Today they buried John.
I was distracted about writing about it since someone told me how I was a terrible person and showed me a screenshot of a discussion with even another person about how my kids were going to suffer because I exercise and I'm not at work right now.
I don't know who that other person is but I'm 100% sure they haven't had a spouse or an ex spouse die. I'm 100% sure they've probably never had anyone die and I'm 100% sure they aren't my friends and haven't reached out to me.
That friend said they wanted the old me back.
It reminds me of the funeral. Mark really wanted to see his dad's body. He talked to me over and over about opening the casket to see his dad's body. He told everyone that he knew were the grave was so they could find it. He told me the story of praying that he wouldn't have bad dreams anymore and maybe that was his dad coming to comfort him about his bad dreams. Everyone seemed so overwhelmed. John's old best friend was super nice about the kids like I don't even know how people can act that way. There were people there I really don't like. Mostly I didn't see them because I only saw my kids. My daughter still has a hard time being around any sort of dad that other kids have. I was surprised how awful it was to realize that the only person I've ever really loved killed himself. After he said I was the reason he was so unhappy and wanted a divorce. I mean lots of relationships fail and I'm for sure not perfect. John even told me before he died that everyone would know what an asshole I was and how I tried to kill him. I told him he had to stop because I was just trying to imagine a life long of someone saying that to me every time I sent them a bill for the kids getting a new filling. The emotional fighting had to stop for me.
The hardest thing about your kids burying their dad is when people say dad is in a better place. They say his body is perfect. But my kids just have a closed casket and remains they aren't allowed to see. You can tell them about a fantasy world with a happy dad but if you push it too hard why would they want to stay here? It's like when you get divorced and everyone says you will end up with someone better and faster and richer and nicer. I don't know about you but I'm still waiting for unicorn knight rescuer second billionaire husband to come around and really I just want to figure out how to be great at the job I have and know what I want in a career and be able to give my kids the life I want for them without a guy. The thing about being alone is- it's very peaceful. I like peaceful. I hope my kids see that. This life can be really wonderful. Even if we are broken. I would like to have the same calm assurance Elder Kopischke had talking about John's death. I don't know if he's in a better place. I just know that I didn't at any point think I would be raising three kids alone. People said I was but I don't think I was. I was always picturing trying to figure out how to get along with John later. Practicing mentally so things would go well at family events that never happened. His brother talked about John telling stories to the kids when he used to do before he got really sick. Mark interrupted to say "but we couldn't find him" and I had to remind him that dad did call- before he got sick. Dad could tell stories with any given characters for almost any length of time. Mega Man and Spiderman and Batman all in one doing whatever you could imagine. Then he disappeared and I got angry and Mark missed his dad.
Let me tell you a little about my experience with suicide of an ex spouse. There isn't a lot information out there. It's been a little over two weeks and I still don't have a death certificate. He didn't have a will or insurance so there aren't things really coming to the kids from dad like his soccer trophy from high school or his yearbook. His brother is taking care of personal possessions but I don't know if the kids will ever get the stuff dad wrote- probably when they are adults. They called me the day they found out and I was in the obituary. I got my last child support check a week after he died. It's harder than I thought. It's like re-living the person's life just like when someone dies but I've got an almost 8 year marriage (9 months of that was separated) and a divorce in there.
All the feelings.
I've also got some pretty mean people who feel free to tell me I'm doing things wrong. I have no doubt that I'm screwing things up. I also know that I'm distracted by the practical things like the huge drop in my budget and getting my kids to counseling and wearing clean clothes every day.
I'm mad that I am so emotional about it. I'm mad that I feel guilty for not calling the police when I asked John if he was safe a few weeks before he died and he said he was but I didn't believe him because he only ever got really emotional before he tried something. I'm mad at his family. I'm mad a lot of things and I know I'm not really mad at them it's just displaced anger since I can't really change that he's dead and I have all these feelings and nowhere to put them.
My doctor says it's normal to experience what I am going through. So does my counselor. So do the people who have lived it. I rode in the limo and sat with the kids and no one was mean to me. In a way I felt more entitled to sit there than anyone else because the kids are there. I'm the one who has been telling stories about someone who hurt me a lot nonstop for two weeks. They don't tell you how much damage people do to the people around you before they complete suicide. You don't hear about the months of not getting a call back for the kids because dad was in a bad place and couldn't call. They don't tell you how it will be hard to see the pain they were in through the pain they caused. I used to just imagine all the bad things never happened when I told the kids stories about dad. Dad used to go do tough mudder races while you guys were babies and he was always really fast so they will probably be really good at running. Dad was really good at math. Dad and I went to Italy on our honeymoon and rode in the boats and got glass in Venice.
It was amazing to see so many other people step in and tell my kids happy stories.
When my ex spouse died I took it harder than I thought. I didn't know what to do and I'm pretty sure I didn't do everything right. I had nightmares and threw up at night and the kids didn't sleep and I think I gained 5 lbs in a week. I try to work out but I feel like my body has some kind of flu. Then sometimes I feel fine. Every day I feel more fine and less like staying in my bed forever. I care about the people who are disappointed I'm not doing well. They see something I don't see every day.
I hope that they are right and that I can do the things they think I can do. They think I can do this kid thing alone and that I'll have the best career ever. I love the capable me that they see just as much as it hurts me that they aren't helping me and that they were so nasty to me.
I miss the old me. I also miss the old John. the one that everyone has been messaging me about. I miss the naive belief that we would make it through all the hard times and be happy together. Maybe John is in a better place and I will get to a better place.
I know Mark doesn't have nightmares anymore and I know other people have made it through worse things. I also know seeing my daughter cry made me feel so lost and helpless.
My kids know where their dad is. Today that will be enough.