Saturday, May 31


Another Saturday. Another weekend with no plans, and nobody to share time with. The pervasive loneliness that I have heard about from so many other young widows is setting in, and the solitude of my life is getting oppressive. I get up every morning and most days, search for things to do to fill the empty hours. Some days, I lack the energy or desire to leave the house or accomplish much, and it is on those days that the loneliness reaches new heights. I know that I should force myself out of the house and into the company of other people, but I find the energy that it takes to 'act' normal is draining. Even when I'm around people who understand the tragedy of my life, I still hesitate to let the true depths of my despair show. In honestly, I am lower than I have ever been in my life. I feel a complete lack of emotion most days, and am unable to express much beyond a vague, restless anger. In my mind, I compare myself to a wild animal that has been mortally injured. I am restless, I snap at the slightest provocation, and I don't hesitate to hurt those around me, even when they are simply trying to help. In the beginning, I was told by somebody that I would reach a point that I would be angry with Ammon, and at the time, I scoffed. I thought, how could I be angry with the man that I loved so deeply? How could I blame him for a freak accident, even though it was one that took his life and his company from those who need him most? In recent days, rage has begun to emerge. Rage that is split nearly equally between my late husband, and my father in heaven. I know that it's not socially acceptable to be angry with God, but I am. I am enraged that he took my husband from me. I am enraged that he ignored my pleas for Ammon's survival. On that black Friday evening, I lifted my face to heaven and pled for my husband's life. I begged God not to let him die, and he ignored my pleas. I almost equally blame my husband. Why wouldn't he wear a helmet? I know that Jeremy and one of his friends were standing next to Ammon in the moments before he got onto his motorcycle, and they were playing with Ammon's helmet. The kids loved to put the helmet on their heads, and try to walk around with the large weight on their shoulders. How easy it would have been for Ammon to pluck the helmet from Jeremy's head and put it onto his own, but he didn't. He chose to ignore my admonitions of days past about helmet safety, and the result is responsible for my present reality. Because of the decision that Ammon made that evening, his children are going to grow up without a father, and there is a tiny part of me that hates Ammon for that. There is a part of me that feels red-hot, boiling rage that he so willingly sacrificed his life in such a careless manner.

I know that these emotions are unfair. In my more lucid, forgiving, Christ-like moments, I pray for acceptance. I pray for understanding, I pray for the strength to make it through this trial with grace and poise. I pray that I can raise my children up to both their Fathers, the one who sent his son to die for us, and the earthly father who is waiting for them in the eternities. Sometimes, though, I feel the rage. I feel the hopeless, omnipresent, oppressive loneliness, and the burden of raising these three children by myself presses down on me with relentless weight. Please, don't judge me for this post. I have struggled with whether or not to write about these emotions, knowing that there are many people in my day to day life that read this. Sometimes I feel as though I am the only one mourning Ammon. I know that his siblings, his parents, and his friends are simply trying to shield me from their pain, to avoid adding to my burden. I am appreciative of that thoughtfulness, but sometimes I feel as though I am the only one falling apart. I feel that I am the only person absolutely shattered by this loss, and it only adds to the sense of loneliness. Loneliness, burden, weight. These words have been repeated several times in this entry today, and they are the words the reverberate through my life.

I am so lonely for Ammon. I ache for the touch of his hands, the warmth in his eyes, and the comfort of his embrace. I hate him for leaving me here alone.

Thursday, May 29

Mitch Hedberg

Last night I was car shopping with my home teacher from church, and something in the course of our conversation reminded me of a skit by Ammon's favorite stand-up comedian. Because of the strange dynamics of our relationship, I was unable to acknowledge the humor of this man while Ammon was still alive. I always laughed uproariously whenever Ammon would do a spot-on impersonation of him, but maintained that I didn't find him funny at all, despite all the laughter. In hindsight, it was silly. Silly that I couldn't admit that I found Mitch Hedberg hysterical. Anyway, here I am, making amends. He can be crass, he has some language, but his delivery is impeccable, and sitting in front of this video makes me feel closer to Ammon than I have in weeks. Enjoy.

Sunday, May 25


I came across these two articles in my surfing last night, and they're pretty apt. I thought it might be useful for those of you who keep saying "I can't imagine how you feel", because this article does a decent job of explaining it in words that I couldn't conjure. For those of you who tell me "I don't know what to say", the second article does a fairly decent job of explaining that quandary as well. They're long, but worthwhile.

