Hey, bud, it’s been a while since I’ve written

Hey, bud, it’s been a while since I’ve written

CW for anyone new, the posts in my “Letters to Tim” series touch on the death of a spouse, living with loss, the blend of absurdity and terrible weight of grief, and what I hope is a healthy dose of self-reflection and self-discovery. If it seems weird to you, that I’m writing letters to my dead husband… don’t be worried about my mental state. Please. I am well aware that he is not reading them; this is a healing exercise for me.

Dear Tim;

I know, it’s been a while. It’s not that I don’t have anything to say… if anything, I have too MUCH to say but I don’t know where to start.

  • Your parents dropped by
  • The back yard looks completely different
  • I’m back to being a two-dog dog-mama
  • I’ve hung up a lot of artwork
  • I got a new dining room table
  • I am trying to figure out who I am now.

Your parents came down to spend a couple of weeks with Amy and Isaac and the kids, and they came over here for a day. We went to your grave, and then we went to go buy me a good quality welder, because we are the family we are. I love the welder, by the way, it does EVERYTHING, and I’m so glad your dad was here to help me pick it out! But. I felt bad that I wasn’t able to cry at your grave. Partly it’s because you and daddy and Barbara are all buried next to each other and maybe if I started crying I wouldn’t be able to stop, but… part of it was also that… I’m still mad. I’m sorry. I am. I’m still angry at you for leaving. Which is ridiculous because it’s not like you woke up one day and said “you know what? I’m bored, I think I’d like to have a couple of dozen strokes and open heart surgery and then pneumonia and sepsis a couple of times until I just give up.” So why am I still so angry?

When I am able to take it out and look at it, like a strange, sharp piece of glass or stone I found on the beach, it feels like… I’m more… still angry at everything we were going through. That I’m not angry with you, Tim, the man, the person. You were the best Tim that you could be, and you held on as long as your poor battered body could. It’s not that you wanted to die. But I’m still so fiery livid that when you left the party, there were still things between us, things that needed to be and now never will be resolved, worked out, forgiven, understood. I know that I have to let that go. Those things will never be worked out and I can either accept that, or not, and I’d like to accept it because living being angry is tiring. But. I mean, I’ve said it before, but I’ll take anger over sadness, because at least if I’m mad I have the energy to get shit done. But Still. I’m angry that the opportunity for us to work things out has been stolen from us.

I was also a little worried (spoiler: I didn’t need to be) that what if this was the last time your parents wanted to see me? They didn’t want to stay overnight, they just wanted to come for a few hours, they wanted to visit your grave…. what if this was them saying goodbye? What if …. I don’t know, without you here, what do they have to visit me for? What do I bring to the table? I need not have worried. I have been assured that now, I will always be their daughter. They will always love me. And I can’t tell you how much, and what, that means to me. Bill and Linda are amazing, wonderful, layered, deeply generous people and I love them so, so very much.

Let’s talk about the back yard… I never wanted to do anything really pretty with the back yard. Why would I? Your aunt and uncle were RIGHT THERE off to the side, in their RV. I could hardly work on anything in the back of the studio without them coming out to see what I was doing, I can’t imagine if I were hanging out in the back yard all the time, trying to read and watch the dogs and tend my flowers. But now? Without you, without them, without the deck you built… it’s a whole different vibe in that back yard, for sure. The dogs love to run up and down the brick ramp, from the gate all the way to the telescope shed. They are pretty sure I put it in just for them. And my pollinator garden is going GANGBUSTERS, even with the heat we had the last two weeks, even with no rain, even with too much rain the weeks before that.

There are still some finishing touches to be done – I put string lights up around the pergola but still need a ceiling fan, some of the cap stones for the walls still need to be cut and put in place. And I have to mow about every three days, it seems, haha. But I’ve gone from barely even wanting to be in the back yard…. to spending probably…. close to two hours a day back there? I go out with the dogs in the early morning, for not long, about 15-20 minutes. Then about an hour later we go out there again, for breakfast, for about another half hour. Then I eat lunch out there (yes, even with how hot it’s been) for at least half an hour. Then another half hour after they get dinner, and then close to sunset or right after, we can go outside again for anywhere from 15 to 45 minutes. The dogs love to play, and I love to sit under the pergola and catch the breeze and sit in the swivel rocker chairs and listen to the birds. It’s peaceful. It’s healing. It’s grounding.

These are my dogs. I think I told you about the little black and white one, Peppa Potato. The German Shephard, Honey Butter, showed up here in late Feb/early March, and Peppa adopted her. They are each other’s emotional support dogs, haha. They are so sweet, and so loving, and so playful, and soooooo stupid. You would absolutely hate these dogs. They both constantly beg for attention, whining if they don’t get it, they have to be touching me if I’m in the house, I let them on the couch and they sleep in the bed with me (but I don’t give them bacon when I make it, even though I can hear you ask “did the girls get their cut”). I love these dogs and they have eased my heart and while they do drive me a little bananas sometimes, they have been so good for me to have. But. You would hate them. They would make you angry in about two seconds flat with all the begging for attention. BUT JUST LOOK AT THOSE FACES. One of my favorite things to do these days is to stretch out on the new couch, with a book, covered in dogs.


You know what? This is already getting pretty long, and I still have some house/furniture changes to talk about. I’ll save that for my next letter.

Thanks for reading, everyone. xoxo y’all.

6 thoughts on “0

  1. The anger at those loved ones passed is legit. I just lost a friend of thirty years to something I warned her about less than six months before it happened and I’m just livid. I leave a lot of it in my garden, but right now, it’s a pretty much unending spring of rage about the situation. However, we have to feel things before we can move through and let them fall away – so don’t beat yourself up over the anger. It has just causes for being there. <3

    1. I absolutely love what you said, “I leave a lot of it in my garden.” I feel like I’m leaving a lot of it in my art – channeling that loss and anger into the good, honest, beautiful energy it should have been in the first place. Bringing good things into the world where something was taken out. Thank you for that. <3

  2. “But I’m still so fiery livid that when you left the party, there were still things between us, things that needed to be and now never will be resolved, worked out, forgiven, understood.”

    This is the hardest part of it for me, I think. The stuff left undone. The loose ends that just flap in the breeze and bump against the scars that are still trying to heal, the ones that are numb and painful at the same time and it is so infuriating.

    Watching you spread your wings and bloom under these conditions is so hopeful to me. Thank you for sharing these parts with us.

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