Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Unexpected First

It didn’t occur to me that my trip to the airport today would be my first return to an airport since the last time Chris and I traveled together. It sure hit me once I got into the ticketing area, though, and almost stopped me dead in my tracks. I felt light-headed and panicked as I walked past the Starbuck’s, Dunkin’ Donuts and other restaurants, remembering the feeling of traveling with my husband. Chris loved being at the airport. He loved traveling.

As I walked the length of terminal B, I was hit with rapid-fire memories of our travel experiences together: sitting on the floor eating donuts, stop-overs spent eating french fries, reading and napping on each others’ shoulders.

I didn’t expect the ribbon-like barriers (the kind that are usually in the bank) to choke me up the way they did. I felt a surge of hopeless tears coming on and had to concentrate and tell myself that I was not going to cry in the airport. Not that I wouldn’t have in another circumstance, but I was meeting Larry with his documents and I didn’t feel like exposing myself for the grief-stricken, skittish, widow that I am. I took a deep breath and relaxed.

Another one down.


Today I took a trip from work to the airport to deliver some documents to one of my bosses. The Silver Line bus # 1 transported me in roughly twenty-five minutes from my office to Logan Airport. The entire trip, a very enjoyable and much needed work hiatus lasted an hour and a half total.

While riding the bus, in somewhat of a stress-induced trance, my mind took off on a journey of its own and I fantasized about Chris.

The bus was careening through the tunnel toward South Boston, where it stops before making a U-turn at the World Trade Center and then heading to the airport. The other passengers and I were busy reading, talking and looking out the windows at the gray inner walls of the tunnel when all of a sudden, water began seeping through cracks in the walls. We began to panic and some of the passengers began screaming. Large pieces of the wall began to give way to a rush of more water and before any of us knew it, the walls completely burst, thrusting water into the tunnel, forcing the bus to crash against the opposite wall. We were all trapped as the bus began to fill with the rapidly rising water. I swam to the top of the bus where I managed to find a cutout in the shape of the bus wall which served as an air pocket for me to breathe until the water took over, drowning all of us. I remained there, treading water, horror growing inside of me as I braced myself, preparing mentally for my impending death, slowly resigning myself to the fact that there was nothing more I could do. I was going to die here, in the bus, in the tunnel on the way to the airport.

Suddenly, Chris was there facing me, exuding an angelic, spirit-like presence. My heart leapt and I immediately began to cry, calling his name. “Chris! I’m so glad you’re here! I love you so much!”

Taking my face in his hands, Chris guided my face toward his until we were both looking into each others’ eyes, his just as deep, brown and soulful as they were in life. “Not yet, Shneed. It’s not your time.” he said

“I want to come with you.” I argued. “I miss you. Please take me with you.”

“No Shneed. Not yet.”

Placing his hands on my forehead, Creej continued, “No more guilt, Shneed.” and then in a softer, broader whisper, “No more guilt.” Then he was gone.

I’m not sure why I was able to reach the state of relaxation that I did, which allowed me to daydream with such color. It was a lovely trip into my own head, though, and helped me work through some of the guilt.

I felt better for the rest of the day.

I wish it could have really happened.

Well, I guess I don’t wish that the whole near-drowing really happened. Just the encounter with Chris.

Monday, September 26, 2005

The Good, The Bad, and Me

It’s very difficult for me to hear men talking on the phones with their wives, these days. I can hear the comfort in their voices and a level of normalcy that I once had and wish I still had with my own husband. Since I can’t have it with him anymore, though, I do hope to have that level of comfort and understanding with another man some day.

The love between people in a healthy, happy marriage is infectious. Even though it is difficult to listen to them converse, I want to listen and remember the feeling.

Today, I realized that I have been very angry with a man that I know because I hear him talk to his wife on the phone quite frequently. I have been snapping at him without realizing why and not really showing him the respect that I want to and that I will, again, starting right now.

The truth is that I have been ugly. I don’t want to be that woman.

It’s time to turn it around.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Taking the Fall

Tonight’s cool, crisp autumn air threw me into a downward spiraling nosedive which resulted in my sinking deep into a cesspool of inconsolable grief.

Like a toddler throwing a tantrum, I cried, cried harder and then cried even harder than that. At first, I thought I would let it run its course and get it all out of my system but it soon became apparent that there was no end to this one and so I cut it short by swallowing an Ativan. I guess I was consolable, afterall.

