Sunday, July 10, 2022

Epilogue (July 10, 2022)

Today is six months since Cyndi's passing. Not a day goes by where I don't spare her a thought. Most days I still shed a few tears. Every now and then, I have a full on breakdown.

But the days get better all of the time. This is my first experience with any sort of real loss, so I don't know if am doing a good job of navigating this or not but I know that I wake up each morning and face each day as best I can.

I thought I would spend a few moments and write out some thoughts and feelings about how this process has gone so far. What I think about it, how I feel. How life seems to be going as both a means to further help me heal and a mechanism to share.

The Kids:

I guess the biggest piece of all this has to be the kids. In fairness to them, it is very difficult to tell how they are dealing with all this but they seem to be doing well. It is easier for them to talk about her than it is for me. They constantly say "Mom would do this" or "Mom would do that", usually as a means to insult my cooking. But, they are able to talk directly about memories or feelings that would otherwise make me cry. I love that they are able to do that. I try to talk about her as often as I can but sometimes it just gets emotional. Twice on this weekend someone has asked if I was single or married, in front of the kids. I said "single" both times, and both times I wanted to reach across the counter and slap the person who just asked. Like does it fucking matter if I am single or married for my goddamned Hilton points!!!

The big kids had the hardest time with all of this emotionally at first. Being a little older, I am sure it hit just a little bit harder. Carson is as level as ever, that kid rarely goes up or down. He is sweet though, not a typical 15 year old boy. On a long drive at a truck stop gas station he asked me to buy him a Winnie the Pooh stuffy, which of course I did. He will occasionally do these deeply sweet things that express a deep emotional connection with his Mom. Little things like the way he folds the blanket we made of her shirts, or he draws hearts on our calendar for dates of emotional significance. Later this month, I am taking him and a friend to NYC to see his favorite artist in concert (Mitski). It will be a great chance for me to see him in his element without his brothers.

Becks is my typical 14 year old kid. I am super excited that he is playing football again, not just because I like football but because at 45 I am still thankful for what football did for me as a high school kid and I hope it does the same for him. He is a very emotional kid, and the kid who is most like me. His attitude and actions remind me of 14 year old Eric. He seemed to have a very hard time right after his Mom's passing. I didn't know how to best help him, but he mentions her the most now out of all the kids. He talks about her with such fondness. I love that. He has the strongest friend network of the boys, and I think that helps him. Although, I could do with a little less of his gaming. 

Grant is unique animal, I see these little bits of both Cyndi and I in him. He is thoughtful and sweet and funny. He has a go with the flow mentality that screams of his Mother, and then just like his Mother there are certain things that HAVE to be a certain way. His personality is the perfect compliment to his twin, who wants everything his way. I was amazed at how the twins dealt with all of this, I can't imagine what this all must have been like for them. Having to see her get sick, going to see her in the hospital. Can a kid understand what is happening around them in all that shit?  

Gabe has been the most challenging of all the kids. He is not only physically the youngest (by a minute) but he is emotionally the youngest. He has anxiety and some odd ticks when it comes to physical feel and eating that stress me out. Grant has many of them too, but his are more straight forward and easier to overcome. Parenting the twins are where I miss Cyndi's guidance and calming influence the most. She had a way of dealing with the kids that I just can't quite replicate, and sometimes my frustration boils over and I yell about the damn grilled cheese or the fact they are terrified of flying insects. But I will admit, I calm down much faster. I get back to center, I apologize to whoever got yelled at, and I try to talk it out. She must be working hard on my shoulder.

All in all, I am really confident that the kids are going to be OK.  Not just OK, they are going to be exceptional. We have some work to do, but we are fine to do it.


I am doing OK too.  Really, I am. The biggest "problem" I guess is that I get lonely sometimes. But I don't really want do anything about it, I just want to be alone in that feeling. I know that may sound odd, but it is how I want to process it. I am never really alone, I am surrounded by the kids, family, friends, neighbors, and even a sometimes sweet cat. But there are times, moments, when you look at that spot on the couch or the passenger seat of the car and it "looks" empty. Not just like no one is there, but that something specifically is missing. It is a deep emotional feeling of loss, like a blackhole of happiness. But, I think that is OK. Its a way for me to acknowledge what I have lost, to get lost in those feelings, even if only a second or two.  Then I smack myself in the face, say some Batman type shit, and get back in the game. Really... I do that all of the time.

I don't feel like I am married anymore. I am also 100% aware of those around me that loved Cyndi too, and I don't want any of them to feel like I am being disrespectful to her memory or my feelings about them. If I say that out loud, people will say stuff like "that is not your concern", but let me tell you.  IT IS! Her legacy, her memory, her honor is a guiding light in my existence. I will go way out of the way to make sure that I am respectful of that. At the same time, I am aware that I am 45 years old. I am aware in perhaps a deeper way than most can understand, that life is short, and I will not dwell in loss and loneliness. 

The first few days and weeks, after I lost her, all I could do was envision this sad old lonely Eric. Dying alone in a hospital bed with no one there to hold my hand. But I don't have those thoughts anymore. I will get married again down the road, and that will be one lucky lady! I am a motherfucking catch, if I don't say so myself. 

This whole thing has narrowed my focus a bit too, which is good. I am now painfully aware of what matters to me and what does not. I am not going to spend any of my remaining time left on the shit that does not matter to me. I am going to take care of my family, my people, and myself in that order and I am going to watch the rest of it burn and I will smile while I watch it.

If you read this, thanks for taking the time. I will try to write more. I have wanted to put so much out there but I was just too emotional about it, and I was worried about hurting other people's feelings. Good news is I have gotten past most of that.  :)  

If you need anything, I am around. 

Know that we are OK, and we will continue to be OK, and I will protect her memory and her kids with everything that I have.

- Eric