Friday, April 13, 2018

365 Days Have Passed - Nicole Harris

What truly defines a man? Is it his bank account? His social status? The clothes he wears? The car he drives? Or really is it the legacy he leaves behind?

It has now been 365 days since Jimmy has passed and in that time, I have not heard anyone talk about his Sonata, his Chase checking account, or his insane collection of black t shirts.

I am trying to not make this post strictly about me and my feelings.  I am well aware that we all suffer through this loss.  It is not just mine.  We all feel it at different wave lengths.  All I can do is share our grief for those that feel it too.

I have no answers as to how we have made it this far.  It has been a year.  It has been one whole year since we have seen James or held his hand.  One year since we coaxed him to his last breath, his last heartbeat.  At those moments, we had no idea how to move forward…our heads in a fog. 

There was no choice given to us.  There was no option.  This is life.  This is the hard edge of life.  What we do after these moments is our choice.  It could take you a year, five years, or twenty five years to want to choose to move ahead.  And that is okay, that is your grief.  You do what you want with it.  There is no one that can tell you how to grieve.  But if I can tell you one thing, the best thing is to not let it define you.  Do not live in your tragedy.  That will destroy you.

My thought is that you can never fully comprehend grief until you suffer through it.  And believe me, you will suffer through it.  In your lifetime, you will go through a loss (big or small).  I feel something I have learned going through this now is to not fear death, it is to appreciate life.

I lost my best friend in the whole world.  Yes, he was my husband and the father of my children.  But, overall he was my best friend.  The worst part of the 3 years we marched through hell together, was the overwhelming helplessness felt through the process.  I fear that feeling now.  It is a fear worse than death.  If I close my eyes long enough and think back to those days, I feel it bubble up inside of me.  Im sure if I concentrate long enough, it could take over.  I would never let it take me over.

Do not admire me.  I am no superhero. I am not some super mom who does it all.  I am not the strongest person.  I am human.  I cry.  I get angry.  I participate in retail therapy.  I was given no option.  And if it were you, you would not have an option either.  You would have no idea what you would do in this situation and that is a good thing.  Do not overthink it.  Do not put yourself in my shoes.  This is not the path I would want you to walk.  There are days when I am sad or angry, but that is part of the process.   I have reached the part of the process now where I am ready to let go of some of that anger and sadness.  The anticipation of reaching the year mark gave me immeasurable anxiety.  I expressed it in ways that were beyond out of character for me.  That is grief or maybe that is just mine and mine alone.

I was lucky enough to make a beautiful life with someone for a short time. Our children are happy and healthy. I know that they also have their days of anger and sadness.  I know that, in some capacity that is a burden of a lifetime.  Our memories together are forever cherished.  No matter where I am, who im with, who I love, or where I go.. I am able to carry James in my heart forever.  I look at my girls and see him there.  Every Halloween, James will be there.

It is not easy.  Life is not meant to be easy.  And maybe we learn that the hard way.  God damn what I wouldn’t give to be on some type of “Easy Street” for a while.  It doesn’t work like that.  We just cannot be afraid anymore.  We shouldn’t be afraid of chances or risks or our own happiness.  Believe me when I tell you that life is short.  Life can be cruel but it should not be wasted.  Do right for yourself and those you love.  Cherish the good times and the bad times.  Hold on to all the times because one day (and I hope not soon) you won’t have that time together anymore. 

I still have to continue to send my love to you all.  Over the last two weeks, I have reread all of last year’s FB posts and the amount of love and support we received and what an amazing group of people we are lucky enough to have in our lives.  We are eternally grateful.  Thank you forever.
Thank you for reading this.  Maybe it upsets you.  Maybe it helps you.  Maybe it changed you.  I know it did all three for me.

I mean for crying out loud, its fucking Friday the 13th.
You guys see the humor in that right?


  1. I've deleted and retyped a paragraph 6 times, so I'm just going to keep it simple- that was beautiful, sad, and extremely powerful. Thank you for writing this. ❤

  2. Stupid eye rain...

    Leave it to him to make us smile with all of our collective inappropriate humor on his anniversary.

    Love and Respect Kid.

  3. Well, it look me all the livelong day to finish reading this painfully beautiful and honest letter. Thank you, Nicole for just being, and living in the moment and allowing us to share and support you during this cruel ordeal. You speak truthfully and your words pierce me deep down on so so many levels. I have no words. You said it all. Some things I just don’t understand. But, yes, as this oh so sad experience has proven, damn, Life is short and we should remember to cherish everyone in our life as long as we have life.

  4. Your loss and your process are deeply the humor....��