Sunday, September 17, 2017

Life Now.

It's a few weeks since I wrote my last post and quite simply, nothing has changed. If anything, the pain is deeper.  Maybe this is because I am beginning to 'feel' as I have been weaning myself off the antidepressants which on thinking about it, is maybe at the moment,  not such a very good idea.But if your true feelings are dulled by chemicals, how can you ever get to the bottom of, and deal with the reality of your life?

Reality of life after the death of your husband (I cannot even begin to think of the pain that the loss of a child brings - and I have several girlfriends who are in that position), is devastating.  Apart from anything else it makes you think of your own mortality which can make you sink into a further abyss. I try to counteract those thoughts by telling myself how blessed I am.

As I sit here and look over a beautiful view, staring at God's creation at its best, not even that can erase the dark thoughts that engulf me.  I am reminded of how life really is now.  I should be cheered by the daily WhatApp messages that tell me 'to have a beautiful day'. Friends mean well and I am grateful to them but the people who live less than five minutes away and who I am supposed to be close to don't seem to think that it's necessary to check on me.  Is this a pity party? Probably. But that's the reality.  I tell myself that people have their own lives to lead but at the same time, a 'pop in', a call, would be wonderful. But you don't make that telephone call to them just in case it's not an appropriate time.

Frustration is a killer.  The table that falls apart sends you into despair.  The leaking tap in the bathroom becomes a major issue. The new vacuum doesn't do what it's supposed to so you fling it across the living room and leave it there for three days which is unheard of as your family says you have OCD. The leaves on the patio need sweeping up but you cannot get yourself together to face that task.  You get angry with a friend who dares to suggest that after ten months, you should have cleared your husband's wardrobe.  You bitchily think to yourself 'what the hell would she know? She's never been in this position'. You react badly when someone you have only met on three occasions through work, completely out of the blue asks at a bimonthly, half hour meeting, 'would you like to put your husband's ashes in the crypt?'. Lady, you are out of place. You do not know me. You did not know my husband. And if I want to hang onto my husband's ashes for the next ten years, it's none of your damn business.

From Monday to Friday, you put on your makeup and face the world. You put on your lipstick, wear the pearls or the statement necklace and it's business as usual.  You overhear people saying how well you are doing, your smile which hides the loneliness looks genuine and they go on their merry way. You are touched deeply by a priest, who even if he comes into your office twice a week, gives you a hug. And by the person who puts his head through your office door once a week to ask how you are and sometimes drops chocolate on your desk. Then you go home to an empty apartment that was once filled with music, companionship, and love.  Of course there were disagreements which you so disliked but now you would give anything to get angry over a disagreement rather than a vase that broke when the breeze was so strong that a flying curtain knocked it over.

Don't even mention the horrors of anxiety, the panic attacks and that headache that you convince yourself is an aneurysm.  The nausea that makes you think that there is something untoward going on in your body or the nightmares and the bad dreams that cause you to wake up in a cold sweat.

Self neglect sets in. Sometimes when you have closed that door on a Friday evening, you don't go out again until Monday morning. During that time whilst you shower and put a brush through your hair, there is no makeup, your legs remain unshaven, your nails are a mess and you don't always eat. It's easier to immerse yourself in Netflix, skim through FaceBook, do electronic jigsaws, post on Instagram than it is to dust and polish. And when you do dust and polish you cannot see the difference through the tears.

Widowhood is a bitch!


Sunday, August 6, 2017

Almost Nine Months a Widow.....

After a week short of being nine months a widow, there is still nothing anyone can say that would make me feel better.

Oh,  believe me, there are good days in between the total meltdowns but they are few and far between.  The smile on my face hides the raw pain from the outside world. Wine doesn't kill the pain, starting to smoke again after thirteen years doesn't take away the stress (so knock that one on the head!), neither valium nor antidepressants ease the ache, and burying myself in my work is only a temporary relief until I open the front door in the evening.  I have come to realize that even with a supportive family and very good friends it would be very easy for me to become a recluse. There have been weekends when I have stayed behind closed doors from Friday evening until Monday morning when it's time to face the world again.

I am told, as I am so quick to tell others when they have lost a loved one, to treasure the memories but I find it hard, very hard to get past those last few days in the hospital when it became obvious that my husband wasn't going to survive. That horrendous memory is locked in my head and it seems as though someone has thrown away the key.

Today, I am in total meltdown.  I am not sure whether it is a result of having been unusually busy work-wise over the last two weeks and today finding that I could actually relax or the fact that I am so very tired, that the thought of cleaning, washing and cooking is totally overwhelming. For someone so organized, it's hard to get my head around what's happening.

I know one goes through several stages after a loss.  Denial, anger, bargaining, depression and finally, acceptance although the first four really not necessarily in that order. That was confirmed to me yesterday by a dear friend who just happens to be a priest but funnily enough, we weren't discussing me. 

This year my husband and I would have been married for thirty two years.  That together with the two previous years of knowing one another, is sometimes just too hard to think about. Maybe when the raw pain has eased and I come to accept the loss, devastation and anger are a thing of the past, the smile I smile now will be genuine, the raucous laughter real and the fun filled, witty person who people believe has actually already recovered, will really be back.  

A mask is a terrible thing.






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