Thursday, December 29, 2011

Christmas Angel

Tonight, I just feel like sharing lyrics to a song that Matt wrote in 2005.

Christmas Angel

By: Matt Hales

Tuning (low to high) – C, G, D, G, B, D


My future waits for me
Standing beside our Christmas tree
Wrapped in white, her eyes look like
The snowfall on the outside
I look at her and say…

Chorus 1:

You’re my Christmas angel
Perched atop the tree
Instilling all you gaze upon, with sweetened holiday dreams


I do recall our falling into
A Christmas love that will last forever
For the first time complete
Finally I felt set free
When those eyes, they said to me
“Won’t you be my everything

Chorus 1:

You’re my Christmas angel
Perched atop the tree
Instilling all you gaze upon, with sweetened holiday dreams
I’ll strike up the fire
If you’ll cue up the songs
We shall dance forever
To the melodies of one year ago
You’re the greatest gift given to me.
You’ve the prettiest face I’ve ever seen


If you weren’t here for Christmas, things wouldn’t be the same
Although this is the first of many, you define my holiday.

Bridge 2:

Chorus 1:

You’re my Christmas angel
Perched atop the tree
Instilling all you gaze upon, with sweetened holiday dreams
I’ll strike up the fire
If you’ll cue up the songs
We shall dance forever
To the melodies of one year ago
You’re the greatest gift given to me

Fade Out:

You’re my Christmas angel
You’re my Christmas angel
You’re my Christmas angel darling
You’re my Christmas angel, and you’re the only one for me

I have much more to share, of course. It has been several days since my last post. I went to a support group for the first time last night and I hope to write about that soon. Things have been chaotic without a daycare to do the hard work for me, ha ha.

God Bless

Monday, December 26, 2011


I typed the following into a Word document last night due to my sketchy internet connection.

Christmas. It was honestly not as bad as I anticipated. I kept myself busy and these kids make it impossible to ignore the joy that this time of year brings. They are my angels. It was fun. I wish more than anything that Matt could have been here to watch their faces light up (well, Noah’s face) at the Christmas lights and presents… and I hope that he was able to see that. I just wish we could have been together; the family that we should have been. We should have been together in our home in North Carolina doing all this. We should have been packing up to leave for Michigan tomorrow. This was supposed to be OUR first Christmas together in our home.

I guess I’ve gotten used to the “should have beens”. I tend to think of them now as “never meant to be’s”. It just wasn’t meant to be that way. I always thought it would be but God had other plans. Even when I think of it that way… doesn’t make it any less sad. The busyness of the holiday kept me from becoming depressed. I’ve been constantly surrounded by loving family and I’ve been focused on trying to make this time of year fun for others (like the kids, of course). What is kind of cool is that Matt saw what half of their presents were. I bought their Christmas presents throughout the year – one per child per month to be exact. I had a lot of fun doing it that way. I looked forward to a new month because I got to keep my eye out for presents and I would show Matt what they were. I wonder what he would have gotten me for Christmas this year. I haven’t even really thought about what I would have gotten for him. I push that to the back of my mind although every time I go shopping, I still can’t help but to glance at the men’s clothes and think about what he would look good in or what he would like. I oftentimes think, “I wish Matt was here so I could buy that for him.” The only difference between Christmas this year and Christmases past is that I would be sad when Christmas was over in years past; I would start counting down the days until the next Christmas on December 26. Now, I am just glad it’s over and I don’t really care about the next one. It’s just another day without Matt. I don’t mean for that to sound as negative as it comes off; it’s true. I still partake in celebrations but the bottom line is… it’s just another day without Matt. Everything is duller now.

Overall, Christmas was okay. Different but okay. I get up every day and think, “I’m okay” and I thank God every night for the strength He has graced me with. I know He will direct me, I just have to let Him lead. And I continuously think about the day I will see Matt again. That alone makes me happy. It’s what I live for.
I found a new daycare for the kids. It is so great that it was the only place I toured. It’s very similar to the center we used in North Carolina so I felt comfortable with it right away. It’s new, I like the way it’s set up and it’s very close to the highway. It’s just around the corner from where I grew up. I thought today while I was driving that I appreciate my hometown so much more after being away for 3-1/2 years; especially under these circumstances. It feels good to be back home where my support system is. I’m so glad that our kids will be raised here, around people who knew their dad and will be able to share stories about him.

