Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Grief: On Being Lonely and Not Wanting to Admit It

Now I am.  I'm telling all of you - strangers and friends - and strangers who are friends - I am lonely.  I am so lonesome I could cry and sometimes I do.  Why am I ashamed of that?  Is loneliness a sign of weakness to me?  I have a loving daughter and a delightful granddaughter.  I have friends.  I even, many days, have a life.  I have a lucky life.  I have a life I am grateful for.  My loneliness for my husband is like my friend's for her son and my daughter's for her dog and my other friend's for her grandmother and even a woman who wrote me she was lonely for the grandchildren she will never have.  My loneliness is a constant ache.  I try to laugh it away.  I try to be present in the moment and will it away.  I try to show up for people and events and act it away.  It doesn't go away.  I don't want to accept this.  I want to say, "I'm fine with being alone.  My husband is with me in spirit.  He was my true love and some day we will be together again."  I do say it.  It's a lie.  Sometimes it's a lie.  Sometimes it works a little.

My daughter's best friend is dying young from cancer.  The people I paid a lot of money to, to clean my apartment used chemicals that made me sick after they promised not to - and my apartment is filthy.  Big problems like the first, little problems like the second.  Darn.  I want a hug.  I want an Artie hug!   Not a spirit hug - a physical warm cuddly hug.  I want an Artie whisper in my ear.  I whisper in my grandbaby's ear "I love you Gwendy blue eyes."  No one whispers in my ear anymore.  It sound so pathetic when I write it.  Whine. Whine. Whine. 

Everyone tells me how well I'm doing.  They aren't wrong.  I told someone I look good on paper but I'm wobbly inside.  She liked that.  I am doing well.  Well for someone with a hole in her heart.  Well for someone for whom grief is a daily kind of thing.  Yes, it inspires me - but wouldn't I like to not have it at all.

There are a lot of people around me with new relationships, even engagements and marriages.  I don't hate people in love like I did when Artie first died.  I don't mind hearing about love or seeing people holding hands.  It's when I come home that the word LONELY screams at me.  No breathing in my house except my own.  No talking except me and the people on the TV screen.  My daughter was so sweet - she said whenever I feel lonely I could come stay with her.  When I write that I am grateful because I think of those of you who are lonely for your children and want to hear that - the way I want to hear Artie. 

I know the kind of man I'd like to be with but I'm not going to find him with our wedding rings on.  I even feel as if Artie would understand.  Part of me wants to be strong and faithful - even to a dead man.  Another part wants a new love.  Is there one?  I know many widows and widowers remarry.  It's not wrong.  It's wonderful. 

I want to be special to someone - I want to share - I want to fight, even. I want to date?  Do I want to risk?  Do I want to compromise, maybe be lied to, maybe be hurt?   This is too honest....sometimes I get tired of pictures and love letters and ashes.  I am so grateful for them.  I am so grateful for the journey Artie and I take together.  Can it, should it, fit another person in? 

Do they sell guys on E-bay?  Buy Him Now.  Is there a used man lot - like a used car lot?  I'd need a used one - I'm too old for a new one.  Now I'm getting silly.  I tried on line dating - maybe not hard enough. I'm too ambivalent.

So.  There.  I've told you my secret that you probably already know.  I'm lonely.  I'm grateful for my daughter, for my grandbaby, for my friends.  If you have a partner - be grateful for them.  You never know when that day comes when there are no more alive chances to be with them.

Oddly, though, it does help that we are lonely together.  It helps me to know my feelings are normal - that I'm not the only person who feels this way.  Today is my day for whining - so you be happy today - and tomorrow I'll be happy and you can whine then if you want.  Wish it was easy.  Wish it was fair.  It ain't.  So.  I'm lonely.  What else am I?  Lots of things.  Maybe I'll go do something and forget for a minute that I'm............              xo

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