So last month, June 14th, was my one-year anniversary with Nick, my new love. My new beginning. My "next great love story." I never know how to refer to us, but thats another post for another time. I dont like the term "chapter two", because he deserves way more than a chapter, as did my dead husband Don. But back to the point .......
I just returned from a mini-road trip (2 overnights in the Berkshires and then Sturbridge Mass), which was Nick's anniversary gift to me, taking us on this getaway which kicked off with seeing James Taylor in concert at Tanglewood, on the evening of July 4th. We had lawn seats, which was so much fun and such a cool vibe, walking through the wooded path with our cooler of picnic food, blanket, lawn chairs, and excitement; as we found and chose our place on the lawn near the stage. James Taylor has a voice that brings me back to nostalgia - back to childhood days and innocent times and being back in high school with old friends. I expected his music to be a bit emotional maybe for me. I did not expect the grief tsunami of triggers that happened toward the end of the concert. I did not expect the intensity and severity of these emotions to come on so quickly and suddenly. I did not expect that, even after almost 7 years into this, grief can still take the reigns and take full control and attack you full-force without your consent.
It was toward the end of the concert, about 4 or 5 songs from what would be the last one. We were sitting in our lawn chairs, in the dark humid night, with thousands of others, loving and basking in the music of this talented man. It happened during the song "Fire and Rain", a classic for any Taylor fan. The song is about his childhood friend, Suzanne, who died by suicide, and Taylor's reaction to it. It is also about his own struggles in life with addiction. As he sang this song, I noticed HE was getting emotional, and his voice cracked slightly when he sang the line: "I've seen lonely times when I could not find a friend - but I always thought that I'd see you again." Suddenly, the tsunami hit. My heart started burning with intense sadness, and a furiously fast flash of music-related memories of me and Don started blinking through my mind, all at once, one following the next and the next. Don strumming his guitar in our apartment. Seeing Paul McCartney together in concert, twice. Seeing Fleetwood Mac together. Being in our friends recording studio doing a recording of me singing and Don playing lead guitar on "Sweet Emotion" by Aerosmith. Sitting on our living room couch and playing CD's for each other. Talking to him that first night in that music chat room.
Have you ever taken a few minutes or hours or days, to look completely outside your own life and how your loss affects it, and instead look into the world at large? If you have, like I have, you might find yourself staring into a great, big, never-ending, cavernous hole.Read more
"Happy Mother's Day!" the waiter says to me, followed by saying that he isn't sure who is or isn't a mom so he just says it to all the women coming in to eat lunch at the restaurant today. I laugh at his over-kindness, and say thank you. But then, as he walks away… the feeling sinks in.
Now, normally I'm very good at keeping the whole children thing at bay. My fiancé and I were not planning to have children anytime soon, so although we often talked about our someday children and how we would raise them, it was still something that was at least 4 or 5 years out. I also never really cared about having kids until I met the man I wanted to raise them with, so normally other parts of my pain seem to take precedence over this part and I don't spend much time grieving it.
But not when someone wishes me a Happy Mother's Day.
I've been thinking about what to blog about for two days now. And I haven't been able to come with anything.
At least, not anything new.
The ironic thing is, grief has been so heavy for me this week. Yesterday morning in the middle of a random conversation with my two year old about daddy, I burst into tears, which turned in to full-out sobbing by the time I got home
Christmases without Greg, that is.
Given my long-lived female relatives, I know I can expect to see the age of 90 if not 100 years old. (Longevity seems to be a heritable trait in my family ... as does early widowhood.)
Which means 48 more Christmases to endure even with the more conservative estimate....
...and I don't want to do another single one, leave alone another 48 or more.
Somewhere between suffering that terrible first Christmas party alone and “Whoo hoo! It’s a Christmas party!” was my last weekend. This is the third holiday party season without my Angel holding my hand (and likely suggesting I wear a different shirt.) I had been dreading the holiday parties but my anticipation of misery far exceeded reality. I was both surprised and relieved.Read more
.... to be jolly.
Ho, ho ..... oh whatever.
I mostly loathe this Season.
I really do.
And that ticks me off.
Because I didn't "before".
I loved Christmas and everything it entails.
It was a wonderful time of the year for me spiritually, emotionally .... the older kids came home from college for several weeks, and physically .... loved the parties, the goodies we only eat once a year .... I basically loved Christmas.
The grocery store
It's been one of the biggest grief triggers for me. At first, I couldn't bring myself to go at all. Thank god for the kindness of friends and coworkers who kept my fridge and freezer stocked for the first month or so. Thank god for my closest friends who grocery shopped for me at first.Read more
The Business of Change that I started back in mid-September continues on. There’s just so much stuff to go through and just so little willpower on my part. Despite all the difficult work packing her 118 pair of shoes into boxes, only one box has made it to a new home. (I remind myself that one is better than none – and even one is still a change.) That one box full of adventures not taken was dropped off yesterday. I’m sure the nice lady at Safe Place found it odd that “Do you need a receipt?” was a reason to burst into tears. But I took the receipt, tried to drive straight and by the time I was half-way home I had stopped crying. That’s a real improvement.Read more
When I first became a widow, I wanted everyone to go away. I did not want to talk, discuss, be comforted, or hear anyone. I found everything overwhelming and the need to communicate with others verbally was not at all on the list of desired actions.Read more