Friday, March 31, 2006

Thank You and good Night?

I hated every minute of my therapy session yesterday. I had nothing of note to say because it seems as though nothing is bothering me since I made a decision to step out of my grief. I voiced my worry that I was completely disinteresting to Clay and now he wants to delve further into why I think I’m boring. Things got way off track.

I still feel horror when I say the words, “since Chris died” in a sentence. I said them to my mother a short while ago.

I have my third cold since Chris died. The entire time he was battling his disease, I was as well as well can be. I had nary a common cold the entire time. I guess I knew I couldn’t be sick. Getting sick would have jeopardized his health, so I just didn’t do it.

I talked with Clay about how bad I feel that I couldn’t help Chris with whatever horrors that were in his own head during his illness. I know he must have been terrified, depressed, freaked out and a whole host of other feelings that must come with the knowledge that you’re toting a grapefruit sized tumor around in your stomach. I wish I could have helped more. I’m sure he felt very isolated.

I feel more well than I have felt since this entire ordeal began, though. My decision to push it all aside seems to be helping. We’ll see how long that lasts or if it does become semi-permanent, save for those moments when I’m alone with myself, what gifts will come my way as a result. Love? Maybe.

The second spring is in the air. I can remember last spring and how the sun couldn’t penetrate the clouds in my soul. There are cracks in the wall now, though, and the sun is beginning to seep in and warm the coldest part of my heart. I guess healing happens, despite the guilt that can threaten to keep it at bay.

I will love my husband forever, to the extent that my own heart remains outside of my own body, stretching into the direction of my sweetheart, wherever he may be these days. He taught me how to love.

I think I’m getting tired of hashing and rehashing it all with Clay. I mentioned that to him yesterday and talked about how long I’m supposed to keep coming. Time time may shortly arrive when it will be time to say “Thank you and good night.” and my Thursday evenings will, once again, be mine to do with what I want.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Next Tuesday

During this past Sunday’s 5-mile run, I had a short, fleeting thought. I just now realized that the thought I had is actually a recurring thought for me.

Sometimes I remember that Chris died and I become shocked because I realize that happened to me. It happened in my life. I’m the one who was left behind. When I feel that shock, my soul bottoms out.

Sometimes that shock can knock me into next Tuesday.


I feel fake.

I just e-mailed with a friend of mine from Los Angeles. She asked me to look at her portfolio and give her my critique on her work. I did it.

There are a few pieces I found particularly moving so I e-mailed her my excited commentary on her work.

Her husband fought on the front lines in Iraq. He just returned home a short while ago after watching young men, like himself, get shot and killed right next to him.

I don’t know where I’m going with this. I have suddenly become angry and I’m not entirely sure why.

Maybe I’m angry because he came back to her. Maybe I’m angry because she used to complain about him all of the time and she still got to get him back. Maybe I’m still angry at Los Angeles. Actually, there is no maybe about it. I still hate L.A. and I’m still very much in pain over the fact that the last few years of my and Chris’ life together were tarnished by misery, the misery of living in a city we both hated, the misery of being diagnosed with cancer, the misery of chemo therapy and of the loss of control and of the loneliness of coping with a disease that was growing inside of him, eating him alive and stripping him of his right to have choices.

I’m still not touching upon why I am angry . Have I so successfully suppressed my grief that even I cannot find it? I like suppression. It works. It’s helping me. I have heard it said that suppression is a way of coping, but I don’t think so. I think it spares me from having to cope at all. I don’t have to deal now. I like this. I’m scared of it, but I like it. It’s better than crying all of the time.

Today, I took a really long walk after work, through Boston Common, The Public Garden and the Esplanade. On my way through the common, my eyes fixed on the grass, I saw a shadow on the ground coming toward me. In a millisecond, I came to believe that Chris was walking toward me. My heart jumped and my entire chest cavity filled with excitement and so much love and I felt seconds away from running toward him and embracing him. I felt the love I would feel if that really happened. My entire soul collapsed the way it did in the hospital when his doctor told us the surgery went well and that they got all of the cancer out of him. Joy is what I felt and abandonment of fear and sadness.

I didn’t realize that I was the least bit moved by that little jaunt into my own wishful fantasy until right this minute, four hours afterwards.

I feel encased. Safe but not satisfied, like something is unfinished.