Sometimes I just don’t have the time to grieve. I have a midterm to study for and it’s this Wednesday night.

The seasons can sure bring my sadness right up to the surface of my brain. I remember looking down my street the day that Chris died, seeing snow on the street and in the trees. The neighborhood was in a deep freeze, quite fittingly. I knew there was no way I could be in that same neighborhood come this winter.

That frozen over street was the same street Chris and I walked down, hand-in-hand, on our way to get a coffee, on many of our Saturday afternoon walks, on the way to the mailbox, to Davis Square, the Rosebud Diner. When spring came and the snow began to melt, the appearance of green brought me comfort, but also brought me to my knees when with each inch of reappearing grass arrives another season gone, another season without Chris in my life. “

Summer’s arrival was slightly less painfull although I was aware that the two of us would never go to the cape again and we’d never walk to J.P. Licks for icecream again.

Fall has always been my favorite season. For years I imagined myself walking through trees with a nameless faceless man, holding hands, laughing, loving and enjoying the most romantic season of the four. I thought he would never come and when he finally did, our love began blossoming and never stopped. We began sleeping at each others’ apartments because neither of us could bear to say good-bye at the end of an evening together. Now I’m not sure I can take the fall and all of it’s orange, brown and gold tones.

I have yet to see what revisited trauma this winter will bring with it. The one-year anniversary of Chris’ death is just around the corner. His birthday is coming up. I’m going to spend his birthday and Thanksgiving with his (my new) family. We need to be together for each other.

I hate what happened. I hate THAT it happened. I hate that he’s gone. I hate that I’m without him.

Life is going to be difficult for a while, but my new social worker is a perfect fit for me and just talking with him gives me new strength to face things I have not yet faced, things that I have buried in parts of my brain that I can’t dig up on my own. Not without a tray of fresh, hot, delicious Ativan brownies by my side.


Singing is an act of freedom, of art and of the creation of beauty. Creating music is a joyous event in life and extremely instrumental in calming the beast and consoling one’s demons. Beyond that, singing is just plain fun and releases me from all pain.

I have yet to sing out loud in my apartment. I don’t practice the way I should. I want to be a great singer, just for myself, for my own satisfaction and to make others happy when they come to hear me sing.

I’m frozen again. Singing out loud, now that chris is dead, seems to be an atrocity which states that I can be happy without him. Even though that’s a true statement, it’s an extremelyl painful admission. I don’t want to be happy without him. I want him to come back. How can I sing out loud when singing out loud is letting go a little bit more. I’m scared. I’m so afraid that if I let him go, his memory will go careening into space, into a black hole, never to be seen or heard from again.

I want to sing more than almost anything in this world, but I don’t want to sing more than I want to have my husband back in my life loving me and accepting my love in return.

How can I sing when singing has come to mean that I have no troubles, that nothing horrible has happened.

I should sing. I know I should sing. I’ll keep trying. That’s my promise to myself and to Chris’ soul and spirit. He won’t be here in person to hear me, but I’ll just have to hope that he will always hear me as long as I continue to sing.

My Creej. My love. My life.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005


It’s there, right below the surface. My, I have become good at keeping it in check. I’m keeping it right where it is because I don’t feel like thinking about it.

I had some painful flashbacks today that I don’t feel like facing tonight, so I’m not going to. I’m just going to finish my glass of cappuccino soy milk, wash my face and go to sleep.

I’m just not in the mood.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Inside Me

Horror. That’s what I felt. That’s what I still feel, except that now I feel short, quick flashes of it rather than a long, extended, endless knowledge that no matter what I do or say, he’s dying, that death cannot be convinced to go away and come back much, much later.

A friend of mine who survived breast cancer mentioned the chemo and illness flashbacks she still suffers to me the other day. Until she did, it hadn’t occurred to me that flashbacks are what I have been feeling, myself. Flashbacks. The feeling of a scream eternally trapped in the back of my throat, in slow motion without enough breath to push it into being. If I ever hear that scream, it will mean the end of my sanity.

Even so, the feeling still exists within me that I can do something to change what happened, to reverse it and to erase the memory from my mind forever, of stepping right up to the brink of insanity in the hospital chapel the night before we were given the horrifying news.

