I had one more little brush with my FIL in the days after his death. A couple days after he passed I had been having a challenging morning. I was standing at the stove, ready to steam an egg in the frying pan, I sprayed the pan with cooking spray and added just enough water to cover the bottom and turned the burner on. When the water heated it separated and formed a heart in the middle of the pan. I suddenly had a strong feeling that he was responsible for it and that he was sending me some love and encouragement. I started to cry but felt better knowing that he was there for me. Since then, the "signs" have subsided.
Death is a strange thing when you're expecting it. It seems that when we lose a loved one unexpectedly, we are hit with all the grief and struggling to deal with it all after the death. But when we lose a loved one when we are expecting it - like we just did - it seems that much of the grief is doled out in a sporadic torrent in the time leading up to the death. Waiting for someone to die is horrible. The anxiety of it, the anticipation, the overwhelming sadness of watching someone deteriorate and imagining/dreading what life is going to be like without them. Then when they do pass, there is almost a relief (accompanied by guilt) that the worst is over. But the feelings of loss and sadness and that aching place in our hearts remain.
Steve and I are struggling in our relationship. Or maybe I should say that I am struggling, Steve seems to think everything is ok. I feel lonely. I feel unloved, unsupported, unimportant. I realize Steve just lost his father and he's grieving but I am still his wife and I need some love too. There are no kisses on the cheek, no hugs, no cuddles, no encouraging words, no thank-yous. Yesterday I had a shitty day and was feeling blue and I mentioned it to him and his response was a snarly, "Why!?" He was clearly annoyed that I showed a crack in my Stepfordness. Steve is a wonderful father and loves his kids so much and for that I am ever thankful. But he could step it up in the husband department. He doesn't seem to think I need it - despite numerous discussions/arguments in which I tell him how I feel and he ignores me by watching sports on TV or pretends to be sleeping. I've suggested/begged that we go for some marriage counselling and he flat out refuses - even though he is seeing a counselor about losing his dad. One more thing that makes me feel like I'm not important enough to him. My only hope now is that I get some counseling on my own - if only I could afford it. (Steve's is covered by his company). Most of the time I just block out my feelings and keep on doing my thing - because it's easier to just accept my fate than to try to fix it sometimes. But sometimes it just really feels bad.
In happier news, I've lost 11lbs. I joined Weight Watchers back in January and it's been working out really well for me. I hope to be able to keep going and get to a place where I'm happy and comfortable with my body. It has been really hard with having 3 other people who usually get put before me, but I've managed to stick to it. I am determined.
Steve's 40th birthday is this Friday. I've planned all kinds of things. I arranged to have someone come over on Friday and watch the kids so he and I can go out for dinner. I arranged a surprise lunch/beers at the pub the following day with all his friends. And I bought him a trip for two to go to Calgary, stay in a fancy hotel (cashed in my airmiles), and great tickets to go see the Canucks (our hockey team) play. My mom and dad are looking after the kids for the weekend. I hope he enjoys it and appreciates all that went into it. I am looking forward to a weekend away.
Just got a call from my MIL. She tells me that her and my BIL put some money together to buy a travel voucher for the friends who helped nurse my FIL during his illness. They are both retired nurses and they never left his bedside during the last week and they were simply amazing. I knew that they were going to buy them a travel voucher to thankt hem and I had asked if we could contribute to it. So MIL just called to tell me that the voucher was purchased and they were putting all our names on it. I told her that we would have liked to contribute and she laughed at me. No, we can't afford it but we could have found some money for it. It would have meant a lot to me to contribute. I feel embarrassed and sad that they left us out - even though our names are on it.
She also told me that the funeral home called and told her that FIL's ashes are ready to be picked up. I knew she would have a hard time with that so I offered for Steve and I go collect them. She told me that she hoped I wasn't offended but that she wanted his ashes spread on his birthday and she only wanted it to be her and Steve and my BIL and that they would pick up the ashes that day. I told her I'm not offended and she should do what makes her happy. But since I can be honest here, I'll tell you that I'm sad and yes, a little hurt. I loved him too and I did all that I could during his illness to help everyone and be as positive and loving and caring as I could. I feel sad that they don't want me there for his final goodbye. I will be ok, I will get over it. It just adds to the hurt that I'm already carrying right now.