Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Not over him yet...

In my post 'Sifted', I wrote that I didn't know why I was feeling what I was feeling.

In truth, I do know why.

No, its not the weather like so many want to throw out.  No, its not my wild work schedule.  No, its not raising kids alone.

The weather is what it is and the work schedule and my kids keep me going.

Its that its March.

I hate March.

I hate the third week of March most of all.

Every year I tell myself that this year will be different.  That the blackness won't swallow me up.

Then the third week comes.

March 27th I lost my dad.

It was horrible.  And traumatic.

And every year I scold myself and tell myself to grow up and get over it.

But I can't.

I can't get over him.

I loved him too much.

March 26, 2001 was the last day I told my dad I loved him.  At times I wonder if he really knew how much.  And if he really did know how much, why did he do what he did?

Wasn't I enough? 

That is the thought that haunts me the most.

That I wasn't enough.

The latter part of March I feel like I digress to a little girl again, the little girl who needs her daddy to come back and fix it all.  I go back to being the vulnerable 21 year old who was trying to figure out who she was and where she was going when her life was ripped apart at the news of her dad's death.

The latter part of March brings back the memories of those days following..the days leading up to and through his funeral.  I remember I didn't want anyone to touch me.  I screamed at anyone who did.  My physical nerves hurt and I wanted to crawl into a hole to die alone.  I didn't want to have to put on a show and behave for the people who came to see us.  I wanted them to all go away.

I used to wake up frequently with night terrors.  I would wake up screaming while thrashing uncontrollably.  That is one thing I have to give Randy credit for.  No matter what a jerk he was and no matter how horribly he treated me; when I would wake up with a night terror he was always kind.  He always comforted me and helped me through it.  I have to say that much about him.  But now when I wake up sobbing from a dream, I wake up alone.   I get through it, but it takes a moment longer to get myself awake and back to reality.

While the emotion isn't as intense as it was that day 13 years ago, there is still some lingering memory of it.  But I need to mourn in privacy without being reminded of his failures.  I want to memorize all that was good about him.  Because even though he made his mistakes, his qualities still out numbered his failure.

I think that is why this past week has been hard.  I think that is why the constant whining and begging to be snuggled a little longer was grating to my nerves.  Even though I went through the motions of real life, inwardly I was subconsciously going back to that week.

I reminded my kids of Mama's sad day and that I needed a minute.  I needed a few days to get through this and then they would get their Mama back.  I gave myself permission to set boundaries. I give all that I have to give 51 weeks out of the year.  I need this week to myself.  I don't mean that I won't take care of them, I'm not implying that I'm leaving my kids to fend for themselves. I'm just asking that the neediness, the clinging, halt for one week.

I'll get through this week.  Like someone reminds me every year "April is coming..." 

I'll get through this week, but this year I'm going to let myself miss him.  I'm going to cry for him, unashamedly.  I'm not going to feel guilty that I'm not over him yet, because honestly, I don't ever want to get over him.

I'm not going to let the emotions control me the rest of the year, but this week?

This week I'll let the memories wash over me.


  1. Thinking of you during this difficult week, Julie.

  2. wow I never knew all these years. From Riley Dale Bauman

    1. My sweet, darling, little boy. You have no idea how precious your name 'Dale' is and what an amazing man you are named after. Thank you for being such a wonderful son. I only wish he knew you. Love, Mama

  3. Julie, you are in our prayers frequently, but even more so this week. This post struck me hard. In the adoption world, there is a very common phenomenon referred to as "traumaversary"....and both of my boys go through it at the same times every year....around the anniversaries of when they were relinquished, when they were moved to orphanages, and often around the time when they came home. Their behavior escalates, they feel out-of-control, and the tiniest things that make them fall completely apart. They were only 3-ish when they lost their families, you were much older when you lost your Dad....but age doesn't matter when it comes to trauma. The body knows and the subconscious remembers the ache and the loss. We have to be extra sensitive with our kids around those times, give them a safe place to remember and to grieve.....and really, show them that we grieve with them. It has to be so much harder for you as the responsible adult who is trying to hold everything together for your kids. All I can say is that it is NATURAL and NORMAL for you to feel this way, for you to question why you weren't enough, and to relive the pain at this time of year.....but I also understand that knowing this doesn't make it easier. Grieving with you a mama who understands the loss that her kids have lived through....and holding you up before the throne of the One who can make all things new.

    1. Thank-you so much for sharing, Larisa! When I was in college for Massotherapy, we learned how memory works and how it is actually in every cell of our body (not just in our brains). We learned that smells, seasons, sights, etc. can trigger physical pain that mimics the pain we felt when we experienced that trauma. The other night my nerves hurt. It took me back to the days right after dad died and I then had the 'aha' moment. I realized it was my body 'remembering' and it wasn't me being a 'bad' mom demanding space. I'm in REAL, ACTUAL pain. Hopefully, I can plan ahead next year and plan a vacation or something fun and relaxing during this time :-)

  4. Julie,
    March 27th is my daughters birthday, a happy day - one of celebration. Yet as I read your post - it made me consider again just how stark the contrast of a single day can be for any two people. Like the other side of the world going to bed in the darkness of night while we are just waking up to see the sunrise. I wrote the beginning of some lyrics a long time ago reflecting this thought - and although I haven't put it to music yet, I hope to one day. God prompted me to share part of them with you today, and I trust it encourages you. Prayers, Julie!

    " While the sun is shining on my face
    I know it's raining in some place
    My cheery day is someone's night
    Do I appreciate the light?

    And though the rain is in my face
    The sun is smiling in some place
    My darkest night is someone's day
    Can I praise Him anyway?"