I am still so in love with him. I’m still enveloped in passion when I look at him. I still feel like he slipped right through my fingers.

I can’t let go. I’m filled with horror every time I ponder it. I can’t breathe. I need him.

I need you.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Not a Bad Way to Go

Two men from Boston Bed just left after delivering the matching night table to my bedroom set I had delivered a couple of weeks ago. One of them took interest in my apartment, especially when he noticed the loft. He asked me if I had a roommate, which on one hand caused me some stress, but on the other hand, it’s just a question, right? He asked me what I was using the loft for and I said I was going to use it to write a book. He asked me what the book was about and I told him that my husband passed away in January and that I want to help other young widows if I can.

Sometimes I just have to hear myself say it out loud to remind myself that it’s true. He said he was very sorry. He then asked me how Chris died, which I found to be refreshing. It’s so nice when people don’t tip toe around me just because something taboo happened in my life. I explained that it was cancer and that we thought he was going to live. I added that when Chris went, he went very quickly. I took him to the hospital on Christmas Day and he died on New Years Day.

I signed for my night table, walked them outside, locked the door and on the way back upstairs, burst into another gut-wrenching breakdown. I tried to call some friends but nobody was around. I called my mother because she’s really understanding and helpful, having lost her own husband to cancer several years ago.

My mother said that she had lost one of her friends last week to a brain anneurism. One moment she was at my Mum’s having dinner and a couple hours later, she was dead. I thought, “A brain anneurism. That would be nice.” and I meant it. Sometimes the pain I feel and my yearning for Chris is so much at the forefront of my brain and heart, that an anneurism and other such exits sound comforting to me. Strange, but true.

Anyway...it’s tough to tell someone who doesn’t know me that my husband died, but this man was here a few weeks back delivering my bed and when he came today, he noticed that my hair was brighter red. he asked me if I dyed it and I said I did. He complimented me on the new color. I got the sense that he found me to be attractive, which, although flattering, caused me to fee pressure. That’s probably why I told him about Chris. There’s nothing less attracitve than a grief-stricken widow, right? He won’t be giving me any more trouble.

Still, it was flattering, but it’s still not time. Sometimes I feel as though I’m fighting them off with a stick, or that I’ll have to do that before long. I guess there are worse things in life. For example, losing a spouse.

All things considered, a brain anneurism really isn't a bad way to be freed from life.

Pulling myself together for a coffee guest and friend,

Friday, September 16, 2005

Hearts and Diamonds

Last night I had a beautiful dream about Chris.

We were shopping in a clothing store that had a door leading onto an entrance ramp to an airplane. I walked on to the airplane still wearing the green cargo pants I had tried on in the store, accidentally stealing them.

When I got to the airplane entrance, I leaned toward the stewardess and whispered to her with a huge smile on my face, “I’m going to marry him again.” pointing at Chris.

Once in my seat, I turned around and looked behind me and way in one of the back seats was Chris, reading the paper wearing one of his knit black hats and his black glasses. I turned around with the feeling that I was okay because I knew where he was an he was with me.

Then, Chris was next to me and a female rabbi was performing a marriage ceremony for us. When I looked down at the ring finger on my left hand, there was a brand new diamond ring on it with a heart-shaped diamond. I kept staring at it, watching it glimmer and then looking at the compilation of our engagement/wedding rings that I now wear on my right hand ring finger. I thought, “I have an old ring and now I have a new ring.” I looked at Chris, and feeling all of the love and warmth I felt every time I ever looked at him in life, I said, “I was going to ask you to marry ME, too!” My heart was full. He was next to me. We were married again.

I woke up feeling full, happy, hopeful and with the feeling that the two of us will, one day, look back at this period and talk about why it happened, how we handled it and how our souls will be married for all of eternity.

I woke up feeling like I could go to Davis Square, order a cup of coffee, sit and look pretty and see if any men approached me. For the first time, I felt like that's something that could be okay to do.

Sometimes I just feel like he’s around me, especially during the times when I begin to feel scared and unable to move.

