I really am crazy.
I know it.
But I must do a fairly good job of appearing not only not crazy but really rational and okay, because nobody else thinks I’m crazy.
They would if they knew what my heart really looks like and what the inside of my mind looks like.
But none of that is evident on the outside.
It isn’t that I’m holding back to any degree. God knows I’ve been honest about this grief, about this widowhood, since it began. It’s all I know to be, all I can be, because it’s too gargantuan to hide.
Even so, you can only show so much, and mostly it seems not to show on the outside, at least once past the early months of grief.
And maybe that’s a good thing. If people knew how my insides really looked, I’d probably be locked away. Which might be a relief, honestly.
This widowhood is exhausting, isn’t it?
If I were completely honest with the world at large when asked how are you? I'd say Do you really want to know? Because dig in hard so you don’t get blown away from the eruption of my disruption...
And anxious that I’m crazy, even though I know, of course, I'm not.
The 3rd anniversary of Chuck’s death is in 9 days and yes I know he’s dead so not crazy in that way but still finding it totally surreal as in how is it that I’m walking on this earth alone? And my brain...oh, my brain! Real questions swirling in it constantly, like when you flush a toilet and the water swirls round and round. Not just crazy shit but questions both logistical and philosophical, questions of the spirit and the soul...
How do I live the rest of my life without him? How do I care about life again? How do I find energy for another day? How do I go to sleep alone again? How do I deal with never being touched by him again? How do my arms bear not ever wrapping around his neck again as I lean into him and inhale so that I can mark his scent into my memory? How do I make a living? How do I figure out what to do with the rest of my life when I can’t bear to think of the rest of my life? Where do I go from here and how do I make myself care about any of it?
Where? What? How? Circle back and circle back again until exhaustion sets in.
I worked in hospice. I worked in grief support. My younger brother died. My mom died. A favorite uncle and aunt. Dear friends...I’ve gone through death and I know the ways of grief both professionally and personally.
None of those deaths. None of the grief that I went through prepared me for this. I loved each of those people in my life who died. But none of those deaths prepared me in any way to go through this widowhood, and whatever I knew, whatever I know, about the spirals and pathways of grief, has mattered with this grief. This is an existential experience of my soul and I don’t even know exactly what I mean as I write it, except to say it has been, continues to be, a whole body/soul/spirit seizure and it has left me gaping and gasping, as one might when observing an F-5 tornado barreling it’s way towards you. It has been, continues to be, an earthquake within a tornado within a tsunami and I don’t know where to plant my feet.
I have been severed from all I was, and I don’t know where to go from here.