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  • Writer's pictureKatie Beucus

On Acceptance

Updated: May 2, 2023

It’s May. We’re quickly approaching three months without Aaron and for the first time he visited me in my dream last night. It wasn’t like Evan’s where he gets hugs or like Haddie’s where she sits on his lap with her hands on his cheeks giving nose kisses. He didn’t even say a word to me, he was just there dressed in the same outfit he wore the night we met, as these different scenes kept popping up all related to current stresses in my life. And as I’d face these weird obstacles, he was just standing there, right next to me not doing anything. Rude.

Then I woke up and I felt cheated initially. Jerk couldn’t even give me a side hug or something on the sly. I was so mad. All these months I’ve been praying for a visit in my dreams and this is all he and the big man could deliver. Color me unimpressed. But as my day went on it started to settle in. He is always with me. Even when it’s hard. Especially when it’s hard.

I think I’m moving into the acceptance phase of grief. Which sounds dumb because how could you not accept someone as dead when you literally laid by their side as they died. Medicated them to comfort in their final hours. Witnessed their very last breath. Bathed and clothed their cold stiff body in the early hours of dawn before they left home for the last time.

You know I actually tucked him back in. I helped him bathe for a year and I knew how quickly his body would get cold after a shower, especially during chemo. I’d dry him as quickly as I could while remaining gentle to his damaged nerves. And I could not stand the idea of his body being cold for his final bath and so I shut our bedroom door, turned on a space heater and used warm water as I cleaned the iodine stains from his legs and abdomen. I dressed him back in a long sleeve, his most comfortable pants and favorite socks. And then I tucked his unalive ass back into bed. All the blankets in the world weren’t going to make a difference, but continuing to care for him, even in that state was so incredibly important to me and it was the best way I knew how.

And yet after all that, for nearly three months, almost everyday I’ve asked myself how and why and is this really my life? It would make me feel dizzy trying to make sense of it all. Or maybe that’s the insomnia. Regardless, I was physically dizzy. It’s like you’re on the outside looking in and yet somehow you’re living it simultaneously.

There would be times when I’d be out with the kids and I’d look at my watch and think, oh dang, Aaron is definitely going to beat us home. And then milliseconds later I’d remind myself that he is in fact still dead. After baseball we drive past the on-ramp he’d use to come home and I’d catch myself looking for his Jeep. Or I’d stand under the stars with my arms just out from my sides after taking the trash out like I could will him back into existence. It’s this weird feeling of being in the upside down until it slowly begins to dissipate.

But I don’t have those types of moments as often anymore. I feel more grounded and settled. After Aaron’s service, I could barely ever cry but I can now. It’s usually at night when the kids are in bed. Not because I don’t want them to see me cry, I actually think demonstrating a healthy display of emotion is critical to their own healing, but because that is when I am still. There is no distraction of school drop off and pick up or sports or meals to cook or house chores or a full time job to maintain. There’s always laundry but I am who I am and I’ll procrastinate that for the rest of my life.

In the evening it’s just me and the house is quiet and I am still. That’s when the heaviness of where we’ve been and where I am now pulls up a seat and decides to stay a while. And I just sit with it, because I know I need to in order to move forward. Another final hours promise I intend to keep 💛

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1 Comment

May 03, 2023

I remember YEARS ago, seeing a counselor regarding how I was feeling after the death of my baby daughter. We also talked about my never before talked about feelings regarding the death of my Dad when I was seven. About 55 minutes into our 60 minutes meeting, after leaning forward for about 54 minute, he leaned back, smiled and said, “Well Melinda, what you have is a big ol’ slice of normal… and we can’t cure normal.” I just stared at him for a brief second and then for some reason just started to laugh. My theme for my life has been- be normal. And here it was… yep, everything I was feeling… normal. Didn’t change a thing …

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