Archive for March, 2013


Well here I am again, writing that a holiday is “just another day.” Alexa isn’t old enough to understand so it’s not like I really have to do anything to celebrate her first Easter. I did get her picture taken with the Easter bunny recently at least. I didn’t have it in me (or the time) to make Easter bread or dye eggs this year. The bread is so time consuming and Alex ate most of it anyway. I did indulge in a few Cadbury cream eggs over the past few weeks though. I am working today too. Someone has to and I don’t mind that it’s me. I’m sure it will be a busy day of chocolate ingestion, like many holidays. Please be careful what your pets eat! Hopefully Dunkin Donuts is open today, though we will be getting Boston Market (yum) for Easter lunch at work. It’s always about the food! Thank you whoever sent the anonymous DD gift card that showed up in my mail yesterday! It is greatly appreciated! I can continue getting Dunkin on the way to work for a little longer :-) Today is also three months since Alex’s death. I made it this far… Part of me feels like it just happened yesterday and another part feels like I’ve been without him for so long. I don’t think that will change for a while. It may be the three month “anniversary” but today doesn’t really feel any different than any other day. I think…


My life

Since starting this blog I have been in contact with so many people I probably wouldn’t have otherwise. Some are friends and acquaintances I lost contact with long ago and others are people I have never even met. Opening up my life to the world has made people comfortable with opening up to me. I like this. For one thing, it makes me feel a little less alone in my situation when people can relate even in just a tiny way. Second, I can’t put into words what it means to me that my stories are helping people cope and understand and have hope. Something that has come up on multiple occasions (and I just can’t believe how common this is) is readers who have loved ones who have attempted and failed at completing suicide or have threatened / had suicidal thoughts. Here is my best advice… I believe that people that are in that frame of mind are not thinking of the aftermath. They are in that moment and ultimately thinking of a permanent solution to a temporary problem. They can’t see how it affects those around them. Only that, for them, the pain (whatever it is) will be over. So my answer is, show them this. Let them into my life. I AM the aftermath. My world is a product of suicide. My daughter, one day, will understand her place in the aftermath of suicide. I am 100% certain that if Alex could have comprehended what my life would be like now, he would have chosen a different path. I know people are showing their loved ones my posts, and I hear it is helping. If I can save a life or help a relationship, he won’t have died in vain and my pain will be worth something. I don’t want others to hurt like I do.

Am I seeing things?

Today started rather well. Alexa slept though the night and I did too. I did have a bit of a headache, but that is nothing new for me. I drank a whole glass of Limu and was on my way. Of course, I made my usual stop at Dunkin Donuts, and had my normal dose of caffeine with my multigrain bagel. (My last gift card is down to $7! AHHH!) Traffic was not bad at all! It is Good Friday, so many people are off today. I wonder how it will be the next three days, since I work all weekend and Monday. I got to work early, and my headache started to subside. We were busy and I just kept going. My mind had no chance to wander. Then, lunchtime came. I took my usual walk and was headed back into work. I suddenly swore I was seeing things. From a distance, I could see the bright blue of Alex’s car. I should not be surprised, someone that works here bought the car for a family member. I started to walk toward it, then changed my mind. I was sure it was his, but what was the point of getting close? I never really thought I would see it. It felt very strange. But at the same time, not. I did not get upset. My whole life is a reminder, why should this be any different?

I can’t believe this photo is still on my phone… This was taken within the first few days after he got it.


With my birthday coming up quickly, I was thinking about my past birthdays. For my 24th birthday, 1 month before our wedding, Alex and I and another couple we were/are close with went to see Rent on broadway. It was a great birthday! Today, I listened to the soundtrack. Nothing like suicide, New Years, betrayal, misery and death all rolled into a neat package. It was amazing to me the different meaning the lyrics took on now. I will be Turing 29 soon and I just cannot believe how different life is now. Today, I am listening to these songs while driving around with my 10 month old. (I forgot about the cursing in it, oops.) 5 years ago I was watching the play with my soon to be husband, who is now dead and my (soon to be) divorced friends. How did this happen? I couldn’t help but think over and over “Will I wake from this nightmare..” They were describing my life through song!
Although I love music, I’m not one to get caught up in lyrics. Today I did…
“Without you the ground thaws, the rain falls, the grass grows. Without you the seeds root, the flowers bloom, the children play, the stars gleam, the poets dream, the eagles fly. Without you the earth turns, the sun burns, but I die without you”
Now I’m not actually dying, but those lyrics speak to me about how the world is moving on without him. But am I? I don’t really know.
As depressing as Rent seems, it is meant to give hope as well.
“The heart may freeze, or it can burn. The pain will ease, if I can learn. There is no future, there is no past. I live this moment as my last. There’s only us. There’s only this. Forget regret or life is yours to miss. No other road. No other day. No day but today.”
So, How do you measure a year?


