The Passing of the 9’s

Funny how things take on a clarity that’s not apparent until you are in the midst of the situation.  I gave myself way too much credit and I was overconfident about my ability to control my emotions.  I made a conscious decision that I would not mourn the anniversary of my husband’s death.  Nope, WOULD NOT DO IT.  I told myself that it was foolish.  Although June 9 changed everything, I didn’t want that date to paralyze me for eternity.  Yeah, go ahead and shake your heads.  “Denial” is more than just a long azz river in Egypt, right?  Somehow I thought that I could actually control the dates upon which I felt the most pain.  Riiiiiiiiiiiight. I was even so bold as to tell my therapist that I wasn’t counting the days since MrTDJ passed away.  I’m a liar.  A naïve, well-intentioned liar, but still a liar.  Little did I know that I’d have not the teensiest bit of control and would be at the mercy of my calendar.   I have not taken an actual calendar and marked off the days since his death, but my mental calendar is clicking and ticking.

I keep a personal journal and thank goodness it is the only witness to the daily arc of my thoughts.  It’s clear to me now that I was altered and unable to honestly acknowledge that there was a connection between my waves and the 9th day of each month.  I awoke this morning at 1:41 and was compelled to pull out my journal.   Hmm, me thinks maybe there is a pattern.  On July 9, I had a dental appointment for a crown repair.  Ugh, bad day, no wonder I was in such a terrible mood.  Riiiiiiiiight.  August 9 found me calling into work because I’d barely slept two hours in the three previous nights.  I cancelled plans with friends at the last minute on Sunday, September 9 because I just didn’t have the energy.  Although October 9 came on the heels of Columbus Day and a three-day weekend, I simply couldn’t get it together to do or say much to anyone.  And now, it’s 3:23 am on November 9 and I can’t stop crying.  The 9th of each month has done just what I unrealistically denied it could do – slam me against a brick wall and send me spiraling down the rabbit hole.

I know not how to change the course.  It’s as if I build myself up from the 10th of the month and then subconsciously, my defenses weaken around the 7th of the following month and by the 9th, I’m drowning again.  I think of my husband hundreds of times each day and the good memories have not yet tempered the stinging ache of having lost him.  That’s not to say that I don’t smile and laugh, because I do.  Undoubtedly as the 9th approaches, my efforts to sustain a sense of normalcy seem to be in vain.  At some point today, I know that I will drift off in the middle of a conversation, stop watching during the middle of a television show or completely check out during a meeting at work.  During that time, I will relive, with laser like precision and accuracy, the last 2 hours of my husband’s life.  Those 120 minutes run through my mind in about 7 or 8 minutes.  The moments play like snapshots in a photo montage and then there is a pause.  The pause makes way for our last, laughter filled conversation as we awaited the arrival of the paramedics.  Snapshots again.  Then another pause for MrTDJ’s last interaction with LittleTDJ.  And then the FEELING.

I’ve never blogged in detail about the events of that morning and I doubt I ever will.  I’ve journaled them and talked to my therapist and inner circle about them.  What I will share is the FEELING that I experienced.  I was standing on the front porch of our home when my husband made his transition.  At that very moment, I KNEW.  Minutes before a paramedic came to update me on his status, I KNEW.  Well before we traveled to the hospital and he was officially pronounced, I KNEW.  We’d shared a heart for 2 decades and gone through too much for me NOT to know.  I FELT his spirit pass through my body followed by the gentlest of breezes blowing across my cheeks.  I KNEW because I FELT the essence of him hug me tightly, and then release me.  I was absorbed in the stillness as I FELT him float to the heavens above me.  The tears didn’t come until much later.  Dare I say that the moment was both heart wrenching yet peaceful.  It’s hard for me to express in words.  When I think of it, a line from the Sarah McLachan song, Angel, passes through my mind.  “In the arms of the angels, fly away from here”.

I feel him all the time, but on the 9th, everything deepens.  The 9th marks another month that I’ve had to survive here without him.  Maybe someday, the 9th won’t send me straight into darkness without passing go.  Tonight, I’ve got plans with friends and I’m trying to prep myself to hold it together.  I know how I’d like today to go, but the universe has offered me no assurances.   Five months into my new normal and it still seems like I’m living somewhere in the Land of Oz.  And even the Land of Oz would be ok if MrTDJ could get here.

