Tuesday, February 27, 2007

A New Day

I wanted to write last night, but I was in such a horrid state of grief that I decided to shut the computer down, turn off the television and go to sleep.

I realized something important yesterday. I can be in the depths of depression and still force myself to go to the gym. Of course, I didn’t know I was depressed until way after my workout. Before I left work, though, I had begun to feel as though I didn’t really want to go to the gym. I kept telling myself that I needed a rest, since I ran on Sunday. I made a decision to put on my workout clothes when I got home and see if I felt differently.

My workout was pretty strenuous, well, as strenuous as it could be without the trainer there to push me beyond my limits. Still, I stayed true to myself, and I maintained my dignity by pushing myself through every exercise I normally do, even though I was fighting myself every step of the way. I just wanted to “phone it in” last night, but I did my absolute best to keep obligated to myself and follow through on the commitment I made when I joined the gym. In order to keep my promise, I needed to regroup after each routine, metaphorically pat myself on the back and begin the next one as if it were the first, a physical tabula-rasa.

When I finished, I packed up my gloves and wraps, got into my car and drove away. About a block from the gym, I completely fell apart and bawled, with reckless abandon, all the way home. That’s when I realized that depression was behind my initial reluctance to work out last night and once the culprit became clear, I developed a sturdy sense of pride that I was able to reschedule my breakdown until after my responsibility to my body was fulfilled. Go me.

I’m not asking questions. Grief is here to stay, it seems. I have put men on the back burner, which has alleviated my anxiety tenfold. I am jealous of anybody and everybody who has a partner these days. I want to be the one that is every single one of their partners. I want to be that special person, enveloped in a cocoon with my soul mate, but I am still hurting way too much to begin that phase of my life just yet.

My heart is huge and I feel so much love for everybody in my life. I love boxing. I love running. I love being alone and I love being with others.

I am very sad, but as long as I know I can do all of the things I love to do, sadness or no sadness, I can hold onto a shred of hope that sometime, in my future, I will wake up to a new day.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Sum of me…why not take sum of me?

I am being really nice to myself these days and taking the time I need to be by myself. Some might say I have withdrawn, but that wouldn’t really be the truth. My definition of withdrawn is a bit different, I think, in that I still get out and have fun, but I also turn off my phone for hours on end so I don’t have to talk with anybody. I’m just feeling my way through.

I took a couple of vacation days on each side of my already long weekend. I drove to New Hampshire to visit my mother and stayed with her for a couple of days and then headed south for an hour to visit Bonnie for the day. I left my textbooks and laptop at home so I wouldn’t be tempted to weigh myself down with responsibility, and I played with my mother’s toy poodle and gave him all of the love I still have left in me. I wish I could get a dog of my own, but I am simply not home enough to really shower enough affections on one.

I have been coming home every night and crying, and I really don’t want to try to stop. I just want to sit and cry. I have decided to stop trying to fill my void with another man. It won’t work, anyway. The harder I try, the more time I waste. Instead, I am using my time to get in shape, study and be around friends and family. I am trying very hard not to worry that I might spend the remainder of my life without another love. If that’s what God has in his plan for me, then so be it.

I would very much like for spring to come, even though the changes in seasons really get me down.

I miss him. That phrase is what my life is all about these days. I’m not going to be ashamed to grieve, anymore. Grief is part of who I am, now. Boxing, happiness, school, friends, running, singing, sadness, an increased dosage of Zoloft…all parts of who I am. The sum of me.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Anger. Sadness. Lack of focus.

I have been having a very tough time lately and I must say I am growing very weary of all of this.

Clay came back after a three week break and athough I didn’t expect to, I cried for the entire hour I was with him. Depression has taken hold and my life has become so split, like I’m living a double life.

I am very happy when I am around others and very sad when I am alone. The universe still feels so wrong to me since Chris died. We belong together and we never will be, now. Not on this earth, anyway.

I want so much to be in another relationship where I can share with a man, love a man, do for a man and accept love and kindness from a man, but meeting somebody is very difficult. I don’t really want to try. I just want it to happen, as I have said again and again.

