Dear Jesse,

Today you have been dead for one entire year.

I am living this reality but I still don’t really believe it. My brain has tried to convince me I made you up and I magically jumped from being 18 to 31. Any evidence in between isn’t validated by the person who saw me every day.

You have missed out on so much and I often spend a lot of time grieving all of the things you can no longer do. Big and small. So I did my *favorite thing*, and made a list:

  1. You missed Chloe’s 11th birthday.
  2. You missed Wren’s birth.
  3. You missed Oraia’s 9th birthday.
  4. You missed Raiden’s 7th birthday.
  5. You missed The Office, I know we tried to watch it and didn’t get hooked. But I finally watched it and it’s hilarious. I think you would have loved it.
  6. You missed me shoving coffee grounds in your face on Saturdays and telling you to smell them.
  7. You missed seeing who came to my rescue when I lost you, I was surprised at who came.
  8. You missed seeing who abandoned us, I’m not sure if that’s so surprising.
  9. You missed the kids swimming with fish and stingrays. Discovery Cove is such a cool place.
  10. The hotel had a lot fun things to do too, like a giant chess set.
  11. You missed Raiden having a melt down at Sea World. We stayed for 20 minutes and left. It was crazy. Our child wasn’t happy at a theme park.
  12. You missed one of our children’s new medical diagnosis. It sucked to hear. I cried. It sucked dealing with your death and then shortly after being alone and hearing this problem alone.
  13. Meki got married. I went up to Georgia and was one of her bridesmaids. It was a nice night.
  14. Sarah got married too. It’s crazy I ended up having so much in common with her.
  15. You missed us getting a fence. Remember how bad we wanted one? It’s the one I wanted- not the one you wanted, sorry.
  16. You didn’t get to see my law school headshots. They came out really nice. I know you would have thought they were so cool.
  17. You missed Wren’s first word. It was dada.
  18. A bunch of Marvel movies came out, I think you would have liked some, you also would have critiqued them.
  19. You missed playing Dungeons and Dragons. Cool stuff came out. I wish I could get it for you.
  20. Kim and I set up your desk. You never got to use it. You would have loved it- all of your D&D books, figs, paints, lights, tools. Its so cool. But it just sits there. Empty.
  21. You didn’t get to tell us the end of our D&D campaign. We will never know what happened.
  22. The kids finally saw mountains.
  23. They also explored Savannah and ate at a pirate house.
  24. The kids went to an apple orchard in the Carolinas.
  25. Biden became president. You don’t care much for politics but you didn’t know the outcome.
  26. COVID died down, but then kinda came back.
  27. The kids also saw a waterfall.
  28. You missed dressing up for Halloween.
  29. You missed Thanksgiving, I did all the cooking.
  30. You missed New Years. We still got Chinese food but it was really quiet.
  31. You missed our annual Summer party.
  32. I wish I could tell you that I’m dating Scott. You would never believe it. He is really awesome.
  33. I actually broke my phone for once and had to get a new one. So not like me.
  34. Your co-worker is really awesome too. Hilarious actually.
  35. You cant use Fabuloso on the floors anymore, that was your favorite cleaner.
  36. You missed bacon.
  37. You missed all of those horrible foods you like. Like gas station chicken wings. Gross.
  38. You missed cooking. No more gourmet eggs or whipped coffees. Certainly no more beef Wellington, that one is too hard.
  39. You missed sleeping in bed with clean sheets.
  40. You missed us getting a bigger, more reliable car.
  41. You missed taking the car in to be fixed. That’s not fun, but it doesn’t matter. Life can be very vibrant and you aren’t here for any of it.
  42. You missed sitting in a theater.
  43. You missed seeing our older children take care of Wren. I was so hurt the other day realizing you never saw Raiden as a big brother.
  44. You missed all of Wren’s outfits. I dress her just like I said I would. I put the biggest bows on her head. It is ridiculous.
  45. You missed seeing Wren in ads. It never gets old.
  46. You missed Kim’s birthday. It was 3 days after you died. I don’t even think she remembered it.
  47. You missed your friends. They all miss you. So much. I got so many messages. You were important.
  48. Trevor Moore, from Whitest Kids You Know, died. Many deaths Im indifferent to honestly, but that one stung. Another piece of us, gone. That show was great.
  49. You missed taking down the Christmas decorations. I left them up almost an entire year.
  50. You missed doing Christmas cookies.
  51. You missed me writing publicly. I finally did it. I thought I’d write about world topics, religion, politics. You missed that I write about grief and addiction.
  52. You missed getting family photos done. They came out nice, but it was weird to do it alone.
  53. You missed running. Cardio sucks. But you can’t run. You can’t move. It’s just nothing.
  54. You missed joining a gym with me.
  55. You missed eating healthy.
  56. You missed eating.
  57. You missed Wren crawling.
  58. You missed Wren eating her first food.
  59. You missed Wren.
  60. You missed me thanking you for my Christmas gifts. I still haven’t opened the espresso machine but I hope I can soon.
  61. You missed me getting the floor tiled. That nasty carpet is gone. It looks so much better and is so much more functional with 4 kids and 4 cats. When the carpet was removed I cried when I realized last second that I’d never see the stain you left in it from your coffee.
  62. You missed your nephew being born. You would have been elated. He has so much hair.
  63. You missed Chloe going to middle school.
  64. You missed all this new music I found. Yes it’s a bunch of indie stuff.
  65. You missed watching anime with me. I think you would have liked Re:Zero, or Junitaisen.
  66. You missed me returning to my old self and not putting up with bullshit anymore. Honestly it’s one of the positives.
  67. You missed me failing a class. Yep I actually failed one finally.
  68. You don’t know my new friends, the widows. I have a lot of them. At first I thought I was some unique anomaly but now that I’ve surrounded myself with death its so normal to me. I’m normal.
  69. Did you know we were on the receiving end of a charity? Man that doesn’t feel great let me tell you. I’m glad we have them but I always wish I could be on the giving end.
  70. I wish you could see how important you were. I think it kills me that your inner voice convinced you that you were worthless. Why did it do that? I wish you could have seen your kids without you. They need you.
  71. You missed me getting everything you said I needed, that you couldn’t do. Just basic things. I’m sorry you were right and I hate that for you. I still don’t understand why you, and others like you, could not overcome your sickness.
  72. You missed Scott taking care of us. A decent amount of people think it’s disrespectful but I honestly can’t think of a better alternative. You would want that more than anything else.

There’s so much more than this. These are just things I came up with quickly.

Every facet that you are missing that goes unaccounted for. It’s overwhelming at times.

I still do not feel as though this is real. Maybe I will soon.

I don’t have much reflection after a year besides the fact that absolutely nothing matters, in reality. Nothing really matters. But it also matters a ton.

Very confusing to be stuck between two extremes.

But that’s where I live now, in between extremes. I am the happiest I have ever been. I am also the saddest I have ever been. I just carry on through my day like this.

Extremes.

So far today I made it to the gym. I’m writing this on the treadmill. Pretending to be normal.

But I actually feel like I’m wearing a bright neon shirt that says:

“HEY EVERYONE MY HUSBAND DIED TODAY LAST YEAR! YEP TODAYS THE DAY! I CAN’T BELIEVE IT EITHER!!”

But for some reason everyone is blind. So no one can see this shirt but me. But I swear im wearing it. At least that’s how it feels.

I think that’s how it feels.

3 thoughts on “Dear Jesse,

  1. “But I swear im wearing it” this line hit me so hard. You have such a way with words. My heart aches for you guys and for Jesse. We love you guys infinity. Never stop pouring your heart out to the world.❤️

    Liked by 1 person

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