I’ll have to remember to ask Clay if he thinks it’s possible to toggle between suppression and emotion at will.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

The Art of Suppression

Since I made my conscious decision to suppress all of my feelings, I have not cried for more than five minutes on any given night. That’s quite an accomplishment from somebody who cried for five hours straight last week. That five-hour cry was the catalyst for my decision to stop entertaining my grief for a while.

I thought my therapist thought suppression was wrong, but in actuality, I’m the one who was wrong. He did caution me about suppression and I perceived his cautionary comment as disapproval. He doesn’t disapprove of suppression, though, and he seems to agree that ignoring my own feelings and thoughts of grief is working for me, at least for now.

At the moment, the fact that I am not crying every single moment I am alone is a huge relief. I feel better. I am, however, entirely aware that I am shoving all of what happened into a secret compartment in my brain which I am going to keep closed for a while, maybe from now on.

Do I still feel the empty hole? Yes. At the present moment, I feel as though I’m going to feel that empty hole for the rest of my life. I hope I don’t, but I feel as though I will. Even in the midst of my suppression, I can calmly admit and maintain that I loved my husband very much and I will miss his company, sense of humor and his love for the rest of my days.

My reluctance to pick myself up off the couch and go to bed has returned and lately, I generally sit here until I am way too exhausted to walk. Suppression has its downfalls, but truth be told, I’d rather be exhausted than grief-stricken.

I suppose I ought to try to get some sleep when I’m finished writing. The clock only reads 10:44, but I have been awake since 5:30 this morning and I have grown excessively weary. Still, I can’t ignore the fact that I have been in my own company since 3:00 today and I have not shed a tear. I can’t tell whether I have made progress or numbed myself and I suppose the distinction doesn’t really matter. I made a decision to try to live my life with the same vigor with which I lived before my life fell apart and so far, I am doing it. I’m trying. I want my life to be joyous.

I want my life to be joyous.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Suppressin’ my Luck?

This week, after giving it some thought, I made a conscious decision to stop crying every single night. I wondered if this was also a decision to suppress my feelings. I’m not clear on that, yet. I mentioned it to my therapist last week toward the end of my session and we didn’t have time to discuss it in a lot of detail. Tomorrow’s session should be interesting and possibly very difficult.

Suppressing feelings isn’t good, but I have had it with the crushing breakdowns and I just want to enjoy my life the way I used to before all of this horrible stuff happened. Wow. It was just very easy to compartmentalize the horrors of Chris’ illness into a place simply and generically labeled “horrible stuff”. It hurt less and I could feel myself ignoring the entire event as though it never happened. I don’t care. There has to be something easier than crying and easier than popping antidepressants.

What happens when I “try” to stop crying is that anxiety takes over. Just like Archimedes’ law of displacement, where he discovered that his body mass displaced the water in his bathtub, I am now experiencing the displacement of my hopelessness with anxiety. Which is the lesser of two evils and can it possibly be true that evil is all that is left?

I sing. I run. I love my job. I love my friends. It doesn’t matter. Chris is still gone. When will the gaping hole in my soul fill back in? Will it? I don’t know how to do this? I only know that I don’t want to do this. That doesn’t matter either and it doesn’t matter that I have a whole bottle of Lorezapam in my bedroom because I don’t want to rely on it. I do like it, though.

This is never going to end. It’s never going to be over. If I don’t stop now, or sometime, on purpose, I just going to keep crying all the time, every night, every time I need a hug, every time I realize I’m alone for the long haul.

I don’t know what to do. I need a plan.

I’ll see what tomorrow brings.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Analysis of a Dream I Had

Last night, I dreamed that I was climbing a ladder at work in my former job. I think there was somebody at the bottom of the ladder holding it. One of the executives, whom I despise, from my former job was there and I felt trapped and completely not in control of my life. I was working with a stack of paper on a giant printing machine. I had changed my name to Rosalind (Roz).

Here are the dream symbols and their meanings from

To dream that you are climbing up a ladder, suggests that you have reached a new level of achievement and higher awareness. It is indicative of prosperity, hard work and efforts. You may also be looking things from a different perspective. Alternatively, it may indicate meditation and prayer. You are setting forth on a spiritual path.

To dream that someone is holding a ladder for you, signifies that you will find success and rise to prominence with the support of others.

To dream that you are at your former or past work, suggests that there is an old lesson that you need to learn and apply to your current situation.

