Early this morning, I woke up to the bed being empty next to me. It's an ordinary Saturday, and I can hear Mike downstairs, tinkering around, packing up for a short backpacking trip. Eventually, I hear the stairs creak as he comes back up to the bedroom kiss me goodbye. These moments are always sensitive for me, since Drew left on a trip and never came back. But this isn't some 3 month long work trip like Drew's... Mike will be back tomorrow. Or will he? Because of course, now, I never really know that anymore.
All morning now, the thought of him not coming back has been with me. I’ve not cried or even been upset over it… it’s just…. There. Haunting me at low volume. As I make my morning coffee, I have to go through three cups before I can drink it. The first is one of my favorite mugs, with skulls on it. I decide not to drink from a skull cup while he is out. “If he dies and you drank out of a skull cup that day, it will feel like a creepy omen”. So I pour my joe into his favorite coffee cup, one with a woodland scene that says “The Good Life” on it. I decide that one makes for an equally bad omen - as I never use his favorite coffee cup, and it’d be horribly ironic if he died while I was drinking from the "Good Life” cup. I finally settle on a random cup with no irony apparent and am able to let it go for a moment.
There were half a dozen other situations just like this for the next hour. Putting on his hoodie - which I wear around the house almost daily... "What if he dies today and I am wearing his hoodie?!". The little surprise love note he tucked into my laptop, so that I would find it after he left "Oh my God, what if he dies today and this is the LAST LOVE NOTE I EVER GET?!" Worrying about ice on the roads, cars flipping, him slipping on ice with a heavy pack on his back in the woods alone... it goes on and on of course. Even writing these words, sends chillful thoughts of "What if he dies and THAT is what my post next week is about?!" It's scary. And tiring. All of this because of “the knowing”...
Along with being a writer, many of you know that I'm an artist. You may also know, as I've sometimes shared here, that I've been working on a photographic series for the past year all about my journey through grief. What began as just a small idea, to take a self portrait every week and share it on my blog, has snowballed into something of a whole new direction for my life. I was only a hobby photographer before I set out on this journeyRead more
My heart has been broken by the death of my husband. It feels unfair that he left us so soon. We were just beginning our lives together. We were good companions and the best of friends. He had children and grandchildren who needed his guidance. He was on the cusp of transforming his life.
When my heart feels broken, I draw the curtains and shut the door. I circle the wagons and hide in the middle. I curl into a ball and turn off the lights.
Then I remember how Stan softened me. My heart is broken because my love was real. I don't want his death to harden me again.
I have known for a while I suffer from widow brain. Can’t find my keys, barely remember what day it is or what my name is. I have looked for my car keys for twenty minutes only to find they were in my hand.. the whole time. I have to set reminders in my phone from things like taking my sleeping pill to grab my lunch out of the fridge before leaving for work. I have to have a reminder for everything.
Lately I have noticed a new side effect of widowhood. I guess it goes along the lines of widow brain. Maybe I have always had it and I’m just becoming more aware of my “issues.”
"It's a new dawn
It's a new day
It's a new life
And I'm feeling good"
Don't we ALL wish it was that simple??
Since coming home from my trip to Hawaii a few weeks ago, things have been rough. I wrote a post here trying to glean some of the positives from everything as of late - but really what I think I need to talk about is how freaking scary even the good new things can be. I went on that trip just to go visit a friend and see a new place… I never imagined that the girl I was when I left would not be the same girl I was when I returned. But that is what has happened. Since coming home, it is as if I landed back in my reality and realized in a very real way that I am a different person. And part of me is SO NOT okay with that.
.... the "Before Me".
We all know that we are changed after the death of our spouse.
We are changed because of the death of our spouse and everything that follows in its wake.
But how am I different now?
How is the "After Janine" different from the "Before Janine"?
Let me count the ways .....Read more
Ian used to call me Sheldon, as in Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory.
In order to keep up with the housework and household management, I followed a routine through a website. And it worked pretty well for me for years and years. To the point I'd get antsy if it wasn't followed. Heck, I got antsy if he mopped the house from the back door to the front door. That wasn't the right way!! It's front to back!!
And Ian teased me about my 'Sheldon-ness' all the time.