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He lost his wife, then everything

Journal Entry Number One


I didn't even realize that I was feeling so lonely.

Anita and I have 3 kids whom absolutely I adore. Kelly, our oldest is entering the sixth grade this year for her first year of middle school. Our middle child, Jack, he's eight. He's pretty much the stereotypical middle child; not to say he is hard to get along with, it's just that he's sort of a clown and jealous of his little brother, Louis, who is five.

I met their mother, Anita in a bar during our college years, in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Go Razorbacks! We loved going to the games and boy did we have some good times. She was smart and funny, and could make me laugh so hard, that every time I went to take a drink, I'd wind up spitting it through my nose, or aspirating. She'd laugh at me and it became a game to her, which she always seemed to win.

She was the love of my life, and when I lost her my world changed in more ways than I ever expected.

That was three weeks ago, although it seems to me that time just stopped that day. My kids are grieving, but they're doing okay. Better than I am, anyway. At least right now.

I've always heard people say that kids are resilient, but I'm not a big believer of that piece of shit theory. Sorry, but cliche's like that really piss me off. Its like, the one that goes "money can't buy you happiness," But, it sure makes being miserable easier, doesn't it?

They just don't deal with things the way we do. They can't process the loss so they put their pain away for later; at least some of them anyway.

In any case, they seem to be handing it better now, and I do really hope that there are no long term emotional issues that they will have to face; although I expect it.

The reason I'm putting pen to paper about all of this is two fold. First, my therapist suggested it. He called it a 'project' to help me work my feelings out about things. Whatever, I will give it a shot.

And for my kids, not just for me. I need to be whole for them.

In losing Anita, I seem to have also lost myself. I mean, I'm a strong guy. I've always been the one others call when they have problems. I was in the Navy and did 2 deployments in Iraq, so I'm not a cry baby. No, I'm a realist. She got sick, we sought treatment. We did all we could, but cancer is an invitation to the other side, to which the RSVP can't be withdrawn in most cases.

Nothing motivates me now. It's as if I'm on auto pilot and everything I do is just part of my programming. I haven't even gone back to work yet. It'd probably help me to keep busy, but I can only think of my precious wife and how much I miss her just being here.

Those few seconds in the morning when I first wake up, are the only peace I get.

Until I remember...

Journal Entry Number Two


I saw Anita last night. I really did! It wasn't my imagination, and I didn't dream it, even though I know everyone would say so. What the FUCK do they know, anyway.

She came and sat down on the bed next to me for a good long time. We talked about the kids, our love and how much we missed each other. We lay together until I drifted off to sleep, and then she was gone.

She was as real as you and I and really hope I see get to see her again very soon.

Time still moves along, according to her clock sitting on her night stand. All of her clothes are still in our closet. I'm too lazy, it's not because I can't or anything, but it calms me to know that her things are still there. I could call the Salvation Army to come and get them, but I haven't gotten to it yet.

My sister, Janelle, and my brother in-law, Beau, took the kids for the summer. I think it's better this way. They should be away from my madness, and have some fun swimming and goofing around in the White River. 

I think, I hope anyway, that it helps them to forget sometime's that they lost their mom and are just on vacation.

They're pretty independent, and stay busy all the time so I know they are ok. They'll call me if they need too.

Journal Entry Number Three


I'm having terrible migraines and I'm writing this in the most dimly lit room that I can, and still see the page. Even in the complete darkness, I see bright lights, and at time's I just seem to be floating. I think I'm seriously losing it.

I've been seeing things. I wouldn't admit that to anyone, but this journal is just for me, so....I saw my Grandparents today. Crazy, right? They were just sitting on the sofa in our living room. They looked great, and were very happy. Granny told me to take my time and it'll get better. Jesus, I'm gonna take advice from my delusions now?

Journal Entry Number Four


Today was the same as everyday. I really don't like writing this stuff down, but I might as well. I guess it does make me feel a little better. I'm sitting up in my bed writing this and I can feel Anita's presence next to me. I can always 'feel’ her. It used to freak me out, but now I find solace in smelling her perfume, and seeing little traces of her presence. Once in a while, I see her make up drawer open, or a pair of shoes in the middle of the floor.

Journal Entry Number Five


I went back to work this morning to find out that I've been let go. I'm so fucking angry! What the hell? I've worked at the same fucking company for years, and today I find all my shit in a box on the sofa outside my locked office! Someone else's name was on my DOOR!

I asked my boss why, and all that he would say was, "It's a shame, we'll really miss ya Mike." I know it's because I'd taken so much time off. I really should have seen it coming.

He offered me a drink, which I refused and he and my co worker, my friends, toasted me before I left. I didn't even take my things. I don't need any of it now.

I don't know what I'm going to do. I think I leave my kids with their Aunt Janell for a while longer.

Journal Entry Number Six


Well, I just had my weekly appointment with my wonderful 'Doctor'. He's a quack, I'm so done with that guy. 

I think he is the crazy one. I need to face reality? I need to move on and get on with my life? Excuse me, but grief does not affect everyone the same way.

Fuck him! I am angry and sad and I miss her like hell!  There, I've said it. But

I can't even remember her face and I'm starting to forget her voice. I am a forty year old former Naval Officer and I am stronger than this. I just need some time to be alone for a wile. I'll keep writing in here though, because this does make me feel better. Nobody want's to hear me go on and on about the past. I can deal with her loss by myself. I'm just glad the kids aren't here to see me.

Journal Entry Number Seven


Odd. I'm starting to get weirded out. That bright light I keep seeing is getting brighter, and I'm having migraines. Sitting in the dark helps, but I'm feeling weak and really out of it today. Maybe I should call Janelle and have her bring the kids home. I really miss them, and school is about to start anyway. My depression is getting worse, and I need someone around. I'm sure that the voices I'm hearing are just people outside, or the TV, but I really haven't watched it. Maybe I should go talk to the Doc again. Anyway, the kids will come home soon enough since school is starting in a week or two.

Journal Entry Number Eight


I'm so confused. I am going to have to call Doctor Greene. I'm fine, really, but it's my kids.

They've been home now for a few days, and I don't think they're dealing with their loss as well as I had hoped. I've been so depressed I hadn't even considered that they'd be upset with me, and I should have. I really should have. After all, they did just lose their mother and I never even called them at Janelle's. They probably feel like they lost me too.

They're talking about Anita as if she is just in the next room. I need to make an appointment for the four of us. Kids aren't that resilient. I will call him tomorrow.

Journal Entry Number Nine


This will be my final entry.

I had a breakthrough today. An epiphany, really. Dr. Greene has been more of a guide, than a Doctor, and I am so grateful to him for helping me through this very painful time.

I'm ready. I have to say good-bye to Anita. I can't hold on to her anymore. I need to move on with my life.

My kids know that I'm there for them. I always will be. They each one of them know how much I love them.

Cancer is a bitch, that I know. It took Anita from me, and I know now why I keep seeing the bright light.

It's here for me, and I understand now. I am the one that had cancer and I have to go into it.

So now, I must go, but I'll be around. I won't miss them, because I'll always be with them, but I know that at times they will miss me.
I guess some cliche's are true after all.

Love never dies.

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