Stages of grief

I’m sure everyone has heard of the stages of grief. I had previously. But, did you know that it doesn’t go in order and you can be in any stage at any time and then switch? I didn’t. Depending on which article you are reading, there are different names and sometimes even a different number of stages. My main two are sadness and anger but I go back to bargaining and denial sometimes too. Depression is always hanging around. You would think I would be way past denial. I’m not. Sometimes I think denial is my way of getting through each day. If I can block out what’s happening, I can function. Last night sadness and anger really got a hold of me. I sold his workout bench. There is no reason for me to keep it. I thought I was okay with it until it was really happening. I guess the thought that it was the last tangible item he touched started to hit me. Watching it go out the door, I got hysterical and made myself sick. I’m really getting sick of that happening. I felt sick the rest of the night and went to bed early. Well, not really early for me, but for the rest of the world. I fell asleep quickly, which usually doesn’t happen. A few hours later I woke up extremely angry. Not only was I angry that he ruined my life, but angry at everything he had done prior and everything that originally made me angry that day. I was just livid thinking about all the lies and the lies that were used to cover those lies. How could he do that to me?! How could I be so blind?! I was even more pissed off that he was gone, and I was given no opportunity to fix everything. I have no real explanation for anything. All these lies were dumped on me, and then he was gone. I don’t even know how long I layed there before finally going back to sleep, but it wasn’t long before I had a crying baby. She used to sleep through the night, but with all the life changes, she doesn’t anymore. She is great and it doesn’t take me long to get her back to bed, but it takes a very long time for me to get back to bed. Morning came too fast, and I’m just tired and depressed. There’s no real sadness or anger or anything else really, just depression. Hopefully writing, a shower, and some coffee will get me going. I’m kicking myself for scheduling an eye exam before work. I’d love to cancel and go back to bed but I really need some contacts. I’ve been wearing these for at least four months.

Alexa’s 5K

An amazing friend of mine emailed me asking if she could coordinate a 5k in Alex’s memory for Alexa. All I could really say was, “I don’t have to run do I?” She said no and that she would take care of everything, she just needed my “ok.” I told her to go for it! I have to admit, I teared up reading what she wrote for the Facebook page. It means a lot to hear how others describe him.  I really have some great friends. This is what she said:
On December 31st, 2012, the world lost a great man. We knew Alex Cruz as a passionate and charismatic friend; he was Heather’s husband, and she has spent the past two months creating a new future for herself and their beautiful daughter, Alexa. It’s a life they never expected to have, and many of us have struggled to find ways to support them as they grow stronger everyday.
I am ecstatic to announce that we have a chance to join forces with the Thank You Mom Foundation – an amazing non-profit that was also born from tragedy, but has grown to help so many people in need. The Debbie Ann 5K is TYM’s annual event to raise funds for a variety of worthwhile causes, and this year they are offering us a special fundraising opportunity just for the Cruz family. Whether you would like to run/walk the race, volunteer at the event, help to collect donations or simply spread the word in your circle of friends, I hope that you can sieze this opportunity to honor those we have lost and enrich the lives of those they left behind.

It is on April 14th in Newton, NJ. I will be WALKING… but I hear others are running. I am in no shape for that!
If anyone would like to participate, please contact me, and I can get you the information!


The good and the bad

Today felt like an overall crappy day. I rushed out of the house this morning knowing my commute would take exceptionally long because of the snow. I was right. Being stuck in traffic gives me extra anxiety on top of what I already have being alone with my thoughts. I thought I had stopped trying to rationalize all this. I thought I had stopped replaying that night and trying to change what I said. I thought I stopped trying to understand what he was thinking. Apparently I had just taken a break. In some ways it had gotten worse. Now I even picture what exactly happened. I picture him walking down the stairs, texting me, smoking, holding the gun, and so on… I wasn’t there to see it but I try to imagine it. I can’t even begin to explain why. The drive gives me the alone time to do this. I was just in a funk today and just wanted it to be over. I just couldn’t focus. The drive home was shorter but my mind still drove me crazy. Some song played about love conquering all. What crap! By the time I got home I was exhausted and a mess. I just wanted to be curled up and crying, but I didn’t. I was worried that the snow ruined the grass seed. Thankfully, it won’t. It will actually help. At the end of the night… Alexa started crawling! I guess she knew I could use a smile. Every day has some good and some bad…


Leave it to dad and I to be impatient when it came to grass. Instead of waiting for the graveyard to plant some, on our Sunday trip, we planted grass seed for Alex. You can also see in some of the photos the concrete that is set up for the stone. It is set to arrive for my birthday. Interesting birthday present, I must say.