To dream that you are hard at work, signifies success and merit. Alternatively, it may suggest anxieties about a current task or project. You may need to "get back to work" and stop procrastinating.

To see your boss in your dream represents the bossy or authoritative side of your own personality. Your boss may reveal self-confidence and the assertive aspect of yourself. It is telling of your issues of control and authority. Alternatively, to see your boss in your dream may indicate your over-involvement or obsession with your work. Negatively, the boss in your dream may symbolize your limitations and lack of freedom/originality.

To dream that someone is calling you by a nickname, suggests that you are trying to change they way you and others see you.

To see a stack of papers in your dream, denotes overwhelming responsibilities and stress that you are having to cope with.

To see machinery in your dream, suggests that you are going about your way without much thought. You are making decisions without thinking it through. You need to get out of your boring pattern. Alternatively, it indicates that your self-image may be in need of repair.

To dream that you are stuck, represents helplessness and feeling of being unable to escape from life's problems/stress. You have lost confidence in yourself and in your ability to move ahead in your life. Your lack of clear goals and low self-esteem may be a common cause for such dreams.

I Hope

Riding the redline to Cambridge, yesterday, I became fixated on two young ladies who were sitting across from me chatting. Each of them had luggage and they were conversing about their travels. Suddenly I found myself longing.

I remember what life felt like when nothing horrible had ever happened to me. I, too, sat talking with friends about topics that seemed so much more important than they do now. I walked around the city with a carefree skip in my step and a light mind. I could breathe in the air, then, without immediately spitting it out along with the survivor guilt-toxins that now contaminate my mind and body. I yearn to go back there and since I can’t go back in time, I must find a way to go forward into a new form of that soft and gentle state of being. And I must come to a place where I can believe that Chris’ feelings wouldn’t be hurt by such a brash move on my part. I don’t know why I can’t believe what others believe, that Chris only wants me to be happy. If he was alive, I would believe that. I did believe that when he was here. Somehow, I have never been able to let go of the responsibility of taking care of him. I still try to, even though it will never matter, again. I have become some sort of martyr-freak, overly concerned with the feelings of a dead person.

I know this spring is going to be wonderful. I know this spring is going to be followed by a wonderful summer and that both seasons are going to be filled with lots of physical activity for me. Running, biking, walking, hiking and just being out of doors. I can feel it, already in the way that the sun comes up earlier and sets later and in the way that I can shed my horrible winter coat that I bought when Chris was still alive. I’m going to donate it this year and rid myself of that coat of grief-armor. This year, the sun will come back into my life. I hope.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Philadelphia Trip

Last night, instead of learning the music I was supposed to be learning for the show I’m in, I cried, off-and-on, for five hours. It started the very second I walked out the door from work and ended, pretty much, when I fell asleep.

I choked back the tears on the train, as usual, and then on the short walk from the train station to my home. Along the way, I decided to call my mother whom I knew was incensed by the fact that I hadn’t called her in over a week. The argument that she hadn’t called me either is always a losing one, so I simply told her the truth about my emotional descent. The moment she heard me cry, all was forgiven. I guess I chose that moment to call her because I knew a full pardon would follow.

Before ascending the stairs to my 3rd floor safe-haven, I stopped to chat with my landlord who just lost her sister-in-law (her husband’s sister) to cancer. She had been taking care of her for six months and the woman finally succumbed to her disease a couple of weeks ago. We talked a bit about the ugliness of the disease and she stated that she and her husband would like to take me to dinner. I told her that sounded lovely but made sure she knew that if she wasn’t feeling up to it, she shouldn’t feel pressured by the fact that she had already mentioned it to me. I reminded her of the importance of taking care of oneself in situations such as hers and conveyed my belief in the act of collapsing in my tracks and falling apart whenever I feel the need or want. That’s exactly what I did the moment I entered my apartment.

Last night’s tears were, once again, tears of utter resignation, of crushing despair. The inevitable changing of the seasons seems to have a profound effect on my grieving process, thrusting me downward into pits of anguish and pools of tears reminiscent of those I cried in the hospital upon receiving the news that Chris was being released into the care of hospice and sent home to die.

Sitting on the couch hunched over my oversized rust colored throw-pillow, I cried and cried, tears that seemingly had no end and crying with such abandon felt quite cleansing. I needed to do it. I needed to purge emotion for all of the sadness I experienced and all of the horrors Chris experienced.

