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Thursday, November 26, 2009

why?

why do bad things happen to good people? I look around and we are all so challenged by life. A father with cancer, a husband with seizures, a child who seeks risk at every turn. And me, my sweet man dead suddenly one morning.

How can we cope with all of this-how do we weather each blow? I watch those I love try and take each day and deal with each challenge. I see me, getting up each morning, thinking that I could very easily find some solace in alcohol or drugs but then I know I can't. There is no solace, I know that burying myself won't help at all. He will still be gone when I turn to face that side of the bed the morning after.

Today is Thanksgiving-usually a joyous time in this house. I remember how Bruce used to tell me that I wasn't nervous, I was excited - when I was overcome with anxiety, thinking of the many mouths I was feeding. I remember that he always picked the chestnuts and scored them for me. I remember how in the last few years-he wanted to experiment with Turdunken, with an organic turkey-and even though he was always disappointed with the result, he still enjoyed the idea of an innovation at Thanksgiving. I remember too-how at midday-he took the kids and they all went to the movies so that I could move through my list of things to do-unhampered.
So-I am sad today.
Is it wrong then to be thankful? I guess the better question to ask is - Do I have something to be thankful for? I can resent the fact that he is gone, that I was dealt too hard a blow. But I am also so grateful that I have some wonderful people in my life-some who will be sitting around my table tonight and when I think of Bruce, I can mentally, I hope put him at the table.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

so many things

Bruce had so many things. He loved collecting. He had a collection of Hawaiian shirts, coins, stamps, pens, watches, CD's ..... The list goes on. So now everything carries a memory for me. I can't get rid of anything since the thing itself triggers my recollections of life with him. I don't know how to choose what to hold on to. When I think about my other big losses, my dad, my grandmother, my uncle-I have no things left from them. I have pictures to look back on but even that is sparse.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Thankful?

I miss my best friend. I come home from work and have no one to talk to about my day. I talk to Bebe, but she won't make jokes, like Bruce did.
It is such a struggle to grieve. I try to push myself to remember, although it brings pain. If I do not work on the memories, I go through each day quickly, numb, in a fog, and it is almost as if he never existed.
Next week is Thanksgiving and last year we were so busy-but we still got it together to make a family dinner in our new "castle". So, here we are-here I am. Alone, and planning the usual gigantic family event. I wouldn't want to give it up but am overwhelmed never the less. I have help but still feel overwhelmed and I am sure most of this is due to the emotional toll and the memories of what was. Can I be thankful when life has delivered such a blow? I am trying so hard to be thankful for what I have, even though what I have lost is beyond my recovery.

I need to be patient with myself and to try and take each little bit slowly. I do feel isolated in my grief, and probably was isolated before he died. We were not terribly social and now I feel this acutely. I am not sure what I want. I long for companionship but am so busy that I couldn't find the time for social outlets. My dilemma is that I was so comfortable just having him in my life. I guess I really do not want anyone else-but the price that I pay for this is being alone and sometimes being lonely. I am not sure that I can reconcile this.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

dreams

When he first died, every dream of him was colored by his death. He was either dying or dead-and my dreams (when I did dream of him which was rare) were painful. Sunday night he was in my dreams and we were packing to go somewhere. It wasn't an extraordinary dream, we weren't happy in it. We were just going about business as usual. But I woke up, cheered by the visit. This was a gift from him to me and I was grateful.
It is a no brainer that life has taken on new meaning in light of the tragedy of his death. But the full impact of this is an everyday education. I have been taught the hard lesson of how precious the people you love are and I brace myself for the losses that I will yet endure. I realized yesterday that my cat is 10 and I thought this morning that that loss will come at some point in the future. After losing Bruce, the losses are so much harder to bear.
The days go by, and sometimes I force myself to think of him, even though it is painful. There is almost respite in letting myself be distracted by other thoughts. But all of this contributes to the loss, and I so understand the ambivalence-the wanting to dwell on the memories, look at the photos and feel the pain, and the need to disengage from the grief and put one foot in front of the other and not think at all of the loss.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

understanding loss


As I travel down this street, I am beginning to realize that I am dealing with many losses. Yes, I have lost my one true love, my best friend, my historian, my caretaker, my handyman..... But I have also lost the man with the memories of the man which are fading. People say that the shock of the sudden death is so painful that memories are hard to retrieve. But when I look back on my past, memories are always hard to retrieve, and they are not easily brought to the surface. It doesn't matter whether the memories are painful or joyful, they are still very ethereal. I cannot relive the moments of my past, and so the loss of the man and the loss of the memories of the man are 2 very major losses. Something I was not prepared for.

I work hard to put myself back in those moments. I try to will myself to walk the streets of London the way we did the summer before he died, in June of 2008. I can almost grasp the memory, the rain, the surprising chill in the air, his delight at Scotland Yard, his hand in my hand. And yet, I cannot be in that past, cannot really feel his presence beside me. It is fleeting, it is just a wisp, and it does not satisfy the need for him.

I am not sure that my experience, the way I am experiencing my loss is typical and it does not really matter, I know. But I think I was so shook by the loss that I want to know what the road ahead is like for others, so that I can try and prepare for my journey through this. I am beginning to realize though, that grief is such a unique and individual experience. So those who comforted me and told me that the memories would come back, because for them they did, were wrong. Is it that my ability to remember is so faulty? I have a hard time remembering other people from my past-I can remember them but not ME with them, And for my husband, that is the memory that I would want to have. I would love to go to sleep and dream of him and I, and have some life with him, if only in my dreams.

I am like a child understanding the finality of death for the first time. It dawned on me the other day that I would never see him again. I was not prepared for that-never thought of that, how final it all is and what the pain of that would be like. It seems silly to write this and I feel somewhat lacking in intelligence or common sense that it did not really sink in. It is strange the way that we are protected from fully understanding loss and that the layers are exposed bit by bit.