maybe I’ll be ok after all.

Yesterday sucked. I was tense, deeply unhappy, and exhausted. Each of those things is bad enough but put them together and it’s…misery. It was a bad, bad day. Anxiety about the near future compounded it all. I am sure there’s some math formula in there that expresses it logically but new widows and logic are mutually exclusive.

Last night, at 6:30, I announced that I was going to bed, and don’t you know, there wasn’t anyone to tell me it was too early. Not that Himself was unreasonable about such things, but under most circumstances that is a bit early. However, there was no one to discuss it with, it was my decision to make and mine alone. It is slowly occuring to me that many decisions now are mine to make.Where to live is no longer based on his job. I can go where I want to go. The type of house, mine to decide. How I want to cut my hair…ok, generally was my choice but he always asked that it not be shorter than his. I can shave my head now if I want to.  No, I don’t really want to but knowing I could is kind of liberating. In a sad sort of way.

Everything I think and do is wrapped in a blanket of sadness. But it’s ok. I am sad because Himself is not here any more. He’s off doing better things now and one day I’ll see him again. There is joy in that. It is a profound, indescribable sense of joy, for him because he is THERE and life here was pretty frustrating for him. No more frustrations for him, just great fun and good times! I am so happy for him! But sad for me and the boys because he isn’t here with us. You know that, I have only said it 100 times over the past week

But wow…making my own decisions. That’s kind of…cool, in a way. Kind of scary, as well, but cool. Do I want to go to the local technical school and get a few certificates so I can get a job? I’d be a good secretary/administrative person, and there’s always openings for those. I like working with old people, maybe a CNA or LPN and work at a local nursing home or assisted living place. There is a new one opening up in December. Decisions decisions. Himself would be good with it, not that it matters much, but he would. #4 starts driving in April, so he won’t need me to get around. A job might be the thing. Or, I could work on building my sewing into a business. Right now I just do what I want, when I want, mostly for barter…eggs, etc.

Is there something wrong that I am not in full-on grief mode? Am I supposed to sit down and wail for 40 days? I have never been a person to dwell on things, it’s more easier (ha…) to get up and do something about it all. I despise waiting. Don’t get me wrong, there is a veil of sadness over all of this, but making plans is something that makes me very happy. Himself knew that and was always asking me to plan a trip 18 months in the future, or figure out something, or find plans for this house and some land somewhere and figure it all out. Being able to do that has been helpful. Recovery? that’s a process and will take a while, but there is no reason that I can find why I shouldn’t be making plans for *my* future.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

One day…

Someday in the future, probably not too soon, but eventually, colors will be bright and sunshine will be warm and the dog farts will be funny.

Some day soon I will be astonished by the billowing yellow clouds of mating pine trees. That’s not what Terry called it but he’s a man and could get away with such language better than I can.

Food will taste good again, some day.

It’s fine, it’s a season of life. We all have seasons.

Being in love, everything was technicolor bright and tasted, smelled, sounded, felt wonderful.

Living life it was all contentment, quiet pleasures and small joys. Occasional celebrations and excitement but mostly gentle contentment and comfort.

Now, it’s sepia, viewed through the lens of loss and confusion, grief, but I know the colors are there.

Little things, I see them and think

“Oh i want to show him” or

“I need to take a picture to send him” or

“I love daylight Savings Time because we can sit on the patio in the evening and enjoy the light and a glass of wine before dinner”

well. then.

I guess each thing, each event or flower or fresh tomato we shared…

now who do I share them with?

i guess it’s all part of The New Normal, figuring that out.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

keep moving

Writing it all down has become a sort of discipline. it’s more than just typing words in. There’s are props involved. A cup of hot tea, a box of tissues, quiet music. All that keeps me calm. Like any discipline, or exercise, continuity is important. Writing is incredibly cathartic, and it’s a record, something to return to later, of a massive life-altering event. I am recording a terminal event, one that was just as important as his birth, and had just as much of an impact on the lives of people around him.

I don’t know exactly what he is doing now. All I can go on is what I read about, and even that was written by people who were going on what someone else told them. So honestly, who really knows? Only the people who are already there and they’re too busy being with God. One day I’ll be busy with God, too, but for now it’s this mortal and imperfect life with miseries and joys and babies and all that.

All along, people who know more about this than I do have been telling me that it really hits a week later. Well, yesterday was a week later. Last night was the first time I broke down in public (other than the hospital. I didn’t cry at the funeral). Not even really public but I was in the parking lot of a church waiting for Eli to come out from Scouts and just…kind of crumbled. A friend saw me and sat in the car and talked for a bit, that was nice. comforting. Crying in public is mildly horrifying and terribly embarrassing, even with a good excuse. And in a parking lot, when it’s dark isn’t exactly public but enough to be embarrassing.

