Wednesday, May 27, 2015

What You've Taught Me

Today is May 27th.
It's been exactly one month since I lost you.
I guess because school is out and I've not written the date on the board this week, I didn't realize it was the 27th until about an hour ago.
And then I fell apart.
But I also started thinking about everything that has happened in the past month and I realized that I have learned a lot.
-You were the messy one. Somehow I've managed to keep the dishes loaded, the clothes picked up, and the bathroom clean (although I do desperately miss seeing your little beard whiskers in the sink).
-Except for my shoes. I'm sorry for all those times you tripped over my shoes. Thank you for always putting them away for me. I had to pick up 3 pairs just tonight from the living room floor.
-I CAN mow the grass. And pull the weeds, blow the driveway, and trim the bushes.
-I CAN'T bring myself to throw away your old, nasty cigarettes. They are still sitting right where you left them.
-You had 12 watches, 6 pairs of Ray-Bans, 17 pairs of shorts, and 23 ties. Not to mention all the shoes....I stopped counting after 50. Really, Wes???
-I finally settled the argument-it was you who always left the bathroom door open.
-Your t-shirts are way cozier than mine.
-I find myself still buying the things you liked. Somehow Oreos and Cliff Bars managed to end up in my grocery buggy.
-You can still make me laugh.

-I cannot finish a gallon of milk before it goes bad. No more buying 2 gallons a week...a half gallon will suffice.
-Car rides are the hardest. I should probably just keep a tube of waterproof mascara in my glove box.
-I will probably end up burning down the house without you coming behind me to turn off the stove. Seriously...this is an issue.
-You hid Hostess cupcakes in the guest room. I found your stash of empty wrappers under the pillows. Oh, and I also found the empty box under the kitchen sink.
-I feel you everywhere. From the geese at your gravesite to the coke bottles in the cooler, I feel your presence everywhere I go and I know that you are with me.
-Love is stronger than grief. Every time grief threatens to swallow me whole, I think of an inside joke we had or a funny moment we shared and it pulls me back out.
-I am so thankful to have gotten to spend 11 years by your side. We somehow managed to create a lifetime of memories in those 11 short years.
-You were, and are, loved by so many. And we miss you so very, very much.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

How to Grieve the Loss of Your Husband

If you've been following me on Instagram, you know that I've had the worst week of my life.
Last Monday, April 27th, my husband passed away.
He had a heart attack.
He was only 32.
Nothing can ever prepare you for something like this.
 I don't know how to grieve the loss of the person I loved the most in this world.
I don't know how to navigate through life without him.
We'd been together for over 11 years-that's over a third of my life.
How do you go on living without someone who has been there every single day for over a third of your life?
My husband was my most favorite person ever. He made me laugh, on a daily basis.
In fact, he made everyone laugh. It was a gift he had, and the reason that I fell in love with him all those years ago. I've spent a lot of the last 10 days remembering all the good times that we had and sharing stories with those who loved him.
And what I've found is that it's almost impossible to think about Wes and not laugh.
He would want us to laugh.
Which is why I'm writing this post.
I went back and forth over how to write this post without seeming like I'm not "grieving properly" or like I'm not "sad enough" (because the truth is, I'm very sad....I've never been so sad).
But I know that Wes would have done anything to make people laugh, and what I'm about to share is guaranteed to make you laugh.
Last Tuesday, after I had been out of school only 1 day, a coworker of mine brought over some letters that my students had written for me. After reading these letters multiple times (and spending hours laughing about them), I knew I had to share them with the world.
He would want me to.
So here goes....
How to Grieve the Loss of Your Husband
by 3rd Graders
"R.I.P. husband"

"Keys for losing someone you love:
-Do not cry forever!"

"Dogs will keep you company."
"We hope you get over the fact that he is gone."

"We hope you will get happy someday."

"Don't worry you're not alone-you have your dogs.
You can also find someone else and you're way pretty enough.
Mr. Lemacks doesn't want you to mope around."

"You can't run away from your sadness."
"I hope you are okay. I am sad, too.
Can you please come back and teach?"

"You should do what he would want you to do, which is being you."

"Here are some happy symbols to cheer you up."
(a flower, a smiley face, a heart, "I love you")

"Your husband was a good man, but cheer up! He is very happy in heaven."

"Think about the good things in your life right now."

"You just need to sit down and eat chocolate.
Also, if you can pray for him and come back to teach us, we miss you."
"Don't worry-your husband is in heaven."
(along with a picture of my husband as an angel, captioned "Your Dear Husband")
"Heaven, heaven, heaven, heaven..."
And my absolute FAVORITE one...
"Life does not go the way you want.
Please come back."

I also found this piece of paper. It was folded up and taped to the inside of one of the cards.
Apparently, they started a petition for me to come back...
So, I'm going to take the advice of my third graders:
I'm going to eat chocolate.
I'm going to keep my dogs as company.
I won't run away from my sadness.
I won't cry forever.
I love you, Wesley Lemacks.