It's Been Two Years - And it still hurts
By KarieFugett on April 20, 2012
Yesterday I woke up at 5 A.M. as I usually do. I put my slippers on, dragged myself to the bathroom, closed the door behind me, and looked in the mirror. I felt a little more tired than usual - a little heavier. My motivation to go to school was lacking. The bed was calling my name. I looked in the mirror and analyzed my aging, tired face. Every small wrinkle and flaw seemed to be more obvious than usual. I don't typically notice, but I have changed so much, especially since he's been gone. I don't like it. It is a visual reminder that I'm still here, without him - that time and life continue despite his absence. The very fact that I was getting ready for College, the one thing I wanted so badly but just couldn't seem to reach, baffled me. Then I thought about the people I've met and the many other things I've done that Cleve will never know about or be a part of. I thought to myself, "How the hell did I do this? How did I get here?" I had realized the night before that yesterday, exactly two years ago at just before 4:30 in the afternoon, was the last time I heard Cleve's voice. I had gone the entire month anticipating this week so that, maybe, I would be okay, but realizing that immediately tore down the walls I built around my heart and left me bare and vulnerable - and it hurt. My daily routine suddenly seemed pointless in the grand scheme of things. The tiny, psycho voice in my head was screaming, "BAIL! BAIL! QUIT! BE DONE! Go. Back. To Bed." It was loud and I wanted to listen. I did not want to go to school. Alas, it's the last few weeks and it's crucial that I go to keep my grades where they are. I've worked so hard. Cleve wanted this for me - that is reason enough. So I sucked it up and went. I wore my biggest, darkest sunglasses just in case. It was a good call because they were needed. The smallest reminders had me a mess.
80's Mustang - Cry.
Billie Holiday - Cry.
No reason - Cry.
The color green - Cry.
The town he's buried in - Cry.
Getting an A and not being able to tell him - Cry.
Repeating our last words over and over and over in my head - Cry. Cry. Cry.
Yes, the sunglasses came in very handy.
After my last class, I bolted. I tried everything I could to shake the pain off of my body. Happy music. Windows down. Think of cupcakes. Make chimp noises. Nothing worked. I needed a widow. I texted Kelly asking her to meet me for a glass of wine. Because she's amazing, she met me within the hour. Her presence instantly helped. And then I drank my wine too fast. And then I was drunk. Kelly had to drive me home and I slept until about eleven that night. I kinda felt like an idiot. At the same time I was relieved that that time, 4:30 in the afternoon, was gone. I wouldn't have to deal with it for another year.
Then I realized it was about to be exactly two years since Cleve died. It just doesn't end.
Today I'm alright as of now, but I have yet to leave my bed. I keep getting this "Oh my god Cleve is actually dead" feeling. Like I hadn't actually realized it until that point. Then it fades, then it comes back, then it fades again. I've been getting random bouts of guilt. I've had a few irrational thoughts that, perhaps none of this is real - it's just a really bad - and long - dream.
Kelly and I are going to be hanging out today. We have a few little things planned for him. One of which may be illegal, but I kind of don't care. Heck, I'll even tell you what it is. His new (CORRECT) headstone was finally placed, but you know what they did? They kept the old one where it was, at the top of the grave, and placed the new, correct one at the bottom. Why they did this, I'm not sure, but I plan to fix this little problem today. I dare someone to stop me. I plan to take the old headstone, plant a tree somewhere that means a lot to both of us, and place it with the tree. Illegal? I'm not sure, but seriously... I don't care.
Two years. Two friggin' years. Where does the time go? Didn't this just happen? It's truly unbelievable. I miss him so much. I wish there were better words in the dictionary. I wish there was a way to express how I feel right now. I feel like I could explode right now. All of the love and memories and sadness and happiness and everything in between have filled me up to capacity. I seriously think I might explode.
To all who read this, REMEMBER HIM. He may not of died the day he was injured. His death may be different than that of your typical war hero. His name may not be on memorials or bridges. But do not doubt that his death was a casualty of this war. He fought long and hard. He went through horrid things that most will never have to experience. His death was avoidable and heinous. He is a war hero.
He will ALWAYS be loved, and never, ever forgotten. Not if I have anything to do with it.
I have not and will not stop loving you. Every day I live, I live it for you.
*Originally posted on my blog, Wife (Widow) of a Wounded Marine.