Christmas in July.

The 7 month mark for us is July.

I can’t believe I haven’t spoken to Jesse since before Christmas. I can’t believe he’s been somewhere else or no where else for more than half of a year. What has he been doing? Where is he?

I am still hurting but my feelings are in different places. I know I won’t ever get over it. It will only change. And it has. So I guess I will mark here those changes.

Our fridge with Christmas decor.

I’m trying really hard to take down my Christmas decor. I have made progress, but I can only chip away at things. To take everything down at once is much too overwhelming. When I move around or put back too many of Jesse’s things at once I always have a melt down.

This means if Jesse left out a pen, it is challenging for me to put it back where the pens go. I am erasing evidence of his existence.

So that leaves us stuck in Christmas.

Take the artwork off of the fridge. Take December’s dinner menu down. Take the garland from the top of the cabinets.

I was hoping by putting back up my non-holiday decor with the holiday decor I’d want to remove it. But nope. Just made more clutter.

Take the lights off of the front of the house.

People who drive by probably think we are lazy. “Those people still have their Christmas lights up and it’s July!”

But that’s one of the last things Jesse did. Sure the lights are starting to fall off but they are still hanging, for now.

I should probably take these down. Maybe next month.

It sounds strange but by taking photos and writing and I am able to take a bit more down. Putting it here is evidence of its existence. I am securing it’s memory.

Evidence that Jesse was here at one point and I didn’t just make him up. Because it certainly feels as though I made him up.

My best friend and I often speak about being frozen on the day he died. She is 30 and I am now 31, but when asked our ages we automatically say “29” in her case or “30” in my case. Our birthdays never happened.

Lately I have been having more secondary grief. I am grieving a lot for things that Jesse is missing out on. Things he should have done but was not able to.

I have a few select memories in my head that I have chosen to torture myself with frequently.

Here’s one of my favorites:

He’s been up all night. He never slept well. He gets up at 5am. Gets ready and leaves. He’s working by 6:30am, all day outside. He’s driving to work and wishing he could stay home. He has an hour drive. He has no idea he’s about to die that day.

Most days he is depressed now, really only the kids and I make him happy. He feels like he is failing. He feels like he cannot take a day off, we need the money. I text him around 11 in the afternoon. I tell him “next year will be good for us. I will graduate, it won’t be so stressful, just 6 more months.”

He’s about to die in 5 hours. He has no idea.

Around 3 in the afternoon he’s headed to the house. He’s North on U.S. 41. He has no idea in about an hour he will be headed South on U.S. 41, back to the hospital he just passed.

He’s driven some now. The AC is out in our old car. It’s really hot. He’s worked all day, he’s dirty, sweaty, and there’s no AC in his car. He is 5 minutes from the house, I wonder if he felt excited to get home at some point?

But in reality he’s about to die in 10 minutes. He has absolutely no idea.

I have the police report. I saw his x-rays. His head. The trajectory of his vehicle. The notes that it was a struggle for the paramedics to get him out.

He has no idea he’s about to snap his right femur clean. That his lungs will fill with blood. That his brain will swell. That his head will separate from the rest of his body. That his car will flip twice. That he will never see us again. Or anyone for that matter.

This grief is strange because I am longing for him to take a shower. To sit in the AC. To have his dinner. Brush his teeth. Something. Lay in bed and feel calm.

He doesn’t get to do anything. He can’t lay in bed after an exhausting day. He can’t play his game or listen to his favorite podcast. He died after working all day. Not rested. Sad. Sweaty. Exhausted. In his Google search history the last thing he looked up was “pain on left side.” I hate how he died. He was uncomfortable.

It really bothers me.

I am envious of those who die in the comfort of their bed. Yet I know so many widows… that I know that brings it’s own unique horrible issues too. There really isn’t a good outcome. I just think. A lot.

I think about this every day. I’m not sure why I engage in this self torture. It is likely my OCD. (That is what OCD is, torturous repetitive thoughts… NOT cleaning!)

The other thing that I am struggling with is anger. I’ve been pretty neutral (and by neutral I mean = namaste bitches) but I feel like I don’t want to do that anymore.

When I try to leave the house and it’s hot as shit outside, Wren is screaming, my back hurts, she has vomited everywhere, I forgot something… I find myself angry with Jesse.

It is super irrational. I know this. He didn’t want to die, but when I am at my wits end, my anger gets pointed to him as in:

“Thanks for fucking leaving me with 4 kids to raise alone! Like really alone! You’re an asshole for dying!!!!”

I had help here and there, but that daily grind? That’s all me. There is no dropping the kids off at Dads on Saturday. Its me. 24/7.

I do have this gem of a human being helping me now, but I’m awkward sometimes and hesitant to let him do more. What if he dies tomorrow? What if… what if…

I have no true anger towards Jesse, just heightened emotional states. I wait until these pass because I know he didn’t do anything wrong, it was just life sucking.

I do have anger towards “family” though. It is weird much of my support came from friends. Most of the judgement came from select family members. The special ones.

Jesse did me a favor when he was alive and taught me how to chill out. He taught me how to let it go. Or suppress it. Whatever.

But maybe I don’t want to do that anymore. Theres a fine line between letting it go and letting people treat you like shit. I’ve never been one to be quiet but out of some sort of weird respect for Jesse I learned to be quiet.


And I’ve been the fan favorite since Jesse died. Not to people with any class though. It seems there is a common theme of mentally unstable people commenting about what I do or don’t do.

That anger is real. It’s not a heightened emotional state. Its more of a be careful because I see you and I will eventually verbally wreck you, watch your damn self state. Be careful I don’t post a blog and tag your asses state.

Do I actually care what people say about me? No. Because it’s either not true… or maybe it is true… but it’s that malicious intent. That desire to kick me when I am already down. That is what doesn’t sit right with me. The fake support to my face and then behind my back criticism.

Let’s hear it:

“She’s not even a widow. Lol.”

“She stressed Jesse out sooo much!”

“She did WHAT with the money! Omg!”

“Her new boyfriend? Yeah. She started seeing him only 5 months after Jesse died. They won’t last. She doesn’t really know him.”

Her relationship with Jesse wasn’t perfect, yet she is always acting like it is.”

“And evil takes a human form in Regina George. Don’t be fooled. She may seem like your typical selfish back stabbing slut-faced hoe bag, but in reality, she is so much more than that..”

*Okay so maybe that last one is a quote from the movie “Mean Girls.” It just felt appropriate but it is really totally irrelevant.*

Rarely is anything ever said to me. When it is, I gain respect for that person. Like I said, it’s not the thoughts, it’s the intent. It’s the fakeness. It repulses me and always has. Opinions are fine. Gossipy shit talking and weird displays of behavior are not.

I guess it is the human problem. The Freudian “id” if you will. That primitive nature to pin someone as a scape goat. The lack of a higher awareness to not do it. To make an attempt, a poor one, to hurt someone who is already hurting.. that is already so tired.

It is disturbing, yet…

common. Most widows deal with this at one point or another. The criticism.

For now, things have “changed,” as in I obsess over the unfairness of all of it and have allowed my anger to begin to come out. It’s not a stage. I am not in the anger stage.

The “stages of grief” model that nearly everyone knows is inaccurate. I could resolve my anger but it may pop up again in two years or two seconds.

Grief makes emotions go all over the place and frequently at that. I keep them in check but allow them to do as they need.

One thought on “Christmas in July.

  1. Another Beautiful Heartfelt Read. Thanks Rochelle for letting us all read your Deepest Darkest Honest Thoughts. Sending Prayers and Hugs Always XO


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