I'm so sad that Chuck died and I don't know anymore if it's sadness that is emptiness inside me or emptiness with sadness and there is a burning wish in my soul to force myself into some semblance of feeling again, of connectedness again.
In the last few weeks I've caught a glimpse, I think, into the world of soldiers and Marines who return from the war zones, having defied death, seen their buddies die, who have had their hearts pierced with the tenuousness of life.
So often, I've read in numerous memoirs, they return to their so called normal lives but they go out and buy fast motorcycles, faster cars; they become thrill seekers. And I think I have some understanding of what goes on in their heads and hearts as they look at life around them. Just a glimpse, really, because their experiences are ever so much more than mine has been.
I don't think that they're courting death so much as they're trying to find something...anything...that might make them feel again. Something that will overcome the grief-filled apathy that comes along with numbness. Something that will help them connect again to the living, maybe jump-start the very breath in their lungs.Read more
Twisting. Writhing. Hurting. Shrieking.
Vomit urge. Nerves on skin. Racing pulse. Butterfly stomach.
Dislocated. Disoriented. Discombobulated.
NOTE: I wanted to start my post this week by thanking everyone who left such lovely and supportive messages on my last piece - Scared of the Anger. To receive your support after allowing myself to be so vulnerable really warmed my heart. I love our widowed community!
At every week's end, I sit down to write this blog and sometimes surprise myself with what pours out. Regardless of whether I'm busy, riding an emotional high/low, processing a new grief feeling or just 'checking in' with myself, there always seems to be something to say.
It can be a very cathartic process. Some weeks, I'm burning with a need to get something off my chest. Often I don't even know what it is that I'm going to write about, I just place my fingers on the keyboard and the words start to form. But this week... well, I've got nothing!
I have outlasted all desire,
My dreams and I have grown apart;
My grief alone is left entire,
The gleamings of an empty heart.
From Grief Alone Is Left Entire, by Alexander Pushkin
I've had little time to think in the past few days. I came down for the weekend to the beach a few hours south of where I live, with a bunch of friends. Like everything in this After Life, even the most ordinary stuff - like a beach trip - has significance and can feel heavy.
I woke this morning early to write this - all my friends still dozing away from a late night of fun. As I brew up a pot of coffee in the morning quiet, I am able to finally think things over.
It's been a great trip, but I have found myself having to really try hard to put on a smile. I am just having a diffiult time getting excited about things...Read more
In this week of sunshine and gentle breezes and flowers blooming, I have felt a subtle shift in my grief. The warm weather and sprouting leaves have helped me to approach my days with hope. I have cried less often and smiled more. I have begun to consider how I might live this new life without him. I have had hours and days of calm and gratitude. I have had fewer days crouched in sadness. Some days I think that perhaps I will be alright.
On other days, though, a simple slight can open the dam, tapping into the grief that is stored in the deep recesses of my heart, sending it like an electrical surge through my body.Read more
This past week or so I have been feeling very melancholy.
This grief thing is a very difficult business. Will we ever get the hang of it? Will it forever be a process we can never escape? Will we always be struggling to slog our way through? The ever-changing game of it all is simply, some days, exhausting. I often feel as if death will be ever lurking; a grim reaper constantly whispering some dark, unintelligible secrets just out of my line of sight like the droning of a wily, invisible mosquito circling my head.
I was so happy in my marriage that when I look back and remember that time, it almost seems surreal.
My incredible wedding day, filled with so much love, feels like a dream to the point where I start to wonder if it actually happened. A beautiful, delicious dream that had me walking on air for 45 days. I'd found a soul mate and we'd made the perfect match.
I was still getting used to this incredible feeling of being so blessed when I lost Dan to depression and it was all ripped away. The bubble popped.Read more
I met a new friend the other day and in the course of conversation The Story came out. You know the one. The Story. The one about how I was married and then wasn’t married. What happened, how it happened, what’s happened since then, what happened before then.
Early on in my widowhood The Story was so deeply painful that I basically hid out in my house for months. Early on, it was The Horror Story. Every time I had to talk about losing Mike to someone new it was like ripping my heart out of my chest. Dealing with all the business of his death was truly horrific. Every phone call, every signature, every photo copy and every detail all seemed like more nails in a coffin - one not just belonging to my beloved husband but of the whole life I had been living. It was now all, completely, stone-cold dead and gone forever and I felt like a walking phantom; a barely-breathing ghost of the person I had been. A conversation with the notary at the bank had me sobbing. Seeing his favorite food on the shelves at the grocery store had me sobbing. Taking the rubbish to the dump in his truck - one of the chores he used to do - had me sobbing. It was The Tragedy. It was my tragedy.Read more
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