The Lows

It's been a hard week. On Saturday I finally received notification from the courts with the date of the preliminary hearing on my foreclosure mediation. I've been saying how I'm going to be ok with this whole situation but it's been much more emotional than I thought it would be. It's the beginning of the end of something, one way or another. And let's face it - court anythings are always scary anyway. So I will be glad when the last Friday in April has passed because I will be one step closer to being done with all of this. 


Frankly I'm super pissed off about how much I was conned. Have you seen the movie The Big Short yet? You really should. Those greedy bankers gambled with our housing market and the resulting crash destroyed the lives of so many of us little people. We worked hard and paid our mortgage faithfully for 13 years, but I guess that won’t matter. In my mind's eye I picture myself standing in front of the judge explaining about credit default swaps and CDOs and bundled subprime loans but I'm sure I'll never get the chance and at this point they've probably heard it all anyway and don't care anymore.


I'm not sure that's all of it though. It might be. I just don't know. Because even before Saturday I was down. Just down. Weepy and sad and having a hard time putting a smile on. One of those weeks everything makes my eyes fill with tears and I can't stop them. Which is one thing when I'm sitting alone at home, and another thing completely when I'm at a public event surrounded by people. People who don't all know you're widowed and that it's a normal thing to be sitting there crying.


The musician has been asking me constantly if I'm ok. I know he doesn't completely understand how this works, so I just keep telling him I'll be fine, and it has nothing to do with him. But I know that's hard on him too. Maybe it's hard to hear that he can't help. Maybe it's hard to realize he can't change the grief. Maybe it's hard to see your partner being sad and know no matter how much you care for them it won't make it better. So I try not to talk about it much to him. But he still sees it. I'm a very bad actor.


Most mornings I get up early with the dogs, feed them and let them outside before maybe climbing back into bed for a few more zzs. And most nights I set up the coffee pot so all we have to do is push the brew button in the morning. But it feels like all I wanted to do this week was sleep. One morning I slept so deeply I didn't wake up with the dogs, and I had forgotten to set the coffee. So at some point I woke to a gentle hand on my shoulder. I opened my eyes to see him standing over me, the relief in his eyes...I said, with a sleepy smile, what, did you come in to make sure I was still alive? 


Yeah, I did, actually, came the answer.


Sheesh. That hit home pretty hard. If you know the story about how I found Mike that horrible morning, which I know the musician has heard a few times, you'd understand why. It was the lack of hot coffee and neglected pets that led me to find him still in bed and put my hand on his shoulder only to discover the devastating truth. You probably wouldn’t be surprised to learn I do that often to the musician, when I wake up in the middle of the night and don't hear him snoring, but I've never had anyone do that to me, as far as I know, until now.


That feeling of hopelessness...that feeling of being haunted by the spectre of death...that thought that it all just seems so futile knowing death is coming for everyone anyway...only those of us that have been through deep loss like this get it. We get these feelings are normal, and we get not to be too worried for each other (most of the time). We get that some days we just want to curl up in bed, turn off our phones and marathon bad television. I can call my friend and fellow widow Margaret and tell her this stuff and she knows I'm just feeling the lows. And sharing it and having her get it helps. It does help. It helps a lot. Just like sharing it here helps too.


Spending several evenings with girlfriends - most, but not all, also widowed - sharing meals, drinks and a couple of funny movies - that helped. An afternoon with a friend at a coffee shop chatting and writing and sharing...that helped. An evening watching a favorite TV show we were looking forward to with the musician, that helped. Finding a great recipe - two great recipes, actually, this week - helped. I know that sounds small but cooking is an important escape for me. 


Then, coming across a TED talk video featuring a woman who came back from the dead talking about life - that was an important revelation. Because even though she didn't tell me much I don't already believe, she did say one thing about loving ourselves that hit home. I don't have a problem loving other people; I don't have trouble behaving in a compassionate way out in the world, but I realized I don't love myself very much. Right now my inner dialogue to myself can be truly nasty. It's not something I'm proud of. It's something I know I need to work on.


I can't tell you where I'll be in a few months. Will I be in my house? Will I have found a job? Will I have come closer to finishing the book? Will I be planning any more trips? I don't know. Right now I'm just focusing on getting through the damn week. Because after this week...there's another one coming and I can't stop it.


Just grasping and gasping and clutching and scraping and grabbing and smearing and pushing and pulling and tripping and falling and tumbling and fumbling and staring and losing and finding and dealing and hugging and laughing and crying and wishing and hoping and believing and missing. That was my week. Hope you all made it through yours.


Showing 7 reactions

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  • commented 2017-02-22 02:06:27 -0800
    I feel that you have been through hell in these days. But, be positive and you will get through the tough times pretty soon. In, there are many articles about the happenings in the court and in the world of banking. Many of us are being cheated into policies and mortgages and we pay a great deal for them.
  • commented 2016-04-09 14:36:27 -0700
    Hi Sharon; thank you for your thoughts and support. The community is so important and your comment is appreciated!
  • commented 2016-04-08 18:30:14 -0700
    First – I’m sorry you’re having a bad week, Stephanie. Those weeks suck and so does dealing with court! I hope all goes as well for you as it possibly can.

    I don’t often comment on your posts, mostly because as I read them, I usually say to myself, “yes, yes, yes” , and by the end I can’t figure out anything to say other than that. Even though you’re a bit farther out than I am, what you say resonates with me so much. As I’ve said before, I think having the support of this community becomes more important, or maybe important in different ways, as time passes.
  • commented 2016-04-07 14:11:51 -0700
    Cathy – no, it’s not fair, is it. Thank you for your support, I know I’m not alone in this.
    Penny – I feel the love and support from you and all our widowed community and I thank you for expressing it. It really means a lot and hugs right back.
    Rachel – yes the time just keeps rolling and we can’t stop it…one of the hardest things to learn to live with with grief perched on our shoulders and life without our loves. Thank you for your comment.
  • commented 2016-04-07 11:41:38 -0700
    This whole post resonated with me but this…
    “after this week…there’s another one coming and I can’t stop it…”
    this just captured it all for me. That is exactly where I’m at right now. After today there is tomorrow, after this week there is next week, after this month, there is next month and I can’t stop any of it. Not much to look forward to right now, not the way I looked forward to things with my husband. It’s a painful life and I’m sorry you are having a bad week. <3
  • commented 2016-04-07 10:41:58 -0700
    Dear Stephanie: I’ve been reading your posts on this site every week since my husband died a year and a half ago and I feel as if you’re my friend now. And my heart aches that my friend is hurting so badly right now. Grief is hard enough without having to deal with the unfairness of your house foreclosure. I’m so glad you have friends you can share this with and they get it. What would we do without those friends? Sending you hugs from afar.
  • commented 2016-04-07 09:44:24 -0700
    I so understand where you’re at, Stephanie. A bit different situation, but realizing I must let go of property that’s been in my family for 55 years. Trying not to look at what’s ahead, no matter how it plays out, you just can’t anticipate what will be…so trying to not even go there. It just doesn’t seem fair, does it? But it is what it is, and onward we go. Hang in there, lean on friends, there’s got to be something better on the horizon for all of us.