Wednesday, May 27, 2009


It's back. I e-mailed our coordinator at the front desk and she reported that someone at the office put my Chris-mug in a basket, high atop the refrigerator. I had to commandeer a tall guy to get it down for me, but I emerged virtually unscathed. I'm happy, again.

And I bought her a gigantic chocolate bar as a symbol of my gratitude.

Shneed :)

…and sometimes progress is forced.

I’m sitting at my desk, at work, trying to gain control of an very strong urge to cry.

Yesterday, after lunch, I brought all of my containers and mugs to the kitchen area to wash. I left, and was going to come back in a few moments, but I forgot. This morning, my dishes were nowhere to be found. Among them was Chris’ big soup-mug that he bought (he bought me a blue one) so we could enjoy enormous amounts of coffee on Saturday mornings. I still have mine, but his now seems to be gone. I wasn’t ready for this.

I know it’s a very small thing in the large scheme, but that doesn’t seem to be helping me at this precise moment. I want to go hide somewhere and cry, and I want to apologize to him for being careless.

Maybe it’ll turn up. I don’t want to think that a disgruntled cleaning person threw my mug away in an oppressive outburst. But I do.

It’s silly, but if I moved forward after witnessing Chris’ deterioration and death, I know I can move forward after the loss of his green mug.

Stuff is going away…and I’m scared…and sad.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Slowly I turn, step by step, inch by inch...

Another shift has occurred. I know, because my brain has become clouded over in its usual protective manner. I thought I had seen the last of “the fog” four years ago, when it first lifted from the cloak of shock that enveloped and protected me from combusting into a ball of fire from too many emotions felt all at once. I still remember the feeling of reality incrementally entering my psyche, shred by shred. There was no rest. Each time I survived a shred, I instantaneously graduated to the next shred. I don’t think I can ever truly describe what it feels like to have had my terror that Chris might die transformed into reality. For as long as I live, I will never forget the sensation. Even now, when I think back on everything, I begin to exhale, only to remember, with a start, that Chris’ death actually did happen.

My fog of late, although much lighter than in the early days following Chris’ death, is protecting me, not from my experience, but from myself. I am beginning to let go of Chris. I can tell. I looked at a photo of him over the weekend and no longer saw “my husband.” Instead of seeing, I felt a friend, a guiding spirit, a love and a presence I believe is with me for the rest of my days on this planet. He’s here. He’s just not here in the same form in which he was here before.

I’m still afraid to completely release my grip on Chris. I’m afraid he’ll be alone. I know he’s not, but I still feel as though he needs me…or maybe I feel as though I need him. I don’t know. I sometimes feel as though I couldn’t take care of him enough, even though I know, logically, that I did everything I possibly could do for him. He thanked me, too, for always looking out for him.

I like my life with Jonathan, even though I’m really scared of history repeating itself. I wanted to tell him, this weekend, that I had felt a shift in my ability to feel and to let go of Chris, but the words never got past my throat. I’m not yet able to admit to him that I’m beginning to let go. He tells me he’s not interested in replacing Chris, which is the perfect thing to say to me. Jonathan always knows what to say to me.

I didn’t know I would be lucky enough to meet two wonderful men in my life.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


It’s really no wonder I fell apart last night. I didn’t realize all of the issues building over the last two weeks into a culmination of heart and spirit-crushing grief and anxiety.

Of course, my birthday began my back-pedal into grief and anxiety, followed by my brother’s dream about Chris. Ever since his dream, I have felt as though Chris is here with me, and that pattern of thought always throws me into a futile cycle of “He’s here!” followed by “He’s dead.” followed by “He’s here!” followed by “He’s dead,” etc. It’s an exhausting pattern, really. Sometimes I just don’t know what to do with my belief in the spirit world and the afterlife. My faith has the capacity to exhaust me beyond all exhaustion.

I have also been watching “The Sopranos” beginning with season 1. Chris and I did that in L.A. when we were both so unhappy to be there that we rented every season as means of keeping us busy and occupied while we saved money to move back home. I didn’t realize how much the opening theme song would bring me back to our futon couch in West Hollywood, amidst our growing love…and Chris’ growing tumor.

