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One Day at a Time

Friday, August 02, 2013

My house is finally quiet. I'm not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing. I do know that as much as I appreciated everyone who was here, I am somewhat relieved that they have all gone home. They all meant well in their attempts to keep me from being sad, but anyone who has lost a loved one knows that is not possible. Everything just felt so chaotic to me with friends and family in every room of my house, all telling their own Tommy stories, some laughing, some crying, and all the while thoughts spinning through my mind, just longing for some peace and quiet to process all that had happened so quickly. Now I have the quiet I so badly wanted and I'm left alone with all those thoughts and trying to find a way to deal with the reality that Tommy is not going to walk back through the door. Everywhere I look, I see Tommy's things, his empty recliner, his cell phone, pictures on the wall, his racing memorabilia, his laptop computer, his clothes hanging in our closet. I knew this time would eventually come, but I had no idea it would be this soon.

Thor had such a hard time the first few days as he had also lost his best friend and it was immediately obvious that he knew something was terribly wrong. He would lay on his bed and whine for no apparent reason. Only constant petting seemed to somewhat help until Tommy's barber saw me at the funeral home. She asked how Thor was doing as Tommy always talked about him. When I told her about my concerns, she recommended me giving him some of Tommy's unwashed clothes. When I arrived home that night, I went to my bedroom and retrieved from the hospital bag the t-shirt that Tommy had on when I took him to the emergency room. I put it in Thor's bed with him and after a couple minutes of sniffing it, he laid on it and went to sleep. He seems to be comforted by these items and continues to sleep with the t-shirt and also Tommy's neck pillow that he used in his recliner. Thor's doing much better than he was, but he still has his moments of whining for no apparent reason.

My sons and stepsons have been incredible through all of this. My youngest son, Jeremy, told me last week that I needed to get away from everyone and relax a few days and that he was taking me away. I was unsure about leaving, mainly because of Thor, but my older son assured me he and his friends would be here at my house to take care of Thor and encouraged me to go. Jeremy picked me up Friday morning and drove to Savannah, Georgia, a place that Tommy and I really loved when we stopped there last year. We spent three days there and probably walked more miles in that time than I have in the last three months. It was nice and I have to admit that it was a good escape for a few days but I felt somewhat guilty about going. Tommy and I had talked about visiting Savannah again this winter for a few days and enjoying it without him just felt kind of wrong. I felt a little better, however, when my stepson told me Tommy would want me to keep traveling, taking pictures and enjoying my life. I know in my heart he is right, but this is going to take some time.

My wonderful supervisor told me to take whatever time I needed before returning to work, but I went back night before last. My co-workers have been so supportive and some questioned me returning too soon, but the truth is it felt good to be back instead of sitting here in my quiet home. Maybe someday things will start to feel normal again, or maybe not. Because this is the long weekend off for the rotation I work, I am driving up to West Jefferson today to visit my aunt and uncle at their vacation home. It's going to seem weird going up there alone. Tommy and I have spent many weekends up there because he loved it so much, but it will be nice to see them.

Thank you all so much for all of the nice notes and messages. I will eventually get around to answering you all, but it may take some time. Just know that I have read each and every one of them and I truly appreciate your thoughts and prayers.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    1557 days ago
  • JAMER123
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    Just a little comment. Tommy looks like a brother of mine and I have tears in my eyes as I look at the beautiful picture and read your story. God bless and be with you.
    1635 days ago
    1635 days ago
    I was with my Dad last year for the last 9 days before he passed away. Afterwards, I just found everything was reminding me of him. So many, many memories, so many little symbols, experiences, thoughts, etc.

    Finally I gave in and started writing them down. I went back recently and looked at the outline. Each one of those items was so strong in my head back then, but now, what I wanted to write about in some cases eludes me.

    In one way I'm sad about this, in another way, I realize that it can't stay fresh in my mind like that without also staying very painful.

    I'm not sure why I'm telling you this. Maybe I'm suggesting you write down things each time they come to mind if you're not already doing that. Maybe I'm trying to say that after awhile, it won't hurt so very very much.

    BTW, I started back on SparkPeople just a little bit ago, and one of the first pages I came to was yours. I hoped with my whole heart Tommy was still okay. I'm sorry this has happened, and even though we've never met, I care.
    1647 days ago
  • STR458
    1657 days ago
    I am so glad that you have the wonderful support from friends and family. You are in my thoughts and prayers. Take care of your self and thor. emoticon emoticon
    1661 days ago
    First of all don't worry about responding to my notes because I know how overwhelming that can be sometimes. I know that the support is important, and don't want stress too build over feeling the need to respond to me.
    I'm glad that you are getting out some. Your son is right. Tommy would want you to keep doing things and learn slowly to live again. Maybe he's there with you in spirit, even though you can't see him. But I'm sure he's smiling down on you when he sees you enjoy something you did together. Or even if you try something brand new.
    It's going to take time. The only thing I really know to so for you is to keep you in my thoughts and prayers and drop you notes sometimes. The healing journey is something none of us can take your place for and there is no shortcut. But with time you will feel more normal. Not the same as before, but you'll find you new normal.
    By the way, I was in Albuquerque this past weekend and I took my grandkids up to Sandia Peak and we did some hiking up there. It was beautiful and on the top of the mountain cool enough to be comfortable hiking and not hot like down below. I know you love so many areas around here and so just thought I'd share that with you.
    I'm here if there is anything I can do for you.
    So glad that Tommy's clothes are helping Thor through his grief also.
    1662 days ago

    Comment edited on: 8/5/2013 2:44:07 PM
  • NEWAT56
    May you find your way to the peace you seek.
    1662 days ago
    May God grant you the peace that passes understanding.

