Saturday, January 30, 2010

Winter Showers

rain drops on my window...
Originally uploaded by

Well, last night turned into a night of heavy rainfall, both outside my window, and inside my bedroom. I don't always see these big emotional outpourings coming on, and I don't always find a reason why one night is more difficult than the next. All I know is that last night my sitting quietly led to heavy tears.

This morning I dropped off my youngest son at the Church, where he takes a religion class. I did some grocery shopping, then walked around a bit to get a cup of coffee. I found my time out a bit heartbreaking. I don't like to sound bitter, or to express my mourning in a way that sounds like whining, but here goes. I just can't be around people these days. I see so many happy couples enjoying a sunny Saturday morning. There are very young couples, and there are quite old couples. They seem oblivious to the possibility of loss. I'm sure many of them have experienced a loss of a loved one, but when that loved one is your spouse, you lose that significant person that stands by you through all the tough times. I don't like the way I feel when I am in the mix. It feels bitter, and I end up feeling bad about myself. It's not like I'm wishing anyone harm, I just get caught up in feeling sorry for myself. I get a bad case of the why Me's.

I know that this will pass, and that I will soon re channel my thoughts in a more positive way. I also know that these type of thoughts will return, and when I least suspect them. This is a process that I don't always think others around me get. There is nothing linear about the grieving process. When we say it gets easier with time, it's not as simple as we want to think. I think of it more like a roller coaster ride, only it's not exciting, and in no way fun.

Originally uploaded by

Last night I kind of indulged myself. This will explain why the tears filled my room. I was missing Michael terribly. I had my candles lit by his urn, but last night that didn't seem to offer me the comfort it usually does. So I sprayed the air with some of his cologne. I went through the room and started touching his things. I needed to see him, so I then moved onto my photos. I have parts of our wedding ceremony on this computer, but for some reason it would not play the video. I tried over and over, but I couldn't get it to work. This became so frustrating. I wanted so badly to see Michael in motion, and to hear his voice. Surprisingly, with this modern age, this is the only video I have of Michael. No where else do I find his image in movement, or hear him speak.

I finally gave up my feeble attempts. I told myself it was probably not what I needed to hear. I'm a bit stubborn, but after walking into a wall a few times I do finally realize there is no current entry. Maybe I was meant to not dip into the familiar waters. I often think that another force is at work, telling me that I need to not go there tonight. I try to honor the message, as perhaps it is part of the letting go, the healing process.

I realize that reading my experience may sound as though I am not willing to let go, or to accept what life has dealt me. All I can say is that it is too soon to fully accept, and keep walking. I would rather go through this process, and learn from it. If you have been reading my posts from the beginning I hope you see that I am continuing to walk. But what I am learning, and want others to understand, is that the road I am on is long and winding.

In an online exchange with another widowed friend this week, we discuss how our emotional response to grief can take us right back to where we started. The difference now is that we know that we will get through it. That is how I know I am on the right track. In the prior months my reaction to missing and losing Michael would take me to a very dark and lonely hole. I felt as though I would never come out of it, and at times I wished I would just sink in forever. These days the pain can be just as gut wrenching, but I know that it will pass. I have to remind myself that I can't always control how much it will hurt, but I can reassure myself that I am surviving.

This is what progress look like. This is what healing feels like.


  1. i've been told that it gets "easier" but i think the word is subjective. it's relative to how bad it was before and the bad moments that will come. you'll see good days and think, i am going to make it. then the bad days will swing back by. familiar territory. but since you've been through it before, you're familiar with how you need to handle it per your own nature.

    but no matter how it feels, you are surviving, each day passes and the count continues. the yardstick to measure how you're doing is only against yourself. no one else. you're introspective. you're great at getting things out of your system. you're surviving.

  2. There are still some rainy days in my life too. I have a suspicion that they will just come and go forever. Likewise, seeing happy couples can be an emotional landmine for me - particularly when I'm some place where there are many people my age or older, and everyone seems to have a partner. This winter, I've been invited to several dinners and it's always the same -- there will be nine of us. Everyone is 10 or 15 years older. If I don't keep a tight rein on my mind, I invariably start thinking, "Why did this happen to *us*? Why am I the only one having to struggle on alone." I end up sitting at the table staring at my glass of wine, not paying attention to what everyone around me is saying. I don't wish anyone harm, or to have to experience what I've been through, but it does feel hurtful. My only defense is to limit exposure to happy couples and take this kind of socializing in small bites. Kind of makes it sound like couples are like kryptonite, but actually, that's just how it seems to me at the moment. Perhaps this feeling passes in time.