In addition, I found out that someone I know and admire deeply is going to have a baby. The news, although very joyful, left me feeling very regretful over a lost life I didn’t get to realize with Chris, the promise of a family, a child of my own and Chris’ lost opportunity to be a father. My bubble burst and I came home feeling painfully envious of this man, who is 40 years old, and his wife, a young woman of 27. Knowing her age filled me with senseless regret. I don’t want to be 27, again, but at 27, beginning a life with someone has promise. Beginning a family is a real possibility, a gift a couple can share with one another. I may have lost my chance when I lost my Chris.

I came home, carrying a very heavy heart. When it finally burst, and the floodgates opened, I found myself quivering and crying uncontrollably, once again, about all the pain and fear Chris had to endure, and about all of the loss anybody in this world has to experience. I was not capable of calming myself down, last night, and the clock kept on clocking along. Finally, at 1:15 a.m., I got up and took the 2nd half of the Ativan I swallowed an hour earlier, and prepared to be rendered unconscious. When I awoke at 7:00 a.m., I was okay, again. I’m always okay, again. Things just get dicey, sometimes.

I’m 42 years old. I know women have children at my age. I’m feeling so very lucky to have found Jonathan and, love not withholding, so happy we work well, together. We’re easy, together. Our relationship is quiet, peaceful, fun, adoring, and filled with love. I never thought I would find that again, certainly not in time to ponder the possibility of becoming a mother and making my own mother a grandmother by me. I want that. I want a life with Jonathan, as his wife…his young wife (why not, right?) and I want to have children with him, and just be with him.

And I want our opportunities to stay, this time.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Born Again?

My brother woke up out of a dream about Chris the other night. He has never dreamed about Chris, before.

The two were lying side by side on a couch. Chris looked good, with his tossled hair, glasses and facial hair. Oddly, he was smoking a skinny cigar with a white waxy tip on the end of it.My brother said to Chris, "I love you! I am so glad you're my brother!" He ruffled Chris' hair and gave him a big kiss -- Mwah! -- on the head and then ruffled his hair, again. He then said to Chris, "Please take care of Robin. Promise me you will, okay?" Chris said, "Oh God, Always! In fact, I'm moving right in down the street, but she doesn't even know it."

My brother woke up.

I always believe that Chris is around me. Always. I know he is with a certainty that I cannot explain. This kind of knowing exists deep within my soul. I can feel him. I know he helps me. I know he loves me and, of course, I know I love him.

My brother left the message about the dream on my cellphone, and I listened to it as I was leaving work. I was overcome with emotion that I could not keep below the surface. My heart swelled and I felt very safe.

Maybe Chris is about to be born again. Maybe he's being born to someone who lives right up the street from me.

On the "Jonathan and Robin" front, we are in love. He's wonderful. I am so happy to be with him. I spent the night with him, last night and I'll be seeing him again, tomorrow. I couldn't be happier. My love continues to grow. My guilt continues to dissipate, albeit very slowly. I can feel myself relaxing and as a result, spending time with Jonathan is becoming more and more fun.

I am truly blessed.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Sofa, so good.

I slept on my living room couch last night, which is something I had always done in my childhood whenever the common cold came calling. My mother and father’s bedroom was right off the living room, so if I cried in the middle of the night, they could hear me and come to comfort me with cold medicine and kind, loving words. I suppose the symbolism has lasted over the years, so whenever I’m feeling sad, I have a tendency to grab my pillow and blankets and head for the sofa, where I can still feel remnants of the safety that awaited me back then.

The thought didn’t dawn on me until now, but yesterday was my first birthday spent with another man since Chris died. When I woke up this morning, I couldn’t figure out why I felt so much anxiety and sadness. I took half of an Ativan, hoping to alleviate some of the heaviness in my heart, and I did for a while. I even went out to have lunch with two friends. I did some grocery shopping and then I was going to call Jonathan, but instead, I burst into tears. That’s when everything became clear to me.

I have a feeling I’m going to be experiencing “firsts” for a long, long time. I’m adjusting to a new life, learning to accept my tragedy and the fact that I did everything I could possibly do to help Chris, to make him comfortable and to take care of him while he was sick. I did.

Grief has always had a way with sneaking up on me when I’m not expecting it. I was supposed to call Jonathan after lunch, and I tried, but he didn’t answer his phone. Now that I have melted down, and recovered, and no longer sound like Rudolph after his father pushed the mud onto his nose, I think I can try again. Maybe we can just be together for a while.