Monday, May 30, 2011

Grief: In With the Old, Out With the New (or vice versa)

It's Memorial Day.  My husband is dead and my daugher is in Seattle.  I suppose I could have hooked up with some people but I'm still cleaning.  During the Frank Farelly session he asked me if I make my bed.  I said no.  He said - Letting everything deteriorate, huh?  I said, Yup.  Didn't think much about it - but realized that my physical surroundings were so chaotic it was time to do something about it.  It still feels strange.  Everything looks pretty good - even bought a new cover and two crystal studded pillows for the guest room. Where is Artie saying, "I'm proud of you. Everything looks beautiful!"  Oh, I know he's saying it but not with his voice.  His voice only exists on recordings.  It's gone - along with the rest of him.  I know I'm supposed to do things for myself but sometimes the silence is louder than any noise can be. 

Families.  Today some families are having a great time together, some are mourning someone who died, some folks are alone.  My schedule next week and the week after looks normal but this silent weekend has made me thoughtful and sad.  Artie was my family in so many ways.  I don't have any really serious problems but I miss being the most important person in someone's life.  I miss having someone anxious to come home to me, anxious for me to come home to.  If he was alive we probably would be hanging around the house not doing much - maybe even fighting - who knows?  But we would be together and later tonight we would crawl into bed and hold each other and tell stories.  We had a working fairy and a dancing fairy that lived in our garden.  That was one of the stories we told each other.

I got bashed by someone on Facebook for saying we don't create our own reality and make our own luck.  Didn't mind - although was a little surprised when she said being sad about being left behind was simply selfish.  Interesting that someone who says she is "positive" would go on the attack that way.  It's always both with me - all the fun stuff and all the positive things - and then the time of crumpling, crumbling into the familiar black hole of feeling so alone now.  In NYC - city of millions - yet alone.  I think we can change a lot by changing how we think about it - but I think it's an insult to those that suffer to say we make our own reality.  There is a world out there that we can't always have an impact on.  I can visualize Artie all I want - it's not going to bring him back.  My friends with cancer can't change the disease that is assailing them.  So much is out of our control.  Which might be a good thing!  I mean - what if I decided at 60 I wanted to be an Olympic ice skater?  There's a good chance I wouldn't make the team!  :)

In spite of all that - I may actually have my first date.  I went on dating sites for a while and didn't like them - but one man who had contacted me before - contacted me again.  I took a deep breath and called him back.  We had a nice conversation for over an hour and he said he'd call me on Tuesday to set up a time for having dinner together.  I cannot tell you how weird this feels.  I don't even know if he'll follow through and call.  I haven't had a date in almost 25 years!  (I was with Artie for 23 years and he's been dead 2 years in July.)  Part of me feels that I should be a loyal widow and be alone forever - another part wants so much to be held.  I feel like - with everything else - I should take the risk and see what happens.  We might not even like each other in person - or we might - we might even have fun.  The only thing is - if another man ever comes to my apartment - it is Artieland - there are pictures of him all over the place and his slippers are still next to the bed.  I'm very curious (if it happens) what this experience will be like.

I'm breaking my don't stay in the house two days in a row rule.  I have stuff to do tomorrow so I think I will give myself permission for some self pity time.  Maybe finish cleaning the bits I haven't gotten too. I don't feel interested in things today.  I feel dull today.  It's okay.  There are other days. 

It's Memorial Day.  I am grateful for all of those who gave their lives so that we might live the way we live.  It's not a perfect country but if you've travelled around the world - we have a lot of freedom and comfort here.  Even on a sad day - as I've said before - I'm always greatful to live somewhere with indoor plumbing - where you turn a tap and water comes out.  Imagine if I had to go out - to walk miles to the well to get water.  I would probably be fitter!  It's remarkable that young people choose to fight for an ideal.  It's important to me to remember them and be thankful for them (whether I agree with a particular military action or not - I can still care about the folks who risk their lives for others). 

I think it's a little odd when people say, "Happy Memorial Day".  On the other hand, it's good when someone has died if you can celebrate their life instead of mourn their loss.  Me - I have to do both.  A lot of celebrating and feeling lucky to have Artie love me - and a lot of sadness that he died and didn't take me with him.  Sometimes I feel like I could just write blah blah blah and you would all get it!!

I hope that a lot of you are spending the day quite contentedly with family and friends - and that those of you who are alone today like I am - find ways of having some moments of solitary fun.  Someone wrote a quote about seeing the stars from the dark bottom of a well.  I don't remember it exactly - but that's it - isn't it?  The darker it is - the easier it is to see star shine.  And because of the time it takes for light to travel  - some stars that are twinkling brightly are already dead.  That's my Artie.  He may be dead - but he's still shining brightly.  xo

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