I went for a manicure on Friday and she asked straight away what my “hubby” did for a living. When Matt comes up in conversation, I automatically go to say, “He’s dead,” but I stop myself because it sounds so horrible. I always end up saying, “He died in July,” but I still shared that he was a pharmaceutical sales rep. One of these days I will feel comfortable just saying he’s dead. I just need to say it. Maybe I still can’t grasp it so I try to use nicer terms. Turns out, the woman doing my nails lost a child years ago. She said after a while, it just becomes a part of your story and you don’t worry about other people feeling sorry for you. It is what it is and it can never be changed.

Right now, I am just doing the best I can with what I have and letting God do the rest. I hope everyone had a merry Christmas with good food, good family and good faith!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Five months

I have been having internet issues since I moved. I'm still having some but it looks like I will be able to blog again! We are getting settled in here nicely. Chloe is napping my arms right now so if I cut this short, it's because she woke up!

I have been feeling pretty good over the weekend. Today marks five months since Matt's death. Five months ago today at this very moment I was sitting downstairs where I worked, and I had just been told of the accident. I was sitting in a chair with tears running down my face trying to process everything. I didn't talk much. I was completely stunned. I remember saying at one point, "I don't even know what to do. What am I supposed to do?"

It was as though everything was taken away from me and I forgot how to live all in a split second. I don't even know how I stayed on my feet. I guess I have Karla to thank for that. :)

That day is all quite clear to me still. I hope it stays clear to me for a long time. It was such an awful awful day... but it was the last day I ever saw Matt. The day he died. It's an important day despite how tragic it is.

I had such a depressing dream the other night. I had not dreamed about Matt in such a long time and then I get this? He had cancer. He was given 2-3 months to live. I was trying to think that maybe a miracle would happen; maybe he would survive longer even though it didn't look so good. We were talking and I told him I never wanted to lose him. He got really upset and said, "You'll just find someone else." Through tears, I hugged him and said, "I will never find anyone else." I wanted to say "Our vows were all the days of my life" but I don't know if I actually did. I remember thinking that. My life's not over yet.

I had another dream with him in it last night... but it was really insignificant. I don't remember much about it... or anything for that matter. Just that he was there.

I stopped by the cemetery on Sunday. It was an improvised trip, like they usually are. It's difficult for me not to stop when I drive through Rockford to get to my mom's house; right past the cemetery. Both kiddos were asleep in the car so I stopped.

Well, Chloe's short naps never cease to amaze me...

Friday, December 16, 2011

Memories in clothes

I am going through the packing process again. On a slightly lesser scale but as I was packing up my clothes today, I just kept stopping on certain things that I had when Matt was alive. Like a dress that I wore to a wedding and I remembered us dancing together. A dress that he bought for me in Hawaii and I remember wearing it on our honeymoon in Aruba. The sweater he got me for Christmas last year when I was pregnant. Tops that I wore often when I was pregnant with Noah. A couple of tops that I bought shortly before he died. Some graphic tees I bought while we were shopping in Myrtle Beach together. Same thing with a hoodie. A nightshirt that he got me on our first (well, technically second if you count high school) Valentine's Day together. All these little memories made me stop and think so packing up my clothes has been a day-long process. I haven't even started on the kids' clothes yet. Or anything else for that matter.

The shirt I was wearing the day he died... I got rid of it in North Carolina. And the pants, too. I never wanted to see those clothes again.

So yes... moving again. And it's not the last time. We are moving to a "temporary home" about 30-40 minutes north of Grand Rapids. It's a nice homey cottage on the lake. We already stayed there one weekend to test it out. It is so cute. It will be an hour long commute to Grand Valley every day (and an hour back) but... it's temporary, like I said. I'm sure there will be times that we stay in Rockford, too.

