Monday, December 6, 2010

Grief - For Better or Worse

This is a blog about my grief and some people have wondered if I embrace sadness too much.  I don't think so.  I think that I embrace honesty about what I am feeling.  I thought, though, because of that I would write about how things have changed for me in the almost a year and a half since Artie died.  I still feel a lot of sadness, loneliness, and sometimes despair but:

I don't cry as much.  When Artie first died I cried and wailed out loud every night.  I still cry sometimes but not as often.

When Artie first died I really thought he would fly down on angel wings or something and come get me so we could be together.  I know that's not going to happen.

When Artie first died I felt like I was barely holding on all the time.  I feel that way sometimes now but it is a less desperate feeling.  One of the things I did - and continue to do - was to put myself places where I might find joy and a reason to love life.  Now I do more of that.  When I first went to theater I feel asleep.  Now I can watch a play and enjoy a good performance.  I am reading a little more although I still watch too many DVDs (my judgement).   I write a little bit more but not as much as I would like.  I did actually submit three sets of poems - one rejection slip - two still out.

I think about Artie almost all the time but I don't talk to him as much or beg him to stay with me as much. 

I learned how to write a blog and turn it into a web site and I have a facebook page.

I do some storytelling performances.  I could do a lot more.  That is one of my New Year's resolutions - to get out more in the the NYC storytelling world.

I don't let myself stay in the house the whole day more than once a week.

I am trying travelling again. In Feb. I am going to Russia with a good friend.  It will be cold but beautiful in the snow.

The apartment could be neater but I do clean and do the laundry.  I don't ask myself what's the point of taking a shower if my husband's dead (because I'm dirty!) - I do it.

I know he's not in his ashes and I don't hold the stuffed leopard that contains the plastic bag of his ashes as much as I used to.  I do hold it sometimes.  It's all I have left of him physically.

I put some of the pictures and cards away - although there are still bunches of them around.

I get a massage once a week so that my body feels touch.

I'd say I don't talk about him as much but my daughter would probably disagree with that!! I always get excited if I can come up with a story she hasn't heard before.  She's heard most of them a million times.

I'm giving money to charity again.

I don't automatically count anymore.  I have to think of the date of his death to know that he died almost a year and five months ago.

I do wear his Yankee jacket a lot even though he's not in his clothes - it feels like being hugged.   I usually don't wear the wedding rings when I go out - but I still wear them a lot in the house.

I wouldn't be against dating but everyone I meet is married or lives far away and I am not interested in dating enough to really pursue it. 

I don't know what the future will be.  I'm a different person without him being alive.  I miss him every second with every cell of my being and I hope that the way the universe works is that some day we will be together again and the time of our being apart will seem short.  I still feel married.  I make fun of it sometimes.  It's not easy being in love with a dead man - but I am.  He was a very unique special - if difficult (me, too!) person and I can't imagine being with anyone else but it is lonely being a single in a world of couples. 

I don't kow what loving life means.  Orson Welles said he wasn't a happy person but that he had a lot of happy moments.  I feel that way.  I could write a blog about about all my happy moments but there seems so much pressure on people to get over their grief, move on, let go, recover - that I want to write about what it feels like to grieve, to be sad, to hold on, to do the hard work of weaving my grief into my life in healthier and healthier ways.  I don't want to "put on a happy face".  I want to be happy when I am happy and sad or angry when I am sad or angry.  I used to tell Artie, "Hey, I paid a lot of money to get in touch with these feelings!" 

It's his birthday on Dec. 11 and I don't know if dead people have birthdays or not.  I'll buy him a cupcake and a candle anyway.  I know he can't eat the cupcake or blow out the candle - but it is a way of remembering.  We were together for 23 years - it's hard to accept or even believe that we are not still together - me in my earthly body - him in whatever form he is in.  If that is stuck - Hello stuck - and welcome. 

Here's to strength and joy for us all through the holidays.  xo

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