I know that no matter what, I will always be married to Chris, even well after I meet and marry a potential new husband.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

The New Pink

I cut my Paxil dose in half a couple of weeks ago and this week and next, I will only be taking a quarter of a pill. You may remember that I tried to quit cold-turkey a few weeks ago, more out of internalized rage than to be free of the drug, unfortunately. Sometimes my anger swallows me up and I just want to punish myself. I’m not ashamed. Everybody has those reactive qualities. Whether they admit it or not is a whole other story.

Extreme anger and sadness are what I have been feeling for the past week. Rage and despair have become the flavors of the month, I’m afraid. Whatever. Let them take me over. I really don’t give a fuck anymore. If I can be taken over, batted around, turned inside out, ripped open and jumped on at the whim of my grief, then what the fuck can I do about it? Nothing. Just suck it up, try not to hate myself for no apparent reason and continue to move forward.

There’s a scene in “A Beautiful Mind” when John Nash realizes that if he tries really hard, he can ignore the fictitious people he has been seeing. He says something about not breathing life into them or not acknowledging them or something like that. I feel that way. My grief is with me 24/7 and some days, though I try to ignore it, grief is right on my heels and it catches up with me the moment I walk through the door.

No husband. No best friend. Nobody there supporting me, smiling at me, cherishing me, sharing in my humor or cooking up a whole lot of love in the form of carefully designed, aesthetically pleasing culinary art.

I feel alone and feeling alone makes me cry. I just want to hide.

I still ask myself, “How can this be?” Chris was my joy. He was my whole world. We really did do everything right together. There was strength in us. I don’t understand.

I hate that I had everything I ever wanted in the form of a loving husband and now he’s gone.

I bumped into Erin, an adorable, sweet acquaintance of mine, on the way home from work yesterday. i was walking, trying to decide on a route when she said my name...my old name...out loud stopping me in my tracks. We chatted for a while and then I decided that wherever she was walking, I would walk with her until our routes split. We walked and talked all the way to Copley Square and then went our separate ways.

The thing about Erin is that she is as real as real gets. I truly appreciate that in a person. Erin is life affirming, death affirming, self-loathing affirming, fucked-up widow affirming. No matter what you have to say, Erin is okay with it.

As we walked and talked down the middle strip of Comm Ave, we began to talk about death. Erin survived her own summer of death. I believe she had some very close friends die of cancer all during the same summer. Of course it changed her profoundly. We laughed about death on the way up the street. Erin teased me, saying, “Death, death, death this, death that. It’s always death, death, death with you. That’s all you EVER talk about.” I replied, “Death is the new pink.” We laughed.

As we were saying our goodbyes, Erin lifted her hand, placed it on my face and said, “Are you dating? You are so adorable and I really hope that you date again.” I love that she wasn’t afraid to say that to me and without a trace of impatience or expectation in her voice. That’s a gift not many people possess. Maybe your closest friends can pull it off, but certainly not many acquaintances.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

The Dinner Party

Tonight, a friend of mine from my former place of employment hosted a dinner party which she invited me and 4 other former co-workers to. There were seven of us total.

There were two couples among us, one of them being the hostess and her husband. I couldn’t help observing them interact throughout the evening. I wasn’t necessarily deliberately noticing the similarities between them and me and Chris. My brain was doing it automatically.

When LIsa ran her hand over Peter’s shaved head, down the back of his neck and finally down his right shoulder, I was sucked into a vacuum in which I remembered doing exactly that to my Chris. I loved making physical contact with him. I loved making him feel loved.

When dinner was served and it was reavealed that Paul did most of the cooking, my heart ached for Chris. He used to do most of our cooking. Paul and Allison were so wonderful together and reminded me very much of myself and Chris. He cooks. She works. They’re both graphic artists. They travel. They like to try new restaurants.

Have I been living in a vaccuum? Is this the way :most healthy relationships are? I have been convinced that Chris and I were the only two people in the world who really knew how to be wonderful to each other. Maybe that’s because I had never had a man be wonderful to me before I met him. Watching these couples interact gave me confidence that there might be another really nice guy out there somewhere. If there are at least three that I can count, maybe there are another hundred that I’m currently unaware of.

I felt like crying a couple of times over the course of the evening. I swallowed it and jumped back into the conversation telling myself that it wasn’t the time or the place.

I still want to introduce my Chris to my friends that never got to meet him. Everybody really would have loved him. Everybody always did. He would have come to this party with me tonight and he really would have loved Allison’s husband, Paul because he’s intellectual. Chris was too. I was very proud of that.

