What is left behind~

IMG_1065This is what is left of Handsome Husband.   His cremains and a stack of death certificates.  I know, I know.  And years worth of memories and his love for me and mine for him.   Those memories aren’t cutting it right now and I don’t feel him anywhere near.  I haven’t felt him near since he died.  I haven’t felt the real him, except for glimpses, since we arrived here in California and the fucking cancer started taking him, piece by piece.

I’ve done this grieving thing before, with my mom and my brother, who died within 6 months of one another back in 1996.   The pain and grief I felt then was something I never wanted to ever, ever, feel again.  Well, goody for me, I’m not feeling that particular pain again.  Waiting just outside my controlled thinking is pain that is deeper and more overwhelming than any I could possibly conceive of.  (dangling participle again).

This little box is surprisingly heavy.  Appropriately so, I guess, and it could easily be placed inside my chest right where my heart is.  Perhaps that would go a little ways towards describing the weight that is in that part of my body.  (Can I be any more dramatic)?   I haven’t opened it yet.  The plan is to give each of the kids, his sister, and anyone else who would like, some of his cremains so that they can spread them wherever they wish.  I don’t know when I’ll be ready to deal with that.  All I know is not now.

I can’t look at pictures of Handsome Husband from when the fucking cancer had him, and I can’t bear to look at pictures of him when he was well.  The thing is, if I don’t look at pictures of him, I can’t even call his image to my mind.  After 23 years of marriage, I can’t call him to mind.  That would be disturbing to me if I didn’t intellectually realize that it’s because  the pain and grief  is planted right in front of those good things.  Time, and being proactive in my grief, will help.  I know that.   Christalmighty, I’ve been the bereavement facilitator sitting at the table saying all these things to newly bereaved people.   And it doesn’t make a fucking difference at all.  Yes, it will.  In time. Blah, blah, blah.

I’m making myself stay busy as I can.  Primarily what I want to do is go over the edge.  You know, like so many do.  I can medicate myself through this-I know that, and the drugs have been offered to me.  That would be so easy to do, and so very, well,  American.  Who isn’t on drugs for one thing or another, after all?  There is a part of me that would appreciate just being able to drift through this, all the sharp edges and rifts and pits shaved into something not quite as piercing, so that they don’t cut into me so much.   Everyone makes their own choice with that.  My choice is to not have the drugs.

Today I’ll make more of the phone calls that need to be made after a death, taking care of the legal aspects of this messy business, sending those fucking death certificates to whomever needs the proof that my husband is dead.   I already notified the military a last week, so he’s officially dead to them.  Banking, insurances, etc.  All happening today.

There is a yawning chasm at my feet, black and staring, wanting to pull me in.  Or more so, waiting for me to take that one little step into it.  I can easily imagine the almost comforting ease with which I would float in that chasm, drifting away from this crushing heartbreak and disorientation and pain and horror and disbelief and what the fuckingness of this.

I know I’m not the only one who has gone through this.  Zillions of women through the centuries have endured this, and built a life beyond it.  This is  just my time for the same experience that will connect me to them.

And its’ killing me.



6 thoughts on “What is left behind~

  1. I know it small consolation but we are all here with you and STILL sending love and prayers. You have a huge family out hear waiting to catch you with open arms. I know the words seem shallow right now but they are the truth none the less. Cry, Rage, Swear, Hate, then the healing comes. and we will still all be here. We love you

  2. I feel so bad for you! Just think you were one lucky lady for having such a loving,caringhusband. I know many women, my mom is one of them that after my father past away, she hardly even mentioned him! Maybe five times infifteenthyears! She never expressed the lose or pain that you are feeling. I think to her his death was a relieve, he wasn’t very nice man! I missed him and becamedepressed after his death to the point that I didn’t even wanted to live. You had very good husband and his recovery spoke a lot about him. My father was an alcoholic, but never recovered, even while in the hospital he ask my brother to get him some beer. I felt very guilty after he past away because the last months of his life were horrible. The last letter I got from him, and he was sure that I did, he walked two miles to the post office, just to mail it to me. His breading was effected, he was also smoker so the capillary in his longs were constricted! He was rasping for air, and next day he was taken to the hospital. He didn’t trust any one to mail the letter, and knowing my mom, she would opened it and read, and after that probably trash it! She also interfered with me saying good by to him, the last time we were together, He was apologetic that he wasn’t the kind of father he should have been, I hug him and mom entered the room and said come it is time to go. He came outside and the hurt on his face I will never forget.

    In his last letter he wrote, how horrible things are for him that he can’t even take it any more, and when I came in Spring time he would tell me in person. I came in Spring time but dad past away January 6th, prior my coming home. So what ever was going on he took it with him to his grave. I do have an idea what it was! Like any family of alcoholic, my family was verydysfunctional, and after he stopped abusing my mom, now was her turn to pay him back! Mom could not understand why I was showing nowsympathyfor dad since in her eyes he was such a horrible person. I was sympathetic and protective of her when he was acting out. Icouldn’tsee ganging up on some one who had been afflicted with ”alcoholism”!

    When mom past away it will be two years now in June, the loss I experience was totally different. There was no guilt, but justhelplessnessthat I was not there to prevent her death! All the cards were stackedagainstthat! Our class reunion suppose to take place in Spring, this was the first one I was going to attend, but it was reschedule for Fall. My mom died of dehydration because my greedy brother didn’t take her to the doctor, or hospital when she collapsed. He kept her at home for another three days, until she was half dead, and only after that he call an ambulance. He was hoping to put her in rehab so she would be there when her pension check comes so he would take the whole thing! I am now on nonspeaking terms with him and his whole family! So my grief for my mom was rage, and became more rage, and than sadness mixed with some guilt! I was planning to go back home for secondanniversary, but emotionally I don’t feel strong enough to take that trip! She didn’t have to die so soon, but because of the greed of my brother and his wife she left this world!

    Yes I am angry still, but it is subsiding with the help of counselor andTapestriesof Hope! I remember last year when we were at the luncheon, and I had an opportunity to meet you in person, and not only that we set at the same table, how different things were than and now! Yes that cancer is a nasty thing I had it, cancer took my dog away from me prematurely and dear friend of mine had a long cancer last August. He took double radiation and had surgery, I don’t know how he will be in the future, because to few people survive when cancer get into their lungs!

    So take care of yourself, and when you are in New Jersey I would be very happy to meet with you! I have you and your family in my prayers!

    With love Maria


    • Maria,
      You have been such a support to me throughout and my heart goes out to you in your own struggle of coming to terms with all that happened with your mom.

      Your love, and the love of all my angel sisters, is what is getting me through this.

      I’ll be in NJ in mid-September or thereabouts and I would love to see you again. And so glad you and I had the opportunity to meet last year at OMOM.

      With love to you always,

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