Feb 6th was just unreal.
How can this be real?
My Grandfather was a pastor, so I have been around my fair share of sick and dying people. My Grandma was my babysitter, so that meant when they did their weekly hospital visits to pray with the sick, I went too.
I remember when my Dad’s friend “Uncle Carl” died and my Daddy took it so hard. I was in high school. I had never seen my Daddy cry like that. It felt like everything in the world was wrong.
I lost one of my best friend’s to suicide the year we graduated. That NEVER felt real.
I was there in the next room when my Aunt Ruby in Arkansas took her last breath. The family had been sitting around the house waiting for what seemed like days. I will never get the sound out of my head of her taking her last breath. I was a freshman in college.
My Grandpa had a heart attack and died just 2 hours after I had left their house. When my mom told me, I reacted horrible.
I screamed at her.
I accused her of lying.
I WAS JUST THERE! WHY WOULD YOU LIE?
We knew he had a bad heart. I was in sixth grade that Sunday Morning during church when an older lady in the church came running down the stairs to get me and shield me from seeing them carrying my Grandpa out on a stretcher. Only she misjudged where she took me to wait, and I saw him.
I saw his grey face.
I saw people crying and praying.
I saw him leave and I didn’t think he was coming back.
It was several more years before we said goodbye. Good years. He walked everyday. It never slowed him down. But when he died so unexpectedly I still had something to link it to. To Blame it on.
I lost my Grandma the same day my Uncle was diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer. He came home with my Mom and Dad. We lost him 5 months later.
I was very close to both of them My Gram was my first Best Friend and my biggest fan. I lost a little part of my heart that day. But when it’s a Grandparent or a loved one with cancer my brain has a way of dealing with it. Grandma was in her 80s. Uncle Larry had the odds against him. I still cried. I went through the grieving process.
Josh and I were holding our beloved fur babies when they had to be put to sleep.
My heart broke and then it would break again everytime Josh would break down. BUT, they lived long happy lives. A big dog who lives 13 years with no health problems, a soft place to lay his head, a full belly and all the treats he / she wants had a good life. We knew they wouldn’t be around forever.
All of that DID NOT PREPARE me to lose David.
The day Kim called me and said Daivd hadn’t been in and no one had heard from him I went into survivor mode.
Josh had JUST left the house. I called him and told him to get back home, we had to go to David’s. Something was terribly wrong.
Please forgive me for this, but I am so glad I had to wait that 10 minutes for Josh to get back, because that meant that John and Anthony got to his house first. I either called John or he called me, I can’t remember and he said Angel, just meet us at the hospital. I knew it was bad. I tried not to cry too hard, I didn’t want my face all swollen and blotchy when he saw me.
The rest of that day is just a blur. We went into some sort of robot mode. John, Craig and I calling his clients to let them know he wouldn’t be doing their hair and to tell them about the Celebration of Life. My heart broke for John.
Craig and I were in charge of deciphering his schedule book and trying to find phone numbers that matched up in his phones. If you knew my cousin at all, you know this was not an easy task. As we pieced it together, John would make the calls. He took on their grief everytime someone else would break down. And the little old ladies that would ask: “Who’s going to do my hair on Wednesdays now?”
We did this for three days.
It was draining and exhausting. His Celebration of Life was Perfect Anthony said it best “THIS is the party that David always wanted.” People from EVERY part of David’s life were there. We knew he was happy.
In the days and weeks to follow I became extremely tired. I would wake up in the morning after 8 hours of sleep and I was exhausted. It hurt to get out of bed. During the day thinking was hard. I forgot things. I would come home and I couldn’t do anything. I cried a lot. I drank way too much.
He wasn’t supposed to die. THIS WAS NOT THE PLAN. WE HAD PLANS.
Then our precious Great Dane, Betty, became sick. Her last few weeks she required around the clock care. I somehow found the way to do what she needed. She never got better. We had to, once again, make that awful decision. That was two months ago and I still walk in the door expecting to have that big wet nose and tongue kiss me on the cheek.
I still cry a lot. I miss David so much. It still physically hurts.
BUT I hit a milestone this past week.
I have shared in previous posts about a little daily cleaning routine I use. (Bare with me, there is a tie in here) It works for us (when I do it) and keeps everything neat and tidy by doing a little bit each day. Well, it had seemed so overwhelming these last few months.
I would look around the house and I knew what needed to be done. I just couldn’t do it. I even asked Josh a few weeks back, what is wrong with me? I come home and I have every intention of cleaning, laundry etc. I just can’t get it done. He just kissed me and said something like: “You are always so busy, you are tired. Don’t worry, we’ll get it.”
Well, this last weekend I asked Josh if he would help me for one hour. I said if we both dig in for one hour that will be the jump start I need to get everything all caught up. We did and for the first time since David died my house is clean and the laundry is done.
The week before he died I had bought a pix at a thrift store for my Plaza Collection. It’s been sitting in the hallway waiting to be hung.
I finally hung it.
I met Craig at Lucky’s for a Happy Hour and to scheme a few things for an upcoming fashion show and I just started crying and blurted out “My house is finally clean, top to bottom, for the first time since David died.”
I wasn’t expecting to cry. I am writing this today because I wanted to share my grieving story. A dear friend messaged me after an innocent post I made on facebook a few months back. I mentioned how incredibly tired I was, and she told me that Grief was exhausting. She also told me to be kind to myself. Another dear friend helped me with mediation and we talked about giving myself time.
I own my own business, there was not time to slow down there. I kept it together when working, I guess it kept me busy. It was at home, in my safe place, where I just couldn’t function. All I wanted to do was sleep. I drank vodka like water. I didn’t care about cooking a good meal. We ate junk, a lot. I gained weight.
But you know what? As of right now, my house if clean. That’s a good thing. That makes me happy. Everything else will get back in line too.
It just takes time.
Our lives will NEVER be the same without him. Why would we expect it or want it to be?
I love you David. And I know you will ALWAYS be with me. I was so lucky to call you my cousin, my stylist and my friend.
SO, You reading this, be good to yourself. And give yourself some time.
Peace, Love, Fashion.