When Your Husband Dies

What to Say to a Grieving Friend

Monday, May 19

Going On

I haven't been blogging much lately. I haven't been emailing, calling, or talking to people often, either. There is a constant amount of work involved in the care of these kids, and it's draining. There has also been a flurry of activity in the last couple of weeks that has been enough to keep me running most days. About 1 1/2 weeks ago my good friend Laura arrived for an extended weekend trip. She flew into the Columbus airport on the Friday before Mother's Day, and on my way to the airport in heavy rush hour traffic, I rear ended another vehicle on the interstate. I had glanced over my shoulder to check my blind spot before a lane change, and by the time my eyes were forward again another car had slammed on the brakes and I had no time to stop. Admittedly I have been distracted in the past few weeks, but I honestly don't feel as though the accident was avoidable. Unfortunately, my drivers license and registration on my van still reflect my Utah residency, so I was ticketed for those offenses along with following too closely and causing an accident. Russ and Mary met me in Columbus, and deemed my van capable of limping back to Cincinnati and directly into the repair shop. On Saturday Laura and I spent most of the morning dropping off the van at the body shop and picking up a rental car, but after that we were able to have a really nice visit. In fact, the days that Laura was here were among some of the best I have had in the last 38 days. I felt almost human while she was here, and I miss her a lot.

The Sunday that Laura was here was Mother's day, and it was draining, sad, and lovely. It was also the 1 month anniversary of Ammon's death, and church that day was difficult. Mary and Russ came down and helped the boys prepare a nice breakfast, and the day wasn't as bad as I had feared it would be. On Tuesday I returned Laura to the airport in Columbus, then spent a couple hours at the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles to get my Ohio drivers license. On Wednesday the kids and I tried to catch up on housework, and by Thursday afternoon we were on our way to Dayton so that the kids could spend Friday with Russ while Mary, Brooklyn, and I traveled back to Columbus to appear in traffic court. A mere $185 later, we were on our way back to Angela's house where the boys were sent off on the annual father/son campout (Russ took my boys) and the girls enjoyed an evening free of testosterone.

Saturday afternoon found me back in Dayton car shopping with Janice, which turned out to be a frustrating and un-productive experience. A woman in a car lot is not every salesman dream, and instead of talking to me about warranties, features, and financing he spent time telling me about stereo systems, color, and moon roofs. Needless to say, I will be making my purchase through a different dealer. I'm also going to try to get my home teacher to go with me, because apparently to be taken seriously I am going to need to have a man at my side.

We have our orientation for the children's counseling center today, and I'm feeling very apprehensive about it. I know that it will be good for the kids, and they need the support of adults and children who understand what they are going through. Me? I just need a break.

Thursday, May 8


I'm feeling melancholy today. I guess it's a change from the deep aching sadness that has gripped me for most of the last week, but it's still a far cry from the upbeat optimistic personality I normally am. In so many ways, the loss of Ammon is only getting more poignant. Life has mostly returned to 'normal' for most of the people around me. Everybody has returned to the lives they were leading before this happened, with few exceptions. I know that the loss of Ammon reverberates through the lives of many, many people, especially his family and friends that live near here, but it's nothing compared to the ripples it has made in the lives of me and the children. I find myself being inordinately jealous of the normalcy other people get to have. The ward has had people coming in and helping me several times a week, and meals continue to trickle in. I appreciate the support and help from people around me, and could not have made it through the last month without them. On the flip side, I know when they leave me, when their hours with me are at a close, they are leaving me to return to their lives. Their lives that are unchanged, whole, and still hold the promise of a future. I know, logically, that my life is not over. I know that my future is simply altered, not ended, but the pain of the dreams I lost that day stay with me today. The Victoria that I have been for the last 25 years, the woman who was married to the man of her dreams, mother to his children, and content in her life as a whole, has died. From here on out, I have to learn to be somebody else. Yes, I'm still Victoria, but I know that this experience will forever alter me. It will alter my personality, my perceptions, my reality. It will change my faith, my strength, and my ability to adapt to change. I try to have confidence that in the end, the Lord is working to make me a work of art. I know that I am worth saving, worth knowing, and have a life worth experiencing, but it hurts. I was happy. We were happy. We were goofy, deliriously, serenely, and genuinely happy, and the loss of that stings. I was content with the person I was, and confident in myself in a way that I had only just started to appreciate. I felt like I had finally come into myself as a woman, and didn't feel the need to justify my actions, beliefs, or experiences to anyone around me. I wonder if the gift of confidence was given to me to get me through this experience. When it came time to plan the funeral, I had the ability to make many difficult decisions. When somebody came to me with a difficult decision to make, I had a vision of what I wanted, and was capable of planning accordingly. In the weeks since Ammon's death, I have accomplished a lot. The house is still reasonably clean, the kids have stayed fed and mostly bathed, and I have completed mounds of paperwork, several dozen phone calls, and completed many items in the business of death. Social Security benefits were deposited in my account today, and that knowledge provides some security to the children and I. After all this, though, there is still a void in my life. I miss Ammon in a way that makes me ache to the core. I miss his smile, his scent, the way his arms felt when they were wrapped around me. I feel like a robot. I feel dead. I feel like I can't go on without him, but I will.

Wednesday, May 7

Strep Throat

I finally broke down and took Kadon into the doctor today after he vomited all over the couch. I was trying to check his mouth for sores and/or swollen tonsils, and I only got a quick glance at his swollen nodes before he lost his recently swallowed juice in my lap. Disgusting and smelly, and that's all I have to say about that.

I guess the only good thing I can say about strep throat is that it's an easy round of antibiotics to fix it. Other than that, we're watching lots of cartoons and trying not to annoy each other.

