Monday, June 30, 2008

My Cold, Dead Hands

Last week, a friend of mine offered his complete honesty to me. There is little else in this world that I value as much as honesty within my friendships.

He has been reading my grief-rantings for the past few years and made mention of the few months in which I wrote very little, and those months in which I wrote nothing at all. In his mind, he guessed (and hoped) I was doing well, feeling better, and that that’s why I wrote less. Less time to stop and smell the grief. I confirmed his belief, stating that in true artist form, I write most often when I am feeling miserable. When my writing is sparse, happiness is abundant.

I also shared with him my own frustration with the state of my mind, part of which is still riddled with sadness, shock, denial and anger, even after three and half years. At times, I am maddened by the pesistence of grief in my life. I’m angry that my brain still dons the chains of loss. I am annoyed with myself for not “getting over it” faster, in the same way Chris was admittedly “annoyed” with his cancer.

My friend said grief can be self-indulgent, and I agree with him. I know, because I’m living within the confines of self-indulgent grief. I have been enduring a pattern of night-meltdowns, every night, sometimes immediately after walking through my door and sometimes immediately before I fall asleep.

When I grieve my loss, Chris is kept alive. The day I let go, will be a very sad day, for on that day Chris will die again. I know I have said before that grief has another side, a side that feels good, because grieving my loss feels right. Letting go of my husband feels wrong. Hence, my self-indulgence.

My new therapist is going to work with me, using hypnotherapy, in an attempt (hopefully a successful one) to help me let go of the white-knuckled grip I still have on my Chris, my hopes, my dreams, my plans, and a future that never was and never will be. I am unable to release the grip on my own. She believes she can help me, and I need to believe she can, too.

I no longer wish to live a life asserting that I will let go of my husband when he is pried out of my cold, dead hands.

I’d like to let go while I’m still alive.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Two Dreams

A few nights ago I had a cute dream about Chris.

We were on the orange line coming home from Boston. When we got to Malden Station and the doors opened, Chris wrapped his arms around me from behind, pulled my newsboy cap down over my eyes and pulled me off of the train. Laughing, I said, “Hey, you can’t do that to me!”

We both laughed.

I felt that old familar warmth that was ever-present when we were being playful together.

Then last night I dreamed about us, again.

We were laying on metal chaise lounges, holding hands outside of a local Starbuck’s. I said to him, “I like closing my eyes and listening to all of the different conversations happening around me.” Chris said, “Oh, I don’t have that.”

I wondered what it was like on the other side.

As usual, in my dreams about Chris, I loved being with him and I woke up wishing it could be.