You Just Can’t Make This Up…

I met a man that I fell in love with. A man that against all of my walls and defenses, I fell head over heels for. But then he died. No, I don’t mean I found out that he cheated and that he was dead to me, I mean he passed away 2 hours after my last text message to him. I wish that was the end. I wish that it was a tragic point that I was able to mourn the man I loved. But it didn’t happen that way…

It has been three months since he died. I can still remember the day vividly. I had just switched jobs and he sent me a text while he was at work. He was the type of man to wake me up every morning with a good morning text telling me how much he loved me and missed me. He worked as a cell tower service technician and had messaged me as he was going up the tower. I texted him two hours after that only to find out that two minutes prior to the text he fell. I found it odd that day that he never responded. I waited and called, but he never answered. I didn’t find out until two days later that he had passed away.

I was devastated. I lost it. I couldn’t believe that the man I had started to talk about marriage with was gone. I didn’t get to say goodbye. The worst part was that we hadn’t yet met each other’s families, so they didn’t know about me. I had to reach out via Facebook.

I messaged his mother and she allowed me to go to the funeral… Some days I wish I would have never gone. Then I wouldn’t have found out what I did. When I got there, I noticed a girl my age sitting not too far from the front. She was crying. A picture of the two of them sat next to the casket. At the time I didn’t think anything of it. He was a gorgeous man that women tended to gravitate towards, so I just assumed she was another one of his good friends.

She got up to speak and told the crowd about how she met him and how she loved him. I sat there in silence, crying in part because the man I loved was gone, and crying because suddenly I knew who she was.

Later that day I messaged her on Facebook only to find out that he had been dating both of us at the same time. He had told us he wanted to marry both of us and he had even met her family. It was a whole different aspect of heartbreak. I still don’t know how I feel about all of it.

How do you handle finding out that the man you thought you were going to share your life with was saying the same exact things to another woman? To add a little icing to the cake, I found out from a mutual friend that eight other women had come forward claiming to have been dating him.

It made me sick to my stomach.

Grief was hard enough without adding anger into it. However, I learned something. I learned that I was stronger than I thought I was. I learned that death could not crumple the woman I was.

I went to his grave later and told him what I thought about his lies. I had to smile. The man I thought to be slightly naive and a little uneducated was actually the best liar I had ever met.

He fooled me, but I cannot say I hate him for what he did. It’d be pointless, haha… He’s dead.

The funny thing is, I still miss him sometimes. If he were alive I would have broken up with him and never spoke to him again, but there is something about the permanence of death that gets to me. I had never dealt with death until he died.

I dealt with death in a scientific way. I studied it. I studied what happened to bodies when they die and when they’re buried. I studied a little deeper into my faith and took a serious look at the existence of Heaven and Hell. Still can’t say I’m sold on the idea, but I don’t like the idea that the man I knew is just completely gone.

It seems a waste of life and personality for the essence of a person to simply vanish after death.

 

I rant now, partly to vent and partly to let out the grief that I have a hard time putting into vocal words. It’s hard to understand grief and loss and love when everything is gone so suddenly.

Perspective: Goodbye Bailey

 Yesterday Heaven got a new dog. My dog, Bailey. That was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do.

She was given lots of treats yesterday. There were dog cannolis, squirrel shaped cookies, and dog bones given to her throughout the day. She got her belly rubbed and behind her ears scratched. The collar was taken off and Bailey got scratched where we usually couldn’t reach underneath her collar. She even got to lay on the couch (something she wasn’t normally allowed to do). She looked up at us, tail wagging and tongue hanging from the side. The tumor enveloping her lower jaw and pushing out her teeth was painfully obvious. I knew that it had to be done.

Each family member got to whisper sweet things to her and love on her. Our other dog, Striker, napped by her side and wherever she went he followed. When 5 p.m. came along my mom and I piled into the truck with my grandpa and Bailey. My little sister scream cried as she left the house, unable to deal with the fact that Bailey had to go.

As we left the house, the concept of what was happening became real for me. God I wanted to cry. My baby had cancer, but she was still happy. She could still eat treats in the back of her mouth, but I knew that if we didn’t do something about it she’d get so much worse.

When we went got into the vet they already had a room ready for her. There was a flower-print blanket on the floor for us to sit with her. The vet came in. Bailey wouldn’t let him stick a needle in her paw so we all had to hold her down as he sedated her in the rear. She yelped and whined. I cried. I stood up and gave her a couple of treats from the jar on the counter. She happily accepted them before she began to shake and lose her balance.

My mom and I laid her on her side and whispered sweet words to her as she slept. The vet put the catheter in and injected the medication. I was beginning to shake and bawl at this point. She stiffened in her sleep and then relaxed. The vet warned us that she might twitch after she had passed as the sedative and the other medication reacted in her that way.

He leaned over after a moment or two and spoke the words that broke my heart: “She’s gone.”

I leaned down to kiss her head and hold her paw. She gasped. I couldn’t control my tears as my mom and the vet rapidly assured me that she was dead and it was an involuntary reaction. It happened two more times and I lost a little bit of myself each time. Then she stilled.

The odd thing about dogs when they die is that their eyes don’t close. I cried and held my dog. I couldn’t comprehend that the sweet pup that had pulled me out of my depression before and was the reason for so many decisions was gone. I petted her body, telling her how much I loved her, and trying to remind myself that we did the right thing.

My dog was gone. I felt the heat begin to fade from her body and we left. I cried in the back seat on the way home. I went outside with the whiskey and honored her in the oldest tradition I’d heard of. I poured a shot whispering, “Hail the victorious dead” and poured in the grass.

I poured a shot for myself and tried to take it. I threw it back up immediately and cried (I can’t take shots of whiskey). I wiped my tears quickly knowing my family was waiting for me back in the kitchen. I went back in and poured myself a drink.

Goodbye my sweet Bailey. You will forever be missed. You were the first big dog I ever had and one of the reasons I fought to have a relationship with my dad. You were my cuddle buddy during thunderstorms and the first face I saw when I woke up and opened my door each morning. You were the protector of my siblings when they were babies and you were my teddy bear when life got me down. You were my walking buddy, my hiking companion, and my four legged vacuum when I spilled food. You ate everything you saw, albeit cigars, pizza, medication, and yet you always managed to survive. You made me so angry yet you were the sunshine of my life and had the key to my heart. You got sick with mouth cancer and it spread to your brain. I didn’t want you to hurt anymore and I didn’t want you to suffer worse than you already were. I love you, I love you, I love you. You were my Bailey bug, my Bailey girl.

Goodbye sweet girl. You will not be forgotten.

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