One more step away from our old lives. It's weird. I miss Matt. We would be hanging out at home right now. Probably eating dinner. Then one of us would go give Noah a bath and we would all read bedtime stories together. Miss him tons.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Then and now

I was not very religious before Matt died. I wanted to be. I believed. I respected religion. But anything I had just felt it was coming from the outside. I was religious according to what I saw in other people. I was just trying to do what they did... going through the motions, if you will. It was not coming from within. I don't even like to admit this but it was almost as though I turned my nose up at the idea of really trying. But now I realize that I shouldn't have to "really try." It should just be there. It wasn't there. I don't know why. Matt was a good start though. He brought me to church and he encouraged me to attend Mass regularly and pray regularly. I was baptized because of him. And that is a really big deal! I only now realize what a big deal that is. Because now I realize how important it is to "Be still and know that I am God" (Psalm 46:10), "Fear not for I am with you" (Isaiah 41:10), "Trust in the Lord with all your heart" (Proverbs 3:5), etc. etc. Just live in Christ. I was not before. Now the gospel is on my lips and on my heart; something completely uncharacteristic of the person I was before Matt died. I truly feel it from within where I didn't before.

I received an incredibly kind and gracious letter from the CEO and president of Mary Free Bed. As if he isn't busy enough, he took the time to hand-write a thank you card in response to the donation and letter I sent in memory of Matt! The donation will be used specifically for resources related to traumatic brain injury patients, which is so wonderful and exactly what Matt would want. I can only imagine how happy this makes him and I am happy to have been able to contribute to an organization that Matt held near and dear to his heart.

"I had heard of you by word of mouth,
but now my eye has seen you." Job 42:5

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

I'm going to be honest

Like always.

I'm not strong all the time. It's late nights like these, after I'm finished doing a mediocre job of ensuring that my two kids don't kill themselves for the day, when I'm left feeling quite empty and I just want to drown all my sorrows in a.) a slew of curse words b.) alcohol, c.) bitter, envious thoughts or d.) all of the above.

A recipe for danger.

I know in my heart that I need to stay focused on the big picture here... but at the same time, what's a little danger? I think it's healthy to take some time to be angry, weak and pitiful. As long as it is done responsibly... and sparingly. So here I am; wallowing in my depression, thinking of all the great things Matt and I will never have together that everyone else will and I'll have the pleasure of watching with a smile on my face. My kids are going to grow up without their dad, I'm a single widowed mother, I'm going back to school with a 9-month old who is addicted to my boob and won't take a bottle and a two-year old who grabs knives out of the dishwasher and runs with them. Ahhh... life is so great.

In the recent weeks following Matt's death I would stay awake as long as I could because I never wanted tomorrow to come. Now that it's become pretty obvious that I can't stop time by becoming an insomniac, I celebrate the evenings - one more day is over. I think I need to pray and go to bed. One more day is over.

I'm not strong all the time.

He is waiting for me on the other side.

I am just waiting for that day when I get to meet him there. We're both waiting. I don't care how long it takes. Just knowing that I will be there one day is enough. I can't live here forever.

I have spent so many hours pondering the meaning of life. I think the meaning of life is to bring out the best in others. There's more to that, of course. I presumably have many more hours to continue thinking about the meaning of life.

I have an appointment set up to attend a "new member meeting" at a grief support center in Grand Rapids. I'm really excited about it. The meeting is on the 26th. A couple of other things I need to get lined up are 1.) a counselor and 2.) a will. Oh... and 3.) daycare.

I found the YouTube account that Matt created, finally. I couldn't remember our username and he was the one who always uploaded the vids. But since they changed their layout and connected to Google... well, I must have been signed into Matt's Google account and I found it. So I was able to link the video bar to the right to our account and I uploaded all the videos that were on Matt's phone that weren't yet on there. Two are of Chloe - Matt talking to her. How special it will be for her to have those. So now they are over there on the side, all in one place. I just need to find the charger to our camcorder because there is a lot more footage that I can't wait to see. One I remember specifically is Matt "interviewing" me at the hospital the night before I had Noah. There's also one I can think of where we are just being silly in the kitchen. I'm so glad he bought that thing. He bought it in 2009 because we were having a baby.

