Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Darkness Looms

darkness looms
Originally uploaded by
death and gravity

What a rough day, and it's not over.

This morning as I arrived at work, and was parking in the lot, the guard approached me to say he needed to leave early today, so I needed to pick up my keys by 3:30pm. We leave the keys as they have to double up on the parking spots, layering cars in each row. Parking is such a problem in the city. I said that would be fine, and made myself a note in my Blackberry.

This afternoon I had been waiting by the fax machine for a police report I needed in order to write a court report. In between checking the fax machine I returned calls on my other cases. By the time the police report arrived it was late in the day so I quickly began writing my report to the court. The next time I looked up at the clock it was 5pm. F*#k!

I was locked out of my car once again. This happened to me two weeks ago as well. This time my daughter isn't at home to rescue me. Rather than spend the money on a cab I decided to walk half way to my sons school, then catch the bus. I got to his school on time, and we started walking part of the way home. Half way up the hill, and it started to rain lightly. As we approached the turn where we were to catch the bus I realized that I didn't have a key to the house. I called a friend who I previously gave an extra key to, but she couldn't find it. She picked us up at the bus stop, and drove us to the house. I tried a couple of keys I found in my back-pack, but no do. My friend asked me to drop her back off at her house, and take her car. I then drove to my daughter's friend's home to pick up her keys. As I was driving back toward my home, tears.

I dropped into Taco Bell to buy the boys some dinner. My daughter was having dinner with some friends. I will need to go back out later to pick her up, then go retrieve my car at work. I hate being a single parent again. There is nobody at home to help out in a crisis. There is nobody at home starting dinner while I'm running around trying to manage this crazy day. I could really use a wife like Donna Reed, greeting me at the door with a cocktail in her hand.

In the mail was a letter for me from one of Michael's friends. I decided to not open it until I am actually settled in for the night. Given the way I am feeling, I am sure the letter will cause more tears. So much chaos. So much stress. Where is the payoff?

Darkness and sadness looms. It is one of those nights where I know despair is right around the corner. Most days I feel some sense of control, but not tonight. I have come to recognize this feeling, and it is not easy to deal with. I know that it will be a night of heavy crying, and gut wrenching pain. I am glad that it doesn't happen as frequently, and I am grateful to know that it won't last as long as in the past. Yet, I also know that my grief cannot be denied. It is pointless to fight it off. It is also better for me in the long haul to allow it to be present.

When grief arrives such as it has tonight, I feel like the angel of death somehow takes up temporary residence in my soul. To deny it's presence is futile. It is more powerful than me. I must submit, yet I will survive. I must give this dark angel his due, so that I may regain control of my heart. Like being caught in an undertow, submission is freeing. Only then will the collateral damage be minimal.


  1. Sounds like you had a horrible day. It's awful how that happens - a sort of domino effect in which bad events pile on as the day progresses. I've had some of those too - and oddly, they often start with being locked out of a car or the house. It used to happen a lot, but now I wear an extra car key on a lanyard around my neck, leave house keys hidden under rocks, money and extra ID hidden in my car, etc... I've had to resort to all kinds of crazy save-my-own-ass strategies now that I don't have anyone to call when things start sliding out of control. Such things used to happen to Don too, but we were there to help each other out. In the larger scheme of things, these are really trivial events, but they are painful reminders that we are now alone and no longer belong to a "home team". It hurts to know that we have to struggle along on our own. We shouldn't have to. However, the good thing is that we can do it - will do it - and in time, we will get better at being alone. Also, at the end of this type of day - and believe me when I say I have had quite a few while traveling alone - it's good to chant that all important mantra... "Tomorrow is another day and it will be better."

  2. I hope tomorrow is better daddy. i know how you feel tho. today i just kept feeling like crying. every where i went i just felt like nothing was in my favor. i just have to keep trying. i know that is what you do everyday, all day. i appreciate all your hard work and all the effort it takes you to get thru the day. i want to continue to tell you im here and i love you too much! (in a good way) let me know in the morning how the letter was. if you read this after reading the letter and dont want to be alone, im just upstairs. goodnite daddy

  3. you life is more chaotic than mine but, yes, i know days where you feel like the hamster in a wheel. going nowhere as fast as you can. i am getting desperate for commission work and had a woman query about making 3 quilts for her 3 children. it is 4:30 AM here and now that i've sent off a second email to her dropping my prices on my quilts to where i make less than 50 cents an hour, i'm praying she can accept that price and offer me the work. tightness in my chest. my back hurts. i know it's fear. i also wish i had my husband to curl into and try for some semblance of sleep.

    when things go wrong the whole world is dark and raining, and if it's not the angel of death, it's the demon of debt that comes to watch with hateful red eyes. you are right in that you cannot fight against these feelings. to deny them means they all line up waiting for you. if you just wade through, hopefully you can get past each one, each day and keep moving forward.

    you are in my thoughts and prayers.

  4. I'm sorry you had such a rough day. And you're right. You do have to just go through the grief because there is relief on the other side. This is a little gross, so read further with that warning, but I compare grief to having the stomach flu. I hate to throw up, so I try to avoid it in any way I can but inevitably, I just have to throw up. It's not pleasant, but at the end, I always feel better, until it's time to throw up again. And for me, the wrenching part of grief is like that. I have to give in to the sobbing and moaning and writhing, so I can feel a little better, until next time.

    I hope today is better for you! Love Deb

  5. Dan - I feel so close to you and your experience because I have had similar ones. I could totally relate to your having to resort to the Taco Bell dinner for the boys (been there too many times to count) and your desire to have your mate at home minding the simmering stove while you're out and about in a crazy whirl!

    I largely avoided days like yours because I became fanatical and manic about trying to plan for any and every contingency that could ever occur - what if I lock the keys in the car or lock myself out of the house? what if the van breaks down on the way to taking one of the boys to their travel baseball games 35 miles away? and so on. But the end result has been very damaging - it has been a stressful and very uptight last few years. In a way, I wish I'd stopped worrying so much about what could happen and just let the days unfold. As you did, I would have faced whatever demons popped up. I used to tell myself that after facing my husband's death, there's not much I can't handle.

    In the end, you and the kids all survived and made it through. The boys got Taco Bell which they probably enjoyed (I love it because I can fill up my two pretty inexpensively!). It was a total bear of a day and I know it was not enjoyable getting through. But there may be some stories that come of it along the lines of "Remember that rainy day when Dad couldn't get into his car and he had to walk to the school to take the bus..." Also, you showed your kids how to manage an unexpected situation.

    Thanks for always sharing your days be they good ones or more challenging. Indulge yourself with a glass of wine or small treat of some sort. The weekend is coming and by the way you did a terrific job getting through the mini key crisis!

  6. That last paragraph about the angel of grief was really good. I can understand that, as I feel it too.