Hanging out with couples is difficult for me. It’s tough to see what I once had that I no longer have. I really want everyone I meet to have known Chris, but that’s just not possible.

I’m tired ot time being weird. When will it all iron out? I can’t believe I have been gone from Filene’s for a year and four months. Time has been strange since Chris died. There’s a buffer surrounding it that is similar to the buffer of shock that protected me in the first three or four months.

I’m terrified of the passing time but powerless to stop it. I’m afraid that if I don’t deal with time and get to the bottom of why it scares me so much, I’m going to feel this fog like protedtor for the rest of my life. Calendars are difficult for me, which is strange seeing that I manage the calendars of three busy executives every single day. If I have to go back in their calendars to see what happened last year or to look for information for a meeting that took place before Chris died, I begin to sweat, my heart beats faster and harder and breathing is difficult. Looking back in a calendar, any calendar, only reminds me of how long it has been since my life got turned upside down.

Wednesday, September 7, 2005

Spirit, Courage, Strength

What is a gift? Is it anything one person gives another person? Is a gift an artistic talent or perhaps a brain overflowing with knowledge? Is it still? In motion?

Tonight I have a wonderful theory in my mind of the meaning of the idea of a gift and of gift-giving and gift-receiving. I believe that the gift is not in the material object that one gives to another, but in the gesture in the actual giving of the gift. A smile is a gift. A touch, a kind word, patience, teaching...all gifts and in my opinion, the gifts that really matter and make a difference in my life.

I’m beginning to understand that true gifts are forever in motion, given to one person who gleans the magic, love and warmth from the material symbol of the gift and then passes on that gift along with what they add to it from their own life experiences and loves.

Tonight I received the most beautiful gift in the mail from Chris’ aunt Renée who had expressed the desire to give me a gift a couple of weeks ago. At the time, I told her that being a part of the Burrage family was all the gift I ever needed and that truth comes from the deepest, most thankful part of my soul. That really is all the gift I could ever wish for and I feel eternally fortunate to have received such a beautiful honor in my lifetime.

But tonight I feel as though I have been awarded a ray of peace which I breathed straight into my heart, in the form of a silver chain from which three rings labeled “Spirit”, “Courage” and “Strength” are joined. Along with the gift, came a note which reads:


As soon as I saw this in a catalog, I thought of you. You have these traits in abundance and I’m so glad you’re part of our family!

Love, Renée

Receiving this gift and the words that came with it not only made me feel loved, but reminded me of how much I love my family, old and new. And reading the words on the three pendants reminded me of who I am and who I am supposed to continue being throughout my life. Each of the three words, “Spirit”, “Courage” and “Strength” branded and penetrated my heart the very second that I read them, filled it with warmth and reminded me that I have gifts of my own to give, many of which were given to me by my Chris. It is my job, my responsibility and my will to continue to give those gifts to others throughout the remainder of my life.

Gifts are in motion, from Chris to me, from me to Chris, from Chris and me to our family, from my friends to me and back from me to every person I come into contact with and vice versa. There are gifts all around us if we keep our hearts open to them.

Tonight, my sprit, strength and courage were restored. And not a moment too soon.


Tuesday, September 6, 2005

Stopping Time

I don’t really know what to do with myself now that Chris isn’t around anymore. I find that I have trouble just sitting and being quiet. I think of things to do and I do them one right after the other until I reach sheer exhaustion.

I have a continous feeling of anxiety in my chest that threatens to send me into tears and that’s exactly what usually happens if I don’t bustle around keeping busy.

I remember an old Porky Pig episode based on the story of the red shoes. In it, Porky puts on some red shoes that he finds and cannot stop dancing and cannot remove the shoes. When I was a little girl, that cartoon used to cause me an enormous amout of anxiety. As silly as it sounds, I remember how overwhelmed I felt over Porky’s helplessness under the complete control of those shoes. I feel a little like him these days, like something big and mean took over my life and I’ll never be free. That’s an overwhelming, anxiety-inducing thought and it’s how I feel every time I’m alone.

