Sunday, June 08, 2008

down/drown


The sadness is seeming to seep into all the corners. I am having trouble keeping my head up. It's not depression. It's not melancholy. It's the 'nothing'. It's an ache. There is nothing I can do to fix it. There is nothing I can do to make it better. There is no one I know who understands this fully. There is nothing.
I drove too much in the last two days. I hate driving since Jeff's death. It gives me much too much time to think. I sit in the seat where Jeff took his last breaths and ruminate excessively. I can't distract myself with laundry or phone calls. I can't stare blankly at the chickens or throw a ball for the dogs. I can't fix the button on Liv's dress or hold the other end of the measuring tape for Briar as he pretends to be a puppy on a leash. I just sit there and replay those last moments. Think about what I'm missing. Think about what the kids are missing. Dread Father's Day. Hate all the bullshit crap that people think is important.
Today, I went to buy myself a new bra and jeans. I left the kids with my mom. No distractions. I stood in that fucking change room staring at myself for so long thinking, "This is what a widow looks like. Do I really look like a widow? Can people tell by looking at me that I'm a widow? That I have no one? That I am on some half-deflated inner tube floating blindly in the ocean alone? That it would be less painful to just let go and have it done?" As I'm standing there, I can hear everyone's frivolous conversations. I hate them for it. I despise the girl telling her friend about some new diet pill the doctor gave her to lose twenty pounds because her life is just 'too busy' for exercise. I think the woman who is telling the clerk that her daughter will only wear a certain name brand is a moron. Who fucking cares?! Just shut up! I emerge from the coccoon of the change room with the veneer that I wear so often lately plastered to my face, smile fakely at the 20 pounds girl, nod at the name brand lady and book out of there before I puke on their shoes or start chucking hangers at them....
And you know, the shitty thing about the 'happy mask' that I have to wear, is not for me. It's to keep everyone else 'happy'. No one wants to know how I'm actually feeling. They don't want to know if things aren't okay. When I say things are crappy, they shift on their feet, they look all concerned and uncomfortable and say stupid shit like, "It'll get better." "You have to be strong for the kids. They need you right now." or "I know." No one seems to understand that Jeff and his death aren't something that I can just 'get over'. That healing is NOT just a straight and steady road. It's twisty and bumpy. It has valleys and peaks. It is so foggy on that road that I don't know what to expect and they certainly do not know what to expect when they are not even in the same 'car' as me. Stop telling me how fast to go, what the road ahead is like and that you know what driving this fucking road is like when you haven't even been on it. I know you're trying but just let me lean for a minute. Don't be uncomfortable that I say something 'sad' or 'upsetting'. Be happy that I opened up for a moment. Be glad that I was comfortable enough for a brief second to say how I am truly feeling and thought that I could remove this grotesque smiley-faced mask in your presence. Please give me a break. I am really trying the best I can.

6 comments:

Poppy & Mei said...

Oh Darlin'...Xxx

Rach said...

xxx

Anonymous said...

I send you much love and light.

Neurotic Chic said...

Listening - or reading, I guess. No words, but present and listening.

Anonymous said...

jackie
we are here to help you get through this-know that there are lots of us thinking of you every single day.
there isn't a roadmap for grief, and there isn't a time period to get 'there'. (where ever 'there' is....)
the party plans are progressing, and though none of us are going through what you are, we all want to help.
lean on us, and as they say "chin up, feet forward"
i want you to know how much people care- even if we don't always know what to say.
xoxoxoxo

Crash Course Widow said...

Hi Jackie,

I don't know how I stumbled onto your blog, but I'm another stranger...although unlike most people, I understand some of what you're going through, because I'm widowed too. I was 27, my husband 28, when he crashed into a pole during a bike race and died instantly. It'll be three years in July.

So much of what you wrote in this post is how I felt too...and still feel, some days. It does get easier, eventually. It just takes a hell of a long time (even longer than you'd think) and is even more painful than you can imagine. You're right--there's no quick, easy fix, and you never "get over it." I can't say that I'm "all better" at three years--not even close; life--and the grief--have gotten easier, but the baseline is so much lower than it used to be. Often times I think I feel worse now, in this third year of grief, than I ever did in the first year...but the first year was still harder, somehow, because it was all brand new.

Hang in there, and be gentle to yourself. I don't know if anyone's ever mentioned it to you, but an online bulletin board for young widows was a lifeline for me in the first few months after my husband died. It's called the YWBB (Young Widow Bulletin Board), and you can find it at www.ywbb.org. I haven't been an active member on it for over two years now so I can't attest to its nature right now, but it was a phenomenal help to me in the early days. I also found a local support group for young widows and widowers, which was even more helpful. I recently started a blog too, and reading the words from other grieving, widowed bloggers has been really helpful too.

If you ever have moments where you can stand to hear about someone else's widowed path, it's at http://crashcoursewidow.blogspot.com/. There are links to many other widows' blogs on it too.

Hang in there....
Candice