I pulled myself together in between my breakdowns to cook dinner, organize schoolwork and talk with a friend on the phone, but the in-betweens did not last long. Finally, as the hour grew late, I tuned into HBO and the last forty-five minutes or so of the movie “Philadelphia”, knowing full-well what I was about to witness on my television screen. With only the slightest trace of trepidation, I sat up and readied myself for the ride.

I’m sure I ignored the actual message of the movie and I want to watch the entire film from beginning to end, but last night, “Philadelphia” was a movie about love and a movie about Chris and me. I watched Tom Hanks’ character deteriorate and I felt his humiliation at the changes in his body, the invasive, visible symptoms of his disease and his battle for his life, or in this case, for his rights.

The movie concluded with his frail body in a hospital bed and his family and friends surrounding him, loving him, each of them telling him they would see him tomorrow.

The sight of him lying in his hospital bed, void of hair, very weak and ravaged by his illness sucked the life out of me. There was something eerily familiar about that scene. The frame, the shot of the hospital bed at the same angle on my screen as Chris’ hospital bed was in life swallowed me up in a grief tsunami which engulfed me so completely that I could do nothing more than experience it and wait for my emotions to release me.

After the storm, I picked myself up, powered off my television and made my way to the bedroom, where I finished out the night in defeated and exhausted tears, fell asleep and dreamed about centipedes.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Not Quite

I’m having a tough day today. This morning on the subway, a man wearing a brown corduroy jacket just like Chris’ with a bag that was the same style as Chris’ bag sat next to me. It was very easy for me to look at him from the feet and up and imagine that Chris and I were, once again, riding the train together. I remembered, both mentally and physically, the way it felt to hook my arm around his and hug onto it as we rode together. I miss that. That was my Creej’s arm. I rode the train in choking back tears the entire way.

There will never be another man quite like him. I will never love quite like that again.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Sopranos Solo

Sometimes, running loosens up my psyche and when I’m finished feeling the endorphin rush that follows, I begin to cry. Exercising has a way with unlocking emotion and allowing sadness to come flowing out of my body.

Tonight, I began cooking when I suddenly felt a surge of panic threatening to take me over. I started to suppress my thoughts and feelings but instead I gave up and willingly fell into an incolsolable sadness. I cried for an hour, stopping only to periodically laugh at The Simpons. I ate almost none of my dinner, pushing it down the garbage disposal and grinding it into oblivion before taking an Ativan in an attempt to smooth the edge off of my anxiety.

Now I’m hungry.

I just ordered HBO so I could watch the new season of The Sopranos, the show Chris and I never missed. We watched it together. Now he isn’t here to see what ends up happening. I almost don’t even care that it’s on. I’m trying to pay attention without feeling guilty. The Sopranos feels funny without Chris next to me. It hasn’t been on since Chris was alive. I’m scared, but then again, scared is part of my new normal.

I start my Psychology class tomorrow evening. I’m looking forward to it. I did some homework this evening, too. I ran 5 miles today, spent some time with my father and his wife and managed to spend the past nine hours in solitude, which is exactly what I wanted to do today.

I hope that someday I can stop crying every night of my life and I hope I can do that without feeling guilt and sadness.

Wellness Junkie

Depression, depression, depression, depression, depression.

I am on my way out to increase my running distance from four miles to five miles. Exercise is so important to me in my dealiings with my grief. My problem today is a combination of grief and PMS. I have experienced a definite pattern concerning the two, I simply cannot sit still during PMS without crying and without putting myself through the horrors of Chris’ cancer over and over until I find myself twisting about and contorting my brain trying to dodge the thoughts and memories of his illness. Running takes it all away. Singing takes it all away. So I run and sing as much as I can in my quest for forward movement.

I am coming to believe that Chris will not be angry with me for moving forward. That’s progress.

I still wish he was here with me. I’m not sure whether I will always wish that for the rest of eternity or whether my life will take over and place that book on the shelf. Time and tears will tell.

My therapist is so valuable to me. My weekly session with him is my anchor point. I go there every week and power-up from his support and when I leave his office, I am good for a few days before I begin the countdown to my next power-up session with him. I suppose I have developed a bit of an addiction, but there are worse things in life to which a person can be addicted. Some take to the alley and jab needles in their arms. Some take to the curb with a bottle of booze or their poison of choice. My poison is actually an antedote. I’m addicted to learning about my grievous condition and molding it into something I can work with and something I can live with, something from which I can move on. I suppose I am a wellness junkie.

