Moving Forward

Six weeks ago today, I got some devastating news…my husband had died. In that time, the range of emotions has been drastic. I’ve been sad, I’ve been angry, I’ve been numb, I’ve found acceptance. While I’m never going to forget Tim and the wonderful things he brought to my life, this will be my last post specifically concerning him for a while. I need to heal, as well as one can in this situation anyway. 

I’ve learned a lot from this experience. Though it is not a typical learning experience, I’ve learned quite a number of things about myself, about how society treats others, and about dealing with grief and loss. My eyes have been opened to things I didn’t realize I was handling wrong and regrets I’m learning to accept and not feel guilt over. 

I’ve never been good at expressing my feelings, shy of anger that I have a hard time suppressing. During this time of loss, I let my emotions float to the surface. I didn’t run or hide from them, I wore my heart on my sleeve, as they say, for everyone to see. There was no hiding my heartbreak, my anger, my utter devastation. I let people see how I was hurting, how I felt. It was partly a cry for help in dealing with something I was unprepared to do alone, but also partly to show sorrow for someone I’d attempted to push to a back burner in the public eye. 

My relationship with Tim was just that, MY relationship with TIM. I rarely gave the outside world a glimpse of what he meant to me, how I truly felt, or any of our private moments together. I thought that our relationship should remain private and that if I chose to share anything, it was (what I felt to be) mundane anecdotes and stories of things we did together. I’ve learned by doing that, few actually knew how I felt about Tim. Because we were separated at the time of his death, people didn’t understand that I truly loved him, that I was crushed by his death. I know now that by keeping my privacy, I seemed like I was seeking attention upon his death. I was/am in no way trying to be a martyr in any sense, I guess I learned to open up. Just too late. 

I’ve also had some eye opening realizations about society as a whole. Few people have been genuinely concerned about me or my welfare during the past six weeks, the majority of people have been more concerned with Tim’s cause of death or the less than honorable aspects of which we were separated in the first place. I’ve been very angry at people for this. Why he died, or even the less than attractive things he did in life, should not have any bearing on how he is remembered. He had his secrets (which I will touch on later), but they didn’t define him. We ALL have secrets that we choose to hide from the world, and even if they come to light in our death, they aren’t everything about us. 

I’ve learned that too many people are afraid of death. And by being afraid, they deflect the focus from dealing with a loss to some sort of bad mouthing to distract everyone from the pain. Sadly, I did the same thing, on a less dramatic scale, when we separated (more on that in a moment). I don’t want Tim remembered for his flaws, but rather for the amazing person he was, the joy he brought to the lives around him, and the numerous qualities that made him special. 

In dealing with my grief, I’ve had a lot of realizations. Tim died thinking I left him for personal reasons, which was partly true, but not the reasons I really felt. I loved Tim with all my heart, and always will, but he had some demons that, in the long run, effected us both. Among them, he had a few medical issues, a drug dependency issue, and a resulting non-existent sex drive. 

He died thinking that I left because we didn’t have sex, and I let him think that. I’d hinted numerous times that I hated his drug addiction, as a recovering addict myself, it killed me to watch him spiraling into a place I had already dug myself out of. THAT was why I left. I didn’t know how to help him, he saw there was no issue…and that is the first step in accepting help, admitting there is a problem. He refused to admit he had a problem, and the distance between us grew every time I brought it up. His resentment of me was becoming obvious, which made me feel horrible. Admittedly, I never flat out gave him the “me or drugs” ultimatum, though I don’t know it would have helped. After leaving, I felt like a coward for not doing it, but it was too late at that point. Instead, I let him believe what he wanted to believe, or more likely what he was willing to admit, that I followed my dick out the door. 

During the first few months of our separation, I put up a wall with others. Especially those who still talked to him. I let everyone think I just didn’t care, especially if I thought it would get back to him.  Sides were drawn amongst our friends and family. To my side, I seemed like I really didn’t care anymore. That Tim was someone I’d grown away from, and I didn’t want anything to do with him anymore. To his side, he was heartbroken because I left because we weren’t fucking all the time. I was just some sexual pervert trying to get my dick wet and not getting it at home. He definitely played the victim card, and I just let it happen. I felt he needed that to heal, so I assumed all the blame. 

In reality, I spoke to his family and best friend and asked their assistance in getting him help. I told them why I couldn’t stay and why I was concerned about him. I couldn’t watch his struggle, it was breaking my heart. Like a coward, I ran. Though I hoped that my leaving would be the wake up call he needed to see how his actions affected us both. I pleaded with his loved ones to not enable him, I secretly hoped without my financial support, he’d not be able to continue down his path. 

