Tuesday, January 5, 2010


02.10.08 : Self-Affirmation Study #1
Originally uploaded by PJ Taylor Photo

Today was a good day. What this means, I don't entirely know. I hate to try to describe why it was, as my life, and emotions, no longer follows theories of logic. What I do know is that there was a smile on my face. It was pointed out to me at work. I was walking through the office when someone approached me to say it was nice to see my smile back. I responded that yes, I was having a good day. Before I could say more the person said an amazing thing. She said, "I'm told that grief is not linear, that it has it's peaks and valleys. I'm glad that you are having a good day."


This evening I was invited out to dinner by close friends. I have known them many years, and they have become family. This is a lesbian couple, that Michael and I socialized the most with as a couple during out time together. Being that I have been single most of my life, having the opportunity to share time as a couple was a wonderful experience for me. Since Michael's death, I have spent time with my friends, but usually at their home. My time with them is always good for my soul, as they know me so well. After they dropped me off at my home, I started to feel something stirring within me. If I am quiet, and patient, whatever I am feeling usually rises to the surface. In playing back the scene of our dinner I realized that this was the first time we were seated at a table for four. There was an empty chair. At the time I was less aware of this, as I have such freedom with them to talk of Michael and all that I am going through. As I am writing this, tears are flowing. Why? It doesn't matter. This is a good day.


In thinking of Boo tonight, I try to understand what she might be experiencing on what is now the anniversary date, in her part of the world. While I have an idea of what her day might be like, I can't completely know. I'm not there yet. My journey is still new, and I have many days to walk through. But I have the benefit of her experience, and I have the benefit of all the other widows, and widowers, that share their journey with me. And because grief does have its peaks and valleys, I have the opportunity to lend a hand of support, and comfort, when others are not having a good day.



  1. Dan, I'm so glad you had a good day. What a great thing that lady said to you ... wonderful. I hope today is good for you too :-)

    You sure did lend me a hand and I am grateful, for you spurred me on through what could have been a terrible day, but kind of ended up being quite a peaceful day xx

  2. hello, Dan. a lovely and perfect observation from the woman. i am glad you had a good day, good enough to write such a peaceful missive about it.

    and thank you for your comment on my Jan. 2nd post. thank you for thinking of me. i'm posting some new thoughts today.

  3. Great post! We need to try and find balance in our lives and thus report on the good days as well as those more challenging.

    I still sometimes get a pang being seated at a table when the boys and I go out and there is that empty fourth chair.

    I sincerely hope that you are able to continue to smile in the days ahead.

  4. Grief is madness--ask anyone who's been there. They will tell you it abates with time, but that's a lie. What drowns you in the first year is a force of solitude and helplessness exactly equal in intensity to the love you had for the one who's gone. Equally passionate, equally intimate. The spaces between the stabs of pain grow longer after a while, but they're empty spaces. The cliches of condolence get you back to the office, back to your taxes and the dinner table--and for everyone else's sake, you collaborate. The road of least resistance is paved with the gravel of well-meaning friends, rather like the gravel that cremation leaves.
    "Last Watch Of The Night" by Paul Monette--1994

    Hello Dan,

    I'm finding words like these to be soothing, and to-the-point with justification of our own grieving souls.

    I hope these words give you some enrichment as each day comes.
    Bill in NH