I can trust the universe (which I have grown to hate) and know that eventually, when I am not looking, that someone special will come alone and change my life, but even that has become difficult. I find myself wondering if every single man I meet is the next “one” or not. I am exhausting myself. Wondering such a silly, superficial thing is taking away from my own being and my own happiness, yet, I am incapable of stopping my brain from asking me over and over, “Is he the one? Is he?”

There are a couple of men whom I am very attracted to, but who are in relationships. That’s the other part of it. At my age, I am hard-pressed to find a man who I find to be sweet, funny, smart and available. Nobody is all of those things, it seems. The rejection I have experienced on Match is not something I can take right now. Guys have expressed their desire to see me again, only to drop off the face of existence. Why can’t guys just say, “I don’t think I want to see you again.”? Is being truthful that difficult? I can take rejection when rejection comes clearly, but when I am left wondering what I did, what I said, what he’s thinking, what he’s potentially afraid of...It’s just too taxing.

So I cried like I haven’t cried in a very long time in front of Clay and I felt very safe doing it. I’m having a lot of trouble. I hate that Chris died and I hate that I am left alone to try to put it all back together again. None of it is fair. Not what Chris went though. Not what I go through on a daily basis and not what I still have to go through until I die. None of it. He should be here with me. He is the love of my life.

My sadness is riding shotgun again, next to my happiness. At any moment, it can reach over and grab the wheel. And it does.

I am such an unpredictable bundle of joy and sadness these days.

I want someone to love me. I want to give my love to somenone.

Friday, February 9, 2007

I Dream of Creejie

Last night, I dreamed that Chris and I were moving back in together. I was so happy he agreed to live with me again.

We were trying to decide where to live. I really wanted him to live with me in the apartment I live in now and when I asked him, after some thought, he said yes. But then we ended up moving somewhere new because he felt the apartment was too small for the two of us. In reality, my apartment is quite large, which is kind of funny because Chris’ attitude in my dream pretty accurately depicted how he could sometimes panic over things that were not panic-worthy – but then, I guess we all can do that, can’t we?

We moved into a white, very blocky condo complex (not a place Chris and I would have chosen in life). I was afraid that there were going to be centipedes in the apartment. Chris told me he bought me some bug stuff to spray the apartment and when I began to argue that he didn’t know which kind I needed, he pulled out one of those spray cans with the hose connected to it, opened it up and showed me the white powdery stuff I needed in order to kill the “pedes.” I was completely filled with love for him. He knew what I needed.

Within my dream, I awoke to see a centipede on the ceiling above me. I quickly grabbed the can and saturated the little beast with poison. I remember thanking God I was able to protect myself. I loved Chris more than I can ever convey in that brief murderous moment of panic.

Throughout my dream I felt a sense of completeness, calm and contentedness – like I had no worries in the world – that I haven’t felt since the day he died and I felt that way when I awoke. I rolled over, pushed my alarm up a half-hour and enjoyed the feeling of love coursing through my veins.

I love him and I feel very safe today.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007


I ate too much. It doesn’t look that way on paper, but I really did. I made a delicious cheeseburger wrap, followed up by three-quarters of a cup of popcorn that I popped myself in the microwave with just a tablespoon of oil. I’m stuffed.

I’m sad, too. I have begun crying about Chris every night, again. I can’t help it. I don’t want to help it.

Dating and wanting to be with a man, again, has shown me how cruel the world can be. There’s nobody out there. Chris found me and liked me, so there was never a period of time when I wondered if we would go out again, or if he would call me later. All I do, now, is wonder.

I knew about baseball because of Chris and now I know nothing about it. I liked knowing about it with Chris. I liked making pizza with Chris.

There is never going to be another Chris and I’m terrified that there will never be another man for me.


I’m going to bed.

Sunday, February 4, 2007

Fun is Married

I crumpled today, twice, simply because I miss my husband and I can’t believe all of the sadness that has filled the past three years. My tears, today, were ones of complete resignation. I felt weakened and tired. I miss him. I miss just hanging out with him, sharing waffle cone ice cream on the front steps, laughing in bed, garnishing tuna wrap plates with daisies and all of that special stuff that went on back then.

