Monday, June 28, 2010

2 am

It is 2 am and my daughter has a fever of 104. I am freaking out, exhausted and freaking out some more. I know there are people out there I can call and won’t hate me at 2 am, like my mother, my sister and a handful of friends. It isn’t the same. I am holding back tears because I wish you were here to help me – or at the very least, here to tell me there is nothing to worry about. But you aren’t here and it makes the moment ten times worse – at least in my frazzled sleep deprived worrisome mind.

I give her more Tylenol and then get a cold compress to wash her down. She is in great spirits for such a high fever. She is talking and babbling away, about who knows what. I am just smiling and focusing on getting her fever down. I am not sure what she is saying until she says – “Mommy are you going to die before me or after me?” Really I am thinking - I can’t even begin to figure out how to answer this question – and did I mention it was now 2:30 am and I just want to cry.

I look at her and say I am not going to die for a very long time and you don’t need to worry about that right now – would you like some juice? If she were older I may not have gotten away with not really answering her question – but thank goodness she is only four and juice is golden.

Saturday I took the kids into the city to take your eldest son out to lunch at the diner. He is leaving soon and I don’t know how many times we will see him. I took him to the one place where we always went with you. It was nice. I didn’t feel like I could take him anywhere else and wasn’t really worried about you not being there. The kids love spending time with him and there is always so much chaos in a small diner. To be honest I didn’t get the chance to feel sad that you weren’t there. It may have been the nicest Saturday ever so far.

I sat across from all your children eating the meal you would have ordered and I just looked at our children. I am amazed at how much they have grown and changed since you have died. I wonder if you would even recognize them now. They are such different people from nine months ago. Partly worse, partly better but still quite different.

Our daughter still has a fever. It is going on day four. I am taking care of her all on my own. I am worrying about her and watching her and still you haven’t come through the door to help. Today at some point I stared at the coffee pot and was just stunned by your death – yet again. Somehow it still feels like it didn’t happen. Like this is all just some mistake. There are just moments that I really have a hard time really believing you actually took your own life.

I went to the supermarket with our sick child as we all still need groceries and to get more Tylenol. The deli lady saw me and came right over. Are you dating yet? she asked me. I laughed at her and said no. I truly find it funny that people expect me to bounce right back into what? – A normal life again. I am still thinking you are coming home to me – some how some way. The very idea of me dating just sounds like a bad joke.

People are still very kind to me and the children – generous, understanding and helpful. I am letting friends and family help me more – though it is hard. I have come to the conclusion that I really can’t do everything all by myself. I hate this and am frustrated by the concept of needing others. When once you and I were able to never have to ask for help. Maybe that was our problem – you and I should have asked for help sooner – maybe you would still be alive if you had just asked me.

I am hoping to not see the clock at 2 am today. I am hoping the fever goes away soon. Summer vacation starts today and you are not here to revel in the new chaos that is beginning.

But every day is a new adventure in our lives – some bad some pretty good. I am trying to rid myself of the guilt I feel when something makes me happy. Quite possibly I owe it to you to feel happy again – to feel that which you cannot. At the very least, I truly owe it our children.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


Today was just an ordinary day in the life of me. It was hectic and busy, stressful and insane. I took my son to school and then dropped my daughter at a friend’s house for hours so I could get to work. I cried the whole way there. Typical me.

There are days that go by and nothing great and nothing horrible occurs. It is just a day. These seem to be getting easier for me. The days where there is a glitch in my plans, or schedules change or something breaks and I really need your help – these are the days I cry for you the most.

Then I feel truly guilty as it seems I only cry on days when I need you. I feel selfish and then cry even more. I try to get through the days not crying and just do what must get done. I just can’t possibly cry all the time – I did that already. Now I cry when I could use your help and I am wondering if you are up in heaven scowling at me for only crying then. When the children are behaving and the day is a good one, I don’t cry for you. Tears don’t bring you back. I figured this one out. So on good days, I try not to cry.

I drove to work frustrated that you weren’t around to help me. This end of school year, camp not yet started, still working everyday overwhelming time in my life is just hard. This is all hard for me and I am trying my best. After the frustration wore off I just cried because I really miss you. I really missed my best friend and father of my children today.

