State of Mind

I’ve been gifted with several books about Grief during the time of the funeral. They sat on my bedside table, untouched for months. I started reading them last week and I feel like they’re a re-run of the book I read before. Yes, they make sense. No, I’m not sure how good they are for me. I find myself asking, “Where exactly am I during this grieving process?”

The answer to this question is kind of all over the place to be honest. I think the first major step is true acceptance which didn’t really hit me until probably March of this year. I know it has only been six months, but in retrospect the time period between November and March was the darkest hour of my life. I can’t speak for Das. I feel like Das and I are on the same journey but on two different roads.

It’s not like I don’t like the books – I’m thankful I have them. I just … maybe it’s too soon to be reading these? Yes, they make sense, but at the same time I feel like processing what they’re saying is too hard and too much. For me (and maybe for Das) it’s talking about our feelings with those we know can understand is the best therapy. Talking to people who have lost a significant other is the ultimate therapy for me. Yes, losing any loved one is so hard, but to lose someone who was literally your better half is just so much harder to explain… especially when it was an out of the blue moment.

Das and I talk about dealing with Grief often and we realized that we’re becoming “coaches” to other people. He’s become a sounding board to many of his close friends while I listen and talk to people in my online Grief groups. I’ve even had several phone/video conversations with total strangers, and it’s been good for me. Das doesn’t mind this either and I’m thankful for this.

I’m all about learning how to cope so I’m grateful for the books. I’ll read them and whatever I gain will come to me at the right time. For those of you who have gifted me with these books, please don’t feel like you hindered me in any way. You should know that it’ll all come together for me (us) at some point.

No, I don’t feel like I’m out of the darkest hour, but it feels like I’m getting a little bit closer to be. I think it just depends on the day.

On another note, there’s been too much time for reflection:

  • How could I have been a better spouse / partner / best friend / soul mate / lover / mother? (There are so many things I could have done better)
  • What could I have done to take better care of Torey? (So many times I could have insisted much more than I did to get him to go see a doctor, but he just didn’t want to)
  • Would knowing CPR at the time of the tragic accident have helped the situation? (In retrospect, probably not, but I wish I had known and intend to take classes)
  • Should I have been a bigger nag to take care of his health than he already thought I was? (If I had been a bigger nag than I already was then we may not have still been together, but I wish I had taken this risk)

There are so many more thoughts and questions that go through my mind from an hourly basis – it’s not something I can’t stop thinking about.

On another note, I find myself going through old pictures and videos just to see and hear him again. I enjoy sharing my dreams of him and here’s one I had the other night:

Torey was driving Das and I – we were on a road trip. The radio was on, warning us about a bad thunderstorm headed our way. Torey was wearing a white collar, full sleeved shirt with a black fedora. He was in good spirits when the trip first started, but as the weather seemed to get bad he got quiet. The sky looked ominous – not sure where we were headed but I think we were on 75 headed north. A few hours in, Torey and Das got hungry so Torey decided to pull over to get something to eat. He pulled into a small ma-and-pa seafood restaurant (I was on my phone checking this place out to make sure it was okay, but that didn’t stop my man). We got a table near a window – there was a BBQ restaurant across the street that said it was only open for lunch and it was closed at the time.

We ordered our food and ate, had good conversations – Torey was in better spirits now that he was fed and had a few drinks. Before we were ready to leave, he said, “Man, never order ribs here – my food was terrible!” In classic fashion Das and I looked at each other like “Whaaaat!?” So, I said, “T-Mitch, you came to a seafood restaurant and ordered ribs, dude. I mean …”

That’s where the dream ended. Yeah, he probably saw the BBQ spot across the street and wanted some good BBQ but got desperate (which we’ve all done!). I shared this dream with Das the next day and his response was, “Yeah, that sounds like Dad…”

If you don’t know: Torey and Das were super close – baseball was their most common bond. As I was scrolling through images, I found a series of images I had to make a gif file for. Here you go:

I put these images of my boys playing catch a few years ago… wish I had done more of this!

I’m documenting another moment in this current time:

#BlackLivesMatters

I am outraged. Das is outraged. I know Torey is, too – he was probably there to welcome Mr. Floyd to the fold – F*** Racism (f***ing assholes).

That. Is. All.

This is Comforting

A dear friend, Brotha Ed, shared this with me:

Torey and I often talked about energy and how we believe one never truly goes away once you die. I find this comforting and understand not everyone believes in this or agrees with this train of thought. Neither of us ever had the drive to be religious – certainly not in the way each of us were raised. However, we believe in spirituality more than anything – a feeling of being connected to each other as human beings along with the connection to Mother Earth.

Thank you, Ed, for sharing this with me! Torey and I have always appreciated your creative soul and words of wisdom. The universe loves you and we do, too!

Torey had quoted this from one of Das’ favorite cartoons we all watched together back in 2007: Avatar: The Last Airbender

Twee and La, Push and Pull, Life and Death, Yin and Yang! #oneness #balance

May 2, 2017, 10:35 PM via Facebook

Das | Dreams | Detours

24 weeks in … it’s hard to believe we’re in the sixth month since T-Mitch’s tragic loss. Six months … never thought I could go this long without him and it’s hard to accept the notion of having to live like this until my own death.