Saying Hi?

Today was one of those days of constant reminders of him. I met a friend at the mall for a little bit today. For most of the drive there, I was following a silver Honda Civic SI hatchback. This is the car he drove when we met and for most of our relationship. I pulled into the parking lot in tears but pulled myself together and went inside. It wasn’t long before I walked past a guy wearing one of my favorite shirts of his. I brushed it off. Then, onto the food court. It sounds terrible, but Alex was a little kid at heart and always making jokes. I used to say he was the one that took every joke one step too far. Every time we were at the mall he would imitate the workers shouting “free sample!” He knew it embarrassed me and always got a kick out of it. When I heard “free sample!” I immediately thought of him and heard it in his voice. I had to really stifle my laughter. I stepped outside and saw a child run away from his father. The father started yelling “Alex! Alex! Alex!!” By this point, I had to laugh. I guess he was trying to say hi today!

I’m all over the place…

I’m exhausted and probably a little all over the place tonight. I previously wrote about taking off my rings and wearing them on a chain around my neck. Well, after wearing my “promise ring” for 6 years, I started to have an allergic reaction to it! It now resides with the rest of my rings on that chain. I like having them there. I am not anywhere near ready to put them away. The issue is, when people ask about them. I am very open about my life and will never lie about any aspect of my situation, but, when I am with clients, my job is to discuss your pet, not my life. I attempt to simply answer the question, and move on. Today, that just couldn’t happen. This will go hand in hand with my post about faux pas. After asking whose rings were around my neck, why they were there, how old my husband was, and how he passed away, a client proceeded to tell me she would shoot herself if she had as many pets as I do. Really? In the same conversation? It was almost funny. I seem to be tying in a lot of former posts tonight. I am reminded of the “are you ok?” post. Of course, this same person, when hearing the news, immediately said “I am so sorry! How awful! etc…” I am so very uncomfortable with the sympathy. I really do appreciate that people care, but always just awkwardly say thank you and again, try to change the subject. I don’t do well with pity and don’t want anyone to feel sorry for me. It just makes me feel weird. I would much rather have people be proud of my accomplishments, than sorry for the unfortunate events of my life. That being said, I feel the same about myself. I remind myself not to throw myself a pity party on a regular basis. Sure, I can have bad days, hours, or moments, but I have to pick myself back up. People will always tell me I will have good days and bad. Really, I have good moments and bad moments. I can’t say that most days are particularly good or bad. They are all both. For those I am friends with on Facebook, you probably saw that I was having a rough moment last night. For the first time in the few nights I have been back home, I had a really hard time with the fact that I was alone in “our” bed. I really hated how cold and quiet and empty it felt without him. I expected to feel that way at some point, but I guess was so tired each night, I hadn’t really let myself think about it. I looked through old photos on my phone of when times were better and he was still here and posted a cute one of him asleep in our bed. It made me feel better. I have really been thrown into living at home. As I have previously mentioned, I had a security system installed on Tuesday. I decided to stay here Monday night so I was already here early in the morning to be prepared for some cat wrangling. I had to make sure they were out of their way. When I realized how traumatic it was for Alexa to start sleeping in her room, I decided I could not confuse her anymore, and had to officially stay here every night. She has done better and better each night. Although I was still at work for bedtime tonight, my parents put her to bed with barely any incident. It was more important to make sure she was comfortable with everything, than I was. I think this worked out exceptionally well. It really gave me no option, and thus, I’ve gone through with it. Nights are a little strange. My dad still stays over with me. I hope to be comfortable enough to stay “alone” soon. I realize now that I have worn a shirt of Alex’s to bed every night. Weird? I haven’t decided yet. I have the weekend off, and no real plans. I could use the “relaxation” but that can equal more time alone with my thoughts. That is not always so good for me. We’ll see. I hope to get some more projects around the house done and spend some quality time with my princess. I miss her when I work long days and she is already in bed when I get home. As I always say… tomorrow is another day.

Alex sleeping in our bed

Alex sleeping in our bed

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