I kept dreaming last night, I don’t remember them really, but i do remember having trouble telling if they were dreams or reality, until I woke up. I was (and still am) SO TIRED. #4 got up, took his shower and when he came in he said he had a rough night and didn’t want to go to school. I didn’t even have to think about it. I didn’t want to go to school either, and had been pondering who to call to give him a ride. Problem solved, eh. Go back to bed, you don’t have to go to school today. I went back to bed for a little while as well, but all these dogs….i love my animals but sometimes I wish they had an “off” button.

This pain has been in just fits and starts up until now. I could set it aside for a little bit, but I think that was just pretending. Himself has…had been gone on business trips longer than the amount of time and it was easy to act like he was off for a while and would be back. I mean, logically I knew he wouldn’t but in my heart it felt like he would. But last night, sitting in the parking lot, I KNEW he wouldn’t.

What I feel isn’t what I think of as grief, it is confusion. I am dropped into a place that I don’t speak the language or know the customs or even where to find the bathroom. I am reaching out blindly for a wall or a rope to hold onto because even the ground isn’t what it’s supposed to be. It rocks and pitches, some kind of boat that feels rudderless at the moment.

I know it’s not. I am surrounded by people love me in so many ways. These people bring food, this one badgers me into opening the windows, another one has held my hands and guiding through the process that she has been through. God’s love shown in tangible ways and I can hold on to that. It makes me hopeful for the future, that seeing and experiencing all this will allow me to do the same for someone else later on.

But right now, this day. Oh, how it hurts. It aches, painfully down into my bones. Food won’t stay down, only this spicy sweet tea made by a friend who’s culture tells you to scream and shave your head upon the death of a loved one. I wish our culture had more of that, some visible sign that declared our grief, instead of one that is all about looking NORMAL and not frightening anyone with some loud display. “Oh she is so strong”, that is what’s said of someone who can smile and get dressed and look normal when what I want is to scream and shave my head and wear a very visible sign of the awful, awful thing we are experiencing. I want people to KNOW. Not for any other reason than to know. I don’t want special treatment (though that is very nice as well), but sometimes I want people, strangers, to be able to see it. Then I don’t. I want normal and to be treated like any other person. Consistency…I hasn’t it.

Anyway. Today. One at a time. One cup of sweet, spicy tea at a time, one word at a time. Windows open per Bossy Mother Hen friend’s orders. The breeze is warm and smells like Spring. For the first time in a week, the yard doesn’t smell like a swamp. I can look out the window and see the daffodils that Himself loved, all blooming and singing their bright yellow songs. That man did love him some daffodils.

Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments

4:30 am. A glass of milk and a piece of bread. A friend gave us some delicious smelling food last night,and I ate a little bit, but really, bread and milk is where it’s at right now. There’s that bit…I don’t know where it is, in the Bible where Paul talks about some people need bread and milk and others are ready for meat, speaking about Faith and such. Other people who know more could tell you where, but it’s 4:30 in the am and I am doing good to get the glass to my mouth without wondering why I’m holding it.

I am not sure what will happen today, but then who ever really is? We plan, we schedule and write stuff down and have intentions and frequently things work out that way. Maybe it’s because they don’t that is part of the big shock. I mean, the paradigm shift of losing a loved on unexpectedly is one thing, but maybe a part of the subsequent discombobulation is the upheaval of all your plans. Not just for the week, but the ones you had for months and years.

Boom, everything changes, completely. Well, not everything. I am still going on a cruise with a friend in November. That just seems prudent. Everything I read says those first holidays are the hardest, and methinks a mind-numbing body-relaxing cruise might be a good thing, prudent even, to keep from a massive meltdown. Or at least mitigate the worst of it. I can look ahead and sort of see how difficult those holidays might be.

But there I am, thinking ahead when everything I am reading says don’t.

I was supposed to help with a school auction upcoming in 3 weeks. My job was to organize everything, label and number and then afterward make sure money was collected and items properly distributed. The other 2 people have big stuff going on as well, getting ready to move….but I guess death trumps real estate, or something. It’s also not a job someone with Widow Brain needs to be doing. Someone who bought a wine tour might wind up with an oil change. The other 2 have been very gracious about it.

I think the thing that is getting me through all the kindness, food, and help without guilt is knowing I would do the same were it someone I knew going through this.

Ok, I am sleepy. Maybe I can rest a little before the day has to start.