The guilt I feel over that decision may never go away. I know that I shouldn’t feel guilty, as I was only doing what I thought best, but I do. And it’s no one else’s business how or what I feel. I am not going to spend my life drowning in the what ifs though. I owe it to Tim to remember the positive memories I have, and to hold those close to my heart. He was a good man, he was just wondering down a path I couldn’t be a part of. 

The ways I’ve learned to deal with my grief have been numerous. I’ve learned what to, and not to, show and say. I’ve learned how others deal with death. There is no one way that people deal, there is no right or wrong way either. I’ve also learned that while there are things I could have or should have handled differently, I can’t cannot live my life with regrets. I in no way regret a single moment of my life with Tim. I’m thankful I got to know and love such an amazing person. Just how my mind operates, I’ll wonder from time to time if I could have handled things differently, or if I should have said or done something I neglected to think of at the time, but I know that it would change nothing. I need to learn to deal with the circumstances as they are. I’ve also learned that, should I need to in the future, I need to be more open with my feelings. Tim’s death has been an eye opener to the emotions both of myself and others. 

I am not ready to move on, but I am ready to not dwell on my loss anymore. I want to go forward with life and find happiness again, and hopefully I can do so with the lessons I’ve learned. I want to find the good in life and enjoy it. I want to find things that I am passionate about, without having everything tie back to my loss. I’m not ignoring, nor denying, my loss and what I feel, but I’m ready for it to not define who I am like it has for the past six weeks. 

I’m going forward with a better look on life. There will be good times and bad times, and even instances I’ll be sad beyond measure. But everything we go through in life makes us stronger. I will be a better person for both loving Tim and a better person for learning from how I lost him. 

I’m looking forward to being a better version of myself. Always moving forward. 

Speech I Gave About My Husband At His Celebration Of Life

First of all, on behalf of our family, we thank everyone for coming this evening. I may have married into this family, but I’m blessed to call them mine. We are all grateful to see so many people that loved Tim. He truly touched a lot of lives. 

As I was thinking of what to say tonight, of how I met Tim, how I knew he was the person I wanted to annoy me for the rest of my life, thinking about what it was that made Tim special to me, and what stories I should or should not share, I heard his voice clearly in my head say “BORING, no one cares about that stuff….make it funny”. Which he totally would have said. Unfortunately for you, I’m not that funny. 

Humor was something I did love about Tim. He was a truly funny guy. But the best part of his humor was that he thought he was hilarious. The look on his face and the tone of his voice when he was telling you something humorous made it even better. He also never forgot a joke or something you did that brought him laughter. 

He was also the smartest man I’ve ever met. His thirst for knowledge was unquenchable. If he heard of something he didn’t know, he would read everything he could find on the subject until he knew it by heart.

Tim was extremely creative. He painted, designed both clothes and home decor, did various crafts, sewed, and was known for his extravagantly wrapped presents. The gift itself was only part of the present, the presentation was the key. It had to be just the right wrapping paper, just the right ribbon, and an intricate bow or decoration on top. He got more enjoyment out of people discussing the appearance of his gifts than he did giving them. 

Tim was also an excellent, though messy, cook. He knew just what to add to make things delicious. He knew what spices complimented each other, techniques that I never heard of, and wasn’t against trying new things. He could never cook for just the two of us though. When he cooked, we had left overs for days. He wouldn’t eat leftovers if they had been in the fridge more than a couple days, so I always had food for lunches. I often joked he was trying to fatten me up, he joked back that the best way to my heart was through my stomach. 

He had many talents, interests, and positive qualities. So many he was hard to keep up with. He drove me crazy at times. Mostly because I am not that creative or adventurous. He often told people that he was tons of fun and I was no fun at all, which is sadly true. My idea of a good evening is reading a book, whereas he was always on the go or doing something, he just couldn’t sit still. He’d often interrupt my reading to ask my opinion on whatever it was he was working on. I am not the visual person he was, and he’d get frustrated with me because I couldn’t see his vision. He was very critical of his own work though, and while I’d love what he had done, he’d point out the tiniest flaw that I never would have noticed on my own. He strove for perfection, always.

I would not having traded a single minute of my time with him. We fought, we argued, and didn’t understand each other at times, just like any other couple. But I am a stronger, wiser, more adventurous person for having known him. The things I learned from him will stay with me for a lifetime. I learned more about myself during the last eleven years than I would have alone. 