Only five more days until my next fix. Until then, I will take to the streets, my iPod in tow on my right arm and my Nike airs cushioning the concrete that regularly breaks my fall with a painful SLAM. Still, things could be worse. I am thankful that I land on the cement and not on a bed of nails. How’s that for optimism?


PS - Hey Bonnie, I'll call you later on today. I love you. -Shneed

Wednesday, March 8, 2006

Sharing at the Buffet

Breakfast went well. We met at the hotel, took advantage of the buffet and sat and talked for an hour and a half. We shared our stories about cancer and how it claimed the lives of our respective spouses.

Janet had lung cancer. She had been smoking for years. Both of them had been smokers. One of her doctors missed the cancer. When Janet complained of a pain in her back seven months earlier, the doctor told her it was all in her head, to quit her job and get into a profession that would make her happier. Fast forward seven months and the diagnosis, along with a life sentence, was handed down. Janet had eight to twelve months to live. She thought she was stronger than her cancer and when the doctor asked her what made her think she would beat the odds, she replied, “Because he can’t raise these two kids on his own.” Sadly, he has been raising his two kids on his own for the past three years.

I told him about Chris, about the way we came home from Los Angeles full of hope for our futures, our newfound love for Boston propelling us into life. Fast forward four months to Chris’ diagnosis which lead to a fourteen month battle for his life for him and a fourteen month battle against my own menacing panic.

I shared with him the tale of Chris’ last moments and how I talked him through to the end, hoping he trusted that we all really wanted him to go, to escape the pain and the fear, even though the thought of his not being in our lives would forever destroy our lives as we knew them.

He listened, becoming teary-eyed. He understood the love, the fear and the loss that I and the others left behind by Chris’ death now understand. We understood each other as we sat there sharing our hurt and our wonder with one another.

During those seventy-five minutes, sitting in the hotel restaurant with it’s fancy white linen tablecloths, tapestry carpeting and chandeliers, we talked about our beliefs concerning the dead, spirit communication and the ever-mysterious “veil” and found that we are in a similar place as far as our beliefs go. We want to believe and sometimes we do believe and sometimes things happen that make denying those beliefs absolutely impossible.

I’m still processing this morning’s encounter. At some point, I’m sure I will come to rest on it’s purpose and on ways my thinking has expanded as a result. I wonder if and hope that he found some comfort in knowing that somebody he knows also knows something about what he has and continues to go through.

PS…the guy from work continues to be like Chris in so many ways.

Sunday, March 5, 2006

Bonnie's Bytes (Deck of Cards)

Chris' mom, Bonnie, belongs to a writing group where the meeting organizer brings a basket of items to spawn writings from several people who have lost loved ones. Thank you for sharing, Bonnie.

February 2006 - The prompt for his writing was a basketful of miscellaneous items.

I am drawn right away to the deck of cards. I learned after Chris died that when he went to Vermont to visit his college friends, they would stay up all night playing cards. I was so surprised at that. I don’t remember Chris being especially interested in cards except for the usual childhood games like “Go Fish” or “Crazy Eights”.

Something about this mysterious card playing both shocked and amused me. Although I thought I knew Chris, here was evidence to the contrary.

A small detail, to be sure. But what else don’t I know? Somehow I held the assumption, unknown to me consciously, that because Chris was a part of me and I was a part of him, because in his early years I knew him so intimately, that knowledge grew with him. Not true. Another maternal assumption bites the dust, like the assumption that I would be able to protect Chris from all evil, from the evil of cancer.

Now there is yet another piece of Chris to mourn the loss of. I have lost the chance to know Chris past, Chris present, and Chris future.

I have been in touch with A.J. Chris’ best friend from Vermont and fellow card player. But so far I haven’t asked A.J. what card games kept Chris up all night. Why not? Such a trivial question. I can only guess that I don’t want to add “poker player” or “whist player” to my already long, sad list of things I miss about Chris.

As I finished writing, I noticed that the ace of hearts was the top card. How apropos!

This Is How It Is


I ran four miles yesterday and then ran another four today. I’m very proud of my accomplishment, even if my left calf is mad at me. I came home and got showered and blow-dried and drove to my director’s house to have a private rehearsal with him, which went very well. Today was a wonderful day to be outside. I dropped by my friend, Carol’s house for coffee. Two of my other friends were there, too. We had a nice time. I did my grocery shopping came home and ate and I’m sitting on the couch now. All in all, today was a nice day. I was very happy.