Tuesday, May 6


I just got off the phone with somebody, and when it came time to hang up, their end clicked before mine. It just makes me remember, Ammon always waited for the other person to hang up. It bothered me when we first got married, because I had a tendency of waiting too, and we used to get into these 'aren't you going to hang up?' arguments. I asked him about it once, and he said he liked to wait to make sure the other person didn't have a last minute thought they needed to share. Just another way he was always considerate.

On a side note, both Kadon and Brooklyn are sick. Kadon started in with a fever last night, which peaked this afternoon at 102.6. I gave him more ibuprofen, and it brought it down a little bit, and he's napping upstairs. With the Relief Society president's help, I was able to round up some priesthood holders to come over and give him a blessing, but it's another poignant reminder that the priesthood no longer resides in my home. I didn't grow up with that power, but I had gotten used to it over the last several years. I hate that my kids are going to grow up without that comfort. I hate that I have to scramble to find men I barely know when my kids are sick and need that special prayer.

Monday, May 5

Cinco De Mayo

So tonight the kids and I decided to head out for Cinco De Mayo and get some Mexican food. Earlier in the day, a friend of mine came over with her kids, and since her husband is actually Mexican, I asked what they were planning. Much to my surprise, they had absolutely nothing planned. Thus, a plan was hatched to meet for dinner tonight at Mexican restaurant that none of us had tried. I left the house this afternoon at about 3 o'clock, and the kids and I went to the YMCA, then stopped at the store on our way to Los Cabos. When we got there, I had a few minutes to kill before my friend and her husband showed up, so the kids and I hung out in the car while I fed Brooklyn. When the princess was done eating, I marched confidently into the restaurant and requested seating for four adults and five kids, including a high chair for Brooklyn. As we started sitting at the table, my friend had still not arrived, but I confidently surveyed the seating arrangements and mentally seated everybody in my mind. There were two square tables pushed together, and I envisioned the four adults sitting together on one table, with the four children sitting at the other end. The scheme seemed perfect.....until I realized that my family is a party of four now, no longer a party of five. It hit me like a ton of bricks that there would only be three adults in attendance tonight, not four. Tonight made me wonder, how long are my married friends going to want to spend time socially with me? How long will it before I become just another sad reminder of what happens to 'other people'? I hate that I'm no longer half of a whole. Now, what you see is what you get. Tonight, I barely got to eat dinner because Kadon started to come down with a fever and wanted to sit on my lap. Brooklyn was also demanding the meal that was rightfully hers, so I was forced to comfort Kadon with one arm and feed Brooklyn little pieces of spanish rice with the other hand. My dinner went mostly untouched in front of me, and I ended up boxing it up to bring home. I sorely missed Ammon tonight, not that it's much different than any other night. Coming home to an empty house is never going to get any easier, I don't think.

Saturday, May 3

Work Day

We made waffles this morning, babe. I finally got some New Hope Mills pancake flour, something I know you had been wanting for a long time. I offered to make pancakes last night when we were getting ready for bed, and the kids actually seemed excited. This morning when I reminded Jeremy that I was making breakfast, he asked for waffles. I had intentionally planned on making pancakes, because waffles will always remind me of you. I went ahead and switched plans anyway, knowing that the ache of missing you would be intensified. The kids ate like piglets, love. You would have laughed hysterically at them. Kadon and Jeremy ate probably 6 sections from our belgian waffle iron, and your petite princess ate about one. Me? I had four, and was stuffed. Those boys baffle me, I wonder where they put it all.

Later this morning, we're headed up to your parent's house to work on the yard. You would have grumbled about it in the days leading up to today, but in the end we would have a really pleasant drive up there. We'd listen to the radio, talk, and you'd help me with the crossword. You'd cheerfully put in a full days work, and then eat with a gusto, maybe play a quick board game, and we'd be on our way. Happy and satisfied, we'd spend the evening relaxing and looking forward to church tomorrow. I miss you, babe. I miss all the little things that having a husband entails. I miss your smile, your gentle hands, and the sparkle in your eye. Nothing is quite the same without you.


Friday, May 2

Just another Friday

Today was hard. I wonder if Friday's are going to be hard forever, in a way. This is the first Friday that I've been truly alone since Ammon died, and it was tough. Friday's to me have always symbolized potential. The question on every body's mind on a Friday afternoon is "What are your plans for the weekend?" Back when I had a husband, my weeks revolved around what we were doing on the weekend. Two and a half glorious days without work, without obligation, without pressing need. The very best weekends were ones that we spent entirely together, with no structure or stress. My idea of a perfect Saturday is to wake early, then spend the morning making pancakes and watching TV. Later in the day, perhaps errands. Maybe a walk outside with the family, and then firing up the grill for dinner. After the kids are tucked lovingly into bed, card games in front of a movie with the man of my dreams. We spent countless Saturday's just like this. No, Friday is just another day without Ammon. It's another day that I have nothing to look forward to, nothing to break up the monotony, and the loss of so much to mourn.

Yeah, today was hard.