Kristen and I are going to get pedicures today. Some lovely girl time. :) She is home for Christmas break and it makes me happy. Love you, Kristen!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Moving forward (short Sunday post)

That picture was taken a year ago while we were visiting for Christmas. I was six months pregnant with Chloe at the time.

I was looking at that loveseat last night; remembering when that picture was taken.

Things are going well. We are moving next weekend and school is rapidly approaching so I am just trying to prepare as best as I can. I'm looking forward to this next chapter in my life but at the same time it's bittersweet. Anything that has to do with moving forward is bittersweet. I would love to hang out in the past forever but I know that's not logical.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

My first guest entry

I felt that Tracy (Matt's mom) would provide a good perspective on the things we are experiencing so I asked her if she would like to write something up for my blog. I was hoping she would write about her after-death experience and she did! :)

My dearest Stephanie,
Your words, “I was so heartbroken over the fact that he died so tragically and suddenly and I was never at his side” struck a deep chord with me. I had that exact feeling over eleven years ago when I learned of Matt’s first accident. Despair quickly set in, as I wanted my son to know that I was nearby when and if he took his final breath. Hundreds of miles and a long drive home stood between us. I was so afraid that he might die alone, without Mark and I; his mom and dad. I have since learned that this is far from the truth. On August 20, of last year, as you well know, I experienced death first hand. Thank you for asking me to share my story.

I had taken a four to five mile run along Lake Michigan with two friends. I felt great, though it was a very warm August morning. Three hours later, I began to shuck corn on our front porch to freeze for the winter. I had been bent over for quite some time and when I stood up, I had pressure and a pinched feeling in my chest. I walked into the house, thinking that if I stretched, it would go away. It didn’t. Mark was just getting out of the shower. I told him I didn’t feel well. He said, “You don’t look good. You are as white as a ghost.” When I described the chest pressure and pain, he told me I might be having a heart attack.

“I can’t be having a heart attack!” I replied in disbelief.
The pain began to radiate into my jaw. Mark insisted I go to the hospital with him, as he was on his way to work there.

Ten minutes later I was in the emergency department. As a nurse and Mark were wheeling me into a room, I distinctly remember looking up at Mark from the wheelchair. “I think I’m going to pass out.”

I began having the most remarkable dream I ever remember…

…as Mark and the triage nurse quickly lifted me onto the table. Mark watched in horror as my body postured and seized, gasping for a breath. I turned shades of red as my lungs cried for air. My face contorted into a silent scream. My body became lifeless; eyes open, staring at the ceiling. For three long minutes the emergency department fought to save my life. Mark held my hand, thinking “I can’t believe I just watched my wife die.”

…In my dream, a feeling of pure love and peace enveloped my very being. I walked into a sunny clearing where I met at least five people. I clearly remember they were different ages and sizes, but their faces are only shadows to me now. I remember talking to these people, thinking “This is so amazing, I need to remember this.” I was completely happy and loved. I felt like I knew them.

Then I felt very annoyed, and I believe this was when the second shock of two-hundred joules of electricity coursed through my body. I could hear Mark desperately calling my name. I turned away from the faces, thinking, “I can’t believe you are interrupting me right now! This is so important.”
I then found myself staring at the stark fluorescent lights. “You had a heart attack,” Mark said.

I began to pray, wondering if I might die. At that moment, I didn’t realize that I actually had. I had been given CPR for three minutes before I was revived by a second shock.

I talked with Matt on the phone that night. We had both survived events against all odds. Ninety Seven percent of all people who experience what I did do not live. Had we arrived at the hospital one minute later, I would not be here.

Today, I draw a great sense of peace and comfort from my event. While my body appeared to be in great pain, I have no recollection of that. I know in my heart that Matt did not feel pain, either.

It was difficult for me to return to that peace that I once felt upon learning of my son’s death, even though I knew it should comfort me. It is now a memory that I return to often, as it does bring me a great sense of peace.

I KNOW that Matt was not alone when he died. He is now in the most remarkable place in the world. It is my hope that I can someday make it back to that place where I felt such tremendous peace and love. This yearning will remain with me for the rest of my days that I walk this earth.