I wish I could lose the pressure I feel to find another man. It’s my own pressure. I’m doing it to myself. I am panicked about getting older and I’m trying to find a man who will want to be with an older woman. I’m only 39, though. I’m not “older” yet, am I?

If only I could forget all about men. I keep trying, but I keep missing Chris and wishing I could create something similar for myself.

The way I feel these days, I’ll never even come close to finding anybody whose company I can enjoy as much as I enjoyed Chris’.

There have been a couple of men I have developed crushes on, but at my age, the men I meet are married. So was I. Was. The guys I keep meeting are married because they’re fun. So maybe the only men out there that are still availalbe are actually sub-par.

Sometimes I wish I could meet a widower who is fun to be around because he would understand how I feel and I would understand how he feels. We could help each other.

I’m going to stop writing now. I’m obviously in a negative place.

Tomorrow will come and I’ll feel much better.


Friday, February 2, 2007

Training Wheels

Ativan is like training wheels. Tonight, I think for the first time, I am successfully managing to make a conscious decision (albeit a drunk one) NOT to cry over whatever offends me.

Taking tonight's half an ativan, I feel as though I am saying, "Look Mum! No hands! I'm doing it! I'm not crying!"

I am still in the red zone and could cry any minute, but within fifteen minutes, I won't even be entertaining the thought. I do need the ativan, right now, to help me not lose control. But someday I won't need it. Someday, I wil know that it's okay not to mention my widowhood and to just say "Hi." to people who don't really matter to me.

Fuck. I can be so self-righteous.

Oh well. Such is life.



I had the funniest, most silly night tonight drinking wine with my friend, Robby. That’s why I’m not going to cry, now, over a meaningless encounter with some person I have not seen in twenty-plus years. That’s why I swallowed half an ativan even though I drank two delicious glasses of pinot noir entitled “irony.” Ah, it all makes so much sense now.

The evening was sheer euphoria after spending all day long in 19th century China, writing a 8-10 page paper for my history class. It’s almost done. I celebrated...or escaped...tonight by enjoying an evening with one of my best friends.

At the end of the evening, a woman approached me and said, “Robin?” and recognizing her right away, I replied, “Dottie!” The girl I grew up right across the street from recognized me and came over to say hello. She introduced me to her friends as Robin Orloff and I corrected her. “It’s Robin Burrage.” I said to which she, understandably, replied, “Oh. You got married?” and I saId, “And widowed. “

Her reply was, “Ew. Too much information!”

I wanted to say, “Oh, I’M sorry to have made you as uncomfortable as I was when my husband DIED.’” but of course I didn’t. She had been drinking wine and I caught her by surprise. Her response, even if I hate it, was perfectly normal. That’s what’s wrong with our society. Death is taboo, instead of being what it is, which is N O R M A L.

So, tonight, I am NOT going to cry. There are too many wonderful people in my life for me to focus on somebody I haven’t seen in twenty-plus years. My friends are there for me and they understand my snippy retorts and they laugh about them with me and we all know that death is just a part of life. Anybody who can’t understand that, is seriously sheltering himself from the inevitable. We are ALL going to die.

Ah. It feels GREAT to have said that.



Thursday, February 1, 2007

Split LIfe

I have been thinking about my grief, as an entity, lately. I still have some work to do.

I have begun to realize that I think of each piece of my ordeal as a whole separate life. For example, I still feel as though hearing Chris’ diagnosis, witnessing his chemo-induced nightmare, being told he was going to die and then watching him die could not have happened to me. I feel as though all of that happened to somebody else. And I feel that my life now, can’t really be my life.

I also feel as though this person who has been dating guys for the past seven months can’t possibly be me. I was married. Somehow, I missed when that ended. How can this be me?

I hate that my grief is probably going to always be a part of me, now. I need to accept that, instead of hating it. I keep thinking that someday, I will feel no grief, but that thought is just a wish, even though if it came true I would feel awful because I wouldn’t be sad that Chris died, anymore.

Grief lasts.

Chris died.

Chris died.

Chris died Chris died Chris died.

I hate those words.

I hate them.