Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Grief: The Complexity of Simple Things

Escrow is closing on the house Artie and I lived in California.  I had spent a weekend in the empty house and thought I had said goodbye.  Even did silly things like looking for my husband in the closets and under the sink in case he wasn't really dead, just playing hide and seek.  Also lit candles and cried.  Thought I had also come to terms with selling the house at a loss - the economy is bad - and I am blessed to have as much money as I do.  Then the woman from the title company combined incompetence with rudeness and a simple transaction turned into what felt like hammer blows of "Your husband's dead, your husband's dead, your husband's dead."  I did healthy things, talked to my daughter, thought about how lucky I was to have such a love in my life - and then it all collapsed into tears and I went back to bed and couldn't even watch a DVD - just made myself sleep.  Was thinking about going to the gym but instead it is a wasted day.  I have to stop being hard on myself and accept that some days the grief will take over and my day will overspill with it.  That happens less but it still happens.  Luckily by the end of the week escrow will be closed and I think the probate of his will is also over.  Now I have holidays - there's a lot of gremlins lurking in those - and also the strange moments - like seeing a couple holding hands - or a T-shirt he would like - or a pretty necklace that I don't want because I don't have him to wear it for.  Honest grief is such a winding process (sometimes a whining process!).  The world is full of loving people - yet having just that one special one missing makes the entire planet sometimes seem totally barren. 

I couldn't sleep the other night and like a fool picked out a documentary to watch called Forgiving Dr. Mengele about an amazing woman who survived Mengele's twin torture that he called medical experiments - and has found a way to forgive the Nazis.  She lost her whole family.  I do not know how she maintains her joy.  What she says is that she refuses to continue to be a victim.  I am astonished.  I don't feel like a victim - but I feel - what do I feel - alone in the midst of much love and joy.

I keep working on that  - how to have all the fun things I do and all the people that I know love me - fill the place inside my heart that seems to belong only to Artie.  I'm looking at a picture of him on my desk as I write this - and a little note that he wrote me that says, "You're my everything!!"  That's the problem.  When you make someone your everything and they have to leave you phsycially because their bodies are too damaged to live - how do you fill that empty space?  Thank you for walking with me all my warrior friends.  As always; the hope that the light grows brighter and the dark comes less often.  That we can laugh with our dead more often that we cry about them.

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