Days. Nights. And in between~

Errands must be done.  Business must be taken care of.  Organizing must be done to ready for the next leg of my travels.  I don’t know whether to be thankful I’m busy or to resent all that must needs be done.  Whatever.  I feel so untouched by so much right now.

Get up.  Face the day.  Wander around the condo.  Stop and look at Handsome Husband’s picture on the table.

Eat crap because it doesn’t occur to me to eat anything else and I don’t have much else in the fridge anyways.  We kept special food around for Handsome Husband but no need for that now.  My brain is so fogged that it only recently occurred to me that if I ran out of eggs I could eat cereal.  Oh.

Organize paperwork for the day.  Do I need to make phone calls?  Wander around condo looking for phone, phone numbers and paper and pen.

Phone calls made.  Not sure if I understand or remember all that was said so it’s good I wrote most of it down.  Notes will end up misplaced at some point.  Notes will be found at some point.

As I’m making phone calls, informing one more agency or business of the death of my husband, contemplate the pain of grief.  Say to self again “He must be dead. Otherwise I wouldn’t have to make these phone calls”.

Shower, dress.  Pretend to care.  Or don’t pretend to care.  Catch glimpse of self in mirror.  Still a shock to see my lack of hair.  And a shock to realize I don’t care what it looks like.  Who am I trying to impress?  Handsome Husband is dead.

Gather what I need.  Go out to car.  Realize I didn’t bring my phone.  Or IPOD for music. Contemplate that I don’t really want to listen to music anyways.  Go back in.  Find phone.  Remember keys.

Driving on roads that slam me back to the winter.  Driving these roads with Handsome Husband.  Contemplate the grief.  Contemplate the hollowness of grief.

Contemplate the not knowing he had cancer again.  That it wasn’t a fungal infection.  Or at least, not all of it.

Drive, drive, drive.  Look at the beautiful Arizona mountains.  Realize that yes, they are beautiful but I don’t care.

Mind drifts to Saturday and being back on the road.  Pull my mind back.  I must stay in the moment and not anticipate.  I’m here now, I’m here now, I’m here now.

Mind meanderings as I drive:  is my grief at this point normal?  should I still be feeling this level of pain?  should I get some medication?  whether it’s normal or not, can my body long sustain this level of pain?  do I want to continually feel this way?  can I force myself to not feel this pain?  tried it; it doesn’t work. oh well.

Drive to Verizon to cancel his phone.  Such a simple thing to do, canceling phones.  And yet, as soon as I speak the words to the technician, my throat closes up, my eyes well up, and I have to stop.  One more connection to him.  Gone.

Drive to AAA offices.  Cancel his card, start an account in my own name.  A pickax to my heart, many times over.

Call auto insurance.  Put it in my name.  Agony.

I observe these things and many others, as I do them.  I’m interestingly kind of removed from myself as I do them.  Interesting because even while I’m removed, I’m in more pain than I’ve ever thought possible to have and yet….live.

I’m in the company of millions, I tell myself.  These feelings are not unique. I bet Handsome Husband would be handling this better than I, my mind says.  And quickly adds “You know what he would say to that!”  (He always reprimanded me when I was harsh with myself).

Errands done.  Back at condo.  Look at piles of everything as I prepare to pack.  Eat crap again.  Contemplate that I should go exercise.  Who cares, I respond to myself.  What the fuck does it matter?  Watch TV.  Or rather, turn on TV.  White noise.  Read a book.  Wonder what I just read.  Not really.  I don’t care what I just read.  Its’ meaningless to me.

Don pj’s.  Wander around condo.  Drink diet pepsi.  I outright call it aspartame.  Its’ bad for me.  But I don’t care.  I’m in survival mode.  Contemplate drinking water.  Maybe later.  Sit down.  Study phone.  It’s his phone.  I’m using it now, with my number.  His is less scratched.  Contemplate that he held this phone, he put it to his ear, he spoke a last message to me on it.  Waves of pain.

Bedtime.  No set time, because what does it matter?  He isn’t here to put his arms around me, to talk with me as we drowse into sleep.  He isn’t here to touch his pinky finger to mine as we rest side by side.   When I can stay awake no longer, my eyes close to the torture of sleep.

24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  Since March 27 when I took him to the ER.  Non-stop fucking grief tsunamis.

No, my grief isn’t special.  I don’t think for a minute that it is.  I don’t give it that much thought, really. It just is what it is.  My own whirling, slicing, dicing, whiplashing, gut-splitting, heart-rendering, new world.

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12 thoughts on “Days. Nights. And in between~

  1. The pain seemed to get worse for me as time past. I joined H.O.P.E. That helped. When I began forcing myself to take the focus off of my pain, thought of the pain that my husband endured with his cancer and became grateful for the pain he was no longer in, I began to feel better. I thank God that he is in a place of peace. I thank God our children don’t have to see him suffer any longer. I thank God that I was so blessed to have him in my life as my best-friend, lover and husband. I thank God that one day he and I will be reunited for eternity. I thank God for all of the memories. I miss him terribly every single day. I do that with less pain by keeping the focus off of “what I’m feeling” and more on all the pain he is no longer feeling. My children need me to be present for them. I wish you all the best and want to let you know that it does get easier.

    • njmomof4, I’m familiar with HOPE and know one of the women who directed it. If I were in NJ I’d definitely check it out.