I truly loved him, with all my heart. Words cannot describe how much I will miss him. I never again will hear his voice, his laugh, or taste his cooking, but I have my memories of great years together. He was my heart, my soul, my best friend. I love you, Tim. ALWAYS. 

33 Days

It’s been just over a month since my husband died. My emotions have been all over the map. I’ve been sad, I’ve been angry, I’ve felt guilty, I’ve even had some moments of peace. I can say, at the time of this writing, I’ve accepted the fact he is gone. I have many regrets of things once said and done, I’ve had an outpouring of memories flood my head, I’ve been angry at him and others for things that are beyond anyone’s control, and I’ve found peace reminding others of the impact he had on others. 

Though he was far from perfect, as is everyone, he was a great man. It is tremendously sad that he is gone, but I think the world is a better place for having had him in it. I’d like to believe that I am definitely better for having known and loved him. He was my friend, my lover, my family, and the other half that made me whole. 

He taught me what family means. His family took me in and loved me though they were not required to do so. He made me feel loved and welcome. Before I met him, my family were just people I saw on holidays and talked to if someone needed something, and most of them still operate that way. After being with Tim, I realize that family is someone you can call for no reason, to share your life and be your friend. It’s a support system, a sounding board, a cheerleader, and therapy all rolled into one. 

I’ve never been a believer in soul mates, I’ve been a loner most of my life. I’ve often sought companionship, only to push it away a short time later. But after meeting Tim, I craved his company. I wanted him around, I loved knowing he was near. I’m not saying I wanted to be with him (or anyone) 24/7, but I needed to be with him at some point in my day, every day. He was someone that I never wanted to push away. We loved one another unconditionally, and helped each other be better people. 

There are any number of things I do, and will continue to miss about him. His laugh, his intelligence, his cooking, his creativity, and his love. But I will have my memories of these, and other, happy times. I will continue to be sad at the loss, it may be a while before I can talk about him without getting emotional. I will always feel the loss, but he would not want me to live my life in sadness and despair. I’m not going to be happy necessarily, as his death will linger with me for some time, but I am going to be as happy as I can. Happy that I got to love and know a wonderful human being, happy that my life was forever changed when I met him, and happy that I continue to be a part of a family (Don, Marci, Joe, Jonathan, Andrea, spouses, nieces and nephews) that know how I much I loved their son or brother. 

I’m not completely at peace, but I’m headed in the right direction. 

A Month of Sadness

One month ago today, I was called by a friend to tell me that my husband had died. During this past month, I’ve not had a great time dealing with that horrible news. The range of emotions have been total devastation to fond memories. I can’t say I’ve been actually happy, but there have been moments of peace, though few, where I know he is no longer suffering. 

I’ve been sad mostly. Not a day has gone by where he has not crossed my mind, and therefore his loss has always been looming. It helps to think about the happier memories, but there is always that overwhelming nagging in the back of my head that says that while the memories are great, there will never be any more. I’m angry, i feel guilty and like a failure, and I’m scared. 

I’m angry for different reasons. Angry that he didn’t listen to me. Angry with myself that I didn’t force him. Angry at other people that seem to focus solely on how he died, rather than the person he was.  Angry that I cannot have his things, OUR things. Angry that I cry, and angrier when I just can’t cry anymore. Angry that I’ve not had a sign from him to know that he’s at peace. Angry that the one thing that has always brought me comfort in troubled times, music, just reminds me of him. Angry that I have to live without him….and angrier still that I have no idea how to do that. 

I feel guilty for not being a better example. He was going through a battle I faced years ago. Did I somehow fail to set a better example? Was there more I could have said or done? Did I not love him enough for him to see how it was affecting us? Did I not make it easy enough to love me enough to face his demons? What could I have done, said, showed, been differently? The unanswered questions just bring on another wave of anger and sorrow. 

I’m scared to go on with life. How do I go on, knowing he can’t, he won’t? How am I supposed to act? How long will it hurt? Does the pain subside, or ebb and flow for the rest of my life? The heartache I feel scares me. I feel like I’ll never heal. So many things I do, see, and hear throughout the day only remind me he is gone. I’m scared I’ll never know the answers about him. I’m absolutely terrified he died not knowing how much I loved him, how much I always will. If I were to die, would I see him again? I’m too scared to think about that…I could never run the risk of dying and losing him forever versus at least living and having my memories. I’m too scared to live without him, too scared to die and never know. 

