This last weekend I watched the first two episodes of HBO’s “Mildred Pierce” starring Kate Winslet. Kate Winslet is an an amazing actress – already an Academy Award winner and five time nominee – and I found myself getting caught up in the Depression era tale of a single mother trying to provide for her two daughters. A few minutes before the second episode ended, however, a sudden plot twist lead to Kate standing over her daughter’s hospital bed, watching her daughter die before her eyes as doctors worked frantically to save her.
Watching this scene made my heart rise in my throat and turned a relaxing night into one full of anxiety and flashbacks. As the scene unfolded, however, it occurred to me that, for the first time, Kate Winslet was hitting false notes. The way she watched her daughter die, reacted in the immediate aftermath, and made her first phone call to relatives… all of this just wasn’t quite how it is. And why should it have been? Actors imagine what it is like to be someone else, and as brilliant an actress as Winslet is, she was attempting to dramatize the unimaginable.
Of course for Heather and myself the unimaginable became all too real two years ago this week.
Two years ago this week. It is hard to believe. And while this week has only just begun it has already been very hard, full of raw emotions and many tears. More than anything though this week I am tired.
I’m tired of living in a world without Maddie in it;
I’m tired of longing, missing, and aching for Maddie;
I’m tired of dealing with the ever present feelings of grief;
I’m tired of experiencing the constant flashbacks;
I’m tired of watching my wife grieve and suffer;
I’m tired of worrying about how this may affect Annie;
I’m tired of pretending I’m okay for the outside world;
I’m tired of having to accept Maddie’s passing and keep moving forward;
I’m tired of struggling to somehow salvage the dreams Heather and I had on our wedding day in the wake of our worst nightmare;
and I’m tired of thinking about how many more years I have to live like this.
I’m just… tired.
Heather told me that I shouldn’t put too much pressure on myself this week to try to get too much done. If I get things done… great. But if I don’t… that’s okay too. Simply getting through this week is more than enough of a task. This is good advice, and I’m going to take it. The hardest part though is that once this difficult week is over another week will begin – a week that, like this one, will exist in the shadow of all that has happened, and still without Maddie.