Monday, July 22, 2013

Day 46


July 22, 2013


Day 46


The last several days have been unbelievably raw.  A new friend of mine who is 7 years ahead of me on this journey told me that the numbness is wearing off for me now, which is the reason for the fresh pain.  I don’t think I was totally numb before because I felt plenty.  But I must have been somewhat insulated because I’m feeling a whole lot more now.  I woke up at 5:30 this morning because Will and Ben were leaving for camp.  I was immediately assailed by deep grief.  It’s that way now every. Single. Time. I awaken.  I remember the cartoons of my childhood – Wile E. Coyote, the hapless canine who was bested continually by the Roadrunner.  I remember at least one episode where he took a cannonball to his midsection and it left a hole from front to back.  He looked down, looked out, and discovered he could now see behind himself.  That’s me these days.


Paul was supposed to be at camp this week with the boys.  He was looking forward to it because it would be Will’s final year of youth camp.  He needed to be there for Ben.  He’d counseled so Ben could go for quite a few years now.  I had fallen into the habit of thoroughly enjoying my week “off.”  We’d eat nothing but frozen pizzas and taquitos.  I would rent a movie for every single night of my aloneness.  I would smuggle cards into Paul’s luggage; one for each day.  We’d talk at least once a day and would be counting down the hours until our Saturday reunion.  It was sweet.  Until I die, there will never be another reunion now.  The finality of this just keeps smacking me upside the head.  I go along, doing ok, and then I am hit, once again, with a reminder that Paul is never, ever, ever coming back to me.  It doesn’t matter how nice I am, how much I plead – he cannot come back.


You know the expression, “You look like you’ve lost your best friend!”?  Well, I have.  And when your best friend is also your lover, your husband, your provider, the father of your children, and the one who knows everything about maintaining and running your house and vehicles, it’s even worse than simply losing a friend.  It’s crushing.


I bought a new van this weekend.  It’s not brand new.  Paul would have my hide if I did something so foolish!  But I bought something better than he would have.  I had to, since he’s not around to keep this thing going for me.  It’s a pretty van – newer than last one with lots of extra features, including heated leather seats.  I am kind of looking forward to those this coming winter!  Other than that, though, I am finding no pleasure in the thing.  I needed a new van – it was on our agenda to get one this summer anyway since our other one was up to 230,000 miles and had things falling off/going wrong every week it seemed.  But it was kind of like buying toilet paper – necessary, but no fun.  It’s not the van.  It's just that nothing excites me much these days.  I wish Paul was here to tell me if he thought I did a good job picking one out.  I’ve never bought a vehicle on my own, ever!  I had originally planned to buy a set of those vinyl “families” I’ve seen on other vehicles when we got our new van.  They’re these stick figures and there’s one to represent the parents and each child.  They are so cute!  But I don’t have the heart for it now.  Plus, I have no desire to advertise the lack of a man in the home, either.

I bought the van from another widow in our church.  It was her first time to sell and buy a vehicle on her own, too.  We made quite the pair, trying to figure out how to fill in the back of the title and the damage disclosure form!  When we finished, I told her I think our husbands would be proud of us and she agreed.  And then I think we were both ready for a good cry!


My eyes are still driving me nuts.  I don’t know what’s wrong.  My widow books tell me it’s not unusual for a myriad of physical symptoms to suddenly crop up in the early months of bereavement.  Hopefully, this is just psychological, but I don’t know.  I am really having trouble with reading.  My new insurance card arrived today, so I guess I’m ok for going to the dr. again.  But I hate to spend money and chase answers if there really is nothing wrong with my eyes, other than being sad.


I put my card in my wallet.  The insurance card I’ve been carrying around for 6 years with Paul’s name on it was in there.  I took it out, prepared to toss it, and then thought again.  I slid it back into my wallet – not quite ready to do that yet.


We’re still having meals brought in to us regularly, for which I am grateful.  Last Wed. night our neighbors had us over and tonight we’re going over to some other friends’ for supper.  But I actually had to cook some chicken the other night.  I use the food processor for that.  Pre-death, I used that appliance nearly every day for supper preparations.  I don’t know how people get by without food processors!   So I went to use it the other night and I just stood there, momentarily stymied as to how to put it together for use.  I could not think what I was supposed to do to make that thing work!  I guess it was a combination of lack-of-practice and mental fatigue.  I eventually figured it out.


My latest widow book is one loaned to me by an older widow friend at church.  It’s not a Christian book, as far as I can tell, but I really appreciate the author’s frank way of talking.  Her husband dropped dead thirty five years ago while playing tennis (she was in her mid-fifties then, she must be dead by now – lucky her) and she ended up switching the focus of her counseling practice from marital counseling to support for the widowed.  She says,


Grieving is a process rather than a series of uphill steps, and gains are most often realized in retrospect.  One day you will realize that a whole day has passed without thinking about him.  You actually enjoyed yourself for an entire weekend, that this Christmas was better than the last, that he little knot of envy has worked its way free, and that the good days far outnumber the sad ones…


I had to stop and read that at least three times.  Right now it seems so inconceivable to me that there will ever come a day where I won’t think about Paul.  I can’t imagine freely enjoying myself.  But it’s only been 6 ½ weeks since I went from being happily married to unhappily widowed.  I felt hope when reading this.  If others have passed through the fires of widowhood and have passed onto healing and happiness later on, then maybe I will, too - ??  Right now I think, “No, I don’t want to be happy without him!”


But it isn’t going to happen all at once.  The author was pointing out that this is a process.  I feel so rudderless right now, so alone, so without purpose.  Yes, I have purpose in that I have six children.  And they may be the sole reason I am yet alive.  As a Christian, I recognize, too, that God does not call us Home until we have completed all that He intended for us to do.  I accept that.  I am not in despair that I am not dead, too, although right now being dead, too,  would be my preference.


But perhaps someday I will actually take pleasure in life again.  I will smile and feel genuine happiness bubbling out of my heart.  I have a hard time believing that will happen, but if others have experienced this, then maybe I will, too.


It is said the saddest individuals are those without any hope.  I think I have just enough of that to hold on a little bit longer.  And maybe right now a little bit is all I need to have.















































1 comment:

  1. Many hugs to you, Sarah! Keep clinging to the image of God holding your broken heart and gently stitching it together little stitch by stitch. Each little stitch is like grace for just that moment. Just enough hope and strength and grace for the moment. Sometimes for each breath.
    Praying much for your family this week .