I Got Nothin'~

This may or may not end up being something.

My brain is tired. So is my heart.

I think I'm coming down with a cold.

Family arrives tomorrow for the holidays.

After I finished my workamping gig at the opera camp, I stayed here in Arkansas, visiting with my son and his family.

 

I've taken some road trips in the past couple months that I've been here, leaving my trailer behind with my son.

It makes traveling faster and easier, honestly. Not towing, I mean.

I spent some time with my sister and her family for a few days...not long enough...and rediscovered connections that had gone astray for a few years. God, it felt so good to reconnect with her! I felt a sense of home that I haven't felt since Chuck's death. Such a sense that it made tears choke up in my throat.Chuck would be overjoyed knowing that this happened.

On the other hand, really, really hard family drama is happening within my immediate family, and it's knocking me down. Mostly because the fact that it's happening at all shocks me to my core. It isn't what our family has ever been. Ever. 

I worked in hospice for a career, so death and grief was dinner conversation with Chuck and our kids. I volunteered at Liberty State Park following 9/11. He'd sit with me when I got home and help me debrief the death and destruction I'd witness each time.

As Chuck and I traveled in our Happily Homeless adventures, I'd keep a notebook handy to jot notes in as we'd speak of what I needed to remember, if he were to die first.

We discussed finances and what I'd need to do and everything we could think of around money. 

We discussed everything military related and how I needed to notify the military immediately after his death. First thing on the list, he'd tell me.

He detailed what he wished for me to do in relation to his memorial service.

What to do if he had a stroke or was incapacitated in some way.

Take me to the highest mountain you can find. In as remote an area as you can access. Kiss me. And leave. I'll take care of the rest.

And he would have too. He was that sort of man. 

He wouldn't live his life frozen in his body.

We talked of everything we could possibly think of, around his death.

We never, ever, never in our wildest dreams, could have forseen the necessity to talk about how my world...my entire world...would fucking implode and disintegrate.

We had no idea how many people, especially men, view widows as vulnerable prey.

How widows are percieved as needy and helpless, troublesome, and pathetic.

Whether they actually are, or not.

How, once they (husbands) are gone, and life continues on, that women who are now widowed, are, generally speaking, good for not much. 

People are concerned, maybe, that widows might want something from them that they are unwilling or unable to provide.

We might, gasp! need emotional support!

If we don't show up in the way that people want and expect us to show up, we're seen as sick and needing help.

We're seen as troublemakers.

Our world prefers to wear blinders when it comes to real life. Tiptoe through the fucking tulips and paste a smile on your face or you'll regret it, they imply, because we'll judge you and try to shame you (doesn't work with me), and make you think that something is wrong with you.

My brain and my heart are tired.

Chuck never would have predicted that all of this has become my world.

The technical shit of widowhood, the stuff we're told to preplan, is the easy stuff.

The emotional aspects of widowhood, the family dynamics, the perceptions of the world at large...

It's a landscape puddled with land mines and Cat 5 hurricane forces the likes of which leave me spinning and out of breath.

And would have Chuck spinning in his grave.

If he had one. 

Which he doesn't.

Because, you know, he still sleeps with me.

Except, in his urn.

So, there you have it. Apparently I did have something to write about this evening~

 


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  • Vartan Agnerian
    commented 2018-12-30 17:57:03 -0800
    Thank You dearest Alison for such an honest and transparent ’ tough and yet emotional way of explanation of the world of widowhood’ … " It’s a landscape puddled with land mines’ and Cat 5 hurricane forces the likes of which leave me spinning and out of breath " … Having joined this widowhood world recently’ I so felt alone and misunderstood and abandoned by my circle of family and friends’ their approach being’ since my husband was ill and his health was deteriorating continuously due to Parkinson’s I should recover quickly from my grief and sadness … Grateful for this exceptional group of Soaring Spirits and Widow’s Voice … – Laura – ….
  • Isabella
    commented 2018-12-25 12:54:37 -0800
    Indie, I realized now it was Sophocles, not Socrates, who said, “Look and you will find it—what is unsought will go undetected.”

    Please, look for signs that your true love is with you. Ask for something special and specific, something only you would know the meaning of, or something special that you shared. Give him a few days to send it your way. Look for his response. He wants you to see it, to feel it, and know it is from him.

    I’m desperately sad too. I can see myself in your words. Don’t give up without trying. Keep your faith in a Supreme Being, whatever that is to you, and know that your voice and thoughts are being heard.
  • Isabella
    commented 2018-12-21 00:43:49 -0800
    Quick corrections: You can “find” Dr. Neal’s videos on YouTube, as well as interviews online.

    My love chooses lyrics because he knows I will look them up, and numbers because on our road trips, I’d make a word game out of license plates. I see his birthday often while driving. These are ways he connects with me.

    I hope these thoughts will help you in some small way.
  • Isabella
    commented 2018-12-21 00:30:38 -0800
    Dear Indie, I feel as you do. Nights are hardest, when loneliness saturates every atom of my being. I’m not sure I’m going to make it either. But, if I can make it through tonight, maybe I can survive one more day, then I will be one day closer to coming home to my love, at God’s will.

    Socrates said, “Look and you will find it—what is unsought will go undetected.” Be open to signs from your loved one. Numbers and lyrics are his favorite ways to catch me, before despair sets up like concrete.

    On November 25th, I told my sweet, handsome man, “I love you more than you’ll ever know.” I was adamant that I loved him more, and he’d never even know how much that meant. Then, I went to our favorite store to buy groceries. The BeeGees started singing, “You don’t know what it’s like, baby, you don’t know what it’s like, to love somebody, to love somebody the way I love you.” This was his response. He one-upped me—with glee, I might add.

    Dr. Mary Neal’s book, “To Heaven and Back,” has been my greatest source of hope. If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend it. You can her videos online too. Peace be with you.
  • indie
    commented 2018-12-20 19:37:18 -0800
    “my entire world…would fucking implode and disintegrate.”

    Yep, and no matter what I have done (and I’ve done it all) to try and reconstruct there is a hole blown in me from which I will never recover. I am more than tired. I just don’t need this anymore.