Aug 21, 2011

Hats In The Making Here

I have never been so "accessorized" in my entire life...thanks to Barbara and her gift shop I have watches in every latest, silver wrap watch...
I think he's smiling at me again...

Aug 16, 2011

Like It Is

A Texas friend took the time to copy and mail something to me that she thought might be of some comfort....she has experienced a similar loss three years ago.  Thank you Jeanene.

In the months after Bob's death I was given much reading material... ( a great deal from this very friend)..some of what arrived in my mailbox was read...    most  was not. People just want to reach do something...anything to try and share their share that they are sorry....I understand and appreciate those efforts but the time was just not right and also, so much of it is the same..... The article received this week expressed clearly some of what I have learned these last, sad, 16  months...not that I haven't heard some of it before..I guess the timing was right.
"A Special Language"
"Death is the last taboo. It's not something people want to talk about. It's not something they KNOW HOW to talk about..(myself included..prior to now.)
Our instincts are wrong when it comes to grief.. Without a vocabulary to talk about death, we also lack an understanding of the grief.  (that is a profound truth).
Right around the third month, ( probably longer for your family members) society looks at it's collective watch and says "OK, time to move on." The casseroles have stopped coming.  The support system is ready to move on. But you're stuck.  You're wallowing.
Left behind, alone with their grief, are the husband who lost a wife, the mother who lost a son, the surviving spouse of a suicide, the parent of a child killed by a drunken driver, the wife whose husband was murdered, the child whose parent died.
Without a language and understanding of grief, the communities we usually rely upon often fail us when it comes to loss. (This article is about support groups and although I agree with much of what it says I will not reiterate all of it)
The relatives all have their own healing to go through...their own loss to accept...and they sympathise with you but they have no way of knowing what you are experiencing.
Grief is such an intensely personal and individually unique emotion that the support community for young  widows doesn't work for older widows, the support group for suicide doesn't help those who lost a relative to homicide.  The grief is different for the loss of a husband than the loss of a father.
"Jane Doe" sleeps in bed with the clothes of her husband...the ones worn home from the hospital, folded and tucked beneath his pillow.  They were married 35 years ...he's been dead for three, but she still hasn't accepted his death."
I still spend every night on the couch in my living room...where I  watched my husband  die...where I spent the nights with his hospital bed rolled over beside me and lowered so that I could see him, hear him, touch him. I don't know if I'll ever be able to sleep somewhere else....and I don't's where I want to be.   Before he was unable to open his eyes at all he laid in that room looking out at those windows - the ones in the picture at the top of this blog...just staring into space...he could not talk, hear or move much those last 2-3 seemed as though he was preparing himself for death..he was drifting away..he rarely looked into my face...after 57 years of a very close relationship...that was see him leave me even before he died.

"There is no hierarchy of grief, no loss that is greater than another kind of loss.  But for people whose spouses died after 30,  40,  50  years of marriage, the pain is deep, intense and ENDURING. The loss of a husband or wife is a tangible, physical piece of themselves that is missing, gone forever..  When you have lived with a person for a long time your sense of who you are is very much tied up to that life you built together...when you lose that shared history it leaves you in a very isolated, lonely place."

Back to me:  I feel this acutely..."I'm everything I am because  you loved me"..."he gave me faith 'cause he believed"....etc. ..'makes me appear to be a fairly weak person..dependent...But I Was Not that way..on the contrary, I have been strong...I  have  felt confidence in myself a point...I pretty much said and did what I wanted with little or no objections..., as long as I didn't push TOO much...he would only give so far...but he did go out of his way to keep things pleasant ...he was the most forthright person I've ever known...he spoke what he felt.
 I digress..

When you've lived and loved all your life together with one person you are "one" on so many don't even realize it..until you lose that biggest part  of  yourself  to for me, we were so much "one" that  all the dear things that remain (family-home)) are not enough to give me reason to value the time I have left...and I know this is so hurtful to my children...I have loved them dearly..and still do...BUT...the "me" that was - is no longer me. I have not found myself...and if this disappoints my children I am sorry..some believe I have just given up on life....I did not give up on life as it had been since age 16 left me...1951..60 years knowing and loving him...It doesn't make me less than what I always have just makes me different..I feel guilty about this but it's something I have no control least, not now.

The article tells about a man who after losing his wife of 50 years, leaves, without telling his sons, to find her...he literally tried to find her. "He went to  Detroit where they had honeymooned..(Detroit? Honeymoon???)  He went to the Chicago hotel where they had stayed while he attended a plumbers convention and danced in the Blue Room.  He went to The Albuquerque, N.M motel where they had stayed while visiting the meteorite center in Az.  He went to Las Vegas to Circus Circus, the casino where they always stayed.  It was there that he found her.
I thought I saw her in the restaurant.  She was sitting at a table eating..I was going to go up to her and hug her and say, "hello, honey," when two children came up to her on either side and her husband came up to talk to her.  That brought me to my senses. A month after his sons called the police and reported their 85 yr. old dad  missing he returned home to the empty condominium with the his-and-her easy chairs facing an entertainment unit decked with two rows of framed family pictures.  No amount of consolation from friends, family or neighbors could assuage his grief.  He spoke to rabbis, priest and clergymen. Nothing was later that he discovered the community of grief...with other widows and widowers who shared his experience, felt his loss, spoke the language of a broken heart.,,,you could tell they understood your pain. He began to heal...the intense grief fades but the sadness- the sense of loss remains and can knock you down at anytime. "

There is no place I can go, nothing I can do, that does not bring thoughts of him..the first thoughts when I wake are of him...the last ones at night..the joy or pleasure that these remembrances should give fill my heart with such sorrow..because I know they are over...right now, at this point of my journey the blessings I received from our life together bring only heartache...because it has ended.  ...even when I lie down on that couch at 12-1-2am  for my 3 to 4 hours of sleep I am wearing my ipod.....   in an attempt to control my thoughts away from him by listening to music...most  nights my awake time ends up on the couch peering out those same windows- at the same sky he had watched..crying out to be allowed to just  sense his presence  ...just to know he is there...somewhere...

But he is not there.

I, too, am looking for Bob...I am unwilling to give him up...
I have surrounded myself with his pictures...his corner of the room where all his "special" things are kept...his bibles that he read and studied so diligently, his house slippers beside his recliner.. I  often " busy" myself to the point of exhaustion just to keep myself distracted from thoughts of him.. because when everything shuts off my grief consumes me.
I know this is unhealthy...I am at a loss as to how to overcome it.  I think part of the problem is "I don't want to overcome it." I want to keep him..I'm 76 years old and I see my life as in the past... I feel that I've already had it all...I know that I'm not "special" in any way...I know others get beyond this sort of thing...maybe in time...

I must add that there are times when I can enjoy and receive   small pleasures...when little Cara gives me a kiss or softly says "meme"...when I see the little boys coming across the yard to my cabin..going into the
snack drawer or frig to get something to drink...knowing they are welcomed and loved by Barbara goes to extremes to share and understand and do things that she knows I flowers....but these things treasured are such a small part of my day...there are many hours left to my own resources...and I'm not very strong at all these days...and I don't think I should feel guilty about that ...there are times when you just cannot be strong...and when it gets dark is the worst time...

so don't call me at night.. :) 

Just telling it like it is...

I love and value my children...