Painting

The last few days have been a little better for me. I met a really good friend for dinner on Thursday. We have been friends for over 20 years and she is one of a select handful of people that I can talk to “undiluted”. I cried and felt pretty raw a few times, but just being able to talk openly and feel HEARD was something that I desperately needed…this week especially.

Levi and I decided to tackle the painting of our living room this weekend. We enlisted our friends Erik and Edith to help today. Last night Levi and I worked on prep…getting the room cleaned out…taking off receptacle covers. The painting went really well today and we’re happy with how it turned out. I have never painted before. Painting was always Jason’s realm while I entertained the kids. Sometimes Jeremy would come over and help him. It does feel good to do projects around the house with Levi. I think it gives both of our brains something else to think about and helps us bond.

I still haven’t been sleeping well. Last night I think one of the dogs was snoring and in my sleep it sounded like Jason’s last breaths. Horrible…so horrible…and very hard to calm myself down and go back to sleep after that. I had to get my phone out and scroll through pictures of happier times to get my brain out of it’s “hospice loop”. It’s scary feeling hijacked by my own thoughts and memories at times when I can’t or don’t want to deal with them.

Pain of Memory

Salt flavors my wine
As tears run down my face.
I take a sip anyway
Anything to ease this ache.

I can’t stop replaying
Those days in my head-
Watching you dying
Gasping for breath in that bed.

Those days haunt my dreams-
Asleep and awake-
The memories hurt
How much more can I take?

But do I want to forget?
That scares me too
Because if I forget
What is left of you?

So I try to take the pain
Welcome it in
Until I’m drowning in tears
That won’t stop flowing.
2002

Hands

I was thinking about hands a lot yesterday. I’m sure most of you have read, or at least heard of, “The 5 Love Languages” by Gary Chapman…in it he talks about the 5 different ways you can show someone that you love them…and about how different people need to be shown that love in different ways…in their language. One of Jason’s top love languages is Acts of Service. He loved it when I would do little things for him…make his lunch, get his car washed, do his laundry, cut his hair. One of my top love languages is physical touch…holding hands, putting my feet in his lap, kissing, cuddling, hugging…all of that makes me feel loved and secure. If you don’t know what your loved one’s “love language” is you should definitely read the book and figure it out.

All my thinking about hands, of course turned into a poem about Jason’s hands.

My Love's Hands
His hands
I remember his hands

I can feel his touch
When I close my eyes

Fingers intertwined
In mine

His hand on my thigh
Riding in the car

My thumb rubbing the
Smooth, flat spot on his thumbnail

Thumbs drying my cheeks
When the tears fall like rain

Words are often elusive
But his hands are always there

Clapping hands supporting me
From the sidelines

From 5k to 26.2
To tennis match

A sassy slap on the butt
While I make dinner

A caress, a stroke
Building heat

A golden band on his finger
And on mine

Promises of forever
That only he gets to keep

Now my hand reaches out
And grasps the air

The spaces between my fingers
Yearn for his to fill them

And my forever feels empty
Stretching to eternity

Heart Language

Heart Language

Our hearts recognized each other
His and mine.
They beat together
Keeping time.

They spoke to each other
When we first met.
That we ended up together
Was no accident.

It was a hitch in the rhythm
A subtle shift in space.
Then our hearts beat as one
Each keeping pace.

Our heart language was beautiful-
Bright and full of light.
It shone through our eyes
And linked our souls tight.

Our hearts were so happy
Looking forward to forever-
Then his heart was silenced
And mine can’t recover.

It struggles to beat solo.
It’s rhythm--scattered.
It’s heart light grows dim
Bleeding, bruised, battered.

Poem for Today

Okay is Not Today

Be gentle with me
I’m fragile
Broken
Hurting

The smile on the outside hides
The wounds
Bleeding
Oozing

I might appear strong but
I’m weak
Uncertain
Struggling

Without my North Star
I’m lost
Wandering
Homeless

I might say I’m okay
But inside
Screaming
Crying

So please be gentle with me
And realize
That okay for me
Is not today

Tonight is No Good

Tomorrow Seth and I are making the drive to Wausau to get him settled with my sister and brother-in-law and all set to start college! I am happy/proud/excited for him but oh so sad and restless and melancholy for me tonight. I keep thinking about how proud Jason would be of him…and I hate that he is missing out on all of these important milestones in our kids’ lives…and that they don’t have him here. It just really sucks.

Tonight is no good
Sad
Restless
Out of sorts

I pour my wine
Red elixir
Wander the house
Looking for your ghost

Maybe I should go to bed
Sleep
Wait for you
To visit me in a dream

But the bed’s too big
Lonely
Sheets too cold
Without you in between

They say that time
Will heal
Take away
This all-consuming ache

But our love is too big
To be 
Forgot
My life a colorless fake



Anyone else have a purple dinosaur in their bed?

New Year

Today at work I heard more than one comment about the new year coming up. People ready to put an end to 2021…saying 2022 has got to be better after all. Well, even though 2021 was not a great year by any means for me and my family, it is also the last year that we will have any memories of Jason. I don’t want to move on from it…put more distance between us.

A New Year

2021 is coming to a close.
2022 is near.
A lot of people have hope
It will be a better year.

I don’t want to move on-
Don’t want to gain distance
Get further away
From your existence.

My mind knows time will heal.
My heart doesn’t believe it-
Broken in too many pieces
To be at all optimistic.

When I look to the future
All I see is blank space-
Hopes and dreams gone
Like they’ve all been erased.

