Its been a while since I have written. The days have become a blur. Last week, my counselor described my actions as rather robotic: “You wake up, you go to work, you cook, you clean, you take care of your children, yet you are not truly present, you are like a robot”. I feel numb most days, almost like I am not capable of feeling anything other than the sadness, emptiness, heartache, loneliness and utter grief.
The grief that I have is one of the only connections I now have with Travis. I see him living through our children. I see his personality, his persistence, his wit and humor, his love. I guess one could say my grief is also “LOVE”. The strong tidal waves of emotions I feel are because of love Travis and I share(d). Although I have lost the physical presence of Travis in our relationship, he was still connected to me emotionally and spiritually.
Grief is simply another expression of the love toward Travis. Grief is not just the result of our love and loss. My grief is my continued love for Travis, yearning to be in his presence. His death did not kill our relationship, nor the relationship Travis had with our children, our families or others. However his death did change the relationships. It removed the physical presence of Travis from the relationship bond, but the spiritual and emotional attachments to Travis are very much remaining.
I am struggling with my natural need to resist the reality of Travis death. I am still in shock- wanting to believe that he will soon come home, believe that he is just gone on a trip, and then the next minute– harsh, stabbing, suffocating realism takes over. I can talk about his death- yet- I do not like feeling forced to live with this distressing truth.
Nothing in life prepared me for living without Travis.
1. Travis was a part of me
I find myself texting his nonworking cell phone number- wanting to tell him to be the first person I contact when I need to talk about something. He was the one who calmed me down, gave me his point of view, encouraged me to face a stressful situation. He knew my emotions and my feelings- sometimes more than I was able to express.
2. He provided me with unconditional love
He was the one person who knew how deeply flawed I am, but chose to love me anyway. He loved me for who I truly am.
3. Travis was the only person who really truly knew me
Travis knew I didn’t like tuna, knew I am insecure about various topics. He knew my weaknesses and fears; where I came from; and what I have been through. We were together for 27 years. That is a tremendous amount of words and minutes to share our wants, needs, desires, goals, insecurities, love for each other.
4. Travis looked out for my (our Children’s) needs and my (our Children’s) well-being
Travis wanted our children and my self to be happy.
5. Travis was my intimacy and comfort
Travis was my love. I can’t imagine being with anyone else. He was my one and only one. I literally feel my heart breaking, day after day.
6. Our home feels empty
I am so very grateful to have our three children. Their laughter and their presence makes the days a little brighter. Yet-I miss Travis dirty socks on the floor, dirty dishes in the basement, I miss hearing him snore. I miss the sound of his voice, hearing his TV shows, his laughter, the slam of the door, the running water for his morning shower. Our bed is empty- he is not there and I am not able to sleep in the bed we are to be sharing together. His office downstairs remains as the day he first went missing.
7. Decisions and secondary losses
There seems to be endless “extra” emotions and decisions since Travis’ death: like household duties, the loss of his income, single parenting, paying bills, what to do with his belongings, selling his pickup, having to see the ATV which led to his death, meeting with attorneys, financial advisor, and on and on and on. Making decisions on his behalf. I grieve our past memories, but also our future hopes, dreams, goals. We were to share these together.
8. He was (is) their father
I always thought single parenting would be hard. I never imagined it would happen to me. I am now solely responsible for our three beautiful children. I worry that our children will miss out- drivers licenses, first cars, graduations, weddings, babies, etc……We are all living- knowing these happy times will occur without their father being physically present. I want to keep his presence alive, I do not want his memory to fade. I want our children to always know that their father is with them. He may not be physically here- but I surely know he is watching over them. Travis was cheated- we were all cheated. He will not experience all the special moments that he would have loved: grandbabies, retirement, purchasing a lake home…….
9. Special Days
I (we) not only miss being able to spend these days with Travis, but they remind me (us) of his death and him not being here.
10. Missing little things
Dirty clothes, empty dishes, surprise gifts, cards, flowers, presents, hugs, kisses, sarcasm, cooking,……. these were all our family moments that I miss. The emotions that each experience brought.
11. I (we) have to live the rest of my (our) life with out Travis
As long as I breathe. I will love Travis and I will remember him. It feels like a very very long time.