Mark Weber's Journal
Valentines Day without my Valentine
Written Feb 14, 2014 7:33pmI'm a widow. I never thought I would say these words. I never thought I would say them in my 40s. Widows are supposed to be old women contemplating the end of their lives. I hate that word. Widow. Whenever I hear that word I immediately picture a black widow spider. And then I realize the irony of it. How much the two have in common. People avoid both, are scared or freaked out over them, try to steer clear of them. Luckily in my version we are not exterminated. But I do realize that some people really don't know what to say. I would struggle with it myself. It's OK if you just say “I don't know what to say”, or “I’m sorry for your loss”, or don't even bring it up! But don't avoid us because it makes a lonely situation even lonelier. A lesson I need to remember myself.
It is hard to believe it has been 8 months since Marks death. Some days I wake up and ask myself did all of that really happen? Yes, it did. I am a widow. My kids no longer have a father. As a mom I want to shield my kids from pain, but I cannot take any of this away. It is an experience they were chosen to have at this young age in their lives. As a parent we can usually share our experiences with them on things because we have been there, done that, but this will be a lesson they will share with me someday. We try our best to ride the waves of grief. You cannot avoid or escape grief. It is best to face it and work thought it. If you don't, it will always be there, festering, and it will find you, making life harder. Don't get me wrong, I don't think you ever fully get over it and are cured from grief. I believe by dealing with it you learn how to positively cope and live. Because that is what we need to do, live.
Much has happened since I last wrote and too much to get into detail. In July, we celebrated what would have been Marks 42nd birthday with our dear friends the Sterns. We had wonderful food and made a toast in his honor. I started a new job and as unsure and scary as it was at first, and at such a hard time in life, it has been a good change for me. Svenja, our German exchange student came to live with us for three weeks this fall. It was a wonderful experience and would recommend it to anyone. We all celebrated birthdays with the twins starting it off turning 13, then myself, and most recently with Matt turning 18! We celebrated by pulling off a surprise party for him. The look on his face was priceless! So far I have been surviving three teenage boys in the house! But I do feel like I live at the grocery store.
The holidays were different but manageable. Those that are familiar with our cat Simon and his naughtiness appreciate that we could not put our Christmas tree up in the family room as we have always done. He would not leave it alone. So,this year it went up in our basement family area so that we could keep the door shut and the cat upstairs. I was sad at first, but realized that it was a blessing in disguise for me. A new area to celebrate and open our gifts and it made the pain of his absence more bearable. Since his "spot" was not empty as we never celebrated there before. I could share with you all some of the difficulties the boys and I have had over the months. But those are private to me. And I am sure you all can imagine some of those dark days. As for today, we are managing along. The memories and talking about Mark are not as painful and I can talk more about him without breaking down in tears. I think about Mark and miss him everyday.
Despite all we have been through we have much to be thankful for. I am thankful for the years I spent with Mark and the family we created. I am also thankful for the village that surrounds and supports my family every day. I honestly don’t know what I would do without them. We can laugh again and make plans. I will live in today.
Grief, Comfort, and Firsts
Written Jul 20, 2013 12:14pmIt has been 5 weeks since Mark left us. I find the days getting harder as the weeks pass. I am more aware of the little things that I miss the most. He was such a booming personality in our everyday lives. There are times when I come home and expect to see him sitting there on the couch. But reality sets in. I envy those that grieve him, but get to go home where nothing is different for them. I am sure that does not make sense to some of you, but I know it does to those who have experienced it. And by no way does that belittle their grief, it is just different.
The boys and I are managing through it. Learning to lean on each other as we have before. Seeking Mark’s guidance through memories, and making new memories in his absence. We are finding things that bring us comfort, and stay away from things that bring us more angst and pain. I am grateful for the time we had to share things about what death brings. I am grateful he was not afraid to talk about his death and not deny it happening. I was more afraid of it than he was. But it helps clarify a life without him.
We have already had some firsts since he died, with Father's Day to start. Matt did some planting in his dads garden as a gift to him. Right after he finished, the skies grew dark and rained. When he came inside he asked me if I thought dad would have like what he picked. I said yes! So much that he is watering them for you. (I know Mark didn't believe in intervention, but I do believe in signs). Another first was the 4th of July. We always spent it as a family with fun, food, and fireworks! This year was harder but we managed to get through and still enjoy the fireworks. Another was a family movie outing. This may not be a first per say, but anyone that knew Mark knew how much he loved the movies. We saw Monsters University. I cried part way through thinking Mark would have loved this!! On the way home we discussed who our favorite monster was and which one we thought dad would have loved. Keeping his memory helps during those times.
And then the little everyday things that I miss: His chair sits empty at the dinner table. No texts saying “hello my love”. His laughter filling the house watching his favorite shows. Him whistling his favorite tunes. His bantering back and forth with the boys. His bird calls. His variety of tea (and the teabag sitting out). Waking up and going by his office to say good morning and he is no longer there. His computer stays closed. I miss His friendship. His love. His affection.
But as Mark would say, you need to realize sadness is part of the equation. You can’t get rid of that. And you don’t call what is sad, happy. You look for the happiness that is right next to it. So what is my happiness to the sadness? He is no longer suffering in pain. Because he was. My world is a better place because Mark left it that way. And at the end of the day, that is all that matters.
Written Jun 20, 2013 9:17amAs I went through the numerous pictures that we have from our lifetime together, I found some healing from his loss. Remembering through photos has been such a big help for me. So many good memories.With that, I would like extend that if you are planning on attending the visitation or funeral. Please bring a favorite photo of you and Mark, or just Mark and write on the back who you are, how you knew him and a favorite story you could share. I will have a basket out for you to leave them at.Also, if you cannot attend and would still like to share, you can email them to email@example.com, or send them snail mailThank you.Kris and the boys.