Monday, April 19, 2010


Originally uploaded by
alison d'bird

I am coming to the end of my day off. I did work this morning, but was free the rest of the afternoon, and had quite a mellow time at home tonight.

Today I was reminded of how so many people are experiencing difficult times. Not in the financial way, which we are all aware of, but emotionally. More and more I am able to recognize the pain and sorrow in a person's face, or in their physical presence. I'm not always in the know as to what their particular burden is, but I can see their pain. When I come across someone like this, I am so moved to reach out, especially if it is someone that I know. Yet, I don't always know if the person wants to be approached, or asked if they need to talk.

I know that for me, I often walk around with my armor up. It is what gets me through the day, but it is not always effective. Sometimes our vulnerability permeates all of our efforts to be strong, and quickly comes to the surface. I know that for many people, this can be very scary. It can cause us to feel out of control. Today I saw a glimpse of this in someone I know, and it now has me concerned. Up till now I haven't felt like I was emotionally well enough to reach out to help someone, as far as being a support, but I'm thinking that I should. Perhaps this person recognizes something in my loss that would enable him to open up. I suppose that one of the benefits to having gone through such a public loss, like the death of a spouse, is that others begin to watch you to see how you manage getting through each day. Perhaps my silver lining will be that someone will feel safe approaching me, knowing that I might feel sympathetic to their situation.

I think this is something for me to meditate about.

My other thought tonight has been about having little interest in life right now. Today while I was at home, doing pretty much nothing, I thought about how much time I waste. I still, after 7 months, sit around, staring straight in front of me, feeling numb and disinterested. I tried to get interested in some reading, but it didn't hold my attention. I tried watching a couple of movies on the television, but they both seemed so pointless. Then I did my usual surfing of the net, spending hours looking at nothing, or what I would consider junk.

Most of the time I tell myself, hey it's okay to do nothing. But the problem is, I do nothing quite a bit of the time. And it's not that I don't have options. I just don't see the benefit in putting out much effort these days. What I am trying to describe here is not about not getting enough done in the day. I am keeping up with most of my at home responsibilities. But there are a lot of small detail things that are really piling up. Things like mail to be opened, bills to be paid, phone calls to return, that I never get to. Everything seems sort of pointless.

I don't feel like I am being the best parent right now. I don't feel like I am being a very good son, friend, or brother. I'm kind of lost. Or maybe I'm not so much lost, more like I have lost a significant part of me. I don't really like who I am today. I am indifferent. I am withdrawn. I am lazy. I am sad. I am depressed. I don't really have anything to talk about. There is nothing new in my life, and I don't even want anything new to talk about.

I sometimes feel like I would like to fast forward my life, and to just get it over with. I know this sounds terrible, and I don't mean to sound so negative, or fatalistic. I just don't expect to be all that happy in the future, so I'm not too interested in what lies ahead for me.

In some ways, I feel like an emotional drifter. Someone who is an emotional vagabond, an itinerant person. A person who moves aimlessly from place to place, someone who leads a wandering unsettled life. Only, I'm not going anywhere. I just feel untethered.


  1. Once again, you've written about something that will probably seem familiar to many of us. The final paragraph of your post pretty much describes how I have felt and even physically acted out over the past 18 months, although there was often a purpose to the drifting and I think it actually took me to some places I needed to be (mentally and physically) in order to begin to heal. Many times it seems as though I've just been going through the motions -- doing things because I had to. It's been hard to feel any need to bother with certain things because they seemed so pointless. My only solution to this has been to force myself to do things that I used to be afraid to do, or that seemed to be more than I could do - not everyday things, but more like quests. This part is more difficult for me to explain, but I've taken advantage of my "lack of giving a damn about myself" by challenging myself to do those things seemed almost impossible or too risky. If there has been one thing that was learned through all that I've been through, it is that there is very little that is "too much" or "too scary" once you feel you've lost everything that ever mattered to you. A couple of nights ago, I had a dream that my van got broken into and that almost everything I thought I still cared about got stolen or was found broken up on the ground (by the way, my van really does contain the last of the remaining physical objects that mean something to me). My reaction in the dream was to wander around looking at the broken stuff and thinking that I should probably call the police, except that I didn't actually care enough to bother - and in my mind, I was trying to remember what was actually in the van and couldn't even form the beginnings of a list. The next day, I thought about all of this and realized that my dream-reaction was probably pretty true to how my normal reaction would be these days. It's a very strange place to find myself -- this odd lack of caring about almost everything except the people I am closest to, and my two dogs -- but a friend who has followed the path of an eastern religion for most of his life has told me that the place where I seem to be now, is that which so many people work toward. Lately, I'm thinking that maybe this state of mind is actually a natural or real state for us, and that the more material lifestyle of our western society - with all of the rushing around, doing things, buying things, taking care of things, etc.. is not entirely compatible with what is going on inside of us. Maybe what happens to us during grief, is that the surface stuff - that which doesn't really matter - gets burned away. Anyhow, just some thoughts tapped out this morning along the road on the way to Nova Scotia.

  2. You have accurately described my first two years of widow(er)hood. And even now, I still have periods where I feel a bit "untethered". Here's hoping this period of heaviness lifts soon for you. Hang in there.

  3. I have felt untethered a lot over the past 13 months. I liken it to being in a row boat without oars, bobbing around the ocean. I have no solution to feeling this way. I've allowed myself to wallow and I've forced myself to do things and both have their pros and cons. I think the only thing that works is time passing, and while it's passing do what your gut tells you need to be doing. Sometimes wallowing is theraputic for me, and sometimes it just Smakes me feel pathetic. That's when I force myself to walk the dog, clean the house, do some marking, call a friend, read, or write. Sorry I don't have a solution for you. But I sure get it.