    1662 days ago
  • _JODI404

    You've been in my thoughts and prayers for healing and peace for you & Thor.

    It can be a lot to handle having a house full of guests -- even though they are very well intentioned. Quiet time to yourself is difficult, but necessary as well.
    We all will need to grieve in our own unique way, and I'm sure you will figure out what brings you the most comfort and healing as you walk through the pain of these difficult days. I have lost both of my parents, and for me, one of the hardest things was the way my mind would just "race" with thoughts at night. I would busy myself to exhaustion during the days and then have great difficulty sleeping because I just could not stop my brain from racing. It does take a LOT of time to process and adjust... I think that is a universal truth. Acceptance vs. Resistance is key.

    I'm glad to hear that giving Thor the t-shirt and neck rest with Tommy's scent brought him some comfort. They were best friends, and he is most definitely grieving! emoticon

    You are so very lucky to have such supportive sons and stepsons there for you!! There isn't much in life that is not going to be hard during these first months of grieving. I think going to Savannah was a wonderful idea, and so lovely for Jeremy to do his best to take care of you in this way! I'm glad that is was a good escape for a few days! I've been there several times, and we do love it too! I feel so strongly that our loved ones would always want us to be happy... keep living life to the fullest and enjoying ourselves as much as we can. I'm sure Tommy would want that for you.

    I found returning to work to be so hard.... but it does have to happen. I'm glad the transition was good for you and that you have caring support there as well.

    I hope that you had a nice visit with your Aunt and Uncle this weekend. I know nothing will feel right without Tommy there for a long time. After years together, it takes a long time to create a "new normal" that does not include him.

    My heart really goes out to you during this difficult time. Losing our loved ones is one of life's hardest experiences.

    Take your time to process your feelings... it did all happen so very quickly. Do what feels right for you. Sending you prayers and hugs!

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    1662 days ago
    I am so sorry to hear about you loss. I just want you to know I'm thinking about you! I also wanted you to know that I still appreciate you talking to me during my father-in-laws ordeal with cancer and my own father's ordeal with cancer. It's so hard, I had a breakdown in church today myself and its been 5 yrs for my dad and only almost 7 months with my father-in-law. I'm still praying for the both of us and your dog. I know that he was a rock for you and Tommy too!
    1663 days ago
    I'm sure everything seems strange right now, but, will continue to pray for you and Thor for no one of us can do for you what our Lord can. Love that your sons are with you and will be there if you need them. I'm sure, as your son suggested, Tommy would want you to continue walking, hiking and taking your pictures. We certainly look forward to lots more of those!
    1664 days ago
    I am so glad that you have such a wonderful support system!

    That is great that you went back to work since staying around the house would be so hard.
    I love that picture of Thor and Tommy driving in the van, I will always remember that, it was such an endearing picture!

    Big emoticon
    1664 days ago
    Please know that those thoughts and prayers are continuing. emoticon
    1664 days ago
    I am happy to hear that your friends and family are close by for you now.
    And your sons sound like real sweethearts - taking good care of you.

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    1664 days ago
  • DOODIE59
    Big, big hugs, Cindy. I am relieved to hear that you are surrounded by thoughtful, supportive individuals -- but not surprised:) What a blessing.
    Thinking of you,
    1665 days ago
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    1665 days ago
    Dear Cindy -
    I'm so glad your loving sons are looking out for you ---- and I hope you enjoy your visit with your aunt and uncle. More reminiscing ..... it's good at this time, especially with people who loved you and Tommy.
    I know Tommy is somewhere looking down and smiling - at all the love and support you are getting. It will take time....but life will go on in its usual meandering way. I promise!
    Now is the time to take care of yourself physically as well as emotionally.
    You're a tough broad - and are continuing to be a role model to us all in managing to have a 'good' life, even in adversity.
    Loving hugs.
    1665 days ago
    May you be able to just be in peace and feel Tommy with you in spirit.
    I do so understand your feelings of overload with everyone around, and the need
    For quiet, but then the feelings of being alone and seeing all the reminders...I know time will help ease this but until then you are in my thoughts and prayers for
    Peace and comfort.
    Much love and many hugs,
    1665 days ago
    Cindy, you continue to be in my thoughts and prayers. Glad Thor is a little better. Take care.
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    1665 days ago
  • RAMONA1954
    emoticon It takes a lot of time. I know when my husband passed away suddenly back in 2004 I think I wandered around in shock for a long time. I still have days where it's hard to think about. My dog knew something was very wrong too. She kept looking for him for the longest time. It will take both you and Thor some time don't rush it. If you feel better working, go for it. It's alot better than sitting at home. Enjoy visiting family and friends and places - it's the same but I find that sometimes I feel like my husband is with me there too in spirit.
    Ramona emoticon emoticon
    1665 days ago
  • LIZZYP609
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    1665 days ago
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