I feel like a zombie going through my life. It’s changed dramatically, and the “what ifs” just keep piling up. I can’t forget, but I’m having trouble moving on. The guilt, the anger, the fear are preventing me from actually living. I’m just a shell going through the motions of life, knowing that a part of me is dead. 

It’s The Living That Make Death Hard

I’ve been dealing with a great loss for close to a month now. I think I’ve achieved all the stages of grief at some point in time, some more than others. Some days it’s all I can do to get out of bed, other days I spend a lot of time distracting myself, and a handful of times I’ve felt at peace with the death of someone so important to me. It’s a personal journey of grief that I may never fully feel has ended. At least not any time soon. 

The worst part of dealing with my loss has become those still around me. With Tim’s death, I am able to pick and choose what, when, and how I choose to remember, I can block out the bad times, focus on the good, and remember him in a light that I am comfortable with. I am by no means trying to paint him as a saint in my mind, but silly little things we got mad at each other about 5 years ago seem trivial. Who cares about the  breaking of a coffee mug, when you can remember when and why it was bought and how you felt it was the perfect gift at the time? Why focus on how mad he was when I got a bleach spot on his favorite shirt, when I can remember how good he looked wearing it? See what I mean?

But the living….well, they are another story. On a daily basis, I am forced to allow people that I am not close with into my personal space for hugs, pats, and hand holding to show me support for a loss that they are not personally suffering. Nor are we close enough that I feel that I need comforted by them. It’s different for family and close friends, I wish I could hug them and not let go until the pain goes away. 

Often I am questioned about Tim’s cause of death. At the time of this writing, I do not yet know. It could be 6-8 weeks before the full coroner’s report comes back. But the thing that irks me most is that HOW he died is irrelevant to those on the outskirts of our life.  You (theoretical people asking) were not a part of his life, why do you feel compelled to know the intimate details of his death? I feel that information is for us, his family, and us alone. Even people that were close with him, I’d like him be remembered for the great person he was, rather than what he died of. I don’t feel that publicizing that information will set anyone’s mind at ease, I don’t feel that it would provide any life lessons to those who didn’t really know him, and I don’t feel that knowing how he died would do anything to honor his memory. And constantly asking me is not helping me to focus on the good times we had, it merely is a slap in the face to remind me he is gone. 

Another thing I get asked frequently that pissed me off is “but you two were separated, right?” Yes, that is true, Tim and I were separated, that doesn’t mean I immediately stopped loving him the moment I moved out. Nor does it mean I had given up any hope of reconciling. Was I giving him space to do what he needed to do? Yes. Were we still in contact? Yes, often. Had I cut him out of my life? Absolutely not, nor would I ever.  But even if the answers to those questions were opposite, it still doesn’t discount the 11 years of love I had already had with him. A love like ours doesn’t just die the minute you decide to work on your own issues separately. In fact, in my mind, our seven month separation seems irrelevant now. I never stopped loving him, I’ve got it on good authority that he felt the same about me. 

The worst part of all of this is how others seem to think I’m just going to go back to life with the same zest I had before. Everyone grieves in their own way and in their own time. I was entitled to three paid days off from work for my loss, which was definitely not enough. I took five before I felt strong enough to show my face in public. I’ve had a couple vacation days since then as well, so I could attend gatherings with family. I’ll be taking another five next week surrounding his celebration of life. Do I think that it is enough? No, not at all. But I understand that life goes on around me, and the world didn’t stop just because MY world died. Working has been a nice distraction, despite the constant questioning. I’m not going to cease being sad. I cannot just stop my heart from breaking. I do not want to just forget about him and move on. 

I may never be back to the way I once was. This has affected me greatly, and I can’t imagine a time where I will put it on the back burner and forget it. What I’d like, in lieu of the aforementioned comments, is for people to ask me to tell them about a good memory of Tim rather than his death. Ask me about when I knew I loved him rather why we were separated. Ask me what you can do to help rather than just assume I’m back to normal. I may not ever be like I was, and that’s ok. But I wish others would stop making it worse. 

About My Late Husband

Tim and I met in a chat room on the internet in 2004. We talked a lot, got to know each other, even were at the same club at the time on more than one occasion. We had an astounding amount of mutual friends and ran in the same circle. I pursued him for nearly two years to actually go out with me. On February 2, 2006 we did, and we’re together from that moment forward. I didn’t want anyone else but him, it was a case of love on the first date. A date that lasted three days. Within a few months, he moved in with me in Indiana (he lived in Ohio previously). He was not thrilled about living there, I could tell, but he did it because he loved me. 

