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Sunday, October 25, 2009


i was on hiatus, feeling grateful that the week of his birthday passed and i emerged from the black hole. The week after was better-i was able to focus and get thru some deadlines. Then the sadness engulfed me again and i just went thru the motions. I move in and out of sadness. Sometimes i forget, i look at his picture and almost believe that i will be coming home to him. Then i remember. it is still a shock-maybe that won't ever end.

i was on a trip this weekend, to a family wedding and i was in and out-sometimes ok, then something would strike me and i would be tearful. The kids were with me and at some point we were all tearful, each apart yet together. Traveling is still surreal, i almost think to call him and tell him that i arrived safely.

one foot in front of another.

Monday, October 12, 2009


Yesterday was a bit lighter. I am not sure whether it was that the week was so awful and I could not bear the gloom, or the pep talk that I gave myself and shared with a group of nurturing widows. I also was able to get up early and make a dent in an overwhelming amount of work piling up. Whatever it was, it was better. I try and tell myself that as much as I could not have predicted that I would have awakened on February 20th, and said goodbye forever to my soul mate, I cannot predict that tomorrow, something good may happen. While I admit that it does not seem in the realm of possibilities, given how challenged I have been by misfortune, it may happen. I guess this is hope. Hope is in the land of resilience. It is food to the hungry, comfort to despair.

I have learned so much these past months. It will be 8 months on the 20th. I have also been stunned by the nature of grief itself. I feel like the rug on the floor has literally been pulled out beneath me. It is almost like ice skating and I keep hitting that really slippery bit of ice and fall on my butt. And it is hard to anticipate the slippery spots, sometimes I see them coming, sometimes not. But in general, it is hard to keep upright and I have never been much good at balancing. I literally have always had difficulty with balance, sometimes falling, just because I am unsteady on my feet. Ironic then, that this metaphor seems to follow me now.

And so it goes. Every day is a challenge and I now know that some days I will be up for it and some days not. But I can try and revive hope every now and again. We do not know what is ahead. And it is just as likely that whatever is ahead can be good as well as bad.

Sunday, October 11, 2009


time does not seem to be healing this wound. Is it possible that I miss him more now than I did a month ago, or 2 months ago? I still look for him in the crowd, still expect him to open the door and greet me after a long day. How is it possible that I am not getting past this? I know others have and I also know that I have been able to move past problems in my past. I guess the difference is that I had him to help me through whatever troubles came my way. Now it is just me. I don't feel strong enough or care enough to persevere.

Yesterday, I went on a San Diego Zoo walk with the kids. It was a quick trip there and back. I was so sad thinking of how much he would have loved the zoo in the early morning. It was heartbreaking to remember our past trips and how much he loved spending time watching the animals.
What will help me through this? I alternate between searching for solace and then giving up on doing anything.

Monday, October 5, 2009


I am so fragile, so vulnerable these days. Yesterday my rear windshield was smashed by a golf ball and I haven't stopped crying since. This small crisis brought my situation into focus. I am alone, without resources, and feel as if I cannot weather any more unpredictable, and difficult events. I am pathetic, the lonely inconsolable, unloved widow lady. I want to be pitied and taken care of.

I want too to be strong and capable and invincible. How can I reconcile these two stances?

So I want to cry and complain and be rescued. But I hate that image of myself-I have never let anything stand in my way and I do not want this to be my defining moment. I need to rise above these mini catastrophes, but I feel worn out. How can I repair and when will these feelings pass?

Saturday, October 3, 2009

who am i now?

I think that at various points in my life I have suffered some identity crises. Certainly with my career aspirations-and I continue to wonder what is ahead. And I would ask myself-ok, so who am I. Am I a critical care nurse, a teacher, a researcher?

But there were also questions that I had about my personality construct. What was I like as a child? How am I different as an adult, what was I like as a mother? What was I like as a young wife and how did I change as I got older?

This is a different identity crisis now. I saw myself reflected in his eyes. There was something stable about being his wife, although, saying this, I do not think that I thought of myself as a wife. I was just me, and very much his. His friend, his lover, his person and whatever else in my life changed-that was constant. My identity, at least part of it was rooted in his presence. So I ask myself, who am i now?

So much changes as we get older. So much loss, much of it intangible. You spend years adding, you add a husband, children, pets, and then at a certain point you start losing. Yes, I am still a mother, but the loss of the full bloom of the role is gone. And if your memory does not permit you to recreate, or relive the years before.....then there is so much lost.

I remember though in bits and pieces, the early years of my marriage. Some were turbulent times, difficulty with money, struggles with school and work. And I used to sleep clutching his nightshirt, our bodies intertwined as we slept. We took a shower together almost every day for 34 years. I used to joke that we were being environmentally responsible and saving water.

How will I find me, now that there is no one to show me who I am? No one to help me remember all the details, to share what I have lost?

Thursday, October 1, 2009

hard week ahead

On October 7th, he would have been 55. I always tried to make the birthdays special but have trouble remembering what we did last year. Two years ago, we did a cruise, which I hated, but now I would do it in a minute just to share another day with him. Every year was a blessing and certain birthdays were hard for him. When he was in his 30's, he looked back on the age that his Dad died and held his breath as he survived the year (34, 35, 36? I do not remember). When he turned 45, he looked back on the death of his Mom. The next big year was 62, the year his grandfather died.

I am still in shock, although the numbness has worn off. I cry more easily now-but only for a few moments. I hold on to the strangest things-his toothbrush still in the holder as he left it on the 20th of February. I cannot seem to erase the shows that we TIVO'ed before he died. His robe hangs on the hook outside the shower. Am I waiting for him to come back, do these things offer me comfort? Maybe I still believe that the presence of these things mean that he isn't gone for good. And if I discard his toothbrush and robe and erase the TV shows-that will mean he did not exist.

I feel very alone. My special person, the person that was for me, and made me feel loved and included and important is no longer here. So I feel that I do not belong anywhere, there is no one that I exist for uniquely. At the end of the day, there is no one to share the trivia with. It is not that anything that I say was so important, in fact, there were times when he did not want to engage in a conversation about all the details of my day. But he was there, and I could sit down and complain and joke and babble. And he would listen and comment, and share his own stuff. We existed in our own world and it was the world that I needed to be in and I felt like there was a place where I belonged and was wanted and needed. I do not just want to fill the space with someone. I only want him.