My journal entry from August 7, 2011:
I plan to honor Matt’s memory by loving more; showing my family and friends the appreciation, love and affection that they deserve. God’s joy exists everywhere, I just need to notice it. I will take this journey, however unwelcome it may be, with honor, faith, hope, grace and love. In doing so I know I will be reunited with Matt again, someday.

2 Cor 5:2,8
So we are always courageous, although we know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight. Yet we are courageous, and we would rather leave the body and go home to the Lord. Therefore, we aspire to please him, whether we are home or away.

I love you dear Stephanie.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

This is only the beginning

Only the beginning of seeing dads pick up their kids from daycare.

Only the beginning of watching their eyes light up at the sight of their dad.

Soon there will be school events with both parents present... and our kids will wish their dad was there, too.

There may come times where Noah and Chloe each have their own activity or sport and I will have to choose which one to attend, knowing that Matt won't be at the other.

He won't be there to walk Chloe down the aisle on her wedding day or to give fatherly advice to Noah... which is really too bad because Matt would have raised Noah to be a wonderful man. I have some impossible shoes to fill. I always thought about how having a bunch of boys would be great for society because Matt would be their dad. :)

Father's Day will serve as a yearly reminder of what we all lost. What Noah and Chloe never really knew.

They are so young I don't even know if they will ever really miss him.

I would give up everything I had if I could just see Noah's face light up at the sight of Matt walking through that door.

I saw this yesterday

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Missing him

Today was another "day of decline". One of those days where the reality sinks in and I feel like I've been hit with the news all over again. I just feel so empty and out of control on days like today. I just can't believe I'm never going to see him again in this life. He's gone forever. He will never be here to complete our family. Our family will always be incomplete. Not like most families. Just not how I imagined my life turning out. Everything was so perfect.

Noah and Chloe are proof that what we had was real. That our love was real. That Matt was real. Because sometimes I wonder if it will ever become so distant in my memory that it will seem as if it was all just a dream. Our kids are proof that it wasn't.

This just sucks so bad.

I've been falling behind in my devotions. Obvious? The Bible gives me strength - I better make time to catch up on my readings tonight. Maybe instead of blogging I should be reading!

One last thing not so much grief-related. I finally was able to get into the chemistry section I have been stalking GVSU's website for! The professor is very highly rated so I'm really excited. And this particular section is at the downtown campus. I'm officially done playing around with my schedule (I think).

I've been flipping through the guestbook from the funeral home. There are 355 entries... and a lot of those came in couples or families. Matt affected so many people. I miss him.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Silly texts and a love letter

Last week, I was skimming over our text conversations on Matt's phone. A few of them made me laugh (like the baby name one I already posted).

Thu, Mar 10, 2011, 11:05 AM

S: I’m going to get good mood food for lunch

M: That commercial obviously worked.

Thu, Mar 10, 2011, 2:19 PM

S: Awww everyone here at work gave me a little baby sprinkle

M: I have no idea what that means

Tue, Mar 22, 2011, 11:51 AM

S: I had a dream that I got sucked into Crystal Lake and it was crazy wavy and you jumped in and saved me and brought me back to shore.

M: Sounds right

Wed, Mar 30, 2011, 9:26 AM

M: Noah is so cute when he gets to daycare. Veronica asks him if he wants to sit for some food and he sits down in his little chair and is all sweet

Thu, Mar 31, 2011, 5:16 PM

S: Bring your pillows if you want too

S: Don’t forget sheets or blankets or whatever lol

S: Could you also bring me a loofah?

M: On my way. Want candy too?

That was when I was at the hospital with Chloe and Matt went home to visit Noah before he came back to the hospital to spend the night.

Fri, May 6, 2011

S: I was thinking we could plan for a nice big Disney trip in three years and then after that, depending on our financial situation we could either try for a third or adopt a sib set

M: Omg

I love that last one. Dreams of the future that will now never be. Pretty amazing how quickly things can change. Matt's reaction is pretty priceless. I don't think he thought that far ahead, lol.

Someone was kind enough to send to me a love letter that Beethoven wrote.

