It is now 3 years and almost 11 months (next week)since my beautiful husband left for work and never came home. In that time, I have (and still do) been to grief counseling weekly, tried many different widowed support groups, become a member of several online and in-person groups for widowed people, found support through Soaring Spirits and have given my comedic presentation at Camp Widow 6 times, written and performed a one-act, one-woman show about my husband's death, and - oh yeah - I'm still smack in the middle of writing a book. I have found many, many ways to grieve and process and begin the path to healing. On most typical days, I have the knowledge and feeling that although this is devastating and life-altering and the hardest thing I have ever been through, I will be okay. In the beginning, I did not believe this. I could not see that I would be okay, for a very long time. Until one day, I could. It will never be okay with me that he died, but I will be okay.
And so that leaves me with a very new kind of grief. It is a feeling I have felt before, many times actually. But it's stronger now. Lately, it is stronger, because my own grief is weakening and making room for other things. And right now, the main thing I keep asking myself is this: What about him? What about Don?Read more
When you lose your beautiful husband to sudden and shocking death at age 39, just four years into your happy and flourishing marriage, one of the biggest things you are left with is something that I call "the knowing." What is the knowing? It is having the knowledge about a whole host of things regarding life and death, that your previous self had no clue about. Sure, you can read books on these things or witness them through watching people close to you go through something, but until you experience the violent assault of sudden death pushing it's way into your life, you really just don't know. And then, one day, you do.Read more
This might sound kind of silly or stupid or not at all important in the grand scheme of things related to losing one's life partner to death - but just bear with me, if you don't mind. It's how I've been feeling lately, and I feel the need to get these thoughts out.
There are a lot of things that my husband and I had in common. A lot of things. We connected through music, and met through music, so music was our biggest connector. We went to blues clubs and jazz clubs and rock concerts together, and would sit around our apartment playing CD's for each other and introducing one another to a new sound or a new band we had heard. My husband loved tennis. He almost went semi-pro in his younger days, but his mother didn't support his dreams to play, so he ended up joining the Air Force instead.
Tonight is opening night of the theater show at Adelphi University that I have been directing and writing for the past month. I am unbelievably proud of this show, it is hilarious and even poignant in parts, and of course I am missing my husband like mad right now. I want him here for this. I want him to be standing there after the first show ends, and the second one, and the third and the fourth -with that proud and happy look on his face - that look that said: That's my wife, and she created this. I want to feel his arms wrap around me as I go out into the lobby area where people's friends and family wait to greet them after the show is done, and take the flowers in my hand that he got for me, and talk about the show all night long with him like we used to. I want to have my somebody, my person, waiting for me in that lobby like everybody else. I want all of that and more. Yes.Read more
Last week, some of you may have noticed that I did not write a post in here. I would like to aapologizefor my lack of blog posting one week ago Friday. However, the reason I could not post in here is quite unique and different - I couldn't post because I spent the entire overnight in an empty building, alone, at the college campus I work at, sleeping in the theatre office without a soul around me anywhere. And let me tell you, if anything will make you feel completely, totally, and pathetically alone - it's that.Read more
I already know the answer to this question, but I will ask it anyway.
Do you, dear widowed friends or surviving person of anyone you loved that died, have certain specific things that still make you feel guilty? Things that you wish you had done differently? Things that maybe you regret, in the wake of the loss of the person you love? Yes. Of course you do. We all do. I do. I have many. It would take me all day to list them, and to analyze them. Some of these things I have processed and talked about and come to a place of peace within myself about them. And some of these things have stuck with me, and probably won't ever really go away. There is one particular thing that has nagged at me since the day my husband died - it just scratches and scratches and claws at me, begging to be dealt with. And today, I found a way to begin to deal with it in a way that has started to give me some calm.
My husband's name.
Writing this up a bit late today. It's 10 a.m. on Friday morning, east coast time, and this blog is supposed to be submitted by midnight California / Pacific time - so, 3 a.m. last night. But sometimes by the time Thursday evening rolls around, I am so damn exhausted both emotionally and physically from going to work, going to the gym (something new I've been doing, and HATE doing), writing for the publications I write for, and dealing with whatever grief emotions and life that has happened that week, that all I can do is lie on my couch with my pillow and kitties, and continue my "Breaking Bad" marathon. Yes, watching the fake world of meth cook Walter White and his slow downfall into death and violence and darkness, somehow and oddly makes me feel more relaxed and calm about my own life. Perhaps it is because every single thing going on in that world of that brilliant show, is so far removed from anything that would ever happen in my own life, that it brings me a strange comfort watching it all unfold. Or, maybe I was just tired. All I know is, I sat down last night, and 4 episodes later, I was finally to the point where I could no longer keep my eyes open to watch any further. So I went to bed.Read more
Who would ever think that something as boring and mundane as reading your tax return would send you into fits of sobbing, post-loss? A tax return? Really? It's not like I was even the one doing my taxes. Luckily, "I know a guy who knows a guy who knows a guy" (as Sal would say on "Breaking Bad"), who does my tax return for me. Actually, I am making it sound way more mysterious and shady than it is. He is a good family friend who also happens to be a tax accountant. He does the tax returns for our whole family - my parents, my brother and his wife, and me and Don. And now, just me. I have always been terrible with numbers and math, and because I have so many part-time and temp jobs and my life is complicated as far as "work" goes, it is a huge weight off my chest not to have to worry about how to make sense of my piles of receipts and paperwork, come tax time. Instead, a few rounds of back and forth mailings occur, a few signing on the dotted lines, and we're done. About 3 days ago, I received my tax return from my tax accountant friend in the mail. While reading it, I suddenly and abruptly burst into tears, and it had nothing to do with the obscenely small amount of money I make, or the fact that I’m now being charged because I can't afford health insurance. Nope. It had nothing to do with that.Read more
It's just one of those nights.
I have 40 billion things inside my head all at once, and every single one of them has to do with his death.
I'm not upset or crying or even particularly emotional tonight. Not really. But it's just one of those nights where my brain won't shut off and I can't stop thinking ....
40 billion things.
But one thing more than the other things ...
Things like - why the hell didn't I ever ask him, or actually pay attention when he told me about the very first concert he ever went to in his life? This topic was brought up tonight with a couple friends - naming our very first concert. Mine was Culture Club. Other friends were posting their own, everything from Nirvana to Cyndi Lauper to Menudo to Van Halen. And then there was my husband - the man who lived and breathed music. The man I met in a music chat room online. The man who strummed on one of his eight guitars in our apartment, daily. The man who shared every music-related memory with me, on a very regular basis. And yet, I cannot for the life of me, remember what band he saw as his first concert. And whenever I can't remember a specific memory or fact about him, it makes me incredibly sad and makes me so desperate to remember that one thing