Another girl, another blog

September 9, 2009, 12:41 pm
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We went to dinner the other night and as I looked at him enjoying the glass noodle chicken soup with hot sauce this thought came into my mind: “He eats so verouciously. He eats like he could not. He enjoys the spicy chilis and all the other things he could not. He eats the way he enjoys me–fully, carefully, without missing a beat, and pausing to enjoy the really good moments.”

I hate comparing my boyfriend to my dead husband. Sounds crass, but this is the truth of my life right now.

This past weekend, Labor Day weekend, Mike, Dodger and I went to Big Sur for a three-day camping experience. We had a blast and Dodger got to play in the Big Sur River and stayed close to the campfire at night. Sunday we drove to Monterey and spent the afternoon at a British pub at Fisherman’s Wharf, and had a lovely time walking around, people watching and just enjoying each other.

“He does the things that he could not do. He couldn’t have walked up the hill, much less suffered through sleeping on an air matress in a tent.”

Tonight I am taking Mike to his very first Dave Matthews Band concert (this will be my 10th or 11th time…can’t recall) at the Greek. We’re meeting my friend Heidi for Mexcian food and margaritas before we walk up the hill to enjoy the show in the warm, end-of-summer air.

“He hated going to concerts. The last one was awful, with the cane and the stopping. He had a wonderful time last weekend, dancing the whole three hour show, screaming his head off to the lyrics…”

Next month Mike and I are going to Vegas for a friend’s wedding. We’re driving out, hopefully in a convertable (depending on money and weather) and we’ll probably crash with some friends in a time-share.

“He couldn’t stand overnight trips with my friends. He always bitched and moaned about everything he could…he never saw the positive in the situation, never tried hard to have fun, unlike him. He can have a good time almost anywhere.”

In this stage of my grieving process, I’ve been taking off the rose-colored lenses and am remembering the shitty, awful times that Aaron and I had to deal with. It makes me feel guilty, because so often we’re taught to revere the dead, focus on the positive and the love. But if you think about it, that does a disservice to their memory because it’s not authentic.

I just really wish I could get through this without all of the comparison. It’s not fair to either love.


July 20, 2009, 10:37 am
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Over the last four months, three weeks and two days, I’ve experienced a number of “firsts.” They pop up on me, without notice sometimes, and most are unwelcome. Every once in awhile, there will be a number of firsts that happen on the same day or at the same event. The worst “first” was in March, when my first non-Aaron birthday fell the day before the first month anniversary of his death.

This weekend was chock-full of firsts. On Saturday, I went to a wedding for a friend of mine from USC. It was beautiful, held in her parent’s backyard, with the setting sun making a stunning backdrop for their vows. Saturday was also the first post-Aaron wedding I attended. I wasn’t sad the entire time, but there were moments where the sadness was crushing and the pain of missing him was almost too much to take. The first instance was after the vows, and before the reception started. The DJ played Jack Johnson’s “Better Together” which was the ringtone I had on my phone for Aaron. Then, during the bride and groom’s first dance, I couldn’t help but look at them and remember my own wedding (even though it was in Vegas and we never had a traditional first dance).

Yesterday I went to the Orange County Fair with Mike, Melissa, Josh and their little girl, Lauren. It was broiling hot (seriously, felt like we were on the surface of the sun…), and there were a few hours where Mike and I wondered around the fairgrounds by ourselves. The last time I was at the fair, I was with Aaron, Josh and Melissa (this was PL–pre-Lauren). Mike and I tried all the disgusting fair food Aaron would have never been able to keep down (fried Oreo’s, chocolate covered bacon, giant corn dogs), and had a great time. Then, during the B-52’s concert, I was thinking to myself, “The last time I saw these guys, I was with Aaron. The last time I was at the fair, I was with Aaron.”

Then there is the part of me that is so conflicted. All of these things I experienced as a first “without Aaron,” were also all things I experienced for the first time with Mike. At the wedding, I caught the boquet and he caught the garter. We slow danced for the first time together. Sunday was our first time at the Fair together. It was our first concert together. I had such a wonderful time with him, and yet I couldn’t help but feel conflicted and sad.

I am so lucky that Mike is such an amazing man who is supportive and loving and tender. He gives me my space when I need it, and is there to comfort me when I need it the most. I can talk about Aaron in front of  him, process my feelings, talk about memories and share with him the love that I have for Aaron without him feeling threatened or jealous. I feel incredibly blessed to have found two amazing men to be a part of my life, when there are people out there who never experience these feelings one time. I’m just struggling to find that balance where my Aaron firsts and my Mike firsts don’t get too mixed up.