Taking care of you does not stop…

Trigger warning: Death, loss, and grief

Thank you all for the comments and support. They mean so much to me! I was hoping this week was going to be the week to respond to everyone and comment back. I’ve planning his funeral and this week was my first week back at work (more on that in a bit).

Here are my thoughts of the week:

  • I am back at work but I am remote. I am grateful my work has two weeks of bereavement leave. I did not want to exhaust my bereavement leave all at once because the funeral was going to happen in three weeks. I thought to break my bereavement leave up and take the second week on the week of his memorial service, which is April 1st. The good thing about being back at work: I get to occupy a few hours out of my day not planning for a funeral and closing his stuff. The sad thing about being back at work: Knowing I have to return to a normal life without him. I am grateful to have the privilege of remote work this week because I had appointments such his supervisors dropping off his stuff, a meeting with the chaplain, and a meeting with a couple of people from his HR. Though I worked, I was interrupted throughout the day with dealing his stuff. Remote work also allowed cry and let myself grief and think about our future.

  • My former roommate is a fellow widow. Less than a year ago, my former roommate lost his wife. He told me how alone he was because he didn’t know any other widows/widowers less than 40 years ago. Now it’s a club of two. Talking with him has validated my feelings no matter how ugly they got. He’s been spending a lot of his time writing too. Our conversations have revived some of his writings that have sat in drafts. Who knows maybe we’ll end up with a podcast.

  • I have not had an opportunity to write a eulogy. I just thought about the eulogy this past Wednesday. I talked to my former roommate on how long I should go about the eulogy and where does one begin? Since then I’ve been talking to more people for feedback. Of course, it will start off with how we met and our lives together. The thing I am struggling with the most is sharing the first twenty-four years of his life. He didn’t have the best childhood — they grew up poor and he was always picked on and later in early adulthood, taken advantage of. He always strived to do better but was ridiculed for trying. For him, high school was the worst. He was picked on so much, he stopped caring about trying and dropped out of high school. He got his GED six months after he was supposed to graduate. He didn’t surround himself with the best people. He never elaborated but he always told me he would never let Lana have the childhood and never wished I had his childhood in order to be “relatable.” As much as I want to have people marvel at his trajectory from poverty to a gold-collar worker with a six-figure job, I also want to call out the people who wronged him because he didn’t deserve to be treated the way he did. I don’t want to euphemize it because it wouldn’t be genuine, and it would make me really uncomfortable swallowing my real feelings. I might as well point to people in the audience saying “you are a piece of crap, you are a piece of crap, you are a piece of crap.” Also, my husband knows me as the confrontational type and in some strange way, calling things out can bring us peace.
  • But I also have to attribute that I haven’t had time to write a eulogy because everyone is asking me about my (and Lana’s) whereabouts every hour. Despite that, I still answer all phone calls and text messages. I get that it comes from a position of care and love but it’s getting borderline infantilizing and it has put me in a dangerous situation. My mom tried calling and texting me several times but I couldn’t pick up because I driving. The purpose of the call was the check if I left the house already but it is followed by several questions. The thing was, I already told her my plans for the day on how I was going to step out of the house to run errands. I am usually not the type to pick up phone calls while driving especially if it requires me to think. A few years ago at a previous job, the IT manager had a question about a purchase request I was making. She called me while I was driving. I was in the middle of traffic and the car I had at the time was a stick shift. The thing that annoyed me was that she kept asking me so many questions when I told her repeatedly that I clearly didn’t have the information in front of me right now because I was so engaged on the road. Did she expect me to pull up my laptop while driving? Since that incident, I disabled my phone to take phone calls while driving for years… I think I may need to do that again. It’s also becoming counterproductive because there are times when I am trying to get Lana to nap so I can take care of stuff but instead I’m so pre-occupied with answering questions about my whereabouts and it becomes a rabbit hole on why I am living the way I am living (i.e. “why are you working from home?” “why are you eating takeout?”). Again, I understand it is coming from a place of love and concern but I’m already up to my eyeballs.
  • One thing I learned about his passing is that the care does not stop because he’s gone. I feel now more than ever I have to take care of him. It’s like I have to protect him.

…And yes, I have many more thoughts…I gave myself an hour to write.

Anyways, this weekend we were supposed to go to San Diego for a robotics competition. He volunteered there for the last two years and it’s given him a lot of meaning and joy. It gave him the high school experience he never had. After thinking about it so hard, I am still going down to San Diego. Initially, I wasn’t supposed to volunteer, but we already booked the hotel in San Diego. I see that volunteering is a way to celebrate him because this part of his life meant so much him. My trip to San Diego will be really short. On Sunday, I am leaving San Diego first thing in the morning to meet up with his coworkers. They organized a get-together to celebrate him.

