Saturday, December 26, 2009

Wail Watching

Originally uploaded by Port Arthur Historic Site, Tasmania

Another night of sitting vigil. To what? I don't really know. I tell myself to rest, to sleep, yet here I am. I wish I could detach from these feelings, then perhaps I could truly find peace.

I tell myself, be real Dan. It's only been three months, how can your body not expect Michael to be here next to you? How can your heart stop aching when he can't be found? I want to believe my own words of strength. I want my own optimism to last longer than a few hours. I want to will myself into doing better than I am. I can't.

I know that at some point tonight I will be able to let go, and to lay down and sleep. Although I am never able to do this on my own. I haven't slept without the aid of a little pill for over two years. Insomnia is what I have known my whole life. It used to be a companion about once a week, then Michael got sick, and insomnia took hold of me every night. I've stopped trying to sleep without the aid of my little friends, it does me no good. At the same time, I know that on a night like this even a sleeping pill is of no use.

What am I doing? Where is the logic? How did this happen to Michael and I? Life played such a cruel joke on me. Want the man of your dreams? Go out and find him. Oh, you found him? Well, not so fast sucker, time for him to go.

Do I sound angry? Oh, maybe a bit. Resentment? I've got plenty of that. I wish there was an island for us widows and widowers. We could just walk in circles on this island, pass each other in the night without question. We would reach out to each other, take the hand of each passer by, give them a knowing and caring look. We would see each other's lights on at night, and just walk in to offer comfort. Maybe we would have communal wailing. Maybe there would be nightly "wail watching tours." Okay, now I'm really losing it.

This is the madness that sets in when logic is not part of your life. This is the madness that takes hold of your mind when you have been deprived of sleep. This is the madness that permeates your soul due to lack of physical affection.

I don't think I want to be sane, or at least not all the time. To be sane would mean that there was never any reprieve from my pain and sorrow. I would just wail all the time.

Alright, time to sign off.

Having a wail of a good time in San Francisco.


  1. I didn't think it was mad actually, I love the idea of the island, the communal wailing and holding hands.

    Since I last spoke to you, I have slept and hope that you have too.

    I have just had a cup of tea and am about to call family as I promised to today.

    Tomorrow, I think I shall go down the coast, see the sea ... scream at it, then see some family and friends.

    Did you sleep? If you can't perhaps you could do some research about islands for sale ...

    let out the tears, the anger and the pain. Breathe, breathe, be still and it will pass

  2. I'll open up a cozy, warm and welcoming little place on the Island called The All Night Cafe. It will only be open during the night. There will be a fireplace and candles - no harsh lights. Soft sofas and chairs could be arranged for intimate conversation or private reflection. Soothing music would be playing and I'd provide notebooks, paper and pens for writing or doodling. I'd also have paints and lots of books - kid story books and picture books. The kitchen would be open for anyone who finds comfort in baking or cooking. And there would be a massage table too... I'd want everyone's suggestions and would add them to my little place. Maybe a room off in the back filled with pillows and a baseball bat for pounding when soothing comforts don't fit the mood.

    I'm sorry for your restless and sleepless nights. I used to pray for sleep and the relief it offered but then even that would elude me. Talk about cruelty! The end of your last post was so hopeful and inspiring to me! It gave me so much strength. We all wish for those bursts of optimism to last longer than they do. Too soon, we swing back to the lows of our loss.

    It is exhausting to swing back and forth. People think you are crazy - you think you are crazy. "I should be stronger, braver, more realistic," we tell ourselves. But I am finding that it is ironically far more brave to face the lows. And that after facing these demons, I somehow end up with a bit more perspective and strength that comes out in that optimism I so dearly want to hold on to. None of us can or should have to will ourselves into feeling or being what we are not or cannot be at the time.

    It has only been three short months for you, we are in the middle of the holiday crap, it is winter time. You are doing the best you can at this point in your life. You are making it through. Michael would be so proud. You are providing a beacon of light to others facing this pain. I am finding it hard to put my meaning exactly into words. I so much want to convey the right words to you now. Maybe there just aren't any. Maybe a sympathy wail would be better understood - a sound without words but you and I and the others would totally recognize and understand.

  3. WITM, I love your cafe and can almost see it in my mind's eye :-)

    I'd just like to add that I whole-heartedly agree that Michael is proud of Dan, as we are ... immensely proud in fact.

    And grateful for his empathy, perspective, calmness and patience xx

  4. You two are too much. But you forgot to mention how thankful I am for all of my fellow bloggers.

    Hearing this discussion would definitely put a smile on Michael's face.

  5. I'm glad. And I hope that a smile touched your lips too :-)