After becoming enveloped in my own anguish for fifteen minutes, I swallowed my zoloft, which I had forgotten to take today, and washed it down with a swig of red wine. I like wine.

I don’t really know why I am feeling so sad tonight. This feeling is definitely sadness as opposed to anger. I just feel completely beat.

I thanked Chris for being so good to me tonight and told him that I appreciate him coming into my life and staying for a while.

Even though I know my friends and family care about me a lot, tonight I feel like Chris was the only one who ever cared and nobody else ever will. I suspect that grief is just doing it’s thing, twisting truths and draining my strength and any sense of reasoning I might have by way of my tear ducts.

Chris did me so much good. I’m so scared that I’m beginning to let go and I don’t want to. I want to hold on to him, but every day life is loosening my white-knuckled grip on him and skewing my memory of his face, his voice, his walk and his touch. I do not’ want to let go, but I think he wants me to. I’m too scared. I’ll never get him back, again.

I’m very tired. I don’t like life too much these days. I can’t really see the point in most activities other than filling up time and trying to stay occupied until we die. I feel like we’re all just a bunch of gerbils running on wire wheels, not really getting anywhere. I can’t, for the life of me, figure out why having somebody special in our lives makes us feel like we have purpose in life. I’m not even sure if finding somebody new is going to restore my purpose. I fear that it has been completely destroyed and it’s not coming back.

Will I spend the rest of my life waiting for life to end? I’m just hanging onto everyone’s belief that my grief will get easier. It has to, because this really sucks. Holding on sucks. Letting go sucks. Not doing anything sucks. It all sucks.

I’ll keep pluggin’ away, feeding off of the good moments and the good days and screaming through the bad ones.


I’m going to make some hot chocolate, relax and think about what I’m going to wear to work tomorrow .


Saturday, March 4, 2006

Dreams of the Future

Last night, I had a dream that contained many symbols.

I was looking across the street from my brother’s house at the beach and the ocean. I was waiting for my brother and sister. I called my sister on the phone and left her a message stating that I would be waiting for them at the beach across the street.

On my way across the street, I got stuck on the middle yellow line while cars sped both at me and past me. When I finally got across the street and began heading toward the water, rain began to fall and the sky darkened. I ran for cover under a small gazebo where some people I knew were gathered. It was nice to see them. My voice coach was there and one of the pianists from the open mike was there as well as some people from my last job. They said hello and we chit-chatted for a few seconds.

I then realized that we were all at a funeral so I stopped talking out of respect for everyone who had come.

Suddenly, we were all in a tavern and when I looked out the window I could see foreboding, storm clouds closing in. I pointed them out to my voice coach. Beyond the stormy clouds, there was a break in the sky where the sun was shining.

When I woke up, I quickly wrote this an looked up the dream symbols I could find.

To dream that you are at somebody else's funeral, signifies that you are burying an old relationship and closing the lid on the past. You may be letting go some of the feelings (resentment, anger, hostility toward someone) that you've been clinging onto. If your are dreaming that you are at a funeral of an unknown person, then it suggests that something in your life is supposed to put to rest or put aside so that you can make room for something new. You need to investigate further what aspect or component of your life you need to let go.

To see the beach in your dream, symbolizes the meeting between your two states of mind. The sand is symbolic of the rational and mental processes while the water signifies the irrational, unsteady, and emotional aspects of yourself. It is a place of transition between the physical/material and the spiritual.

To dream that you are on the beach and looking out toward the ocean, indicates unknown and major changes that are occurring in your life. Consider the state of the ocean, whether it is calm, pleasant, forbidding, etc.

To dream that you are looking toward the beach, suggests that you are returning to what is familiar to you. Alternatively, you may be adapting or accepting to the changes and circumstances in your life.

Clouds:To see menacing or stormy clouds in your dream, indicates an impending eruption of emotions. It also represents a lack of wisdom or confusion in some situation.

To see your teacher (past or present) in your dream, suggests that you are seeking some advice, guidance, or knowledge. You are heading into a new path in life and ready to learn by example or from a past experience. Consider your own personal experiences with that particular teacher. What subject was taught? Alternatively, it may relate to issues with authority and seeking approval. You may going through a situation in your waking life where you feel that you are being treated like a student or in which you feel you are being put to a test.

