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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Ninjas and Tsunamis

The proverbial "they" say that grief  and anger are commonplace in my particular situation. What they don't tell you is how sneaky those feelings are. One of my fellow widda friends coined it as ninja grief, and I think it is incredibly accurate. It sneaks up on you without warning and steals your breath away. Steals your sleep away. Steals your happiness away.  your life away. As quickly and silently as it arrives, it departs; leaving no trace of what has come before. For me, it is not so much the grief that sneaks up on me, but the anger. The ninja anger sneaks up so suddenly that even I don't notice it sometimes. Other people notice though. Apparently it leaves a ghostly sadness about my person. I always look sad. Or angry. Or indifferent. Even behind my smiles and laughter people can sense that there is a shadow that hangs over me. I have never been an angry person. Ever. But now, the smallest things set me off.

I get angry when I think about how forgotten I feel.
How forgotten I feel B is.
How forgotten my kids must feel growing up without a dad.
How afraid I am that I am never going to be financially stable.
How very much not fair this whole thing is.
How alone I am.

"They" also say that grief comes in waves.  I call bull on that one too. Well, sort of. Sure, it comes in waves. But not Gulf-of-Mexico-lap-at-your-ankles kind of waves. Not even normal oceanic waves. The kind of waves I'm talking about are full on tsunamis. Ones that start out with a little tremor, and end up devastating everything in its wake. The tremors can be anything...a song on the radio, a mannerism in your child that reminds you of your lost love, stumbling across a letter that they wrote you. Then the pain comes. That little ripple that you are unable to stop and you know it going to hit you. You sob. Gut wrenching uncontrollable sobs.

 In the parking lot of the store where you had to pull over because you heard that song.
 Slumped over the desk with the drawer open where he kept his cards and letters.
 Curled up on your bed so the kids can't see or hear you.

Then it recedes. It takes a while, and what is left is not the same. It is a mess. You are a mess. Not a  beautiful mess,  but a muddy, mucky, debris strewn wreck that takes a while to clean up. There are people that help, people who volunteer to sweep up the debris, pick things up, and try to put them right again. But nothing ever goes back in the exact same spot. Nothing ever fits just right again.

Monday, January 20, 2014


Everything now feels like a beginning. There is not a day that goes by that I don't encounter something that I never thought I would have to deal with. Emotions when I hear a piece of music. Tears when I drive past a certain intersection. Even going to his work (where B passed away) to get routine car maintenance performed requires Herculean effort to keep it together. On the positive side, there is getting my son he help he needs by myself without spousal support. Going back to school for the first time in 15 years and maintaining a 4.0 GPA. Realizing who belongs in my life and who doesn't. Learning that it is okay to miss him and still okay to move on with my life. Dealing with my first heartbreak since B passed and living to tell the tale (actually with a better sense of self than I started).
     Embracing new beginnings is a scary thing. Starting your life over at 35 years old is a ridiculously scary thing. Starting your life over as a 35 year old single mom with no idea on how to navigate the next 50 years without your life partner is absolutely terrifying. Financial instability, no permanent home, uncertain future; all of these are so frightening that my mind is paralyzed just trying to imagine how I am going to figure that out. These are the times when I wish there was some magic fairy that would just show up and show me that everything is going to be ok. Show me in their magic crystal ball that I am going to get my own house, I'm going to graduate, get a good job, and that my boys are going to be well adjusted adults.  That I will find someone who wants to be with me and will love me, warts and all. That all of this happened for a reason. That at some point in my life I will be able to walk into a room and not have someone tell me I look sad.

 So, magic fairy, if you're out there.....hit a girl up, 'k?

Monday, January 13, 2014

What makes it different?

Fourteen months and the pervasive feeling I am having is not one of sadness, loss, pity, or helplessness. It is anger. Not over my current situation, but what is out there. Or, more specifically, the lack of what is out there. The common thread I hear in most of my online support groups and even from what I see in my community is no continued support. In the beginning, all sorts of people come out of the woodwork. Taking you out, listening to your rants, taking the kids off your hands for a few hours so you have time to breathe. And grieve. Then, little by little, it starts to fade away.

Fewer phone calls.
Fewer visits.
Fewer offers.
More declined invitations.
More pity parties.
More self destructive behavior.

At first, I thought it was me. Then I blamed in on social leprosy. Then I realized that although his death had blown my world apart and stopped my life in its tracks, everyone else's life kept right on trucking. They all still had husbands, wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, kids, pets, jobs, school. Other tragedies happened. Time marched on. So I tried to find support in my community. Someone else who might, just might, understand even a fraction of what I was going through. Unfortunately, there are no local groups for widows under the age of 50 who lost their spouse. Even harder to find are groups where spouses die suddenly and not of a horrible lingering disease.


So here I go, back to trying to deal with this on my own, in my own way. Forging a path to who-knows-where. I don't even know if I'm doing it right. So many questions run through my head daily.

Am I making the right choice to go back to school?
Am I parenting the boys OK?
Am I yelling too much?
Am I yelling not enough?
Am I behaving appropriately to my friends?
Am I drinking too much?
Am I drinking not enough?
Am I too broken to ever find someone who will love me?

I could go crazy if I listened to all of these questions all of the time. Sometimes the questions make it even more real that I don't have anyone to bounce my daily life off of. Someone who really knows me and understands me and wants to hang around me, even when I am intolerable. For those of you that do, don't take it for granted, because not having it?

 Well it just sucks.