I truly appreciate those of you who have been checking up on him whether via phone calls or texts. He doesn’t always respond right away so don’t take it personally – it’s a teenage thing (I think). Quarantine life with him has been decent actually – we give each other our space most of the time. I only see him if he’s hungry or thirsty during the day. In the evenings if I’m watching something he’s interested in, then he’ll join me. We watch ‘The Last Dance’ together so that’s been great – it’s easy to hear Torey’s thoughts while watching this show and I know Das feels the same way.

Das has been going through it, too … we had one of the most epic heart to hearts last week and it was good for both of us. He talked about the music he listens to in such a way that it reminded me of how he had been interested in producing beats when he was younger. Of course, Torey was absolutely thrilled about this and encouraged him … he’d rap to Das’ beats – absolutely loved it. I think Das is ready to get back to this passion and I have every intention on helping him – so be on the lookout!

The school semester is about to end – it’s been a difficult road for Das for the past six months. He’s had a hard time focusing and he’s been going through his own emotional roller coaster. Luckily, he has an amazing support system from his high school counselors, coaches, friends, and teammates – along with many parents. Das struggled with keeping his grades up and it was the cause of a lot of stress between the two of. Something beautiful came out of this though – after our heart-to-heart convo, it helped us understand one another on a new level. It’s been quite a journey and we still have a long road to travel, but we have each other to rely on and that’s all that matters.

On another note, my dreams have been more and more intense to say the least. For example, in a dream two nights ago we were with Torey, hanging out at Twin Peaks with Das (as per usual, right!?) – we talked about our day and drifted down memory lane. To see him laugh and smile again just warmed my soul. He told us he had to go but I didn’t let go of his hand, instead I woke up before he could say bye because I didn’t want him to say bye.

I’ve been letting Das DJ whenever we venture out on a food-run excursion, so his play list has been Travis Scott, Post Malone, 21 Savage, etc. etc. I’m not a fan of most of this stuff, but I do like Kendrick and J Cole. Anyway, recently I had a dream that I was hanging out with Das and we ran into some of his friends – next thing I know Post Malone is in the group and I was like, “Wait, aren’t you Post Malone?? What are you doing here!?” The dude responded with, “Man I dunno, I’m just tryna chill witch’y’all, ya know?” with his arms out and his goofy grin and tattooed face. SMH! I told Das the next day and that cracked him up pretty good.

We were allowed to sit at the bar with Das during the day at Twin Peaks in Addison when I took this picture (2018). Torey is cracking up because he was reminding Das of all of the cartoons and kiddy shows he used to watch when he was younger – Das had retorted with something like, “You’re making me cringe right now, Dad!”

I’m incredibly proud of Das and I know Torey is, too. After checking his grades yesterday, I almost fell out of my chair because he had been in the red for the past few months and this is no longer the case!! I called him into the room as if I was upset and when he came out, I gave him the biggest hug and a huge kiss on his cheek – he looked bewildered with his “What’s-wrong-with-you-Ma?” expression. As a reward I made some shrimp and spinach alfredo (he devoured it and had seconds – this makes me SO HAPPY!)

Happy Mother’s Day BTW.

I just got back from puttin’ my son to bed and takin some time to lay with him and listen to his heartbeat. It made me realize how grateful I am for every breath and heartbeat that my son takes! He is the single biggest blessing of my life!

T-Mitch, May 8, 2009

May 3rd – a National One

So apparently May 3rd is National Widows/Widowers Day in this country – June 23rd marks International Widows Day. I had no idea these were even a thing!

I’m not sure how I feel about these days – I understand the need to recognize people in this category. I truly do. But … do they have days designated specifically for people who lost parents? People who suffered the loss of a son or daughter? Best friends? Uncles/Aunts/Cousins?

I Googled some of this … and the answers are out there. Mostly, yes – there are days recognized to remember specific people, but it’s not all the same. Loss of a parent days are recognized on Mothers/Fathers Day. The loss of a child is more focused on miscarriages. Much like Mothers/Fathers Day the following have the same types of recognition:

Best Friends
Uncles and Aunts
Cousins

(Yeah, I’m sure I’m missing more categories – maybe later!).

I never really knew any of this and I don’t plan on keeping reminders on my calendar – just FYI. Thanks to the internet I’ve joined some online grief groups that focus on being widows and this is how I came across the significance of May 3rd.

Feelings? Well – annoyed at first because I mean … who the hell comes up with this shit!? Angry later. Why? Because I was annoyed! Also, because I felt like it was insensitive. BUT – after reading the descriptions of the reasons behind these days … well I guess I’m indifferent now.

Like I said …. no, I am not about to mark my calendar for any of these days. Like a friend said: people’s birthdays/anniversaries are good enough reminders already.

Just wondering though … am I supposed to carry the torch of “a proud widow?” like parents carry the “proud parent” torch?

This concept seems odd… just sayin’.