Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Grief Resurfacing

I have been slacking on blogging. Probably because most nights I work until about midnight and don't even have time to journal.... But today I feel the need to write.

The last couple months have been interesting to say the least.

If you read my last post, you remember that I had just started seeing a personal trainer. To say the least, I was not her biggest fan. I am finished training with her and despite her trying really hard, I am "on my own". I still really struggle with getting to the gym though. I really need to work on that. However I did lose a pound in the last week so that's progress....

Back in September, Dan and I met up in Las Vegas (NO WE DID NOT GET MARRIED) to go to a wedding of a friend of mine. We had a wonderful time there and it was great to have some time for just the two of us.


I had been on a GREAT streak of my fitness... I'd worked out 6 days in a row (which hasn't happened in over a year).... And then I came down with the stomach flu.... I lost 3 pounds in a day (hooray?) but have since gained it back. So I had to take a break from working out.... I got better.... and then had a cold.... And it's been hard to get back into ever since.

I have a dear friend named Sunshine who I have known since 1st grade. We went through all our schooling together (except college). Her husband Matt has been battling Melanoma for years. He was battling with it when my dad was going through the worst of his Leukemia and I would get messages from Sunshine telling me that she and Matt had been praying for my dad and worried about him. And it just floored me that someone going through something so terrible could be concerned about someone else. But that's just who they were. Very caring people.

Matt's health had really taken a turn for the worse and our last night in Vegas, Sunshine posted an update on Facebook that "this was it". Matt only had a few hours left. We were at a casino and it just really threw me. It made me think about losing Dan and what Sunshine must be going through and I could feel the tears welling up in my eyes. I was able to keep myself from crying as I did not want to ruin our last night together. I woke up the next morning to find out that Matt had passed away.

I was able to go to the funeral which was good. I saw a couple old friends and was able to hug Sunshine and give her my condolences. And after that, I really thought life might get back to normal.

A couple weeks ago, I noticed that I was super emotional. Crying ALL the time... Exhausted all the time. At first I chalked it up to the usual girl stuff mixed with the fact that I was working a 65 hour week... But after those it continued on.

In the middle of my 65 hour work week, I spent the night at my parents since I had to work at the church all weekend. Saturday morning I got up (exhausted), had a little chat with my mom about things that had been going on at work, and then got in the car to go to church for a rehearsal. And the second I got in the car... I just started crying. Not sure why... but I just cried and cried.

The weekend after that I went to the wedding of my brother's childhood best friend, Jeffrey. Our families haven't seen each other in 20 years. So my social anxiety was a little high prior to the wedding but it was really good to see everyone (though I didn't recognize him or his brother because... well 20 years). When we got back home, I pulled out the old photo album and found a picture of the 3 of us.
Jeffrey, Me, David. Man we were cute.
I took one look at this picture and burst into tears. Again, not entirely sure why.

A few days after that... I had a couple of really vivid dreams. I was driving, and I looked up and had like a computer screen and in a Skype-like fashion I saw my Grandpa. And I wasn't just a picture... Like he was alive and I screamed "GRANDPA!!!" and threw my arms around him. (It was a dream, clearly I don't hug computer screens in the real world). In the same night, I had a dream that I was somewhere (not sure where) with Sunshine and she got up and started talking about Matt and what she was going through.

I woke up puzzled about what it might mean. And then when I was at work I suddenly had a flashback to a phrase Cassandra used to say daily. It's something I haven't thought of in a long time and it just kind of popped in my mind. So that made me wonder more... Why was this happening??? What did it mean?

Well the next night, I had ANOTHER dream about seeing my grandpa. Except this time, it was the frail grandpa that I saw at the end of his life. And it wasn't until THIS dream that I realized he was "healthy grandpa" in the previous dream. Still puzzled by it all... it was something I brought up when I went to counseling the next week.

So we talked about my dreams and flashbacks, the excessive crying and fatigue.... And she said that it all started around the time Matt passed away... which I hadn't even thought of. So it seems that his death is bringing up some residual grief that I haven't dealt with concerning Grandpa and Cassandra. My body is trying to process everything still and while it sucks, I am just going to have to go through it all. Honor the tiredness and the emotions. Talk it out when they come up. Journal.

On top of all that and being overwhelmed with work/life, I have really been struggling with this whole long distance relationship thing. From the very beginning I have said that we are really good at it. And I still believe that. But after spending 7 weeks together and knowing what that is like, being apart is REALLY HARD.

Not to mention, we are currently in the LONGEST stretch of time we have spent apart in the 8 1/2 months we have been together. The longest time apart prior to this is 46 days. How long is this stretch??? 92 DAYS. UGH. We have made it 32 days and still have 60 to go.....

And I am struggling big time. I've seen all sorts of cute countdowns on Pinterest like having 2 jars filled with marbles (corresponding to the jar). One that says "Days Down" and one that says "Days to Go"... The other night when I was having a rough time, I started looking up things to do... and while I found a ton... None of them seemed good enough.

He and I had a long talk about it the other night (because he is struggling too). I think another part of it is that my roommate moved out here from California to be close to his girlfriend who lives here. And when he moved in I thought it would be a great situation... Until she is always over here (which is fine... it's his place as much as it is mine) but I guess it just makes me miss Dan more, seeing them together and hearing them laugh. So I decided that I need to find something to do to distract me and keep me busy for the next 60 days. I am not sure what yet... I may increase my workouts... Or actually clean my room! So if you have any suggestions, feel free to leave those in the comments!

Today.....

Today is Cassandra's birthday. And I knew it was coming up and I knew it would likely be hard. So many things have changed since she passed away and so many things I wish I could tell her and talk to her about. Today a few different memories popped up in my mind. And as I sit here and write this I can recall the very last conversation we ever had....

We were passing in the hallway at work. She wasn't working full time anymore because she had just had Harper. I stopped her in the hall and said "I really miss working with you." We talked about it for a little bit and went on our merry way. I'm not sure what had prompted me to say that, but I am so thankful we had that moment.

I think about her every day and miss her.

It's true.... I guess I keep thinking that after a year of firsts, things will get easier. But I still miss her. Some days I still can't believe the reality of it. I guess I just need to be thankful for the time we did get to spend together, remember the good times, and look forward to the times to come when we are reunited.

Hug your loved ones. Make sure they know you love them. You never know when it could be too late.