I have been so strong through all these graduations. Standing there with my head held high because I know that people are looking at me feeling bad for me. I know they are sad for my children and I just want to put on a good face. I did a miserable job at our daughter’s pre-k graduation.

All it took was for me to see one father carrying his daughter on his shoulders to the graduation ceremony and I couldn’t walk inside. The kids ran ahead, eager for the ceremony as I hid behind a car hysterical beyond belief, unable to catch my breath. It was just so terrible being there alone, I couldn’t take another step. My good friend found me and let me cry all over her beautiful dress and she didn’t have to say a word. She just let me cry and say this just isn’t right – he should be here today – it just isn’t right!

But I got past that day and got through Hebrew school graduation and am getting through everything else – how - I am just not sure. Because tonight ice cream is melting in the freezer and I can’t eat it fast enough. The refrigerator is broken and it may as well be the end of the world for me. I just don’t know what to do next and I am just lost – all day I have just felt lost without you.

All I want is you here tonight. Though you would of course be mad the fridge is shot you would be in all your glory eating every frozen thing in sight. But you are not here and so tomorrow I must navigate through what the heck to do when your fridge breaks and you haven’t a clue.

We have been in our new place for two months and it still doesn’t feel like home. Everything is here almost unpacked and yes we are settling in – but it doesn’t feel like home. I don’t feel you here – I don’t feel your presence here. I don’t see images of you anywhere. I guess a few months ago I wanted to be rid of ghosts but now I miss looking at a room and picturing you doing something there. It makes me sad that I just don’t feel you anymore.

The only teeny tiny piece of you I have left comes every single morning. It sounds strange, but true. When my husband and I moved from Manhattan to Queens we argued about what paper we would get delivered to the house. I wanted the Times, he wanted the Post. I bought the Times but rarely read it – he loved the Post. He won. I was kind of embarrassed at first as I think we are the only house in the hood that actually gets the Post delivered – everyone gets the Times. About a month after my husband died the Post called to say my subscription was up and would I like to renew. I didn’t even hesitate. I asked if they had a lifetime subscription.

Every morning I wake up, walk to my door and hug the paper tightly in my arms and think about you.

Monday, June 21, 2010


The weekend went pretty well despite yesterday. My son told me he knew it was Father’s Day, but he said it without tears. He did say this to me as he was running through the water park with a million other happy children. Death was the farthest thought from his mind. We were all so caught up in this new fun element – it was easy to forget what was going on outside in the world. I was pretty fine myself. Only the glimpse here and there of father’s doting on their children did my heart ache and my tears come.

There were so many distractions for all three of us; there wasn’t a lot of time to dwell on you being dead. My children were so doted on by their grandparents, aunts and uncles – they didn’t have a second to feel sad. I spent the day trying not to think about the day. Only once did I sit and look at photos of you and think about last year – until my mother scolded me for making myself miserable – thanks mom. I also called my father and father-in-law secretly, so my children wouldn’t hear me wish them a happy Father’s Day. To my step-father who we spent the vacation with, I hugged him and just whispered the words in his ears.

The only glitch in my weekend happened weeks before. My children attend Hebrew School and I have spoken often about how amazing they are and what a good influence the Rabbi and Rebbitzin have been on my entire family. I still love them, but sometimes, for me at least, religion can cause trouble.

About two weeks ago my children had a lesson which involved learning about the Messiah. My children were taught about what has to happen in the world for the Messiah to return. Apparently (mind you this is in the words of my children) everyone has to be really good and then heaven will close and all the dead people will return to Earth. They told me this as they returned home from Hebrew School one night. They didn’t say anything else – just this. I was worried about this new information. But when two weeks went by and nothing more was said, I thought they forget all about it.

Then on Friday we drove to the Poconos with my sister. As we sat on the highway stuck in horrid traffic my children started telling my sister all about the Messiah. “Did you know”, they said, “when the Messiah comes heaven will close and daddy will come back to us.” I sucked in my breath, gripped the wheel and kept on driving. My sister just looked at me with shock and dread in her eyes. I just shook my head at her and neither of us said anything. I was trying to come up with something to say – but even after four hours in the car - I had nothing.

