Saturday, April 2, 2011

my heart breaks..

Right now I should be writing about my wonderful trip to Palm Springs. Im sure I will within the next few days, and I will even share some photos. But being back in my apartment and back to the life I have to live right now, it's hard for me to focus on the great 4 days I just had. I feel guilty. Guilty for having a geniune good time for the first time in months. While the rest of the Batallion hasn't gotten a break. I feel quilty that I can go out and forget about everything for a little bit. I feel guilty for smiling and laughing when Chad can't... I just read an article written in the Wall Street Journal about Chads best friend Seth. An article that tells Seth's story and how he coped. I have known about this article for the past month or so. I have spent a lot of heartache over it. Mostly me being selfish that the details of my husbands death is now, for everyone to see. Details I never would share in my blog, or even, to anyone other than those closest to me. It's not fair that those personal details are for any curious person to read. But I can't do anything about it. It is out there now. I was hoping that it wasn't going t be published..but it is. Black and white. Painful words shared with everyone. As I read the article, surprisingly the words that hurt the most to me...were the ones explaining how Seth has dealt with watching his best friend die in combat. All of Chad's closest friends have been amazing to me ever since everything has happened. They have always been good men. They were close friends of Chads...so I didn't expect anything less. I have grown to love these men and see them as apart of my family. That is why it is so hard for me to actually hear what really happened after. I know that when they called, they toughed it out for me. Tried not to shed any tears or let me hear the fear in their voices. I knew this...but I let it be. I didn't want to bring up anything they weren't comfortable coming to me about. I don't ever want to lose touch with them, so I did the same to keep positive thoughts going when I talked to them. I didn't want them to dread their phone calls to me. I didn't want to be another burden on their plate, especially while they still had the rest of the deployment left. Today my feelings are being put aside. I want so badly to take away the pain these men are going through. Because I know some way some how, I could deal with it for them. They have visions burned into their brain I will never see. I had a dream once I saw everything happen. I woke up sweating, crying, and could barely catch my breath. That though, was made up thoughts that is only a dream. I do picture things in a more detailed way than I did before. Unfortunately. But at the end of the day, they were there. There to see everything. I want to take those haunting thoughts away from them. I know it meant the world to Chad to have had them there during his last few breaths of life. But the pain they go through is almost not worth it. Chad was taken away from any form of pain. Seth will feel it everyday for a long time. In a totally different and raw way than I do. I want so bad to take that away from him. I want so bad to hug him. It will be nice to see a familiar face. A face that meant so much to Chad. I am scared at the same time. Scared that I might break down completely when I hug them for the first time. The closeness I will feel to them is unexplainable. I am scared and worried. I can get over that as long as they all make it home safe. It's getting closer to the end and I wont be able to run from it any longer. If you guys are reading this.. know that love you. I love you no only because Chad loved you. But because of the brave men you are. I cannot thank you enough. Those first few phones calls after Chad died, will forever mean the world to me. I hope you all let me be there for you. I hope I get to see you when you get home. No pressure to feel any certain way. Just hang out with me and I think we will feel Chad right there with us. Chad could not be more proud of all of you and how you have been there for me. This is how he wouldve wanted it. I cannot tell you how many times he flat out told me, he would give his life for you guys before anything. Even me. I hope you can stop questioning it one day and be at peace that this is exactly how Chad would've wanted it. I love you guys with all of my heart. I am so proud of you. Know that forever.

8 comments:

  1. Thank you Katie! I know that the guys that were there with Chad will appreciate your honesty. They will be there for you...you just made it easier for them. You are so strong and amazing. They are lucky to have you.

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  2. Big hugs!

    I'm glad you had a good time on your trip and I hope you stop feeling guilty for enjoying your life!!!

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  3. Katie- I recently have found your blog, I graduated with Chad he was a really nice guy that everyone got along with. I'm glad you are keeping his spirit around and it is good for you to express yourself he is proud of you. Just curious is there a link to the New York Times article?

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  4. Wow, darlin'. There is a lot in this post. Some guilt, a lot of love, and a boatload of honesty. I am glad that you gave yourself the chance to get away. I don't think you will ever regret it...although you may second guess it. But don't. Although you are not on a timeline and although you probably don't feel like it, you have already started healing. I'm so proud of you for giving yourself the chance to have a little laughter.

    I know the wakeups until Chad's unit returns are decreasing each day. And I see your anxiety and mixed feelings. I would never presume to offer wisdom on that...having never been in your shoes. But I know that you will do what feels right for you and, at the end of the day, you will feel Chad right there beside you, guiding you along.

    Since you did not want the details of Chad's death published, I will not read the NY Times article. I think that you should be able to play it as close to the vest as you would like and I guess I feel like it's a violation of your wishes to have something published that you wanted to keep to yourself. If you don't put it on your blog, then I don't need to know about it.

    Sleep well, gorgeous. And know that I think you have the biggest heart of anyone I know. The pain of losing the love of your life is not enough...you want to take on that of the others in the unit, too. But you know they won't let you do that, right? ;) I think it's in the code.

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  5. Oh Katie I'm so sorry - I re-posted the article last night with the intention of reading it today. If I had any idea the details in that article I would never have done it! I've taken it down now, and offer my most sincere apology.

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  6. Thank you for sharing Katie. I am sure that all the guys wanted to be strong for you. I am sure there will be many times when they are back to reflect on old times and the bond you all share. I think that a lot of the guys have not really had time to deal with their grief over losing Chad. They have buried it until they get home. The pain being too great to handle in the field. I have only been able to speak with Nick very briefly about that horrible day. Nick and Chad went to boot camp together and were on the same platoon in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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  7. Katie, like Allyson at 400 WakeUps said, there's a lot in this post. However, one line stood out more to me than anything else..."I feel guilty for smiling and laughing when Chad can't..." Katie, I'm sorry that you are feeling guilty...I don't know you and I didn't know Chad but from the life and the love that I've read about here, Chad would want you to laugh and smile, giggle and have fun...it would make him smile :-) His body is whole and he is having the most fun in the arms of our Mighty God...watching his beautiful wife. That is the mental picture I get anyways, I hope you can picture this too and not feel so guilty for having a little fun :-)

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  8. I found your blog a while back. I am once again in tears after reading your post. You're strength and courage inspires me and I'm in awe of how you're coping with everything. You have taught me more than I ever thought I could learn from a stranger. My husband is currently deployed and you have encouraged me to look at the brighter side of things no matter what. Thank you for being willing to share your story and your emotions with us. You truly are an amazing person and I'm sure Chad is looking down on you smiling. Lots of prayers.

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