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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

being alone

Aside from the June gloom, the widows I know complain of the loneliness. It is such a difficult part of the death. Initially as I mourned, I missed him, wanted him to fill the emptiness in my heart and in the house. Gradually I have gotten use to missing him, even though at times I am filled with such profound sadness, I can fall to my knees and scream. But I am also left with facing being alone, something that takes me quite by surprise, because it is so hard to get used to.

I have written before about how the theme of being alone has moved in and out of my life before Bruce's death. Why is it so difficult now? If I had small children at home now, would I still feel so alone? How much of the feeling of being alone is tied to the grief and how much relates to the actual day to day emptiness? I try to puzzle this out as if I can come to some magic conclusion and my life would be better. I am offended that the aloneness has wrapped itself around me and I am suffocating with the weight of it.

Why am I so needy and why is being alone so hard? I want to embrace it. I can think back to times in my past when the house was so chaotic with children and pets and him that I longed for some peace and quiet. Well now every day is quiet, but there is no peace-just a long lonely silence.

My widowhood is so multi-layered, so many things to mourn and get used to.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

june gloom

I am so overwhelmed by sadness lately. And of course, I never get past the eyes filled with tears part. I am tired and cranky-but given the past year and 4 months-it is not entirely a new experience. I wondered yesterday whether it is complicated by June gloom? No sun until late in the day when the marine layer burns off. It has been cloudy and cold every day. And apparently, other widows that I know feel the same. They tell me it feels that it is getting worse not better-more upsetting, more paralyzing. I am beginning to feel as if June gloom is partly responsible.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

summer doldrums

I was so sad yesterday-felt the weight of it immediately when I woke up. It followed me all day. Is it just the beginning of summer? The remembrance of summers past when we traveled?, when we enjoyed the longer days and the lighter work load? I am not sure, but I am haunted by days not too long ago-was it just two years ago when we were traveling to Paris thru the Chunnel?

Of course, I wish I were able to be back there and part of me is. It is not enough of a visit. The edges are fuzzy-too much work to fully remember all of the details. I find myself aware of the dates without any of the enjoyment that accompanied them.

I am to sad right now-too filled with longing to have it back. The good and the bad of it.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

end of the school year

It has been a long time. I move from exhaustion to sadness as the academic year officially comes to an end. Usually a time for a deep breath and the start of vacation, or at least a less frenetic pace. Before Bruce died, we were overjoyed at the start of the summer although my schedule and his were always mismatched. When he stopped teaching for the year, I was still in full swing. By the time that I stopped, he had started teaching summer session. But we were still happy about the approach of the summertime. Sometimes we went to Hawaii, and the year before he died, we went to Europe.

So I have no energy to write, no energy to have coffee with my new found family of widows. I am tired. My exhaustion since he has died always is accompanied by a cranky irritable "I do not want to do this anymore" attitude. It is as if I could simply decide I have had enough of his absence and he would magically appear. As if it were that easy.

As time goes on, I know that this too shall pass. Do not mistake this for optimism. I just know that the days will march on-no matter what my mood, or how tired I am of my lonely life. Maybe tomorrow, I will find the energy to pick up the phone, or take care of the hundreds of items on the "to do" list. Maybe tomorrow, I will feel a bit less sad.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


i have been dressing in black since he died. Not everyday, but many days when i consider my mood, i find that black or gray echoes my mood. It's funny how i am mourning. i also stopped wearing jewelry. It's almost as if i set aside part of who i am - tucked it away in remembrance of who i was. i am not sure that the person that i was will ever come back. i am still sorting this all out.

The weather has been dismal this Spring-also feeding in to my mood. Cold and dark the last 2 days in the usual Sunny California. i was reminded of a film that i saw a few months after he died. Kate and i watched a lot of movies and 1 movie that i saw was about Queen Victoria morning Prince Albert. She mourns for years.

i miss him and there is no end in sight. When i dream of him, i am reminded even in my dreams that he is dead. The distractions are good-but i still come home to his absence and it still makes me terribly sad.

Today is Kate's birthday. He would have been so proud of how well she supports me-how there she is for me. He was always so amazed by her accomplishments and her intelligence.

Happy Birthday baby girl.

Friday, June 4, 2010

no surprise

i was thinking yesterday that it is no surprise that i am so off kilter without Bruce. i got married so young-just turned 19 the week before i got married. In some ways, i was a young 19, in some ways not so young. Life was a bit turbulent growing up and i was very introspective, fascinated even then about human behavior. Bruce was my first real love. i had boyfriends in the past, but no one person who i was really intimate with, who directed me in the way that he did. He was extremely bossy-maybe even a bully. i let him dictate to me. At some point, i realized that i went from home where my mother told me what to do and think, to my marriage where my husband told me what to do and think.

So there was no period of time where i formed an identity independently. And i have never really been alone. Although, this gives me a perspective, it does not really help me to cope. It just informs me about how hard this is, and how unprepared i was for the loss.

So now what? i miss him. i dislike that i feel so out of my element without him. And our relationship changed so much over the years as we both grew up (he was only 20 when we married and like me - a young and old 20 year old). We really worked hard on the bossy bully him and the introspective wimpy me. We were finally in sync, and our hard work was finally coming to fruition. i knew me through him. In some ways, i understood myself in response to him-where i had been and where i was. i feel lost, and have a hard time feeling sure about anything. And i miss him. i was always entertained by him. And so loved.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

o canada

i am not sure how it was actually decided that Canada was the best place to celebrate Memorial Weekend but we did it last year and then again this past weekend. The long weekends are hard for me. It is not because we did anything big-although Bruce would have loved going places. He loved to go on trips anywhere - even liked the idea of going somewhere close and staying over in the hotel. Traveling to San Diego or to LA, Bruce always wanted to stay overnight in a hotel and i always wanted to be at home. Ironic that we are sometimes so out of synch with those that are so important to us.

A long weekend at home was perfect before Bruce died. We would often spend a day catching up with work and get to spend some really good quality time, watching movies, breakfasting at the beach, etc. i have written about this before, how now the long weekends stretch before me and i am confronted so by the loneliness in my life. Last year, Vancouver was the place we went to escape the Memorial Day blues. One would think he was a veteran, the way i react to the holiday. But we traveled to Canada and it was such a good distraction that we (or i) decided to do it again. This time we went to Victoria, BC.

Bruce would have loved the trip-the museum with the totems and information about the First nation peoples, the Castle with the interesting stories about the family that lived there (she was a widow too) and the gardens. It was a lovely trip with many distractions. i was surrounded by my kids, and the feeling that i still have a family, still have people who love me who won't let me disappear.

But coming home is hard. Even while i am away, i have to resist the urge to call him and tell him that i arrived safely. i see souvenirs that he would have loved and want to bring them home to him. And then when i arrive home to the empty house, i am confronted once again with the reality of his death.

Hard to imagine the road ahead when i thought i had everything so well organized in my life. His death so unpredicable-now my life so uncertain.