Thursday, September 4, 2014

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Today was a rough one.

There have not been many days over the course of the past year that have brought me to the edge of losing it completely but this was one of them.

It started last night when my little guy went through the most heart wrenching 45 minutes of grief I have witnessed since those of us closest to Joe walked through the first days following his death. 

I had made the mistake of tripping over Domani's foot while getting him ready for bed. He was tired so it triggered him to be way more upset than usual. He said that he wanted his "whole family" to be there with him. Knowing he was tired, I brought him in to his bedroom and sat with him on his bed, talking with him. He caught a glimpse of the picture on the wall of Joe and me with him as a baby and the grief flowed. 

He wailed. He threw his arms in the air and then fell down on the bed covering his face. He said that he wanted to be a baby again because that is when he was happy and he was with his daddy and now he is only sad. He said he would never be able to stop crying because he missed his daddy. So much sadness in such a little guy. It broke my heart into a million pieces.

But I hugged him and rubbed his back and told him that I understood how sad he was and that it was really unfair he couldn't have his daddy here with him. I told him how much his daddy loved him and all the things he did to take care of him. And I texted my mom for advice. And then, when Domani finally was able to get some words out in between the tears he asked for a Doc McStuffins episode and we were on our way to calmer times.

The immensity of it all didn't really hit me until this morning. After I dropped Domani off before going to work I felt his sadness all over again and I couldn't shake it all day. So many times I caught myself wiping away the tears in the middle of writing work reports or while on conference calls because, well, it's just f*@ked up that a 3 year old has to grieve his father like that.

This was Day 2 for me of coming back to work after vacation and there was still a barrage of assignments coming in needing attention. Yesterday was hectic, but I always expect that on my first day back after time off. Perhaps it was the added emotional stress, but today made me seriously question if there was any human way to tend to the work in front of me. More than once I wanted to crawl under my desk and stay there.

But just as my mind would begin to entertain the fantasy, inevitably the phone would ring or a new email would pop through or a text message would ding - the never-ending stream of things that need attention would make its demand.

Six days out of the week I would have a simple way to work through all of this since a good run always works wonders for my body, mind, and soul. Today was my weekly rest day on my training calendar though so there was no run during which I could work out all of the thoughts mulling around in my brain. No endorphins to take over the sadness that was settling in. No opportunity to stretch and challenge my tired body to the point of exhausted satisfaction. And that made me even more sad.

It truly became my own version of my favorite children's book "Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day". 

But then...

Almost as if the universe knows what we need when we need it.

There was dinner with 3 lovely women at a familiar restaurant, arranged weeks ago, but now falling at just the perfect moment.  Dinner with three amazing women who instantly understand the complexities of my day because they have had days like this too. Dinner with three inspiring women who are also living after losing their spouses. Dinner with three special women who took my terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day and ended it with good food, laughter, and friendship.

And for this I am so thankful.


  1. Oh, my. How heartbreaking. It’s so tough, I know. And you’re right it isn’t fair!
    I wonder, if perhaps Domani was also feeling a little bit of the effects of the reality of “back from vacation”. It was a time where he had his “whole family” around for the entire week.
    There will be rough patches along the way. But, with the large community of love and support you have, I know you will both be okay.