Thankfully I distracted them by pointing at road kill and we talked about how gross it was. But it seemed that all weekend, whenever they got the chance, they talked about when the Messiah comes they will see daddy. As if this event was right around the corner. I guess I should have seen this coming. Of course the children are going to think this after being told the story of the Messiah. For eight and half months we have all been telling them that daddy is gone and he is never coming back. Now it seems they have a found a loop-hole in the system and they are not giving up on this theory no matter what.

At some point over the weekend I looked at them very seriously and very sadly and said, “it would be wonderful if the Messiah could come. But we will not see this happen in our lifetime – daddy is not coming back.” I waited for tears. Instead they both looked at me and said, “No mommy, you are wrong” and just walked away.

My good friend, who also sends her children to Hebrew School immediately called the Rebbitzin after I sent her a desperate text. The Rebbitzin agreed to meet with the children tomorrow before their graduation to clarify the story and help them understand a little bit about what she told them. She said she is going to tell them how G-d needs daddy with him and how important it is for daddy and G-d to be together. I am not sure this is going to work. Hopefully they will listen to her better than me. I just pray they are not disappointed all over again.

I am really not upset or angry at anyone about this. In fact, maybe it is better to be harsh now in the early stages and not let them dwell for years and years living with the hope that he may return. It feels mean to deny them this fantasy – but I think it is unhealthy to let them life their entire lives waiting for something that is really never going to occur. Maybe I am a bad Jew, but for me right now, mommy with dead daddy trumps religion.

I am sure tomorrow will be a hard and sad day. But tonight I am just laughing to myself. I am sending the children to day camp in a few weeks run by a Catholic School. There is absolutely no religious instruction at all – but still they will be hanging out with plenty of children who do attend Catholic School. G-d only knows what new theories of daddy’s return they will come up with then. Wait till someone tells them how Jesus came back.

Heaven help me.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Flat Tire

Yesterday I woke up and found a dead cat on the back porch. It was half eaten. I totally freaked out as if I had stumbled across a crime scene. Apparently my post traumatic stress is still in full force as a dead cat sends me screaming in the opposite direction. I called a friend who said she would take care of it. I was so upset she had to do this and that you weren’t here to help. But then I started to laugh. You and I would have had to call her anyway as I know you, and there is no way you would have touched a dead cat either!

I went to the cemetery to laugh with you about the dead cat and wish you a happy Father’s Day. Funny stories are not so funny when I can’t hear your voice. I stood next to your grave in the early morning sun thinking about all the sweet and wonderful moments you are missing over the next few weeks. I started crying and got myself all worked up. I left shortly after. Your grave just seems to upset me more and more these days. It is not as peaceful as it once was; it is not as helpful as it once was. I worry that once the children are home for the summer I will not have many opportunities to visit you. Maybe this is for the best. Maybe come the Fall I will reevaluate my need to visit you quite so often.

I have been holding back so much of my sorrow this week. I have been feeling my mind wander and take me back to the day you died and have tried very hard to stop it before I truly get totally sucked back in. Some days I am successful – some days - not so much.

I have been avoiding thinking about tomorrow. But tomorrows seem to come whether I am ready or not. You are missing your daughter graduate from Pre-K. Your baby is almost a Kindergartner and it breaks my heart that you won’t be there. She will be the only child with no daddy to get that look or that smile that only a father can give his daughter. This hurts most of all. I will try very hard not to completely lose my cool. I am keeping my son home from school so he can attend with me. I won’t feel so alone and his presence will keep me from hysteria. I hope.

You have already missed your son’s final first grade performance, and soon enough you will miss their Hebrew school gradation. I had our daughter’s baby naming last Saturday (four and half years late) but I finally did it and you weren’t there. It is really hard to fully enjoy these moments, these tiny milestones without you by my side. Now everything I do - I must do alone. I try not to dwell on this but it seems impossible. You are just not here and instead of being full of smiles I simply try and hold back tears.

Today as I was rushing from school to swimming class the car started to make a strange noise and get a bumpy feeling. I pulled over to the side of a dangerous road and looked out the window at the back tire. Flat. I sat for a moment in utter panic. The first person I would normally call is dead. I decided to just put that thought away as it is not helpful now. I called my roadside assistance. An hour later they sent someone.

