Friday, February 27, 2009

It's Been a While...

I know it has been quite a while since I have posted...while I will not pass on all 0f my "excuses" for not writing, I can tell you all that I have had some interesting things happen physically in the past few weeks.

On Super Bowl Sunday, I had a major anxiety attack. I seriously thought I was dying of a heart attack. I had a few smaller ones throughout that day. I went to the doctors the next day and was prescribed Xanax and Zoloft. I'm also seeing a psychologist as well (on my own accord). I have had these things called PVCs (Premature Ventricular Contractions) where my heart skips a beat as well. I have had to wear a monitor for 24 hours this past week to make sure that they are related to stress and anxiety and not some other more serious physical problem.

I find that now, six weeks after Rachel's passing, I have been riding on a roller coaster of emotions. Sadness (of course); anger, guilt, lonesomeness, helplessness, and many others. I have tried moving on sometimes I think too fast. I am a very inquisitive and analytical person. I blame that one my almost 15 years in the Navy. While Rachel was sick I made sure I knew the defination and cause and effect of every single symptom and or diagnosis that the doctors or nurses gave to me. I now have continued to do that on myself; I knew what the PVCs were before I went to the doctor's office and had him tell me from looking at an EKG. The unfortunate thing here is my analytical ways have just been another way of inflating the internal balloon that is my anxiety level. I was not letting myself grieve. I was not letting myself release the emotions pent up inside of me; instead I was putting up a facade of I'm doing okay, everything is fine, etc. Well, the balloon burst.

For the last couple of weeks especially, I kept telling myself that I seriously needed a woman, friend or not, to do nothing but hold me all night. Someone to comfort me and plutonicly satisfy an urge I have come to know is called "skin hunger". Well after talking to more than a few women and realizing where I am at in my grieving process, I understand completely that this is my longing for Rachel to be here with me and my need for her to hold me (and the associated sadness in knowing that she cannot physically be here to do that). Among all of her beautiful ways; the smile, the sense of humor, the vivality; she had an amazing way of bringing us comfort by how she held us. Anyone who receieved a hug from Rach felt something from it. I don't just mean physically either. It was a hug, a hold, that went straight to your heart and soul. It was a way for her to give you something that she could not give to you verbally or visually. It was a way for you to enjoy her spiritual gift she was giving to you. Near the end of my eulogy for Rach at her funeral mass, one of the things I said was for every person (mind you the number of people there was approaching 1,000) to turn to each other and hug each other and tell them you loved them. This was something that only came to me as I knelt beside her body for the last time before they closed the casket. It was her way of channeling through me one last hug and I love you to each and every person there. She knew that out of the thousand people at her funeral mass, only a handful actually were able to get that from her before she passed; I felt like she succeded in ensuring everyone knew it was her; I watched in melancholy happiness as the entire church attendance gave each other what she wanted them to have.

I am not going to lecture or even post anything about melanoma in this entry. This entry is more related to love and love lost. Read how I am feeling. Read how you would feel. Take that emotion and use it to be a better husband, wife, girlfriend, boyfriend, son, daughter, brother, sister, cousin, or friend. Don't take love and emotions and feelings for granted. Don't be afraid to show your feelings, and when someone shows you theirs, take them and let them touch your heart and soul like Rachel was able to touch ours.

For those of you who need that someone; that friend, that someone to show you what I am describing, contact me. Part of my life's goals are not only to pass on education and awareness of Rachel's illness, but to pass on the love and joy she always brought to everyone she came into contact with. May God bless you all...and I know it may be off of the subject of this post in general, but please say some prayers for my friend Linda Ramirez, who is suffering from stage IV melanoma like Rachel did. Pray for all cancer patients. Pray for all widows and widowers, no matter what age they may be. Pray for your families and friends. Pray for thanks for what we have in our lives.
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Lisa Marini said...

Hello Rich!
I hope you're feeling better! I know how hard it is to deal with the passing of our beloved ones!!! I'm praying for you! And for Rachel! And I believe that eventually you'll get through this hard time and will be able to smile and feel good everytime you think and miss her! Take care! Lisa

Anonymous said...

Beautiful. Simply beautiful.

Marcos said...

I have this anxious attacks either and had my heart checked recently. I got here because I was doing some research about melanoma after watching grey's anatomy... hope you're feeling better, you're a very good example of strenght and it moved me, it's good to know people like you to make it real, to see that this things are at our side, sadly that it isn't just a story on a tv show, sad in the circunstances but very important thing what you're doing here.

really really best wishes from brazil.


Stephanie said...

I'm sad for your loss...I found your blog linked to another friend's blog who had lost her husband from a tragic sudden death.
I do love to lay out, and spend time in the tanning bed.
No more.
I'm sorry for your loss, and I hope you're okay. Thank you for sharing your story.