with his initials in it in the concrete there. it tore me up. of course every first my daughter has tears me up too. i just hate that she is missing out. i'm not looking forward to mother's day and i'm not sure what i'm going to do for it. or father's day. this sucks.
Yeah, it really sucks. I had not even considered what fathers and mothers day will be like. Saturday is my birthday (the first without her in 5 years) and I'm dreading it. Yesterday marked the point where Samuel has had more time without his mom than he had with her. That really hurts.
LarryT - I'm only 16 mo out, not sure I'm much help. All the holidays and special dates - anniversaries, birthdays - they were hard - last August would have been our 16th anniversary - the year before we went on our "honeymoon" to Vegas for our 15 year anniversary - we never took a honeymoon - instead we bought a washer/dryer and refrigerator. Dave died Xmas eve 2010, so, xmas eve/xmas are just hard period
The hardest besides that anniversary are all my kids' firsts w/out their dad. Dane's(15) first time taking a girl to a formal dance, the first time taking him driving, looking at cars. Derek's (12) first band concert. Going to all Derek's traveling bball tournaments - when he'd look into the bleachers looking for us and seeing his face as it registers - each time - that Dave isn't there. Dave's buddies have really helped out and stepped up, but it's not the same.
Listening to our friends continuing w/ plans we'd all made (we hatched this crazy plan that when we retired, we'd build this huge house w/ 6 wings - one for each set of us couples - hire our own cook and bartender and nurse- to take care of us the way we want to w/out any nursing home, etc) - I know I'm still part of it, but it's different now.
Walking into places/events alone
Taking the boys on the vacation we'd planned, but never got to take - that was so, incredibly hard, knowing Dave would have loved every minute of it. It was SO quiet - not w/ the boys, but Dave & I always rehashed the day, events, etc., I didn't have that. You know how it is -yes you talk w/your kids - but how you talk and share w/ your partner is different.
We don't sit at the table anymore - we still eat in the kitchen, but supper together was always a big deal - it's just much more difficult now.
I know I need to step up. I wonder every day, am I doing and giving the boys what they need?
I hated doing taxes last year. Kept putting it off. The pitiful look of my cpa, she kept saying, "Are you okay?" Having to get mileage info from his company ( who I may add none of them have checked on anyone in his family since his memorial service last year), reciepts etc and I STILL had to pay taxes!!!
This year was better although she did remind me to keep all my receipts as this year it is just one exemption. It was sad that at the top of the taxes this year it said, Stanley deceased Sandra filling as surviving spouse. I could have lived a long time without seeing that!!
All the firsts... he died 3/17/11 - since everyone is irish and partying that day, it is a little hard for my family. Last year when he died, my kids were in savannah ga at their aunt & uncles house celebrating the day. This year my daughters friends brought over a perfect irish meal and fed us and then we all had a little irish liquor! Then my best friend ( her hubby died in 1/11) and my sister went back to my house and watched a crazy lifetime movie- ugh, more crying...lol
One wonderful, hard first coming up is our first grandchild. I get to be a grandma! You know the crazy florida grandma! My oldest daughter is due october 27th... I cannot wait to love and hold this child!
The consensus is firsts stink and I couldn't agree more, but if you prepare for them- they aren't so bad. We are here for ya!!
I too, am still going through the year of firsts. At 9 mos. out (tomorrow), the very first one I had to deal with was what would have been our 33rd anniversary, which came a month after he died. That sucked. 2 mos. later it was what would have been his 57th bd. That sucked too. A few weeks later, my birthday, which is a week before Christmas. My kids and I totally bailed on Christmas and all that. No one could deal with it, so we ran away for the holidays and pretty much ignored them. Since the new year, 2 of my 3 young adult kids have had birthdays and Valentine's Day was...well, I think I ignored that too. Now as spring settles in, I am reminded of the passing of time -for some reason the change of seasons has been as hard to adjust to as anything else. I do not look forward to the one-year mark, on August 5. But ready or not, it will come anyway. I should probably do some kind of planning. l wonder where I can run away to for this one?