Getting to know Tim took a long time. He had an interesting life, and was very adventurous. The son of an Air Force veteran, he moved around a lot as a child, and lived in a lot of places around the country and in the United Kingdom. He had done and seen so much growing up that learning about it took a while. It made my childhood growing up on a farm and being in the same school system with the same friends my whole life seem lame in comparison. Little did I know at the time we envied each other. 

Tim was extremely interested in, and good at, being artistic. Home decor, painting, crafts, bonsai, fashion design, the list goes on. While I am perfectly content with a chair to sit in and a t.v. to watch, Tim wanted our place to be pleasing to look at. He painted nearly every place we lived, made (or a few times) purchased artwork for the walls, rearranged the furniture to be complimentary to the room, and he had an incredible eye for detail when making sure that everything was just perfect (i.e. the heighth of a lamp in comparison to things around it). The attention he gave everything astounded me. 

Tim was also the smartest man I’ve ever met. He had a unquenchable thirst for knowledge. If any subject came to his attention to which he was unaware, he’d read everything he could on the subject. While I read far more books than he did, I rarely read anything to broaden my knowledge, but he would read manuals, websites, articles, and all other manner of informational literature. I would go so far as to say he was an expert in several topics. He had an excellent memory, so once he learned something, it stayed with him. His memory was both a blessing and a curse for me, while he remembered positive things, he also remembered what I said he didn’t like four years ago….

Tim loved to dress up. Any occasion for him to wear a suit and tie was a thrill for him. I am a tee shirt and jeans kind of guy, actually hate wearing ties, so this was an often an uncomfortable time. Never once did I deny him the opportunity to get me fancy though. He’d stand behind me and tie my tie, I think he secretly loved it, though he never admitted as much. He often set clothes out for me to wear. On more than one occasion, he informed me that IS what I’d be wearing, to get over it. Jokingly, he’d say “just listen to me, you know you have no fashion sense”.

Tim was the funniest person I know. He made me laugh daily, even during rough times. His sense of humor was strong. Puns were a particular favorite of his. As I mentioned before, his memory was long, and as my common sense isn’t as great as my actual knowledge, he’d often remember silly things I said and remind me. He never made me feel like he was laughing AT me though, always with me. 

Tim was an excellent cook. He hated repeating meals in any close time frame. Sometimes it would be months before we repeated a recipe, and even then he would change it up (improve it, he called it). He knew what tastes, spices, cooking techniques went well together. He was great at “pleasing your palate”, making sure he satisfied all your tastes sensations. I remember an informative lecture after dinner one night about umami, one of the tastes on your tongue. 

Tim was an avid video gamer. His favorite was all of the Legend of Zelda games. He’d play for hours. He’d cuss, scream, and take breaks when he couldn’t figure out a part, but he was pretty good at them. I don’t have the hand-eye coordination to play really, but I’d watch him play. He always thought that was weird, but I’d sit and watch like it was a movie. 

Tim was both far gayer and far manlier than I am. We often joked about that, I was sub-par on both fronts. He was a drag queen, designed his own outfits, cooked, crafted, and several other things that could be construed as more “feminine”. But on the other hand he was extremely handy about fixing things, building things, and he had a very deep voice, all things that seemed “manly”. 

Tim was a night owl. Rarely did he ever go to bed before the sun came up. When I took my promotion at work and had to work days, he was furious. Not for the promotion, but because it was going to limit our time together. As a compromise, I’d sleep while he was at work, so I could spend time with him at night, then I’d catch a small nap before work. Though he refused to take me to work (I don’t drive), he was usually still awake when I left. He often told me the dark inspired him, that is when he got the best ideas for whatever project he was working on. 

There are countless things I could (and may eventually) share about Tim. The memories come in floods some days. He drove me crazy, both in good and bad ways. He was a horrible housekeeper, had trouble focusing on one thing at a time, and talked me into doing things I didn’t want to do. But he was gorgeous, smart, funny, adventurous, and caring. Everything he did, he did to prove he loved me. I wouldn’t go so far as to say he was selfless, he was kind of selfish, but he always wanted things for US. The countless things I’ve heard (since his death) he said to others close to us prove that. It is very painful to live without him in my life, in whatever capacity, but I take comfort in the fact that I am a better person for having known and loved him. 

About My Late Husband

Tim and I met in a chat room on the internet in 2004. We talked a lot, got to know each other, even were at the same club at the time on more than one occasion. We had an astounding amount of mutual friends and ran in the same circle. I pursued him for nearly two years to actually go out with me. On February 2, 2006 we did, and we’re together from that moment forward. I didn’t want anyone else but him, it was a case of love on the first date. A date that lasted three days. Within a few months, he moved in with me in Indiana (he lived in Ohio previously). He was not thrilled about living there, I could tell, but he did it because he loved me. 