I sat in the car with the two kids bouncing around and driving me bonkers and thought of you. Mostly because we got stuck down the road from the Entenmanns’ outlet. A place you and I banned ourselves due to the amount of damage we have done there. I started to cry and then reprimanded myself. I am not on the George Washington Bridge. I am not rushing to pick up the children. We are all together and the worse thing right now is that we will miss swimming. This is so minor in the grand scheme of things. It is just a tire – not a death I kept saying as I stared at the cookie palace with tears in my eyes.

We got home hours later and I threw everyone into bed fast and furiously. As they were putting on their pajamas, I remembered I needed to plug in the video camera for tomorrow. I went to check the tape to see what was on it and WHAM! There you are on the screen and I drop the camera on the table as if it were on fire.

I am trying to deal with so much that life throws at me; dead cats, flat tires and just being a single mom – but your face on video - seeing you holding your kids and smiling and waving as if I could reach through the screen and hug you - this is just too much for me to take.

Everything I worked so hard on this week – all the sadness I have been pushing away came crashing down on me seeing you unannounced on video. I crumbled. The tears pour out of me and I am sobbing as if you just died. Everything terrible comes back to me; my protective seal is shattered within seconds of seeing your face.

I miss you so much and hate that you are gone. I am sorry I failed you and sorry you failed our children. I am trying to be strong for our babies – not because I feel like being strong. I don’t think I will bring the video camera tomorrow – because the truth is – I am just not that strong – not yet.

Sunday, June 13, 2010


Father’s Day is fast approaching and there is not one single thing I can do about it. This is painful and annoying.

I am taking the children away for the weekend to spend with family. It doesn’t matter. I could take them to the North Pole and it wouldn’t be far enough. I am running away from the neighborhood but no matter where we go – I am still me, the children are the same and there will still be no daddy.

This might be the worst day of the year for us forever. Any other day or any other holiday I can distract the children with something, anything. I can give them presents or cake and hope they will forget, for the moment, that you are dead.

But Father’s Day – there is nothing I can do or say. This is the one day that is all about you – their father – there is no way to get around you being dead this year. Cake is just not going to save me this time – not even a little. This may be the first Father’s Day we have to get through – but this holiday comes every year. I don’t think we will be able to run away every year. Though it sounds appealing. Part of me wants to face the day head on and just deal with the tears and anger or whatever emotions come our way. Another part of me wants to just cry and hide and pretend like this is not happening.

I had therapy on Wednesday and it was maybe the best meeting I have ever had. It was a small group. Although originally I was nervous and worried that with so few people there was no way to hide. In the end, this intimate setting with people who know my story was truly helpful. It reminded me that I need to be in therapy no matter how many good days I have. It reminded me that the rest of the world just doesn’t get me or my pain. Simply the very idea of walking into a room and not having to explain so much of what I go through everyday – is so very helpful all on its own. The way I see it, the rest of the world should stop trying to solve every one of my problems. Instead they should all just count their blessings that they have no idea what it truly feels like to be me.

Over the course of eight months several people I would call acquaintances have confided some of their most painful and awful secrets to me. Maybe they feel like because they know the worst skeleton in my closet they feel more comfortable confiding in me. I don’t know. It humbles me when people choose to share such intimate details with me and I listen and let them talk. Maybe they don’t have many people to share with. Maybe they feel bad for me and want me to know I am not alone in feeling pain in this life.

Yesterday a woman I know sat down beside me in the park and while our children played she told me her suicide story. Her father killed himself when she was 21. We talked about all the guilt and the pain you feel and it was terrible to hear and yet comforting. She is now happily married to a great man and is a wonderful mother. It gave me hope for my children. I asked about her mother and how she dealt with it. Her mom didn’t go to therapy, never remarried and never got over the guilt. Unfortunately, I understood everything her mother went through.

The thing about dealing with death by suicide is that it is just not like any other death. Everyone tells me stories about woman who lost their husbands at a young age, with small children and then they remarried and still had wonderful lives. How did their husband’s die? I will ask. If the reason isn’t suicide I am no longer interested in the rest of the story. Death by natural causes or some terrible accident is of course tragic – but it is not the same to me. I can’t explain it. You just have to be me to understand what I must deal with day after day after awful day; the guilt and sorrow and questions without answers and sadness. Not every death is the same is the same to me anymore.

