This has been a hard post to finish. Not sure if it has been avoidance, difficulty seeing what I'm writing due to bleary eyes, or because I don't want my computer to get wet from the tears. As I was looking through the many entries in Todd's journals, I ran across one little sentence that I couldn't seem to shake from the front of my mind.
I was surprised that the thought would cross his mind at first, then I looked at the prior journal entries, time of year, and what was happening at the time of the entry. I remember talking with him about crying on the way home from my grandmother's funeral. So, death and losing someone was heavy on his mind, and as you know if you have read previous posts in this blog, Todd's mind had a constant stream of heavy thoughts.
This really got me thinking of crying in general-what others may say or think when you do or don't cry, those people around me that can't talk to me without crying, how I feel a bit lighter after a big cry, and other random thoughts. All this thinking didn't provide any answers, comfort, or enlightening moments.
It made me think of conversations with my girls the days prior to Todd's celebration of life. One of the girls said that emotions were personal and nobody can tell you how to feel or act. This is so very true. We had conversations of owning our feelings and being confident that nobody else could pass judgment on the feelings or our expression of those feelings. I was glad we discussed this prior to his celebration because the interaction with over 350 people (that really is how many people came to celebrate Todd) waiting to give words/actions of support was a bit overwhelming that evening, especially on top of the already intense emotions from the prior seven months. This conversation made me so proud because it was evidence that Todd and I have raised confident young women, confident in their own skin, emotions and all.
So that being said, did Todd know how much I would cry since March 1, 2020, the day he died? Did he truly wonder if I would cry for him when he was gone? What I can tell you is we had many heart felt discussions on this very topic over the years. Not sure if you do this in your relationship but Todd and I would sometimes talk about what one of us would do if we lost the other. These discussions were quick, usually happening after we attended a funeral or received news of someone dying, and were always met with "but that will never happen to us." Then, seven months ago, even though we were in denial for the first three of the seven months, we knew that this was happening to us.
We both cried a lot in the months leading up to March 1. He cried because he was scared and he cried because he was leaving us. I cried because he was scared and because he was leaving us. I couldn't even think about what I would feel later because I worked hard to stay in the moment, soak in every minute we had left. Although I believe he knew just how much I would miss him, I tried to hold it together as much as possible because when I did cry there was a look of worry in his eyes. On occasion he would say he was sorry which made me cry even more. One time he even said, "I didn't cause this." I worried that my crying made him feel responsible in some way, worried that he couldn't do anything to help me feel better. He was worried for our girls and would put on a smile as much as possible when they were with him, only letting the tears roll after they left. The majority of my tears came when I was by myself because I didn't want him to worry about me. With all these crying scenarios, I believe Todd knew that Maggie, Caroline, and I would miss him every day for the rest of our lives.
Then, I ran across this journal entry as well:
Fast forward ten months from March 1, 2020 and I can tell you tears are still happening. They happen because I have memories, very detailed visual memories, of how he was in pain, or scared. I will see someone with a portable oxygen machine at my work and immediately start crying because it brings back memories of Todd carrying his machine around. Then, I will feel a breeze rush through the doors and I'm ok because I know he is "a thousand winds that blow." Sometimes tears are tears of joy and happiness of a memory or experience when the girls and I will say, "Daddy would.... if he saw/heard..."
So, yes Todd, I cry for you. Then, I pick myself up, focus on the positive memories, find your energy around me, and continue on my journey living every minute, of every day as the best person I can be.