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
A few weeks ago, I became fully, wide-awake aware, that this grief was killing me. Not enough so that I'd actually physically die, but enough so that I continually felt as if a meat slicer was in my chest, merrily chopping away at my innards. At the same time it was as if an anvil such as blacksmiths might use, was slung around my neck, making it difficult to breathe and slowing my feet. It was intolerable and made me....desperate.Read more
Saturday, I attended a family 'do'--a term used in England to denote a celebration, or important event. This was a 40th birthday party for one of Stan's nieces, held at a Greek restaurant, with over 60 people, most of them relatives of Stan's. Two of his sisters were there, as were two of his children. The room was filled with conversation and laughter, food and drink, love and joy. The only thing missing was him.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
I want to begin this post by letting you know that I am not suicidal. I am not going to do anything to harm myself , nor would I ever. Expressing feelings and taking actions on those feelings are two different things entirely, and I know this very well, and I am very aware of this. I am saying this because I know that some of you that may be reading this are widowed by suicide, so I am sensitive to how you may hear or take the words I am going to type tonight, and I realize they may be triggers for you as well. I don't want to worry anyone - truly. That being said, there are some strong emotions that I need to get out right now, and I need to say them here, because where else can I say them, if I can't say them here?Read more
I saw a grief post, recently, that resonated with me. It said "I wish I could turn back the clock: I'd find you sooner and love you longer."Read 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.
Widowhood is confusing to me. I suppose every huge life change is, for those in the midst of it.
My mind whirls with thoughts of my husband's final days, his death, leaving southern California in my rear view mirror, driving away from him, being out on the road without him...the memories, and the pain that go with those memories, are strong and vivid and color the moments that have brought me to this time, 20 months later.
In numerous conversations even before his last cancer, he told me many times that he wanted me to find another man to love, and be loved by, someday. I agreed, though I expressed doubts of ever finding any other man who could measure up to my now high standards.
The confusing part?
It is the week of Thanksgiving, and all around me there is the message to be grateful, to be thankful for what I have, and to count my blessings.
I am thankful for many things—my brothers and their families, who made sure I got to visit them, my cousins and aunts and uncle, who made special efforts to see me while I am here, my son and his girlfriend, who travelled from faraway places to support me in my visit.
I am thankful for Stan’s family and for the beautiful part of the world he gave to me. I am thankful for my spiritual community, and for Stan’s friends and neighbours, the loving people who have supported me in the aftermath of his death.Read more
Caves and shadows and darkness and not being able to see around you. It could be frightening. Or it could be maybe okay.Read more