I have been trying very hard not to think about you this week. I have been trying very hard to focus on my children and myself and deal with my own madness. I have moments where I will laugh and smile and think I am going to someday be O.K. Then I have moments, like today, sitting in the park under a tree looking into the blue sky and my heart is aching for you. I miss you and I hate you and I love you and I am angry and I am sad and I feel terrible awful guilt and I miss you and hate you and love you some more and possibly only thirty seconds went by. This is how I feel most of the time.

So I am waiting for the worst day ever to arrive with anxious stressful anticipation. How will I feel when my children look at me on the day everyone is spending with their daddy and you are dead? How will I feel when they look at me with longing and sad eyes and I have to make them feel better when there is no possible way?

Maybe next year we will go to the cemetery on Father’s Day. Maybe instead of running away we will visit you, but I will definitely bring a huge chocolate cake. Just in case.

Monday, June 7, 2010


Anything out of my mouth tonight will just be complaining. It has been a rotten day and my husband is dead so I have no one to complain to. Therefore I am forced to write a blog to hopefully feel better. Good luck to me.

The day started with my cell phone ringing at work and some person looking for my dead husband. Really – what is wrong with everyone? Eight months later and you still call for him – did you not get my million phone calls? Do you not read my blog? WTF!

Then the calls just kept coming. Each and every one of them contained different bad news. My children’s Hebrew school burnt down. The amazing family, who has taken my kids under their wings, protected them, who was the Rabbi at my husband’s funeral are all condemned out of their house and with nothing. I am devastated for them and their children. I am only thankful that no one got hurt.

I cried after I heard the news – it is not fair. The horrible things that happened to wonderful people.

Forgot all the other phone calls – I am just pushing it all away. I can only deal with one crisis at a time – everyone else who has it in for me can take a number.

Then I got home and opened the mail. Still most of it has my dead husband’s name on it – just great. Then there was a letter from school. My daughter got into the kindergarten program I was praying for. I was so excited and picked up my phone and didn’t know what to do. All I wanted was to call and tell you this amazing and exciting news. All I wanted was to share this moment with her daddy – but you are freaking dead – so I couldn’t.

Instead I sent a text to my family and friends and tried not to think about you.

Then the second half of an already crazy day begins as the children are home from school. Your precious daughter – your sweet lovable daughter is an absolute nightmare – no doubt about it. She pushes me to the brink of insanity day after day after day.

After hours of crying and screaming and teasing her brother - I finally took her dinner away, put her into bed fully dressed and told her to cry and scream I wasn’t going back in and go to sleep.

She cried, she screamed, she howled forever. Then she started crying for you. I want my daddy! I want my daddy! Over and over and over until I was sobbing beyond belief as I sat outside her door – feeling horrible, helpless and so very very alone. I did go back. I know I should not have - but I did. I held her in my arms and let her cry for you till she passed out. All I kept thinking is that is should have been you comforting her – not me!

I know I should not complain. This life I lead is not as horrible as some – and yet all I want to do today is cry and scream – just like my four year old. It was not one bad thing that occurred today - it was just a lot of little things that grate on my already on the edge existence. My emotions are wrapped in shards of glass and they scrape and hurt me if one single thing goes totally off kilter.

I am a mess today and it is not even your fault – not really.

I think I may have to go visit you this week. I just need some alone time and miss throwing rocks at you. At the very least I can show you the letter our daughter got – maybe it will make me feel better.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Eight Months

Nothing amazing has happened this week. Nothing terrible, nothing wonderful. Just life. Yet everyday this week I thought about Saturday. How tomorrow marks eight months that you are dead and gone. It seems impossible once again that I have spent this much time apart from you.

This has been a tough week, though there have been worse. It is just difficult navigating through the week with two children who lead busy lives. My life is no more difficult than most people I know. Many of my friends have husbands who work odd hours or late nights – so I am not alone in my mom does it all life.

But then I will get home after a very busy day, and get dinner, homework and the bathing done. I will tuck the kids into bed and then walk out of their room and sigh. It is just me – all alone. Sometimes friends call me at night to just talk. It used to be to make sure I wasn’t going insane – now the routine is to probably keep in touch with my daily goings on and to keep me from feeling not so alone. Some nights no one calls. Then I will sit outside and stare into the night sky wondering where you are.