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26 thoughts on “The Passing of the 9’s

  1. MrsTDJ, I think you’re doing much better than you give yourself credit for, I honestly don’t think there are too many people who can say they picked thselves back up and functioned completely after such a loss, especially one so unexpected. Don’t put yourself through denial or think you’re supposed to have healed any different, take your time, and know that while some may not know exactly what you’re going through they do understand you need that time to properly grieve. Your friends will be there through thick n thin. Praying for healing.
    ~T~

  2. I can only imagine the pain you are feeling.
    I pray that you find peace. I hope your new normal eventually gets better.
    There is not a set time you do whats best for you & your son.

  3. Oh honey, it takes as long as it takes. As always, you have been amazing, trying to put other people at peace. Acknowledging the power of 9 is the first step in learning to share the energy of the day. I wish for you peace, strength, courage and even joy – all in time.
    L.

  4. My heart breaks for you. I am keeping you and your son in my prayers that the pain will subside and you will find strength for each 9th. I pray that you continue to love your husband, to feel his presence, and to always honor his memory-but that the loss will become a little more bearable.

  5. “I think of my husband hundreds of times each day and the good memories have not yet tempered the stinging ache of having lost him.”

    This brought me to tears. Wow, how powerful is your love for your husband? If only some of us could find what you guys have. I say have because its not over. This gives a whole new meaning to love never fails. Keep grieving, living and most of all, keep standing. I’m sure you will be in great company tonight with your friends. You and Little TDJ are always in my prayers. God Bless.

  6. I totally see trying to get over it quickly but I could see that being very dificult. TDJ you are doing and living the unthinkable right now and if it were me, I dont think there would have been a day that I didnt cry. So let it happen. On the 9th, the 10th, the 11th and as long as you want/need. My prayers continue to go out to you and little TDJ.

  7. I am in chills. The unimaginable has not only happened by continues to be true. Your description of that morning is heartbreaking. I really don’t even know what to say but I am still praying.

  8. I don’t always leave a comment, but I do keep up with your posts. I can relate to this…though for me, it was not a spouse…and now it has been many years…and I do not feel the same effects each month…but every January…it starts around the 23rd…and by the 26th I’m ill…without fail…I’ve found that the best thing for me to do, personally…is take a bit of time and reflect, pray, cry if I feel the urge…and feel what I’m feeling. Love u girlie. ❤

  9. My heart aches for you. I wish I could take the pain away. But, this is your journey to take, and know that each step brings healing…..no matter how long it takes.

  10. I am so heartbroken for you. This line especially, “We’d shared a heart for 2 decades and gone through too much for me NOT to know.” I agree on the power of journaling and how it helps clarify patterns. I know the date has passed, but I hope you were surrounded by your dear friends that night.

  11. Take your time. Grief is real, its a process, it takes years sometimes. That rabbit hole is real. I know I just climbed out of it a month ago after I spiraled about my mothers death. I see the importance of a therapist now. I didn’t when I lost my mother but now I get it. I need one. You’ve inspired me. Please don’t feel the need to rush.

  12. My heart is breaks everytime i read your posts…i know God is with you and yours and He will in due time make the pain a little less! you are so strong…but you don’t have to be strong everyday…and that’s ok.

  13. I want to say that I know exactly what you are going through. I do not.

    I want to say it will be OK — today. I cannot.

    I will say you are exactly where you are supposed to be at this moment in your healing and recovery. There is no time limit or time frame with a start and finish date. Keep dealing with your life that is filled with love through this pain.

    I can say that I know you are doing an excellent job of being Mrs. TDJ!

  14. Mind if I selfishly blabber on about myself for a second? When my mom passed, I knew. I knew instantly. Even in my sadness I had an instant peace before anyone said a word. I felt her leave, just like you felt him. I think that’s Gods grace, in that very moment. And on the 19th of each month I too unwillingly acknowledged her passing. It has gotten better. I barely notice if it’s the 1st or the 19th. But the holidays are still hard. You have my birthday, her birthday, christmas, johanna’s birthday, and then the anniversary of her passing. I’m worn out already. It has been rough. ROUGH. I’m already expecting the worse for my birthday. I already know it will be horrid for me. No one celebrated it like my mom did, and I won’t have her birthday to look forward to days later. Thank God I will be celebrating with you ladies the night before :~) I say all that to say…I don’t know, but I know :~). I’m still praying for you hun, and think of you often ❤

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