Getting to know Tim took a long time. He had an interesting life, and was very adventurous. The son of an Air Force veteran, he moved around a lot as a child, and lived in a lot of places around the country and in the United Kingdom. He had done and seen so much growing up that learning about it took a while. It made my childhood growing up on a farm and being in the same school system with the same friends my whole life seem lame in comparison. Little did I know at the time we envied each other. 

Tim was extremely interested in, and good at, being artistic. Home decor, painting, crafts, bonsai, fashion design, the list goes on. While I am perfectly content with a chair to sit in and a t.v. to watch, Tim wanted our place to be pleasing to look at. He painted nearly every place we lived, made (or a few times) purchased artwork for the walls, rearranged the furniture to be complimentary to the room, and he had an incredible eye for detail when making sure that everything was just perfect (i.e. the heighth of a lamp in comparison to things around it). The attention he gave everything astounded me. 

Tim was also the smartest man I’ve ever met. He had a unquenchable thirst for knowledge. If any subject came to his attention to which he was unaware, he’d read everything he could on the subject. While I read far more books than he did, I rarely read anything to broaden my knowledge, but he would read manuals, websites, articles, and all other manner of informational literature. I would go so far as to say he was an expert in several topics. He had an excellent memory, so once he learned something, it stayed with him. His memory was both a blessing and a curse for me, while he remembered positive things, he also remembered what I said he didn’t like four years ago….

Tim loved to dress up. Any occasion for him to wear a suit and tie was a thrill for him. I am a tee shirt and jeans kind of guy, actually hate wearing ties, so this was an often an uncomfortable time. Never once did I deny him the opportunity to get me fancy though. He’d stand behind me and tie my tie, I think he secretly loved it, though he never admitted as much. He often set clothes out for me to wear. On more than one occasion, he informed me that IS what I’d be wearing, to get over it. Jokingly, he’d say “just listen to me, you know you have no fashion sense”.

Tim was the funniest person I know. He made me laugh daily, even during rough times. His sense of humor was strong. Puns were a particular favorite of his. As I mentioned before, his memory was long, and as my common sense isn’t as great as my actual knowledge, he’d often remember silly things I said and remind me. He never made me feel like he was laughing AT me though, always with me. 

Tim was an excellent cook. He hated repeating meals in any close time frame. Sometimes it would be months before we repeated a recipe, and even then he would change it up (improve it, he called it). He knew what tastes, spices, cooking techniques went well together. He was great at “pleasing your palate”, making sure he satisfied all your tastes sensations. I remember an informative lecture after dinner one night about umami, one of the tastes on your tongue. 

Tim was an avid video gamer. His favorite was all of the Legend of Zelda games. He’d play for hours. He’d cuss, scream, and take breaks when he couldn’t figure out a part, but he was pretty good at them. I don’t have the hand-eye coordination to play really, but I’d watch him play. He always thought that was weird, but I’d sit and watch like it was a movie. 

Tim was both far gayer and far manlier than I am. We often joked about that, I was sub-par on both fronts. He was a drag queen, designed his own outfits, cooked, crafted, and several other things that could be construed as more “feminine”. But on the other hand he was extremely handy about fixing things, building things, and he had a very deep voice, all things that seemed “manly”. 

Tim was a night owl. Rarely did he ever go to bed before the sun came up. When I took my promotion at work and had to work days, he was furious. Not for the promotion, but because it was going to limit our time together. As a compromise, I’d sleep while he was at work, so I could spend time with him at night, then I’d catch a small nap before work. Though he refused to take me to work (I don’t drive), he was usually still awake when I left. He often told me the dark inspired him, that is when he got the best ideas for whatever project he was working on. 

There are countless things I could (and may eventually) share about Tim. The memories come in floods some days. He drove me crazy, both in good and bad ways. He was a horrible housekeeper, had trouble focusing on one thing at a time, and talked me into doing things I didn’t want to do. But he was gorgeous, smart, funny, adventurous, and caring. Everything he did, he did to prove he loved me. I wouldn’t go so far as to say he was selfless, he was kind of selfish, but he always wanted things for US. The countless things I’ve heard (since his death) he said to others close to us prove that. It is very painful to live without him in my life, in whatever capacity, but I take comfort in the fact that I am a better person for having known and loved him.