To dream that you get wet from the rain, signifies that you will soon be cleansed from your troubles and problems. Rain also symbolizes fertility and renewal.

To see and hear rain falling, symbolizes forgiveness and grace.
To dream that you are watching the rain from a window, indicates that spiritual ideas and insights are being brought to you awareness. It may also symbolize fortune and love.

I think with all of the new experiences I have been having as of late, I am learning some things. I’m learning how to let go a little bit more, learning that I really don’t want to find someone who is like Chris because even if I do, he won’t be Chris. Besides, I want to preserve my husband’s memory for the rest of my time here, not cover it up with some faux Creejie who could never live up to the essense of the real Chris.

I told my Chris-esque co-worker that my husband died the other day. I wanted him to know because I dont’ want to be perceived as a divorced woman. It isn’t true about me. True, I’m single, but not by choice or by some failed attempt at marriage. .I’m glad he knows.

I also told the man I bumped into that I was supposed to have a drink with. I had to cancel because I wasn’t feeling well. Instead, we’re going to have breakfast on Wednesday. I wanted him to know before we met because he, too, lost his spouse to cancer and I didn’t want to drop my bomb on him without warning.

Having a co-worker that is so much like Chris and reaching way into my past to have breakfast with a man I knew eleven years ago are two things that are already helping me tremedously. I’m looking foward to breakfast. This man’s wife died just over 3 years ago. He is surviving. So am I. It will be nice to talk about our experiences and maybe even help each other a little bit.

Thursday, March 2, 2006

Somebody Else's Chris

Last week, I unexpectedly bumped into a man I hadn’t seen in eleven years. I knew him through a past relationship and always liked him very much. Later, he sent me an e-mail asking me if I’d like to get lunch sometime or perhaps a drink after work. We’re having breakfast on Wednesday before work.

The conversation is going to be loaded. He lost his wife, Janet, to cancer roughly five years ago and he has no idea that I know this about his life or that I lost my own husband to cancer. In fact, since my name is different, he has assumed that I am married.

Originally, we were going to have a drink this evening, but I began feeling sick and rescheduled with him. He told me to go home and have someone make me some homemade chicken soup. He doesn’t know there is nobody home to do that for me.

Because he thinks I’m married, I keep drifting into what I believe he is thinking. I picture myself with Chris, how things would be now if Chris was alive and I believe that this man is picturing me with my husband or the image of a husband. I wish Chris was still here and that I was still married to him. I liked being married and I loved being married to Chris. Now I’m not safe. For me, the opposite of safe is available...except that I’m not available, not by a long shot.

Last night I cried and cried until I fell asleep. My brain recreated Chris’ illness in such horrid detail that my skin and every hair follicle on my body hurt. I rolled around a bit. I started to punch my pillows and then became overtaken by the excruciating knowledge that punching everything I see with as much force as I can muster up for the rest of my life isn’t going to change anything. Why do I bother? I bother because I’m extremely angry.

The new guy at work is so much like Chris that it’s scary. Even his voice sounds like Chris’. He’s about the same height, same dark hair, same full lips, same silly sense of humor and sensitivity. He says the nicest things to me. After work, we found each other in the elevator bank and he said, “Oh. I thought you left and I was sad.” He bought me lunch the other day for training him. He’s going to be out of the office on Tuesday and I am already so comfortable with him that I said to him, “I already miss you for Tuesday.” He replied, “Aw, that’s so nice.” He’s so much like Chris. He tells me at least ten times a day that I’m so smart and that he’s amazed by my resourcefulness. I have known this man for four days and he has reminded me for four days and for as long as I am going to know him how much I loved Chris. It’s nice, really. He makes me laugh. He makes me smile. He reminds me of the ease with which Chris and I got along. It’s the same ease. I love that he works right next to me and that we get along so well.

On his first day, I began to tell him some things about the job and he immediately took out his day minder to write them down. Chris. At our staff meeting, he was telling a story about a girl from school who he bumped into at work years later. He said, “It was totally random.” Chris always said that.

He’s young. He is 28 years old, which is the same age Chris was when I met him. Today, I told him that I lost my husband to cancer. I didn’t want him to think that I was divorced. I’m not divorced. Our marriage didn’t fail. It was cut short.

My Chris is gone. This guy, though, is somebody else’s Chris and he’s going to make her a very happy woman.