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Thursday, July 22, 2010

coping

I am not doing very well. It may be fatigue or stress or overcommitment. I have no where to go to escape these feelings - no respite, no let up on this feeling of being so overwhelmed by what has turned out to be my life. How did this happen to me? Why did this happen to me? And why can't I move on?

The emptiness is unbearable. And yet, I isolate myself which only contributes to the emptiness. Hard to reach out and let people in. So I busy myself with commitments and then the weight of those commitments are overwhelming. I want to escape but have no where to go. Where is Bruce when I need him so much?

I need a break-but there is no break from the grief. Where would I go? I already have too much solitude - so going to a place that is solitary won't work. If I go to a place with activity, I will be overwhelmed with that. I want to escape my life, and my sadness.

When will these feelings pass?

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

summertime

I anticipated dreading the summer and so filled my days with a variety of work activities. It has only made me tired and sad, anxious about the deadlines associated with the activities and totally stressed out. Still the sadness has seeped in-being busy is not helpful right now.

I am aware that my colleagues are away on trips and there are vacations and family time that I cannot share-I miss Bruce. I miss the anticipation of the summer trips and the usually slower pace with more opportunity to spend time together.

There is no respite. I am just wading through the sadness.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Ghosts

I work with the most wonderful people. Since Bruce died they have been concerned about me and frequently check in with me to see how I am doing. The other day one of them came to my office and told me that she wanted to speak to me. I had been visiting with one of my other colleagues and her daughter and she asked them if we could have some time alone. I was a bit apprehensive and when the others left I asked her what was up, indicating that I was concerned about what she wanted to tell me. She assured me that it "was good, she thought" and I should not worry.

This is what she said:

She asked me if I knew that she had never met my husband and that her only knowledge of him was from the funeral. I told her that I knew this and braced myself for the rest of the conversation not knowing where she was heading. She then asked me if he had a white Hawaiian shirt with red lettering and I said that it was entirely possible. She said that she has seen him and that he had been in her thoughts. She frequently is aware of his presence and he is standing with his hands on his hips. He is concerned about me and wants her to tell me that he is with me. She also told me that he has said to remember the heart. My eyes filled with tears listening to her. She mentioned to me that I often say that I cannot feel his presence and that he is totally gone from my life. But she wants me to know that he is very much a presence. She also said that my dog Bebe barks at night because she knows that Bruce is near. She assured me that this is not something that has ever happened to her but she had to share it with me. Apparently this has been going on for awhile and she did not know how I would handle this information.

What do I do with this? I have been very much a non-believer. I am convinced that the soul does not survive and that he is gone, and we will never be together again. I even have trouble resurrecting all of my memories. The skeptic in me says why her? why now? - but I have recognized that I may not be open to the possibilities. The skeptic in me says that there are valid reasons for all of the ghosts and angels people see and part of it is the strong desire to see someone after they die. This colleague recently had a death in her family, her stepfather -so maybe her need to bring closure to his death resulted in her thoughts about me and my loss.
I do not know. I was understandably upset after this encounter, "haunted" by the idea of Bruce haunting her.

And of course, I could not stop myself from sharing this information with the kids at dinner that night. This prompted them to be skeptical and annoyed about someone sharing this information with me. I then had a conversation with my daughter about my wallowing in self-pity-and when I am ready, she assured me, I won't be as sad. I realize that I am a drama queen. I write my saddest thoughts here and that is in what is in my heart. And yet words feel to adequately capture the loss and the sadness. I am not sure that will ever leave me even if I build my life without him, which is hard. I agree that part of me struggles with the sadness. I want to feel this sad-I should feel this sad, my loss is that great. I have never been one to cover up and put on a happy face for the masses. But I tell myself and others that it is ok to do this-if I can still get up and go to work, can still participate in enjoying little things in my day. The bottom line is that I still come home to a lonely empty house-more lonely without him because he really filled the space.

All in all, I do not believe in ghosts or angels. I am not sure what to think about this recent encounter. I am not sure what to say to those who tell me that Bruce is creating miracles for me wherever he is. It does not help me with his loss to know that there are others who can see him or talk to him about me. I am here alone, left to deal with the devastating void that his death has created.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

random thoughts

I am frequently engaging in an internal dialogue-perhaps I always have but since Bruce died, I am more aware of it. Among other things that I really miss is the discussion or maybe accurately the venting that I did to Bruce when I got home from various places - work, lunch with a friend, shopping. We did so much together so maybe the dialogue always took place about what we were doing. Occasionally Bruce would tell me I was chattering away or that I forgot that we no longer were involved in the conversation that we had the day before. But he always knew what I was talking about and often we would simultaneously say the same sarcastic comment in response to a news report or social event.

I miss the intimacy of him and me. Knowing that he and I were there for each other gave me so much stability. And the life that we built together now has to be organized by me alone. Too much responsibility - not anything that I would have agreed too-yet here I am. It is hard sometimes to remember how or that I was loved. I know that he loved me very much and that the love we had grew and shifted over time. The history that we shared, the knowledge that we had of each other is gone forever. Funny how that now that it is gone, it is more earthshaking than a 9.7 quake.

The days pass. I sometimes feel like I am emotionless and then other times that I am caught in a web of feelings and I cannot find my way out. Memories whiz by, sometimes so ethereal that it is hard to focus on them. They float by as I doing one thing or another, and it almost feels like I need to rewind to realize that it was a memory of him evoked by a random act.

I think of things that I need to process, but by the time I am sitting in front of the computer they are gone and I face the empty page and nothing comes to me.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

fireworks

This past weekend was July 4th. As I did last year, I spent this year in San Diego with the kids. We sat on the beach and watched fireworks. Bruce loved fireworks and I do remember vividly the discussions about where and how we would see them each year. It was a bit of a struggle-since I do not like loud noises and don't like being out in a crowd watching them. But I ignored my hesitations last year and sat on the beach with the kids and repeated it this year and watched them again. It was cold and rather dismal. A bit ironic that I am watching fireworks now, and when Bruce was alive, it was difficult to get me to do it-even though he wanted to so badly.

July so far has been cold and although people in the Northeast have been complaining about the heat-we have had a cold snap unlike any other year I can remember. Even though the weather echoes my mood-I could do with some warmth and some sunshine. I continue to be rather exhausted, slept a lot this weekend and could do with some more.

And like any other holiday weekend so far since Bruce died, I miss him.