Friday, May 25, 2007

Maybe a Push

I want to write about my feelings, but my brain won’t let them come to its forefront. I seem to have entered a strange suppression zone where, although I want to write, I can’t seem to hold onto my thoughts.

Last night, I cried on my way home from the gym. I felt hugged. I’m not sure what I mean by that. I suppose the way I’m treated by some of the men that I know leaves me feeling hugged, which is such a nice way to feel. I didn’t know mere kindness and genuine affection could have that effect. I cried tears of relinquishment; Relinquishment of control, of heart-stopping anxiety, relinquishment of the idea that I am one half of a sweet, caring abundant relationship and relinquishment of scream-inducing rage and sleep-thwarting denial. I finished crying by the time I got home.

I feel as though love is on the way. I’m waiting. I’m available. I want to be special for somebody, again. I want a soul/soul connection and unfaltering camaraderie.

I’m all fogged-over, just like Dorothy was in the field when the wicked witch of the west performed her poppy spell. I feel vaguely hypnotized, as though my memories are forgetting themselves without my help, which, ironically, is very helpful.

The tragedy is over. There will never be another event in my life as shocking as finding out that my Chris was going to be dead in four days.

I feel like I am beginning to consider testing the “letting go” waters, although with much trepidation.

Reassurance is what I need. Reassurance is what I have always needed.

And maybe a push.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Hopeful Hurt

I’m all tied up inside. My body is holding my thoughts captive, just beneath my cousciousness. I feel strange, but I cannot unearth the root of my anxiety. Or I will not unearth the root of my anxiety. I keep telling myself I’ll be seeing Clay in just two more weeks. I can schedule a session with him anytime I need to (I think), but I don’t want to. I can wait. My anxiety will keep.

I have been experiencing stressful dreams, the subject matter of which I do not remember upon awakening. I have been waking up nervous, tired and feeling as though I wish I could stay in bed.

I suppose I should call my doctor and tell her I’m depressed. Maybe I can switfch from Zoloft to some other drug that’s geared more toward anxiety. I could add that drug and keep taking Zoloft. I’m just thinking in bytes.

I have been missing Chris very much lately. The changing seasons affect me significantly. These past few days of summer-like weather have brought me back to the days of walks to coffee shops, walks to the corner mailbox together to mail a letter, coffee on benches in the park, hugging his arm as we walked down the street. His voice. The warmth in his eyes before morphine snuffed the glimmer. I suppose that same morphine snuffed the glimmer in my own eyes, to an extent.

My heart hurts.

But it also hopes.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Valley Girl

I have hit another snag. I suppose the decline in my level of cheer is apparent when I look back over the past few entries I have posted. I have come to respect the valleys within the grief process along with the mountains, and I just keep marching forward.

Mostly, I feel heavy-hearted. Once again, I have begun losing interest in doing anything. Up until yesterday, when I spent eight hours catching up on the schoolwork I had let fall by the wayside, I had pretty much stopped doing everything. I feel as though I don’t enjoy singing, but I know grief so well these days that I know it isn’t true. I’m just depressed, again. I have plans tonight and I don’t want to go, but I know I’ll be sad if I stay in.

I went to the gym last night and worked out vigorously. On the way home I began crying, as I sometimes do after an evening of pushing my mind and body past their limits. At the gym, I looked at the trainer and wondered what it’s like for him to know he has a wife to go home to. I wondered what it’s like for her to be eagerly awaiting his return. I remember feeling that way every time Chris was out. When I begin to think in those patterns I become very sad and lonely for Chris, and I cry.

Once home, I sat on my sofa in front of the TV, laptop in lap, chamomile tea in hand and a red delicious apple, sliced into chips, on the coffee table waiting to be devoured. I began to feel better.

When I got tired enough to turn in, I moved the party (of one) into the bedroom and fell asleep. An hour later, I awoke with a start. I thought of Chris and the fact that he died and I instantly cried out, “No.” I had to shake my head a few times to get the image of his illness out of my mind. It returned for a follow-up ambush. I sat up. My tears came, and I sat atop my bed in the darkness pining for Chris to come back.

I thought I felt his essence around me and the words, “I’m right here.” entered my mind as though they were not my own, and I took comfort in them. The words, I decided, were Chris’ words to me, calming me, loving me, assuring me that this life is not forever, that we will not always be separated.

Monday, May 7, 2007

A Perfect Score

I turned 40 last week. I have finally achieved a perfect score. I apparently don’t look my age, which is so nice to hear from person after person after person. I have had guesses from 22 to 32 and back to 26. I’ll take all of them! My ego certainly hasn’t suffered any.

I felt some sadness during the days leading up to the big day, of course, when I remembered morning birthday cards Chris left on the table for me, sometimes accompanied by a box of four Godiva chocolates (which I always split with him), sometimes not. Chocolates are delicious, but the truth is that I never cared the years the card sat alone, awaiting my excited gasp as I emerged from our bedroom, another year older…but not much wiser. Wisdom wasn’t born in me until after Chris’ death.

I missed him last Wednesday. I tortured myself with the numbers game and other such imaginings. He would have been 36 by now. We would have been married almost three and half years. We might have owned a home. We would probably be out toasting to another year of life for me, another year of togetherness for us. He would have told me he was proud of me, just for turning another year. Chris was constantly proud of me for all the little nothings I accomplished. I’m forty. I’m carrying on. There is no doubt in my mind that he’s proud.

Carol and Robby had planned to take me to dinner on Friday evening to celebrate my passage into the next decade. As Friday neared, I began to become very moody, wanting to go one minute and wanting to cancel, the next. Admittedly, they were driven crazy by my anxiety. “Pain in the ass” is the verbiage they used to describe my onset of seemingly dissipating enthusiasm. They were acting weird, though, and their secrecy was throwing me off. I began to feel nervous and experience even more anxiety about the evening’s events. My friends were a bit baffled by the distrust I seemed to be displaying.

Nonetheless, Carol picked me up at 6:45 at my house and drove to Tamarind House in Porter Square. As we approached the doors, much to my surprise and delight, I recognized Meira through the glass window. I was glad she came. I thought that was it, but my friends kept delaying the food ordering. The fact that the three of us were seated at a table for six, along my natural talent for sleuthing, told me we were expecting others. They weren’t talking, though, so we sat, I sipped wine, we devoured appetizers and before long, my friend Linda walked through the doors and not long after that, Rodney appeared before me. Six of us sat and ate dinner, laughing, talking and enjoying the food and drink. I love my friends and I felt loved by all of them.

The next day, in an effort to understand my reaction to the surprise, specifically my inability to sit back and allow my friends to design the celebration, I realized that what bothered me about not knowing what the evening held was a basic lack of control I felt. Then I realized that the last time I felt out of control was during and after Chris’ illness and death. And one by one, as each friend appeared in the restaurant before me, I realized the similarities between my birthday celebration and my and Chris’ wedding day. Meira even bought the cake, just as she did for our wedding dinner. And just like on my wedding day, I felt I endured a self-imposed responsibility to keep everyone entertained

I haven’t really celebrated my birthday since Chris died. Not really. Not like I used to. This year I did really celebrate, with the help of my friends. The same old grief-fog faded in and out throughout the course of the evening. The anxiety I had felt before and during dinner was nothing more than a grief-reaction, come back to haunt me.

I guess “firsts” can come even after two and a half years. All things considered, my birthday celebration with my friends has been the best first, yet.

I’m a lucky woman.