Posted in Uncategorized | 7 Comments

Right now Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing is on the radio. I know….I KNOW…that one day this will be able to look like a growing thing. I will learn and be better for it. I have to know that, because the alternative is despair. It would be so easy to go there right now, especially knowing that this is all just starting. It would be by easy to decide God isn’t in this anywhere and just give up. That isn’t happening. The devil is in that thinking and I won’t give it the satisfaction of defeating me.

But right now, at 9:15pm, 7 days and 6 hours after Himself’s body quit entirely, right now it is incredibly hard to see God anywhere in this. I haven’t lost faith, or given up, I am just really, really achingly lonely for my husband. I don’t want him in Heaven, I want him here, next to me, holding my hand or scratching my back or letting me scratch his.

how can anyone understand that, unless they’ve been through it? I know I never did.

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

One more step

I made it! Not that anything else was expected, but last night was pretty rough. Mild tranquilizers, a few Psalms, some quiet piano music. Himself gave me a Pandora radio a couple of years ago. He did love technology and always wanted the newest thing. I wasn’t sure about that radio…what’s wrong with a stack of CD’s? But being able to put it on The George Winston channel at night, or I’ll Fly Away in the day…that’s nice. Per #4’s suggestion, I slept in the guest room. The cats and Rusty  (my wirehaired dachshund) kept me company, and allowed me to have a little sliver of the right side of the bed.  Dogs know, don’t they. They haven’t even peed in the house this week, and given the rain that is highly unusual. A first, even.

I know I am writing a lot, but it is very cathartic. As rocky and uphill as this road is, it must be climbed (Himself would say “Clumb” because that made more sense as a past tense or whatever tense…pluperfect affirmative or something) and as awful as it is, I don’t want to forget a bit of it. Sedatives are for surgery. This is more like…cross-fit for the soul, complete with throwing up.

I miss him this morning. Of course I do. I am even allowing #4 an extra 30 minutes of sleep so I can get these thoughts in place. I am kind of hoping wishfully like a Disney princess that he will get up on his own, but he is 15 and will sleep until noon if someone doesn’t blow him out of bed. I wish I could do that, sleep until noon. Eventually that gets outgrown and staying in bed past 7 is a guarantee of aching backs and headaches.  And there isn’t anyone to bring me coffee, either. Oh well.

The Good Dr. H has been made aware of all this, and he is suggesting, strongly, that I find a therapist and soon. There is a counseling ministry at the church, but I am unsure of it. Maybe I will. I am unsure of what to fix for breakfast these days so a big decision like that is more than I want to deal with for now.

Himself would know what to do. He would tell me to do it. He was always looking out for my best interest and that means I have to do that now. That’s ok. I can do this. I’m not alone. And no, I don’t see Himself as an angel looking down or whatever. He’s not an angel. Angels were never human and don’t experience salvation. Himself is busy being with God, so now I have to do the looking after myself and my family. I can do this.

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Nights are the worst, and they’ve only just begun. Going into the bedroom, which I have successfully avoided all day, feels like a sucker punch. I gasp for air, unable to breathe, as this unreal pain washes over like a tsunami. There truly is nothing like it, uncontrolled sense of loss and feeling like you have been ripped in half…which is what happened.

I had to get out of there, made excuses to go downstairs a couple of times. That old adage of “get back up on that horse and ride it” doesn’t apply yet. You wouldn’t tell a cowboy who’s just been stomped into a pulp to do that, you would wait until he healed, right?

I will, eventually, go back in there. However, having been stomped to a pulp and unable to breathe, that will have to wait. I thought I could do it, I am doing so well, it seems. I can laugh and talk about him and see friends and make them laugh…during the day.

But then night comes. It gets dark and these are the times we spent together. We talked, and dreamed,and planned for a future with grandkids and travel and getting old and having wheelchair races at the nursing home. We talked about what we would look like without our dentures and would I ever remember to keep ice cream (probably not).  He was going to fix all those little things eventually and I was going to remember not to put mint in his iced tea.

that won’t happen anymore, and the hole is huge. It’s, frankly, terrifying. I never planned for this. Oh, I know…God and Jesus and all that and yes, I know They are with me but they are not the warm legs to press my cold feet against or the Grandpops who builds doll houses and go-karts.

so, for now, that door is staying closed. #4 suggested I sleep in the guest room for a while. I think I will, because that bedroom I shared for 28 years is…cold and empty and the loneliest place on earth right now.

Writing it down helps, some. It’s as if putting it into these words allows it all to be set aside, or shelved. It isn’t gone, it’s just…put aside, out of my head a bit instead of swirling around. Writing allows it to congeal into something I can hold on to, evaluate, and manage.

Now I can breathe. I still can’t go in there, but now I can breathe, and hopefully sleep.

Posted in Uncategorized | 11 Comments