Open Secrets


Open Secrets

It went right by me, at the time it went over my head, I was looking out the window, I should have looked at your face instead.

I have been going through the painful yet therapeutic process of letting parts of Michele go – Making parts of the house, one room at a time, mine. …going through clothes, shoes, cosmetics, things, etc. I had an evening a week ago that made it clear to me that my home looked as if Michele could just walk back in at any moment. …that it was still her house. …but it isn’t anymore. It’s my house. She’s not coming back.

This is a truth, no matter how painful it may be, that I have accepted, I know is real. …but I hadn’t begun to adjust my life to reflect it. Yesterday, in cleaning out parts of our shared space, our sanctuary, our bedroom, I made a huge amount of progress – but had to face a lot of pain. I found so many memories. Most good, some difficult. Found cards from the baby shower for Mia where everyone had predicted when she would be born (you were ALL wrong by the way) how big she’d be and color of her hair, time of day born, etc… …and then a piece of advice. They were all beautiful and full of meaning, and then I came to the one my mother wrote – “You’ll be the best mom ever. Just trust your instincts and take all the advice with a grain of salt.” My mother predicted so perfectly the kind of Mom Michele would be. Countless birthday, Christmas, Mother’s day cards, her intimate clothing, some pictures (one of her before I picked her up for her Senior Prom)… and her journal.

I sat on the floor of our – of my bedroom. Staring at it. What do I do with this? Do I dare open it? It’s a blessing to see how she feels, have her speak to me in this way. …but I never dared touch it when she were alive, because I respected her privacy, and I always believed that the things that were important she’d talk to me about. I decided I couldn’t or wouldn’t be able to let it go. I had to know. I flipped to the last pages with writing. …then noticed that she stopped writing in it shortly before we lost Dawn on July 18, 2011, and then after that there were simply 3 entries. The last two were in a word – devastating.

I didn’t learn anything I guess I didn’t know, but to see it written there on paper was so hard. It wasn’t anything that made me think for a second that she loved me less, that there was any indiscretion or anything like that – just a printout, in her hand, of what she was feeling and thinking, and what perhaps it foreshadowed.

…the first was a commentary on how she felt being at home after the events of last summer –

August 8, 2011 – “Last night was kind of hard. Mia asked me if I would have another baby so she could have a sister. It hurt to hear her ask that. I told her that I couldn’t have any more babies. Most days it doesn’t seep into my thoughts too deep. I guess I can’t let it yet. Everyone says it will hit me at some point. I’m not so sure. I guess in some ways I wish I could just ignore it forever. Chase is paying more attention to me finally. I really was worried he wouldn’t love me the dame. Scott and I are also stronger for having gone through this together. I love feeling even closer to him. I am worried the extra work and stress is or will get to him. I can see his patience – especially with Mia – is getting shorter. I wish this had never happened. It really scared everyone. Listening to Dr. Bailey explain what happened was scary. I shouldn’t be here right now. I keep thinking about all the things I would have missed. My babies have so much ahead of them, and I am not ready to give up any time with Scott. How could I have ignored all my symptoms and let myself get that bad? I got so lucky. I’m sad I lost my uterus, but it was a small price to pay for my life. I still hurt a lot. That I really wish would go away. I also want more energy to be able to get out and do things. I still don’t/can’t make it very far. I will need more energy next week wen Mom isn’t here anymore. I really wish she didn’t have to go back to work. It’s been nice spending time with her. I just wish I would heal and put this behind me. “

…the second was an entry she made the day after she returned home from Lindsay Lewis’ funeral –

September 28, 2011 – “I gave up writing in here. I was just hard. Yesterday I went to Lindsay Lewis’ funeral. I can’t believe she’s gone. How can she leave her family? How could I have come so close myself? My heart is just breaking and I feel obsessed because I can’t thinking about it or them. It could have been me…”

…wow. Was I asleep at the wheel or what? How could I have not been more on top of her, what she was feeling, what she was thinking, and how, HOW could I have lived through knowing she died on the operating table only to be revived twice, losing a child and not seen this coming a mile a way? …and done something more about it. After reading these passages, I felt incredibly guilty. Hollow. What the hell was I doing when my mind should have been making damn sure my wife was ok, was healthy? Where was my mind? I guess, the only answer I could find was “on things that don’t matter.” …or rather don’t matter as much.

Kicked in the stomach. I cried, and cried and cried. I was literally rolled up in a ball on the floor of my bedroom. I called and shared the entries with my (Michele’s) sister Kira. …all she could say was “wow”.

I’m learning that God works in mysterious ways. The series of events in my life since (and frankly in some ways leading up to) Michele’s death, including and especially some that happened this weekend make me believe, to my core, that we’re not alone. That God or whatever label you want to put on that and our loved ones have a hand in placing things before us. …and that God gives us what we need. …I don’t know if this was a message from God or Michele or any other lost loved one who is trying to guide me along the way, but no matter how painful it was, I was meant to read that yesterday. I’m still not sure of the meaning, …but there is one. There must be.

I think maybe I had to learn that even when we’re together, even when we think we share every thought with the person we call our wife or husband, sometimes, we keep “open secrets”. Meaning they are basically well known facts, only they choose to be ignored or dealt with. We can’t do that – we can’t keep things bottled up. We can’t pretend that the people we love aren’t hurting because we don’t want to deal with hurt ourselves. …and I’m not necessarily talking about matters of life and death. Even little issues. Perhaps even issues that someone on the outside looking in might describe as “petty” or “minor”. Even a minor issue can fester if not dealt with head on. We can’t pretend as married couples (or those in committed relationships) that an issue will resolve itself or make your marriage better/stronger because we pretend there is no problem. Ignoring reality doesn’t make it go away. It just prolongs the misery. No Open Secrets.

Open Secrets

It went right by me
At the time it went over my head
I was looking out the window
I should have looked at your face instead

It went right by me
Just another wall
There should have been a moment
When we let our barriers fall
I never meant what you’re thinking…
That’s not what I meant at all.

Well, I guess we all have these feelings
We can’t leave un-reconciled
Some of them burned on our ceilings
Some of them learned as a child

The things that we’re concealing
Will never let us grow
Time will do its healing
You’ve got to let it go

Closed for my protection
Open to your scorn
Between these two directions
My heart is sometimes torn

I lie awake with my secrets
Spinning around my head
Something that somehow escaped me
Something you shouldn’t have said
I was looking out the window
I should have looked at your face instead.

I find no absolution
In my rational point of view
Maybe some things are instinctive
But there’s one thing you could do
You could try to understand me
I could try to understand you
You could try to understand me
I could try to understand you


This entry was posted in Family Life, Grieving, Marriage, Spiritual Growth. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

One Comment

  1. Razan
    Posted 11/29/2012 at 4:15 PM at 4:15 PM | Permalink

    Thank you. This really resonates for me…Im so sorry you have to go through all this guilt and pain, but I am so thankful that you have the courage to share your journey with us so that we can learn fron you

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>