Years stretch on before me-
Decades of loneliness.
I’d like to move backwards-
Time with you was bliss.



Photo by Vladislav Murashko on Pexels.com

Trail of Grief

Horrible day today. Lots of tears. Took a shower just so I could sob my heart out. I don’t even want to listen to music today. Talked to a friend which helped for a bit. Forced myself to get out and take the dogs for a walk. Mostly just sat on the couch drinking wine, writing, and crying my way through the Harry Potter movies.

Trail of Grief

Sometimes grief is like
Navigating 
A trail in a jungle.

The trees are so thick
Overhead
That it is always dark.

Around every corner is a
Peril
Ready to strike.

Everyone’s grief is
Different-
So is everyone’s trail.

The trail must be traveled
Alone-
Although others may briefly join

To shine their lights of
Hope
In the darkness.

To provide momentary
Companionship
On the dark and lonely trail.

To offer support in the
Battles
Against the many hazards.

To offer advice at the
Crossroads
When the trail splits.

But ultimately all decisions are made
Alone
By the weary traveler.

There are patches of
Quicksand
Sporadically on the route.

They threaten to pull the traveler
Under
With grief all-consuming.

The traveler must quickly
Learn
Who to call for assistance.

There those who will enter the trail and
Throw
Out a vine without hesitation.

But there are also those who are
Scared
Of the trail and the darkness-

They might want to
Assist
But they don’t know what to do.

When it is time for the weary traveler to
Sleep
The loneliness becomes suffocating.

The traveler wonders
Why
This trail was given.

The traveler questions
How
The end will be reached.

The traveler tries not to run out of
Hope
For a better future-

But how could the future be
Better
Than the past?

Maybe the best days are
Over
And this trail is all that’s left.

Photo by Lucas Pezeta on Pexels.com

Christmas Eve Morning

I have a list of things to do today to get ready for dinner tonight (fondue with the kids) and brunch tomorrow, but instead I’m sitting on the couch feeling lonely and weepy. Jason and I always made a good team on Christmas Eve. He knew doing all the putzy kitchen stuff stressed me out so he would pour me wine and help with everything. He would usually take charge of cutting everything up for fondue while I would do the baking. He was also the pro at putting together the Overnight French Toast for Christmas brunch. Inevitably, I would have forgotten to get something from the grocery store and he would get in the car and fight the crowds without complaint to get the forgotten item…plus usually a few other things he found…because that’s the way Fregien men roll. If I forgot anything in my grocery order yesterday that’s just too bad…we’re going to have to make do without.

Thank you to everyone that is keeping our family in your thoughts and prayers this Christmas. I did have several special deliveries to my door yesterday that made me smile and reminded me that even though “my person” is no longer here, I still do have “my people”.

Blue Christmas

The spirit of Christmas fills the air
I used to feel it too
Now all I feel is empty inside
No joy in my heart without you.

I’m going through the motions
Putting up the tree
Buying gifts and baking
Missing you here with me.

Grief is my constant companion now
Sadness overflows my eyes
Everywhere I look reminds me
Of our last goodbyes.

Empty spaces everywhere
That used to be filled with you
Now your ghost is all we have
Christmas not white, but blue.

The kids and I will do our best
Keeping alive tradition
But every second of the Holiday
It will be you we’re missing.



Candles Lit in Jason’s Memory at the Empty Chair Service

Another Evening

It’s a wine drinking, music listening, poetry writing kind of night…

Empty Nest

Some souls recognize each other.
From the very first time that they meet.
Some call it love at first sight.
To you and I it was home so sweet.

People have searched for years
To find the one that makes their soul sing
You and I were the lucky ones
Our souls singing like birds on the wing

The melody grew through the years
As we added beloved chicks to our nest
Now my soul has been silenced
My heart in pieces in my chest.

And now our chicks are fledging
Taking flight on their own
They’re ready for the world
Tears fall when I’m alone.

When I’m alone.
2011

Loving Eyes

My cold has gotten a lot better today…thank you to everyone who checked in on me today. My sister asked me tonight if I was “hydrated and medicated”…I told her I was on my second glass of wine…so yes? Truth is that I feel a lot better physically, but my mental and emotional state are….not sure what the right word is…melancholy?

I tried starting a new series on Netflix…”Shadow and Bone”…it’s based on a book series that I have read. I forgot about the underlying romances in the storyline…ugh… I watched a few episodes and then turned it off. It’s frustrating because “normally” it’s the type of series that I would love…fantasy, intrigue, romance…now it just all makes me sad.

Then I was working on some Christmas gifts. I almost feel like I need to apologize to anyone that gets a gift from me this year because they are not at all uplifting, fun gifts. I did almost all of my shopping on Etsy…and some I created myself. Maybe I should hand out little packs of Kleenex with my gifts?

I had music going, like I usually do. Spotify thought I would really like the song “Tuesdays” by Jake Scott. Spotify gets me. I’d like more Tuesdays….or anydays.

And then because I guess I’m a glutton for punishment and “Tuesdays” had me thinking about weddings I was watching clips of Jason and I dancing at his brother’s wedding…and then that led to this poem.

Loving Eyes

When the sadness feels so heavy
Concrete block sitting on my chest

And the tears fall from my eyes
But the scream is stuck inside

I look at pictures and watch videos
I need so bad to see you

To see your smile, the way you moved
Your laugh, the way you looked at me

With eyes that had a special language
That spoke straight to my heart

They told me how much you loved me
How you didn’t want to leave

I wanted those eyes, that love
For the rest of my life

But instead I had them
For yours.