Weekend Coffee Share

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22 thoughts on “Taking care of you does not stop…”

  1. I’m still so sorry for how you found yourself where you are today Julie. It all feels so unfair and wrong on so many levels. He sounds like the kind of guy we need more of, certainly not less. You also deserve such a man as your husband and Lana deserves such a man as her father.
    I am thankful that he leaves a wife devoted to honoring his memory and legacy – it sounds like he deserves nothing less

    More condolences and prayers for comfort

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think it is incredibly unfair. It’s also unfair that he had more “bad years” than “good years.” I am part of a few widows groups on Facebook and some have moved on and dated new people; some have gone well where they have re-married and some have gone completely disastrous. Honestly, I am not going to prioritize getting re-married. I am blessed to have a lot of friends and a strong support system. I wouldn’t want to jump into a relationship to have it be so bad because my daughter will be experiencing too.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Wise call Julie.
        Take the time you need or want now to find a new point of balance for you and Lana. It’s great news that you have such great support nearby.
        Such as you could ever be fine after losing him, you will be.


  2. This is probably too soon for it to resonate but he lives on through you, and you are part of his legacy. So I hope the robotics is a really positive thing for you. I hope you feel him there in you and it helps you with some direction, even if only momentarily. I wish you well at this wrenchingly painful time of loss.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I like the way you put it. I went to the robotics competition this past Saturday and we had a great time. I am glad I went because I got to experience something he enjoyed. It gave me a clearer idea of what to write in the eulogy.


  3. Hi Julie,
    My friend lost her husband a few years ago and that’s when I first became aware of the incredible amount of paperwork that needs to be done when someone passes away. That couple was elderly and not a tragic loss like yours. I’ve been to quite a few funerals and a bit of humour goes a long way. The other thing I really appreciate is a good photographic slide show and they’re fairly standard at funerals now. I would personally like to have two funerals. One which is like a spiritual thing as I’m a Christian and the other with some of my favourite songs, which I guess I could have at the wake.
    It also sounds like you need to have a gatekeeper to give you a break from the phone calls. You can set that up on your phone yourself but maybe speaking to your Mum and she could field some of the calls and hold back on calling you herself when you’re busy. Maybe explaining that you need some time alone and that’s okay might be good because they might feel that you need someone with you all the time.
    Hope that helps.
    Love and best wishes,

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I haven’t thought about screening calls but that’s fine. I’m sure they understand safety takes precedence…and so is getting Lana to sleep. If I’m occupied I just reply with a text to just text me. There is paperwork though I’m someone who likes to do as much work as I can as soon as possible, there are lag times because I need a death certificate in order to move things forward. It might take me about three months to take care of these things…


  4. Sweet Julie, I read this post thinking that I must be misreading it. I am so so sorry beyond words. I did not even know your husband was ill. I wish I could do more. My first husband died when I was 43. I took a month off, and I was still so tired and tearful. My heart goes out to you. You and Lana are in my prayers.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello, Marsha, that’s fine I haven’t written a lot lately so I’m not too worried about anyone trying to catch up too much. This has occupied so much of my time. I’m sorry about your first husband. Whether it was losing someone through accident or illness, they’re still both tragic. Next Wednesday, I return to the office after being out of the office for almost a month. I’m a little nervous. But then again, I was nervous about going out of town this past weekend and I’m glad I went over that fear because it became a weekend of healing.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I took off a month from teaching. Even then it was hard. I was lucky to meet Vince. He saw me through the hard times. If you need anything I’m only a few hours drive away or a text.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. That’s wonderful to hear about Vince. For me it will be a long time until I find someone. I was 23 when we met too. I am actually working on other things like planning for the rest of my life and Lana’s.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. That sounds like a good trip to San Deigo for a lot of different reasons. One of my Grands has participated in a Lego robotics competition the past 2 years. It seems interesting.


  6. Thank you for sharing your heart and where you’re at. You know, we each process grief so differently and yet, sometimes those close to us expect us to respond certain ways and they can’t understand when we don’t. We know they care and love us, but sometimes it can be smothering. I just know there’s no timeline or one way to go about it. Sending you love and hoping peace and healing and answers come. That you’re able to write a eulogy (you may have done this since it’s been a week) that both honors him, but doesn’t sugarcoat the things he went through, and perhaps if it doesn’t directly call people out, you find a way to word things that encourages people to be better and do better.


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