If I think too much for too long about what life was like when I was coming home to Chris every night, I can become very angry with feelings that I can’t really channel. I’m not sure how to handle that. I suppose I could mention it to my social worker. I get tired of mentioning things to social workers, though. For the first time in my life, I’m not convinced that they’re helpful and I’m not sure I feel like wasting the co-pay each week when I could be dining out with friends, instead.

Time. I’m told it will ease my pain. I’m told it will make my grief easier to deal with. I’m really getting tired of anxiety and I’m really getting tired of the terror I feel as time goes by. I don’t want time to go by, but I can’t stop it.

I want to stop time.

Monday, September 5, 2005

Picking Up Shneed

This morning, I awoke at my Mom’s house in Keene, NH and my first thought was, “I’m okay with this.”

Obviously I’m not okay with any of this, but that really was my first thought and I do believe I have begun the process of letting go and moving on. I’m scared, I’m guilty and I’m sad, but I’m moving on in what seems to be the extreme beginnings of a natural progression.

By “natural” I mean that despite my mind’s determination to hold me back, tell me I’m a horrible wife for doing anything but staying home and crying for the rest of my life, and accusing me of never having loved Chris or else I would never choose to move on, it all seems to be happening quite without my permission. Naturally.

It’s strange, but I miss parts of Chris’ life that happened before I ever met him. I swear to God I feel like I miss his college days, even though I met him eleven years after he earned his undergradate degree.

Anyway, I came to Keene this weekend because Keene has become a grief-gauge of sorts for me. It’s the first place I came after Chris’ memorial service. I ran away to Keene because I couldn’t face going home. I don’t remember how long I stayed here. Time was (still is) very strange back then. I stayed until I needed to be in my own surroundings. I couldn’t exist without retreating to the guest room to cry about every ten or twenty minutes and I reached out and called a friend of Chris’ who lost her fiance’ to a drug overdose years ago. I thought she could help me understand that I would someday feel better. She did.

Back then, I became excited and elated over the strangest things. I really don’t know what or how I was thinking. The “grief fog” is a very psychadelic place to live. I remember feeling Chris’ presence near me and becoming euphoric and filled with love. I told everyone what I had felt and my high lasted for hours. Eventually, I was ambused by the truth that it really didn’t matter what I felt because Chris, as I knew him, existed only in my memories. I could really fool myself during that point in my grief.

Even now, when I talk about him, I laugh so much because he filled me so much. I become very happy telling my Chris-stories, and then once again, though not as harsh as my previous ambushings, I am hit with the truth.

Still, though, the other truth, the better one, is that everything about me, everything wonderful that has ever happened to me and the person that I am today, is a direct result of my having met and loved and been loved by my sweet, sweet husband.

The best thing I can ever do, the most wonderful gift I can ever give and the sweetest gesture I can ever make is to carry on Chris’ Burrage’s legacy. It’s a beautiful one.

Sunday, September 4, 2005

Romancing the Future

Tonight, I went with a friend to see another friend sing some jazz in Salem, MA. His set was backed by a drummer, upright bass and pianist. The moment the musicians showed up, I was attracted to the bassist. It didnt’ strike me right away, but Chris was playing a lot of bass when I met him. He didn’t play upright, but he still played bass. I don’t know if there is anything to my attraction to this bassist, or not, but I thought it was worth mentioning.

I ate some delicious Thai food and by the end of the night, I had consumed two glasses of plum wine. Wine has always made me feel sexy. Chris used to notice it. I would tell him he was beauitul and how completely attracted to him I was and he would chuckle and say, “It’s the wine.” He was so right. Wine just gets me going.

So, it’s no surprise that after glass number one, I was eyeing and smiling at the bassist and by glass number two, I was thinking up ways to approach and talk with him. However by glass of water number two, he may as well have been part of the wall for all I cared.

It’s interesting that I’m beginning to look at men. I’m not ready to do anything about any of this, but it’s interesting that I’m looking. I wonder if the fact that he was a bassist was reason enough to stay away. I know I’m not going to replace my Chris, but I don’t trust myself yet. Not only was he a bassist, but he was adorable, dark brown hair, glasses, musical and very focused on what he was doing. Sound familiar? I don’t trust myself. I’m just not going to do anytihng about any of it. It’ll happen when/if it happens.

