Some friends tell me I should post a blog; I don’t know why. My partial narcissist conflicts with my partial self-critic on this. I suppose I could have and probably should have chosen something more lighthearted for my first post. I think you’ll understand why my head is where it is once you read it. I just felt if I didn’t do this now it could be months before I would and sometimes you just have to dive in and see where the tide takes you…
I thank you for taking the leap of faith and riding with me.
March 1, 2006 -Day 1
“I’m sorry Mrs. …”
I really don’t remember the exact words in which it was broken to me; however, I do remember the doctor’s tone of voice. I remembered I just looked at him waiting for the rest of it, the punch line – something – anything. The manner in which I found out I just became a widow was delivered with about as much compassion as a market clerk informing me they were out of my favorite brand of canned goods.
But the doctor’s delivery of the words was the least of my problems as I suddenly understood why everyone who has ever been informed, hit, hell bitch-slapped with such news is usually asked to sit first. I wasn’t so lucky. “Can’t stand it” takes on a whole new dimension of meaning when you literally cannot stand. I felt the last breath of him being a living part of my life escape me as my back slid down a wall. And I remember hands – hands touching me, hands holding me, hands caressing me; hands unfamiliar and all too sanitary and just wrong. I just wanted them away from me and to see him, recall what was quickly becoming days of old, and feel what remaining warmth he had a little longer before all that I once knew was gone.
My first gallows humor: Bill loved his car and once told my older son he’d be allowed to drive it over his dead body. As this same son pulled off to drive us home from the hospital I found a need to remind him of the veracity of that statement. It was met with a grimace (a grim-look upon one’s f-ace, interesting how even that word also takes on new layers of meaning).
I mentioned somewhere else how, through my now late-husband, I have learned how to shelve the things I can’t resolve at the given moment and concentrate on the things I can. Somewhere in the eternity between falling and rising (how apropos) I know this is where I started going on auto-pilot. The efficient, organized, take-charge aspect of my personality – took charge, even as my emotional aspect crumbled.
I had about an hour at home to absorb my new reality when the first of the telephone calls began. “I’m so sorry…” How many times can a person hear that in an hour? In two hours? More? Even now, it raises my hackles slightly to hear that from people who say it as automatically as the instinct to bless someone when they sneeze; and it’s almost always equally as heartfelt.
Once my best friend was by my side I simply let go and did the only thing I could do – go numb There are about two whole weeks of my life that are smoky vignettes of emotional moments. Some have since solidified more into concrete memory. I know others will remain forever from my grasp. With the patient guidance of those who have visited the grieving place before me, I understand that now. No, I still don’t really understand it – I just accept it for what it is.
March 1, 2007 Day 1 (of the rest of my life)
I’m now able to read through most my journal without wanting to cry. Although, oddly enough, I find I now have a little trouble reading When Winter Cradles Spring straight through; especially now with the crazy weather we’re having when changing seasons make no sense. I wrote that maybe a year before my husband’s passing, but I find I’m pretty much living those words each day right now. When all else fails the last stanza of a another poem I wrote Each Day Anew becomes my mantra…
I know I have the strength to cope
I go as heart and soul say to
I sow my seeds of faith and hope
I grow and start each day anew
March 1, 2010 (life goes on…)
I still read Each Day Anew now and again to jump-start a bad day into something better. My bad days are almost never about him any more. In fact, except for an odd stretch of days last May when I could not excise thoughts of my late-husband from my mind and it started to freak me out, I’ve been pretty okay in that regard. I halfheartedly started dating a little over a year ago. I’ll decide how much I want to delve into the details of that in a later posting. I’ve had a certain India.Arie song stuck in my heart for a couple of months now. If you know her music you can easily figure out which song. Let’s just say, I’ll be taking dating just a little more seriously and see how it goes…