i went back to work on monday. it was hard. my emotions were bubbling just below the surface and i shed many a tear throughout the day. tuesday i did better. wednesday i was a complete wreck and i was just getting really sick by then. i stayed home thursday and today to try and rest. i am just so run down. i've not been sleeping or eating well and i think my body is just not fighting it off. i wanted to write out a little bit of what happened. this is only a small glimpse into things. some stuff is just way to personal to share, but here is a portion of it...
o died at home on sunday, december 13th from a gunshot wound to the head. he shot himself. i replay the day in my head over and over and over. it has destroyed me. my world has been turned upside down. i couldn't possibly write all the details of the day or everything that had transpired that led him to this point. o suffered greatly from chronic pain and he suffered it privately and without complaint for over 20 years. i am the only one that witnessed the intensity of his suffering. it weighed on me heavily and changed me into a different person. it gradually took all of the things away from him that he enjoyed. skiing, climbing, kayaking, canyoneering, backpacking, mountain biking...all the things we had always done together. he always supported me as i continued to go on adventures without him. and i was always overwhelmed by guilt. he always wanted me to go and do the things i love even though he no longer could.
o was in the hospital for a few days the week of thanksgiving getting some help, but something about his physical health was going very wrong too. he came home and struggled. he couldn't eat or sleep and he was quickly losing a lot of weight. the medication he had been taking for over 15 years to manage his pain starting making him sick each time he took it. i was so scared and emotional. i didn't know what to do for him. i felt completely helpless and it killed me to watch him as he withered away. his pain was out of control and his body was now going through withdrawal. he sought help on saturday night and didn't receive any.
i was home when it happened. he was in the basement. he locked the bathroom door and got into the shower and closed the door. he did that for me. so i wouldn't have to see. i am eternally grateful to my neighbor marv, who came to my rescue, got the door open, confirmed what had happened and made the call to 911. he can't ever erase what he saw from his memory. i am so sorry marv. i love you. thank you for bearing that burden for me.
the fire department, the police, the ambulance and the homicide unit all came. and as you can imagine all of the neighbors started coming out to see what was going on. marv and karl stayed with me the entire time. once the police were done questioning me the neighbors swooped me over to lehua's while the medical examiner came to take owen away. i was in shock. it was like an out of body experience. i still can't comprehend it. it still doesn't seem real.
i stayed at lehua's for the remainder of the day as her home filled to the brim with people coming to love me and tell me how sorry they were. lehua was a gracious host and it probably felt overwhelming to her to have so many people in her home, many of whom she didn't know very well. neighbors brought food to feed my family. lehua made phone calls to family i wasn't able to make. she also scheduled the cleaning crew to come and take care of everything so that it was done when i went home to sleep that night. my neighbors took care of literally everything. along with o's family, my family, members of my church and our friends. i could never ever even begin to thank every body for everything they did for me. it is completely overwhelming to think about.
o's uncles and his brothers and my brother cory and my nephews swooped in and tore the basement bathroom out and started putting a new one in immediately. hours and hours of labor and hundreds of dollars worth of supplies. the generosity seems endless.
my dad made the casket. it is made of walnut and shaped like a coffin. it is beautiful and original and o would have loved it. o's brothers bought a plot at the cemetery right next to their mother. they also made a disc of photos with music. we had fun sifting through old photos for hours and reminiscing. they helped me write the obituary. lehua and my sisters bought the succulents and pots i picked out for the funeral. christine went on a mad search to find the perfect runner that fit my specifications for the top of the casket to set the plants on. my parents covered all of the funeral costs up front without blinking an eye. i will pay them back soon. my family made sure i had a full stocking and presents under the tree for christmas at the cabin. my sisters left their families for a week to be with me and sleep in my bed with me. my fellow church members provided lunch for everyone after the funeral. cory put baseboards in and he and my dad reinstalled a window that was leaking. christine and melinda randomly brought me my favorite foods. christine has been taking me to work in the mornings. lehua has stayed at the house many nights with me because i wasn't ready to be alone. people have given me money that has covered my expenses while o and i haven't been getting paid. lehua took me to my oncology appointment yesterday and then took me to get some groceries because i haven't bought food since the first week in december. mel and justin have visited me and brought me sweet things. my friend julie made a complete dinner for me including dessert and it was all grain and dairy free. and it was all delicious. jeri took me to see a movie and we joked about being widows in our thirties. she gave me good advice. jody and danielle brought a giant box of great snacks from costco for everyone to eat. erika and ethnie brought lunch and breakfast. jolie brought a generous amount of food the day o died. people have sent me letters, pictures, articles and emails that i will cherish forever. paula's daughter made an absolutely beautiful book for people to write in. orion and sheryl hosted the memorial party in their home the night before the funeral. sisters in law made tons of food for it. brad, jeff, o's brothers and the bishop said beautiful things for the funeral service. it was perfect. andy has been so supportive of me and has worked so hard making the bathroom a perfect new place. lehua and christine have basically never left my side. this could go on for days. so, i will stop and just say thank you to every single person for everything you have done for me and for your love for owen.
i have zero anger toward owen. he is not selfish. he is an amazing man. we were meant to be together and i cannot wait to be with him again when he is just owen with no pain. no limitations. i know his heart and soul and there is no better person in the world than him. he is my eternal companion. i miss him so much it is physically painful. he was so cool. he had a style no one else had. he had great lips. i miss kissing them. i miss his smell. i miss his support and all of his kind words. he always always built me up and told me he was proud of me and that i was the best thing that ever happened to him. he forgave me for things that would be hard to forgive. he even loved me more. he encouraged me and told me i was cute. he loved my freckles and red hair. he told me i had a cute little butt. he was fun in the bedroom. we had good sex. he was a generous lover. i miss how he always asked me if i had a good run when i would come home from my early morning run. i miss his annoying habits. i miss the sound of him pulling into the driveway on his motorcycle. i miss listening to music with him. i miss hearing his anime playing in the basement. i miss his voice of reason.
our life together was hard. really hard. but, worth it. o made me a better person in every way. i am so glad he is no longer in pain. when his spirit left his body, i feel like it was a giant sigh of relief. like it said, "i'm free."
i'm having a hard time. so many things going on in my head. so much sadness. thinking about conversations we had or the last time we touched. i didn't get to say goodbye. i didn't get to say goodbye. how do i navigate this life without him? he has been my partner for almost 20 years. over half my life. i am not cyrie. i am cyrie and owen. half of me is gone. it hurts. so much. he died one week after our 18th wedding anniversary.
i dream about him and it seems so real.
o's family is my family. they check in every day. my neighbors are my family. they do pretty much everything for me.
this was "our" song
i want to share a quote with you from o's funeral.
"the most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. these persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and deep loving concern. beautiful people do not just happen." elisabeth kubler-ross
o was a beautiful person. his heart was made of gold. i am so blessed to call him mine.
i love you owen. your wife forever and ever. i miss you.