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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Magic Pill failure

I think that I am done with the magic pills. Lately I have been feeling so out of control that I think the magic has gone awry. Hard to describe how I am feeling but suffice it to say it is like a magic carpet ride going 90 miles and hour down the highway. We have tinkered with the formula but I am ready to call it quits.

I have been flakier than usual-more forgetful, more distracted, more in my head. I have also been shopping. I haven't racked up bills more than I can handle but it is as if I stored all of my shopping impulses from the past 2 years and funneled them in the magic pill bottle. And because I have a hard time making any decisions-I have been returning items as fast as I have been buying. I have seen this behavior in the widows that I know - retail therapy, sometimes cheaper than the real thing. Whatever the cause, the meds or me-it has me feeling out of control and a bit dangerous.

So this week, I will try and leave the magic behind. I don't really believe in magic anyway. Let's hope I can return to the slightly dampened me, quiet and somewhat restrained. It is a me that I like much better.

Saturday, October 23, 2010


I vacillate. This week I was busier than usual with work. This meant that I came home late and struggled to keep Bebe fed and walked in light of that busy schedule. Did I miss Bruce? You bet. I missed his picking up the slack, his waiting for me when I walked through the door. I missed him taking care of the garage door when it started acting up. I even missed him nagging me to go to the gym, and coming home to yet another insipid judge show. As an aside, he watched every judge show on the air-no matter how silly they were. Judge Judy and the People's Court were the best-Judge Alex and Judge Joe Brown towards the bottom and then there were others that even dipped below those.

So I digress. I vacillate between being totally devastated by my loss and totally getting used to being by myself. Some days I actually am not surprised when he doesn't walk in the door, greeting Bebe first and then me. It is beginning to feel "normal" to be alone. As I have written before, it is not the "alone" part of my widowhood that is so bad, it is the "without him" part that is awful. I am sad, I am pissed off at the universe for taking him away. I am also getting used to being by myself, to dealing with life with all it's complications by myself. Even though I get frightened dealing with some of the parts of my life that I deal with, I do deal with it all, even if I do not deal with it well.

And I guess I mourn the loss of the mourning. When grief leaves, what is there to replace it? Does the emptiness inside me spread? Will I forget what it was like to be loved the way he loved me? I will just join the ranks of those people who are alone. It won't matter that I was once part of a couple, that I opened the door to my house and there were people there who thrived on my presence. Now when I open the door, there is a moment when I long for Bruce calling out to say hi, and the kids running towards me complaining about their day. But I open the door and there is silence - and then Bebe walks towards me with a toy in her mouth and Frankie the cat starts the meowing. I guess I am lucky that I have pets. That there is something waiting for me at home.

So that was this week. Who knows what next week will bring. Maybe each day the grief will rise up and greet me like an old adversary, comfortable-yet hard to deal with. Maybe the grief will begin to fade and I will forget that my life was once full of love and laughter. I guess I will have to wait and see.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

old friends

This past weekend, I had a visit from some very old friends. When I first met Bruce, he introduced me to his friends H&J. Howie was a friend from high school, and Howie had a girlfriend Joyce. They had known Bruce for awhile and had also known his other girlfriends. We double dated frequently and kept up with them even when we moved, and they moved from Brooklyn. And then we lost touch for about 25 years. About 3 years before Bruce died, they found us again and we met a few times over the next few years. The highlight was our trip to Europe where H&J and Bruce and I walked all over Paris, enjoying the scenery and our renewed friendship.

When Bruce died, Howie and Joyce literally dropped everything and came to the funeral. I remain so grateful to them for rushing out to California to be with me. This past weekend, they were going to Northern California and came out to see me first. It was bittersweet as always-I was glad to see them, reminisce, and hear about Bruce's antics before I met him.

These past 2 weeks are a bit better and I do not well up as frequently as I did before. I think that I am so glad his birthday is over. I visited his gravestone last week and dropped a tear or two. This week is so busy-I do not have much time to give in to my emotions. Blessing or curse? Not sure.