For the past two days, I have felt pretty okay. I haven’t burst into tears, I’m feeling relatively calm and I have a feeling that I have been able to “let go” just a little bit more. By “let go”, I mean that I don’t feel guilty about being out and having fun tonight or about having entertained the idea of talking with the bass player. He was quite a good musician.

On the way home this evening at 11:30, I stopped to put air in my tires. I wasn’t afraid. I didn’t used to be afraid doing such things before I met Chris, but I became frightened after we had been together for a while. He didn’t worry about me very often, which was usually nice. For example, if I told him I planned to be home by seven o’clock or so, and ended up running a couple hours late, I would call because I was certian he’d be worried. When he answered the phone, I would say, “Hi. I’m running late. I just wanted you to know.” he would reply, “Oh. I was sleeping.” or “Oh, I didn’t realize.” or he simply wouldn’t answer the phone because he didn’t feel like it. At first, I felt unloved, but I grew so used to it, that I used to laugh and say that I worried about myself for him. I did, too. I would feel sick inside that I was running late, certain that I was causing him worry, when all the while I was only causing worry to myself. I really loved us.

Once in a while I would run late and he would admit that he was beginning to become worried. That’s all a girl really needs to hear and I told him as much. He just laughed, but at least he knew what I needed. We always talked openly about that. If I wanted a hug, I would simply stand up, face him and say, “Hug me, please.” and if he hesitated, I would follow it up wth “Now, please.” I never expected him to “know” what I needed. I told him what I needed. What difference does it make if the result is the same? None. I never expected Chris to know what was in my brain. By the time we were married, he begain to know, though. That was nice.

So tonight I was feeling beautiful, smart, strong and flirty. Not bad qualities. I’m keeping them all to myself though, until I’m certain I can trust myself to venture into the unknown and not to try to recreate Chris. Chris is the only love I have ever known. When I can venture into the unknown, then I can begin to trust myself little by little to create a future instead of trying to recover my past.

I let Chris go so beautifully the day he died. I need to learn to release the hold the memory of us has on my life, now, and set my mind, body and soul free. That's going to take time.

Friday, September 2, 2005

Night and Day

Worse than an out and out crying fit is feeling extreme heaviness and sadness and an inability to cry.

Nothing is helpful. I’m so distraught and angry. I want this nightmare to end and I want my Chris to come back and be with me like he used to. I want cancer to have never happened and I want Chris’ death to have been a bad dream. All I can think about is having him next to me again.

Well, that inability to cry was a brief one.

We led such a simple life. I know it’s neither here nor there, but Chris did not deserve to die.

I’m so tired.

Even as I’m sitting here crying, I’m psyched about going out with my friends tomorrow night. How can both of my worlds be so different from one another? My sorrow is entirely overwhelming and my joy is, too.

Maybe it’s time to sleep.

Dissecting My Heart

I wonder when the shortness of breath is going to end. When will the tightness in my chest subside? Will I feel like crying for the rest of my life? I don't want to be 84, talking about my husband who died thirty years ago. That thought terrifies me. The passage of time is one of the most horrifying things to me these days. How can I have not spoken to or seen my husband in eight months? That can't be, can it?

I don't understand how I can be a single woman again. I did everything right, this time. I earned my marital status but it was so shortlived. My friends loved Chris. I loved that they loved him. I loved being seen with him. I loved the little package that we were. We were both relatively small. Oh, he wasn't small to me. Who am I kidding. He towered above me at a collossal 5'8" or so.

Sometimes I Just want to scream and scream until I can't scream anymore. We were so perfect for each other. I really liked being married. I liked that I was through dating. I thought I would never be in this position again. I hate dating. I hate not knowing the person that I 'm with. It took me and Chris six years just to begin to know each other. I don't want to give six years to anybody else. I just want Chris to come back.

Gentle, sweet, funny, considerate, adorable, maddening at times (so am I), quiet, smart, silly, goofy.

I want this grief to go away so I can get on with my life. I want to be married again to someone I can feel as passionate or more passionate about. I want to know someone's every nuance again.

I don't know how I'm ever going to get to that point again. I'm horriied of out-doing Chris. I never want that to happen, but it might. and if it does, I feel like I'll be extremely sad, guilty and self-loathing.

People tell me that I won't ever out-do him and that it's not about that. They say that I'll fall in love again and it will be great again but a different kind of great.

Sometimes I feel divorced, undeserving and punished.