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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

regret

When Bruce died i wasn't thinking about regret-at least i don't remember thinking much about it. i guess i can look back on my attempts at journaling and figure that out. i seem to be thinking about it now though, looking ahead to the anniversary of my wedding date on Friday.

What do i regret? i regret not appreciating my good fortune and my sweet sweet man. When i look back as i do almost every minute of every day right now, i remember how often i told him i loved him, and how much i felt he was the best thing in my life and my favorite person ever (in line with my kids). I used to cup his chin in my head and look into his eyes and smile at him. i remember doing this every day. i don't think a day went by in the last few years where i did not express some feeling to him about how much i loved him. But it still feels like it wasn't enough, especially now that he is gone.
i guess i am so devastated by his loss that i feel as if i couldn't possibly have understood how lonely this life is, without him. No one can fill the emptiness in my life right now. i am distracted occasionally, but when the distraction ends, and i come home from work, or when the kids go home, it is still me alone in the house without him. My distractions are only temporary bright spots in an otherwise dark world.
i remember thinking last year that grief is like an illness. i literally felt sick with the loss. This year it is like a punishment that i have been dealt and there are no signs that it will ever end. i guess that is what despair is, that bleak feeling that your life is without any hope, that whatever is bad, will be bad forever. i am reminded of Sisyphus pushing the rock up the hill, only to have it roll down again and again.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

happy birthday to me

Today i am 54. On the 26th of March, would have been my 35th anniversary with my husband. These 2 weeks were often very busy and exciting times in my life over the past 35 years. And now they bring sadness and regret. So ironic that the celebrations of my life are now painful reminders of his death.
Last year, i was numb-still dealing with the shock of his loss but this year i can feel something and it is only sadness. i am very very tired.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

time

it occurred to me yesterday when i was having a lighter day that i have figured out how it works. i miss him terribly and it doesn't matter how much time passes. But i think that part of me tucks my life with him away as if it happened to someone else or so far in the past i cannot recognize myself with him. it fades away, and maybe the hurt dims with the memory and we move on. i am so struck by the series of losses: him, the memory of life with him, the feeling of being loved, of being so special to one person, the loss in my children's life, the loss of my best friend, my confidante, my barometer. i can't even name all the losses that occurred with his death. But i feel the impact of these losses daily and then become numb and do not feel them at all. i push them aside so that there is only a dull ache which at times fades until i remember.

i guess i do not expect him to walk through the door anymore. Bebe and i go for our walks and for a long time i expected to see Bruce coming round the corner. i am getting used to his absence, of being alone. it is still painful but my expectations have changed. And there is sadness when i think of that as well. Does pain become a friend in grief? Sometimes all i have is pain when i remember-but at least when there is pain, there is memory.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

introspection

i have always been introspective, in college we used to call it contemplating one's navel. i guess since Bruce died, there is more time to do this. Does widowhood invite introspection? Hard to describe how your whole life is thrown off balance. Yes, i get up and go to work the same way, have the same house, and dog and ...... it seems that everything goes on. But it feels like i am literally on shaky ground and so everything gets examined. i am not sure that others going through this experience need to revisit and examine-but i have. i am always replaying scenes in my head-not necessarily scenes filled with him, which is unfortunate given my interest in reliving my moments of my marriage. i am not sure the introspection is good and i guess i have always felt this way. Too much thinking impairs my living, my ability to act. But i cannot help it. i have heard others talk about the need to find meaning in their life and part of me rejects this. My life has some meaning-just not the meaning that i had lived with for 34 years. So, am i trying to find new meaning? For me, i just wish i could feel some of the security that i felt before. Suddenly i am even more tenuous and insecure than i have ever been. Nothing feels comfortable or natural.
What accounts for these feelings-and are they better not processed? Intellectually, i understand that living alone prompts this, that being alone so much - invites the constant inner dialogue. But again, i am unsure whether this is what is called grief and if i do this ad nauseaum, will i get to the other side of the pain? When i see all of the disasters around the world, i can't help but feel that this is my disaster-my earthquake, my tsunami, my tornado. So then am i rebuilding-or still digging out and assessing? Since i still have not made any changes, thrown out the toothbrush and gone through his clothes, i guess i am a bit stagnant. My apologizes to the victims of natural disaster, as i really cannot compare. At times though, it seems a perfect metaphor for how i feel.

Monday, March 1, 2010

all by myself

since bruce died, i have been thinking a lot about being alone. i went from being in my parent's house to being a student living with my college roommates and then being married. i never lived alone before. Getting adjusted to living alone and processing grief is hard. As a mom, the idea of being by myself was nirvana, now it is too much alone time. i am doing it and maybe am not as lonely as i thought i would be, but it is not time limited. i could be alone for the next 30 years. i guess that is what being a widow means-it is that long stretch of loneliness after death of a spouse. i have always thought that we are essentially alone, even though married, even though a house full of children may await us when we return home. But now everything is context-so when i thought i was alone-i always had someone waiting for me at home and if i didn't return or i was delayed - bruce would be calling and worrying. i miss that. i miss being #1 in someone's life. Because i wasn't really alone at all.