Thursday, February 4, 2010

Harsh Realities

harsh reality
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Tonight I decided to start writing a children's story. My youngest son has been wanting me to do this for a while, as I constantly make up stories as we are driving around the city. The first chapter is done, but being that this is something new to me I want to hold off sharing it until it begins to take shape.

If only I had all day to devote to writing, then I would be in hog heaven. But for now, I will enjoy the time I do have each evening. I'm recognizing tonight that my mood is all over the map. I had a good day at the office, but I did find myself near tears throughout the day. It's funny, because I can't even remember what I did all day. I know I was productive, but my mind was obviously not on my work.

Today it has been Michael that occupies my attention. All week his face kept popping up on my Facebook account. Every once in awhile Facebook will take someone from your 'friends' list, and suggest you get in touch with them. All week it has been suggesting Michael. It's not Facebook's fault, as they don't really know that Michael died. I have written a couple of messages on his wall, letting his other friends know that he is gone, but officially, in his info. settings, I have not fully addressed this.

In the past I considered changing my relationship status to widowed. At first I couldn't get it to work. I thought it might be a site problem, but eventually I realized that I couldn't be 'widowed' because Michael and I were linked as 'married.' The only way to change this would be to close Michael's account, or to make him unmarried to me. What a dilemma. It's almost as if Facebook is making me decide when to pull the plug. I have to kill off Michael in ordered to correctly identify myself as a widower. I'm sure they don't see it that way, but in my deranged way of thinking, that is how it is.

Maybe this line of thinking is what makes my grief so difficult to get through. I sometimes feel like I'm expected to let go of Michael, because after all he is dead. I know, that last sentence sound awful. I suppose it is a good example of what we call a harsh reality. Death, is a harsh reality. Sometimes hard times call for harsh measures.

What exactly am I talking about? If you know, please clue me in. I often have to keep a good eye on myself, as I do take harsh measures when going through hard times. Remember the talk about Job, and the nice haircut? Well, Michael wasn't too pleased with that harsh measure. He loved my silver hair, and didn't quite understand my need to shave it off. I think he looked at it as me really losing my grip on reality at the time. After a while he would just look at me, and laugh sweetly. I would rub my bald head and join him in the laughter.

Valentines Day is coming up. A couple of years ago I decided that I loved him so much I needed a new way to tell the world, and oh, him as well. I got into bed beside him, took off my shirt, and just laid there smiling. He looked over at my back and found a brand new tattoo. It was a lotus flower, Michael's initials (MWL), and the kanji symbol for 'hope.' Michael couldn't believe that I would do this. "It's so permanent," he said. I just laughed, and reminded him that so was my love. I wonder what he would say about the tattoo I got across my back after he died. It's a good thing we didn't bury him, as he would likely be turning in his grave. Sorry for being so irreverent, it's the mood I'm in, and it's our sense of humor. Michael and I were both blessed with a very dry and sarcastic sense of humor.

So, back to Facebook. Yes, I'm all over the place tonight. Anyway, I finally gave in to Facebook's recommendation. No, I didn't kill Michael. I decided to send him a short message. As I wrote it I kind of felt like a junkie with a needle in my hand. It's probably not the direction I should be going if I want to "move on," but do I really want to move on?

I remember a few weeks ago when Michael's mother was here for the weekend. We were going through Michael's things and we were sharing stories about the bereavement groups we each attend. I told her about some of the other widowed parents talking about dating once again. Michael's mother quickly reminded me that as the mother of the deceased she expected at minimum a full year of mourning. Again, laughter. Yes, I told her. I cannot imagine myself ready to date anyone during this first year. As I told his mother, "I still love your son, my husband."

So needless to say, I didn't pull the Facebook plug. I sent Michael a simple message letting him know that I love and miss him every day. Michael remains very much alive on Facebook, and Michael remains very much alive in my heart.


As an aside, we have a new blogger in our midst. His name is 'Bill in NH,' and his blog is Chuck's Life, Continued... Please take the time to visit his blog. You will find that he is very insightful, and has such a wonderful take on life.


  1. i have always believed that a person should do what is acceptable to them while they mourn. on certain legal documents, you have to list yourself as widow(er)ed. but on something casual like Facebook, i think you can do pretty much what feels right to you. i still list myself as married. some of my husband's friends contact me through my husband's FB account so i will not cancel it. i switch out photos for them. it's comfortable to them as well as me. i leave a "message" to him on the big dates, tell him i miss him, etc. it lets others know some milestone has occurred. i still wear my wedding rings. i'm not in denial. of everyone on this planet, it's me who lives with the tragic fact that he died every minute of every day. i am just doing what feels right to me.

    thank you for suggesting Bill. i will visit him. after all, he used to be a "neighbor" as i lived in NH for a long, long time and then moved with my husband to Rockport, MA for the remainder of my time up north.

  2. I love irreverent humour, especially since becoming a widow. I love sharing this humour with other widows/widowers. And I love the look on people's faces when I accidentally get irreverent around people who don't get it. Wow, that sounds nasty, but I don't mean it to be. I guess I just like to chuckle every now and then. Thanks for giving me a chuckle this morning.

    Good luck with your children's story! I hope we get to read it.

  3. People were telling me that matt would want me to "move on" within days of his death. People are crazy. There is no moving on. There is moving with, however that happens and unfolds.