This week I missed you but during random times. I missed you when I couldn’t get the window to close. I missed you when I needed help with the kids. I missed you when our son wrote me a letter saying I am the meanest mom in the entire world and I didn’t know what to do. I miss you the most when it comes to dealing with the children.

There are times when raising the two of them seems like an impossible task. That I am doing a truly horrible job and only yell and scream at them. I miss you being here to intervene for all of us. Even if you always got to be the good guy – I miss your presence and your ability to calm me down and talk some sense into me. I miss that you aren’t here at all.

I wonder sometimes if you are truly watching me from heaven and if you are shaking your head at some of the stuff going on. I wonder if you feel bad for me or think I deserve all this insanity.

I am sorry that I said I hate you last weekend. I don’t hate you at all. In fact, I miss you terribly and still love you very much – despite the awful terrible thing you have done to my life.

I yelled at a woman the other day in Costco. I was changing the address and asked her to take your name off the account. Well she said, that name is the primary account holder. I looked at her and said, well he is dead! I totally shocked her and she looked down and mumbled sorry and took your name off right away. I wondered later if I sounded callous. If my just announcing that you are dead without tears sounded terrible to a stranger.

After eight months it still just feels like something I say – not something I feel or believe. Maybe I find it easy to say you are dead because it still feels like something that just did not happen to me.

But it did. Tomorrow will be another busy crazy filled with lots of drama and stuff day. It will be eight months that you are dead and that will be my day.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010


Something is different and I don’t know what it is. I don’t feel anger or sadness today. I don’t feel numb. I don’t know what I feel. It is not acceptance, as I don’t think I will ever accept what you did. It is just that I woke up this morning used to my life.

I have come to terms that it is just me getting everyone ready for school and me off to work. I am used to the fact that it is just me for the rest of the day. I spent the weekend running around with the kids making sure they had fun and I was used to the realization that it was just me.

I miss you but I can’t go on this way anymore. I can’t lie in bed at night saying your name over and over, hoping somehow it will trigger a dream that you will be in. I can’t sit in the cemetery week after week looking for ghosts.

Maybe because I have read over my last two blogs and I dislike what I read. I don’t want to be filled with guilt and hate. These are not qualities I find appealing or productive. I don’t think my heart will ever recover from losing you – but my head is yelling at me to stop the torture.

I have two beautiful children to worry about. A wonderful family and a million friends who care for me. I need to focus on the good in my life and not the misery and suffering I have been feeling. I don’t know how to do this exactly, but I am trying to push away the bad thoughts. Label them in my mind, put them in a box and just try not to remember where they are stored.

Nothing good can come from me reliving your death every day. Nothing good can come from asking myself “what if” over and over. I have to look at the right now and realize that despite my loss, I have a lot to be thankful for.

I took the kids strawberry picking this weekend. Of course I got lost. As we were driving around, who knows where, the kids asked me when we would get there. I said I don’t know I am lost. My son asked me why I was lost. I looked in the rear view mirror and said, because daddy always did the driving and now it is just me and I am trying just to find our way. The kids actually laughed at my ineptness. Then I laughed too.

Maybe this is just the rest of our lives – me driving the kids through life trying to find the right road and hoping at some point we do get there.

I am used to the children saying things like, too bad daddy is dead he loved strawberries or too bad daddy is dead he would have liked my pretty dress. These comments hurt my heart, but not as much as they once did. Maybe I am jaded or maybe I am just accepting that we are always going to talk about you – it is simply going to be in the past tense from now on.

I still want to take my kids to therapy. I think that they need to meet other children just like them. I still think they are scarred in some awful way and only hope that someday we can open out hearts again and embrace the love we lost.

I will still go to therapy as I don’t think I am anywhere near being healed. I am still going to cry, but maybe not everyday. I will still frequent the cemetery, but maybe not every week. I will still miss you everyday, but maybe without anger, guilt or hate. Quite possibly the gaping hole that was once my heart is starting to scab a bit. Or quite possibly I don’t want to walk around anymore with my insides oozing for all to see.

I am not sure why I feel the way I do today. Why I feel like something is different. Maybe tomorrow will be a terrible day and I will be back here agonizing over something trivial. Then again maybe I won’t.