Male Nude 2
Originally uploaded by Denise_
So, it would seem that I have stumbled onto a topic that needs further exploration. I had already started a new post for today, which had me going in a different direction, but I am now thinking that we need to stay with this subject a bit longer.
I want to create a setting where we can have these open and honest conversations about aspects of widowhood that don't normally get discussed. I have participated in a couple of bereavement groups, yet this subject has yet to surface. It has been on my mind for quite some time. I go through periods where my libido is through the roof. I'm not sure if that is because I am missing Michael so much, or if I just need the endorphins that are released by sex. When I go through a difficult grieving time, I find that I don't give this much thought at all.
I can only speak from a guys point of view on this subject. As a guy I have used sex as a way to express my love and devotion, and I have also used it just make me feel better. During these painful days, sex would be a wonderful way to balance my emotions. I think for men, we sometimes use sex as a distraction. It's not always used to communicate or relate to our partner. In other words, it is not always intimacy that we seek. Sometimes it's just a means to an end.
For Michael and I, we talked about sex and intimacy with great ease. Sex was something that was important to both of us. We seemed to have a very similar sex drive, which was nicely balanced prior to his getting sick. We also found that we both enjoyed other ways to communicate our love and affection to each other. We often went to spas together, as we loved being pampered. Before, and after he was diagnosed with cancer, we enjoyed giving each other massages. One issue that did come up for me though, was that I sometimes felt like I was already doing so much for him. I am trained as a massage therapist, having studied massage after finishing graduate school. So, I guess you could say I knew what I was doing. When Michael would massage me, he had a tendency to move through it a bit too quickly, and often wanted it to become more sexual. After spending the day taking care of all his needs, giving a massage sometimes felt like asking too much.
As with the changes in our sex life, I brought up this dynamic about the massages. I was able to explain why I hesitated at times, and things got better between us. So it is all types of touch, sexual, intimate, healing and therapeutic that I find missing in my life. I do go for massages frequently, and they feel great, but I sometimes leave the spa feeling very sad. I'm sad that I can enjoy them, and Michael can't. I'm sad that someone is making me feel so good, and it isn't Michael. I leave there thinking about how in the past we would both have received a massage, and would go home very relaxed, together. I leave there thinking that I won't be touched by another adult until my next appointment, which could be weeks.
This is definitely a dilemma for widows and widowers. What does this do to us in the long run. Without touch, do we become further detached from humanity? The mind and body are connected in such significant ways. I worry about detaching physically from this world, and I worry that I will become emotionally detached from people.
Sometimes when I am alone in my room, I will mindlessly allow my hands to brush the sides of my face. I will gently caress my neck and shoulder. I am trying to find that way that Michael would touch me, or the right place he would touch me. I'm wanting connection, connection to him. I know this is not possible, but it is what I desire. It is what my body needs.
My thoughts are quite scattered tonight. I'm feeling less focused. Sometimes I wonder if this is directly related to the lack of touch. I spend far too much time in my head. I need to find new ways to connect to my world, and make the time to do that each day. I need to utilize all of my senses when I do this. I don't think this will take the place of the loss of sex in my life, but it will help fill some of the needs that sexual intimacy once provided.
I suppose it is yet another way that I have to adjust to my new life. My life as a widower. I don't like this. It just amplifies my feeling of being alone.
I miss his touch.