This summer has been so traumatic. I have been trying to figure out why, why now, why this summer, the second summer without Bruce. I would have thought it would have been easier, a welcome respite from the frantic pace of the academic year. But I packed it full of tasks and deadlines and work without considering the need for play and rest. And I watched as everyone around me took advantage of the summer and planned trips and days off-often with spouses and friends. It has made me feel more isolated and sad than before. Even my neighborhood is vacant-and I can only remember with pain the summers before when we marked the time between our trips and activities.
And a few weeks ago, I got an image of myself one summer long ago. I was teaching somewhere where we were on a 9 month contract and there was no expectation that I would be in the office at all during the summer. I remember feeling so unhappy-not sure how to proceed or what to occupy my time with. Bruce was working on a book and I wanted him to stop work and entertain me. So I have to wonder whether the summertime blues are a natural part of who I am. Has there always been some distress around June, July and August? Some part of me wants to pick at this and some part of me understands that this will bring no comfort. Does it really matter?
I have been thinking too about the use of some aids to help me through this wicked time. Many many of the people in my life have advised me to use some medication. I recognize that there is no magic pill to ease the grief-nothing that anyone can prescribe will bring Bruce to the door - I would take this medication in a minute-no matter what the side effect. But maybe it is time to get help with the other symptoms of my loss.
A dear dear friend asked me the other day-what could I possibly gain from being on medication? What other outcomes do I wish to change (aside from the actual loss, which is beyond my control)? I would like to be less exhausted and sleep better, I would like to be more focused and more productive, I would like to be less overwhelmed with my sadness as it seems to be all consuming even at 17 months from the day that he died. I recognize that there is nothing that can move grief along-it has it's own rhythm. I will move through this at my own pace, maybe whether I am on medication or not. I am cognizant that there is no escape-but maybe there is some help?
I need to do something.