It is pouring here-thunder and lightening and my garage door will not close. Where is my sweet man when I need him?

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Back to you

I have been a sporadic blogger lately. Years ago, when I wasn't writing (whether it was journaling or writing poetry) it was because everything was going so well. I had to be miserable to write. So it is a fair assumption that because I have not written all is going well. Not true on grief street. It could mean a variety of things-sometimes I do not write because I am so sad that I do not see the point.

Since he died, I have these very long slumps. I use to say that I was having a bad day or bad week. Then I realized that I said this a lot, and it was not just the day or the week that was hard. My life is hard and there is no respite on the horizon. I get really quiet then. I don't make conversation, I don't write. I don't see the point-why should I go on about how hard life is without him. I have been there, done that and have a closet full of tee shirts. And frankly-I don't even want to hear it anymore.

But I wonder what it means, and when I will turn a corner on this. Maybe never. I guess I am different than I was last year and I will be different next year as well. Last week my slump was about his 56th birthday-so sad to acknowledge it and a world without him. But I cannot say that life is better now than it was last year. So hard to say that it will be better next year as well. And so there is no hope that life will get better. I say this knowing how dismal it sounds and that I am probably being overly dramatic about it. But this is the way I feel. I have changed so much since he died that even I do not recognize myself. I guess I am waiting for the miracle-that one day it will hurt, but the pain will only be a small piece of who I am. I am not sure that I see this in my future.

I have to be patient, and then take responsibility for creating a future that will be good. I am not ready for that yet.

Monday, October 4, 2010

No, he isn't coming home

It struck me last night that there is a part of me that lives as if he is coming home. I struggle with changing anything-because down deep I think that one day he will walk through the door and ask me about the changes. I analyzed this-is this the way I have felt since he died-or is this now? I have come to accept that my thoughts vary from day to day but do I really believe that he is coming home?

It is hard to accept the finality of his death, at least for me. We lived together for so long-that it feels surreal to be without him. It is like suspended animation and one day I will wake up and there we will all be. So do I cling to the way things were done before he died because there is comfort in that-or am I so in denial that I cannot move on? Of course, I would like to believe in the former-that I am finding comfort where I can, and that with time, I will fully incorporate a reality without him.

October 7th is approaching and he would have been 56 years old. I was prepared to let this go without any acknowledgment-after all, Bruce would say he can't have a birthday if he is dead. But I know that it is in my thoughts. Birthdays are a big deal to me, a way to celebrate a life. Even, I guess, a life cut short.

Happy Birthday week, Bruce.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

abnormal grief

When is grief abnormal? I can't quite believe that you can be married to someone for 34 years and then be expected to get on with your life after a year or two. So is it abnormal to feel so sad after 19 months? I think that the first 15 months I was in shock-not believing that it was possible that he died. It was so sudden, and there was no warning. I thought that we had taken care of everything and that he would never die of anything cardiac. And then it happened. He was there one minute and gone the next. I still have trouble really believing that he is gone and will never return. It is further complicated by the fact that we got married so young (I was just 19), so we grew up together. When I have a thought-I have to wonder where it came from, is it his or mine. We were so enmeshed, so to me it makes sense that my bereavement is a long term prospect.

But yet the sadness is so overwhelming at times. This week, I have been leaking tears-something that I did not think possible for me. I usually don't cry and when I do, it is so dramatic. Wailing, sniffling, sobbing. This week I have ladylike tears that appear at the corners of my eyes and can start and then stop at any time.

I guess I have learned patience - if only patience for myself. I am preparing myself for the fact that I may be in this funk for awhile. I think it is ok and to be expected and I guess if those around me don't understand it-there is nothing that I can do. I just have to be patient with myself and they have to be patient with me. I do have hope that one day, I won't feel so sad. I am not sure when that will be but I will try to hold on to that for the future.