-- The Third Letter
on July 7
Though still in bed, my thoughts go out to you, my Immortal Beloved, now and then joyfully, then sadly, waiting to learn whether or not fate will hear us - I can live only wholly with you or not at all - Yes, I am resolved to wander so long away from you until I can fly to your arms and say that I am really at home with you, and can send my soul enwrapped in you into the land of spirits - Yes, unhappily it must be so - You will be the more contained since you know my fidelity to you. No one else can ever possess my heart - never - never - Oh God, why must one be parted from one whom one so loves. And yet my life is now a wretched life - Your love makes me at once the happiest and the unhappiest of men - At my age I need a steady, quiet life - can that be so in our connection? My angel, I have just been told that the mailcoach goes every day - therefore I must close at once so that you may receive the letter at once - Be calm, only by a calm consideration of our existence can we achieve our purpose to live together - Be calm - love me - today - yesterday - what tearful longings for you - you - you - my life - my all - farewell. Oh continue to love me - never misjudge the most faithful heart of your beloved.
ever thine
ever mine
ever ours

Sunday, December 4, 2011

"Could the Maker of the stars hear the sound of my breaking heart?"

I like to imagine what Matt would be doing if he was here with me. I never want to forget the expressions on is face; the look in his eyes. I visualize him with me when I am out doing things or at someone's house.

Our monument looks fantastic. I'm very pleased with it. Matt's date of birth and date of death are carved perfectly into the jet black granite. One day, my date of death will join the party and my body will be laid to rest next to his.

I went to Mass this morning alone. I went to Our Lady of Consolation, Matt's church; the one he invited me to years ago. We used to go there together. This was the first time I've ever been to Mass alone and I haven't been to Our Lady since his funeral. There were a couple of times I had to fight back tears.

Half of me is embracing this life and the other half is not. The side that embraces this new life is being thankful for all I have been blessed with despite the tragedy that caused it. The side that is struggling just keeps thinking about how long I have to (presumably) live without Matt and all the things I am going to encounter throughout my life for which Matt should be there, too. But he won't be there.

Heard that song today. Love it. Tenth Avenue North has some good stuff.

The other day (Friday) I decided that I still love this time of year. I can't not love it. It's certainly different without my soul mate here but I still love it. I am sad but there's still something magical about Christmas. I just pray that I continue to feel Matt's presence throughout the season. I know I shouldn't think about this stuff but I think New Year's is going to be the most depressing. I'm planning on going to bed early and just pretending like it's another day. At least with 2012 comes the hope of 12-21-12. A girl can hope right?

I miss him so much. I had been feeling quite well all weekend and then today it slowly went downhill. I know I need to be patient and understand that this is all a part of the LONG healing process but it's still annoying.

Lord, help me to be patient and allow my heart to heal in Your time. Amen.

Friday, December 2, 2011


I have been working my way through a book on grief for quite some time now. I'm sure I started it back in August and I am only halfway through it today! It is a compilation of others' perspectives on their grief journeys. One of them really struck me the other day as I was reading so I dogeared the page:

Many of us have disturbing visions after our loved one has died. The part that haunts us plays over and over in our minds. We may feel badly for our loved one, that their life was cut so short. We may wonder if they left this world in pain, and whether their pain has continued. We may even try to imagine their last moments, and fear they were frightened or angry that they were dying. -Remembering With Love by Elizabeth Levang, Ph.D. and Sherokee Ilse

That's one of the things I struggled the most with at first and I guess at times, I still do... just not as intensely. That, and hearing myself say, "Just take a day off tomorrow. Stay home and rest." I will never forget that conversation. Of all the nights to say that to him, it just so happened that I suggested that the night before he died. The night where, had he listened to me, it would have made all the difference in the world. Anyway, I just remember one the first questions I asked the officer being, "Was he unconscious?" I was so heartbroken over the fact that he died so tragically and suddenly and I was never at his side. I just wanted to know that he never felt any pain. But I feel that now he is not in any pain. He is in a glorious place. And he is watching over us.

