Three Years…

Dear Hoop,

This coming Saturday marks three years since your death. Three years of replaying every last conversation we had. Three years of seeing you through my rearview mirror as you buckled up the kids and said good-bye for the last time. Three years of watching you live and breathe in our kids. Three years of questioning your actions. Three years of living with my guilt.

But this year I had decided to ignore the anniversary. I’ve moved on (didn’t you get the memo?). I am happy. I have an amazing life.  I am so fucking balanced that acrobats and accountants are wondering how I do it. (stop laughing, it’s true..mostly.)

Yet somehow you have managed to slip into my subconscious.  Despite my best efforts, you have snuck past my mental roadblocks and have invaded my dreams. For weeks now I’ve been tormented with the most horrendous nightmares that I’ve decided to just stop sleeping all together (The local coffee shops can thank you for the influx in sales).  I won’t go into the gory details (’cause obviously you already know them) but for real… STOP IT!!!!

And I’m not the only one feeling you this week.  Sunday was like all of us were PMSing on steroids.  Even Lucy was hissing at everyone that walked past her.  We didn’t have to mention your name or reveal the impending date but it was there.

Last night at dinner I was casually talking about our upcoming weekend plans when Moxie looked me straight up and said, “but what about Daddy-Day?”

God dammit.

Oh right, D-Day. You remembered.

Deep breath. That’s okay, I do better when I’m not in the elephant’s shadow anyway.

Me: Of course we can do something to remember Dad. Let’s think about some options. But in the meantime, do either of you want to talk about it or do you have any questions?

Her: Well I learned a lot about depression when I wrote my speech and I know that there are lots of kinds of depression so I’m just wondering… what kind of depression did Dad have? I mean.. he didn’t seem depressed?

Me: You mean he didn’t seem sad?

Her: yeah.. how is that depression? Wasn’t he really happy?

*Insert an hour of me rambling on about how you WERE so happy when you were with them and how much you loved playing with them and how all of that happiness was so very real….despite the fact that underneath, you suffered from depression.  Sweet Jesus, I really wish you’d left me a guidebook or at least an FAQ list of how to answer their top 5 questions.

So we made a rough plan to do something to remember you on Sunday (’cause sorry, it’s not all about you and our Saturday is already scheduled).  It will probably involve food.  And it will probably involve some sort of activity where we share stories and send messages to you.  And it may involve some sort of exorcism to get you outta my subconscious.  But we will take some time to remember you.

And rest assured. you continue to be missed. every day. no matter what date it is.

 

xo

e

Twitter: @pixiepaperdoll7
Instagram: @pixiepaperdoll
#TeamAdventurers

 

Important Resources (because although I can speak about my own personal experience, I am NOT an expert):

If you are currently supporting a loved one with mental illness, please, seek out expert support.  Find support for your loved one and for yourself.

If YOU are considering suicide at this time, please, I urge you to call a crisis line in your area.

 

related previously posted:

Dear Jerk.

Dear Jerk (6 months later)

Stigma Fighters

Approaching Doomsday

Unicorns – by Moxie

 

 

 

 

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Shit is getting real

 Erica Richmond

@pixiepaperdoll7

Team Adventurers are about to embark on our biggest and most exciting adventure yet – We are joining families with my dreamy beau, Keith & his cool kid Kai, and we are moving to Peterborough, Ontario!!!

Making the decision to move was the easy part, getting the house ready to sell on the other hand has been … well.. let’s go with ‘hectic’.

In the last month or so, I have spent a lot of time (read: a gazillion hours) purging and sorting through all of our earthly possessions. As I sit here contemplating whether I should keep this mirror or give away that bowl I am consciously aware of three things :

  1. How much crap one (or 3 ones) can accumulate in the 5 years since living in this house.
  2. How much I have changed (as a person, as a parent, as a lover, as a friend) in the past 6 years since separating from my ex.
  3. The physical contrast that exists between my previous move which had felt so heart-wrenchingly heavy and this move that feels so light and exhilarating.

This process has brought me back to one of my favourite pieces I’ve written. Six years ago last October marked the definitive life-changing time when I chose to leave almost everything (friends, possessions and even some family) for the sake of my spirit and the hope of peace and solidity for those (mainly my kids) who kept near to me.

My remaining tight circle of friends and family supported us with a landslide of pre-loved odds and ends, which kept our first home-on-our-own  furnished and functional. A year later when the kids and I moved into our current and more spacious home I was tasked with searching for some missing living room pieces.

Previously published by Commuter Lit: http://commuterlit.com/2012/05/monday-the-empty-space/

The Empty Space
Erica Richmond

There’s an empty space where a couch should be and perhaps it is a metaphor … for something.

Perhaps this space is an acknowledgement of my suspected commitment issues. After all there is a very good chance that this next couch could be a part of our family for the rest of my life; passed down to the next generations landing in the common room of a small Northern Ontario university residence. It will appear in countless family photographs and receive multiple tags on Face Book. And I have only enough space to commit to one couch. One couch to last a lifetime.

And so plans to occupy this space are quickly thwarted: not enough money, not enough time, not enough selection. Even the sight of furniture stores leaves me gasping to release the anxiety that has filled my lungs.

The same feeling I once experienced on a first date with a hopeful young daydreamer who went into detail describing his future wedding.  By the time he listed his groomsmen I think I was purple. I couldn’t date for an entire year after that.

Perhaps this space serves as a reminder of how I started.

Of how I left.

Of how leaving was all that mattered.

Of how I learned to let go of all things that do not hold a place in my heart and even some things that do.

Of how the thought of forgetting terrifies me more than remembering.

And even though I’ve re-acquired belongings; this empty space remains … as a metaphor … for something.

And yes, we truly did live in this house for about 3 years without any living room furniture. My friends will remember the winter that I dragged my outside lawn furniture into the living room (along with some hibernating spiders, I’m sure) and the kids I got a glimpse of what sitting on pseudo furniture is like. It was kind of nice.  Luckily I was spared having to make any further sufficating trips to furniture stores because my good friends continued to show their love and were kind enough to pass along their lovely gently used pieces, which have since made the living space more livable.

Flash forward six years to the present, where I’ve accumulated more furniture and household possessions than I care to admit and more than I care to move.

But what about those commitment issues you (and everyone else who knows me) may ask? Simple. I just wasn’t ready then. And I’m so fucking proud of myself that I recognized that.  I didn’t rush anything or feel like I needed someone to save me or complete me. I didn’t cave to societal pressures. I knew what I needed and I took the time required to meet those needs.  I needed that time on my own. With my kids. I needed to sort my own shit out before introducing anyone else into my life. It was all part of my amazing journey to get to where I am now. And I wouldn’t change a segment of that highway.

And at some point during the journey, it became clear that not only the rooms in my house were getting full, but that metaphorical empty space was no longer empty either. Keith came by at just the right time and hot damn, he’s certainly overflowed our lives with a mutual abundance of love that we never knew existed. No anxiety. No turning purple.  And I tag him on FaceBook with gusto.

I will never (nor should never) forget about my past but I have my sights facing forward and am so incredibly ready for this grand new adventure!

I’ve been waiting and saving it all ..

https://youtu.be/9HCDV5APkFY