Grief is so erratic, so volatile. I realize the *only* way I can healthily survive grief is by experiencing it face on. I have had so many thoughts in the past several days that I want to write about. Writing on this site has been so therapeutic for me. I feel a strong need to stay in touch with the community that has supported me in my darkest hour yet.

This grief keeps changing shape. At first it was such a physical pain–I couldn’t eat for weeks, I couldn’t sleep, I couldn’t breathe, I could barely walk, I would suddenly get shaking convulsions, I couldn’t think.

It’s been 6 weeks since Patrick’s accident–since I last spoke with him–since things were “normal”. This grief continues its physical hold on me in some ways–I continue to have my heart and stomach squeezed, clenched, stabbed, gripped. But, my appetite is back, my breathing more steady, so grief has lessened it’s physical toll.

Now, grief for Patrick seems to be steadily oozing deeper into me, affecting my ability to organize, think straight, plan. My deeper emotions, conscience, the core of me is feeling the pain now.

Patrick and I have both written in journals very sporadically throughout our married life. I’ve been reading through what we have both written. I came across this from me back in 1993, four months before our first child would be born:

Fri. July 16, 1993

I’m so scared of death.  I’ve been so lucky.  No one real close has died, but it’s inevitable, isn’t it?  Can I live through it?  How?  How do all the millions of people who have lost loved ones make it?  God, I’m scared.  I’m terrified.

I know I have to take chances and love all life while I have it.

I often look closely at Patrick, a certain facial feature–like the scar above his eye–or just watch him–how he moves, walks.  I try to embed these in my memory, because I know how final death is–all of a sudden it’s all gone–never to be seen again.

I like to just feel the way he feels alive–warm and moving–his hug, his love, his laughter, his spontaneous being, his personality.  Take it now and love it!

My life is getting closer and closer to his, intertwined with his.  It’s harder and harder to imagine living without him.  I don’t want it to be a sick, unhealthy codependent intermingling.  I want a loving union where he and I are better off for having eachother.

Another precious little life within me now…

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  1. Susie Zimmerer Sprinkle

    Still checking in. We pray for you every night.


    Nancy and family-
    I check your site frequently, just to be sure you are coping. I guess that’s all you can do right now. Cope. But each day brings hope. Your children have full, productive lives ahead of them. While the loss of their father will certainly impact them forever, you can sleep a little more easily knowing that the direction in which he steered them was the right one, and they are better people because of him. My heart aches for all of you, but I can tell how strong you are. Just keep putting one foot in front of the other and breathe deeply. Your steps and breaths will continue to get easier.
    Thinking of you,
    Betsy Wenz

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