I also think that perhaps it was best I never had the chance to go to the hospital. Maybe that was a blessing. Because the more I think about it, the more I realize that that would have just been pure torture. To see him that way. To be there and not be able to do a thing to help. And then watch him die right in front of my eyes. I think it's better that it happened the way it did. A part of me still wonders if not ever choosing to view his body was right. I think it was right for me but I wonder if Matt cares. I wanted the last time I ever saw him to be when he was alive. If he doesn't agree, we can argue about it later. ;)

I called the monument company and confirmed that our headstone is up! I am so excited to see it. I am going downstate tomorrow so I will definitely see it for the first time this weekend. :) I hope that Matt loves it. He should, being that I put "his" quote on it. The one that he wanted put on my crystal necklace made from his ashes before he changed his mind about cremation (and I'm so glad he did... I just don't think I could have done that).

You are my all, my everything

He will always be my everything.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Chloe is hysterical so I can't think of a title

I finally picked up my wedding dress from the cleaners last week. I also have our photographer in NC working on a wedding album for me. I guess I'm glad we didn't do these post-wedding things sooner because doing them now gives me a strong connection to the wonderful memories of our wedding day and that makes me happy. And I'm really glad I decided not to trash my dress. :P

I had a dream a few nights ago that we were together on Christmas; that Matt was able to come back for Christmas. I was outside of myself watching us together. We were sitting in an oversized chair. That's pretty much all I remember. And I was obviously really happy.

After I got settled in up here post-funeral and all that, I started going through Matt's Facebook and Xanga to see what songs he shared and I found one called Arc of Time by Bright Eyes. It's perfect. Had I known about it prior to his funeral, I probably would have chosen these lyrics to put in the memorial folder.

You can make a plan
Carve it into stone
Like a feather falling
It is still unknown
Until the clock speaks up
Says it's time to go
You could choose the high
Or the lower road
You might clench your fist
You might fork your tongue
As you curse or praise
All the things you've done
And the faders move
And the music dies
As we pass over
On the arc of time
So you nurse your love
Like a wounded dove
In the covered cage of night
Every star is crossed
By frenetic thoughts
That separate and then collide
And they twist like sheets
Till you fall asleep
And they finally unwind
It's a black balloon
It's a dream you'll soon deny

I hear if you make friends
With Jesus Christ
You will get right up
From that chalk outline
And then you'll get dolled up
And you'll dress in white
All to take your place
In his chorus line
And then in you'll come
With those marching drums
In a saintly compromise
No more whiskey slurs
No more blonde haired girls
For your whole eternal life
And you'll do the dance
That was choreographed
At the very dawn of time
Singing, I told you son
The day would come
You would die, die, die, die

You would die, die, die, die
You would die, die, die, die
You would die, die, die

To the deepest part
Of the human heart
The fear of death expands
Till we crack the code
We have always known
But could never understand
On a circuit board
We will soon be born
Again, again, again, again
And again, again, again, again
And again, again, again, again
And again, again, again

It's a really cool song and I find it oddly coincidental that he shared it so long ago. I don't know why. It's just one of those things.

I have this irrational fear that Matt will forget about me and "move on" over the years. Then I wonder if he has the same fear about me. Probably not but what if he did? Can you imagine being separated from your spouse for 50 or 60 years and then being re-united after all that time? Maybe it won't feel like that much time has gone by when I'm dead. Maybe it will feel like I never left him... or he never left me, rather. I am so curious. And it would be so easy to find out. Maybe we exist on different levels in the same space. There's a fine line between life and death. All that separates us from the dead is a beating heart.

I heard a story a couple weeks ago. A wonderful story. A woman had a sudden cardiac arrest, died, and then came back three minutes later. After the fact, she was talking to one of the cardiologists who worked on her when she died and helped bring her back. She told him she didn't want to come back because she was with her son who had died previously. I'm actually living with someone who has a similar story and I'm hoping that maybe she will make an appearance on this blog and share it sometime. ;) These accounts of people who have seen the other side are incredible and bring me much comfort.

I wrote something about Matt and submitted it to the State Highway Patrol's online Fatality Victims Memorial so it can be viewed here:,000014,001625&mem=193&year=2011