Sometimes I think I’m not doing grief right.
I feel like someone might think, “Grief? Why are you talking about grief? It’s been more than a year. Move on.” Or somebody else might think, “Your husband died. How are you able to function?”
I work very hard every day to be happy. I work at it. I choose it.
I work very hard to give Ellie as much joy as possible and as much connection to her Daddy as possible.
This farm helps.
Matt and I love this farm. Moving here transformed us in a wonderful way. It is incredibly special, and we had a vision for what this farm would be. I told Matt once shortly after we moved here (long before he was diagnosed), “I wouldn’t want to do this on my own.” Well, I’m doing it on my own. I’m working hard to make our vision come true.
So I go ahead and build a garage. The garage that we talked about and planned for and started saving for together. I’m proud that I did this on my own and that our plans for the garage have turned out so well.
But it also hurts.
Matt always wanted to park his car in a garage, and he never got to do that. I built a big two car garage, even though we only have one car. I built a big mudroom with open storage, so that he doesn’t have to open a closet to hang up his coat. The mudroom will have hooks for lots of kids to hang up backpacks and coats. Kids that we don’t get to have. It has a section for Baxter’s leashes and towels, which he doesn’t get to use. My Dad should have been our general contractor, but he doesn’t get to build anymore.
The losses pile up.
I keep busy. I feel most myself when I’m doing things. I also fear that if I stop, I’ll start thinking too much.
So I build a treehouse playground for our girl. I can’t give her her Daddy, but I can give her a fun playground. A place where we find joy.
Grief doesn’t come with rules. I can’t let go of Matt, my Dad, Baxter. I feel them here with me, supporting me through the garage and watching Ellie in her treehouse. I talk to them and keep them part of our life and the farm. I also can’t be crushed by this, not caring for our house, our farm, our girl.
I’m sad. I’m happy. I’m on my own. I’m not alone.
Matt and I had a vision for this farm. I want to make that vision come true for us both. I want it for myself, but I also want it for him. I am committed to him. He doesn’t get to do this. I can do it for both of us.