      I know that this pain is going to get worse before it gets better-that’s what grief does unfortunately. In time, I know that the love Handsome Husband and I shared will be bigger than the grief, and I’m looking forward to that day.

      My heart goes out to you in the loss of your husband. Are your kids still at home or adults? Our adult kids have been wonderful and loving and I don’t know how I’d get through it without them, and without new friends such as you who check in here and keep me going.

      I hope you’ll stay with me as I go back out on the road to find a new life for myself. My hope, my goal, my vision, is ultimately, making the love he and I had for each other, bigger than this grief.
      Alison
      1/2 half of Happily Homeless

  2. I hope I’m treading carefully here, because I want to be sensitive. Are you getting some/enough professional help with your grief? I recognize in your recent postings things I have felt following personal losses, but the cutting of your hair was an expression of grief that diminished you. It was a little like teens today who cut to feel when they already have lots of feelings (unwelcome ones). In another time people wore black and withdrew from society for a period of mourning. Sometimes their household had to be in mourning, not just family.

    You are the living person and the world around you needs to be supporting you in the process of living right now. The fact that you care so little about your own health that you may not have food in the refrigerator is something friends or family could help you with. When my husband left me (and I realize it’s not the same thing to be dumped as it is to lose a person by cancer), the first friend who came brought me a couple items of food–nothing major like a casserole, just cereal, milk, and a frozen dinner–a signal that I should keep going and that there were people who wanted me to do that. I spent some time in bed under the covers, but my boss called me and said, come back and do nothing if that’s all you can manage, but come back. We’re here for you.

    You have been happily homeless, but you now sound like a woman isolated and lonely when she needs connections to society. Maybe you need some roots, an apartment, a volunteer opportunity/job, some activity beside handling your husband’s estate, even if it is passive.

    Would he want you to give up? Again, I am sorry if I am being hurtful. It’s just that if you make it sound like grief is your primary activity to the point that it shuts down your life. That is sounding like throwing away the person who still has so much to give friends and family (and herself). There is a reason he was happy. It was in part that you were here. There is something in you that must light up the room. Don’t turn out the light because he cannot tell you he sees it. He would not want that.

    You’re coasting right now because it’s all still new and you are very unhappy. Try coasting in more crowded waters instead of out alone on the open sea. That way others are on hand to help. Peace!

    • I appreciate your response to my blog, NDOU. And never worry about over-stepping and saying things that you want to say.

      Interesting, though, that the way I perceived cutting my hair was as a positive, not a diminishing. Our culture, in general, lacks ritual for grief, once the funeral is done. I’ve always been interested in ritual, and encourage creating it for those around me. Cutting my hair as I did, though it was an act that came from deep grief, was done in a supportive, loving, environment, with my daughter and best friend at my side.

      Its interesting, too, how grief is perceived in our culture. Most often, after the funeral is over, we are expected to go on with our lives and re-engage fairly quickly. That isn’t real for most people in grief. Depending on the depth of the relationship, and the roles that were played out by the one who died, it can take a long time to heal. Yes, I’m in consistent contact with a professional grief counselor (which is what I am by career, actually, though all of my application seems to have flown out the window, not unexpectedly). She suggested that I blog about our conversation in an effort to help people understand the realities of grief, and I think that’s a good idea. The love and concern I get from so many (and thank you for yours, always), gets me through this from day to day, sometimes minute to minute.

      I do very much know that Handsome Husband wants me to go through this and find a life for myself on the other side. That is my intention and I wish there was a way to get there without going through all of the pain of grief. There are no magic pills unfortunately, so I, like millions of others who have stood where I now stand, just need to slog my way through it. It’s ugly and painful, but that’s what grief is.

      It has made, and continues to make, a world of difference to me, having such a large community of love in my world. I hope you continue to check in here as I create a new life for myself, based on the love Handsome Husband and I had for each other~
      Alison
      1/2 of Happily Homeless

  3. Dear Alison,

    Try to keep your chin up as you prepare to drive across the country. You have to stay focused on driving. Please keep us posted on your way back east.

    Your Las Vegas friends, Ardie & Bev

    • I will, Bev. And I’ll keep posting.

      You’ve no idea how much it means to me to have you check in on me. Meeting you and Ardie is one of my strong memories of our last travels together~

  4. Were you able to have message
    Switched over to your phone?
    I have a friend who I asked about
    It and she said it was possible. Let
    Me know if you could not.
    Love from my heart to yours ♥♥💞

  5. ❤ ❤ ❤
    JUST DRINK 20 OZ OF GOOD WATER WHEN YOU WAKE UP..KEEP IT SIMPLE FOR TODAY.
    START WITH SMALL RITUALS.

  6. dare I say that to me this is all sounds exactly like what I would do if in your position…seriously, drink the freaking diet pepsi…I’ve been doing it for years and I’m not dead….exercise later…..who cares if you remember what you read….later you can read again…. you accomplished the errands, give yourself credit for that, even if it was teary eyed and in a fog…. I remember my dad telling me about 4 months after mom died that he was “coming out of the fog” …I know four months…can you stand it that long…to that I say, you’ve withstood it for this long, you can do it… no cliche crap here… I think you’re staying connected the best way you know how right now…. at least you’re not out there acting like none of this hurts or matters….it hurts, it matters….see ya soon

    • Jesse, as always, I appreciate your candor and straight talk. Your response is just a simple acknowledgement of where I am, and that, ultimately, is what allows anyone to go through, and get through, what needs to be gotten through. It matters.

Talk to me~

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