Thursday, May 13, 2010

8 Months, Still Climbing

The Steep Climb
Originally uploaded by

The things we do for our kids.

My youngest son had a science project last month on Mt. Pelee. The culmination of the project was supposed to be a brief video, hopefully uploaded to YouTube, so the whole class could view. Fine. We didn't own a video camera, and my son was really stoked about this, so I caved and bought him a small video camera. Okay, the next day we set out to make this video, only he realizes he doesn't really have much material to cover. Never mind that Dad kept asking him to do a bit more research on the topic. Anyway, back to the video taping. We chose to do this at our neighborhood park, so he could do a roving reporter type story. Well, half way through the taping he had a big fit, and quit. What?! The star can't quit. We have a budget, and the studio, I'm mean school, has given us a deadline. The money has been spent, and we need to produce a video. So the director, um, Dad, secretly splices together a short video out of the limited taping that was done pre-tantrum. The problem is, Dad had no idea how to save the video to a video file. Teacher has been asking about the tape. Well, Dad has his's in the mail? Finally, tonight, when Dad was supposed to be writing today's post, he was busy trying to upload the damn thing to YouTube. No such luck. Dad tried to email it to the teacher. No such luck. Apparently the file is too big, and the processing of the upload is too slow. What the hell am I supposed to do? Try and try again? Okay, I did, I mean third person Dad did. Again, no good. Perhaps Dad will have to send his laptop with son to school for viewing. Eek! Wait a minute. Dad hasn't tried posting it on his blog...

Well, that didn't work either. Time to move on.

As I might have mentioned last night, today is the 8th month anniversary of Michael's death. It always sounds so harsh when I say "his death." I suppose that's because death is a harsh reality. It's been weighing heavy on my mind throughout the day, but I had to put my emotions to the side, as there was much to get done. I had a lot of work to get done at the office, as I will be taking a day off next week to fly down for my job interview in San Diego. I also contacted a realtor, who is coming by on Saturday morning to take a look-see at my house, so I was trying to tidy up the house as I shouted directions to the boys, and tried to keep the dog from attacking the cat. In all, it was quite a hectic day. There was one blessing though, and one that I didn't really expect.

In the course of my duties I visit various families throughout the week. Today I was visiting the home of someone who I knew by my file had lost her husband recently. In fact we lost our husbands within four days of each other. After conducting my business during the visit, I decided that I would disclose my similar experience of being widowed recently. I must say, it has been quite some time since I have been able to sit next to someone, and listen to, and share my story of loss. It's not very often that I meet another widowed person in my day to day life. As most of my readers would expect, it was a wonderfully fulfilling opportunity. I won't go into any details of our conversation other than to say that I left that home feeling blessed. It is moments such as this that we are able to give and receive grace and humility.

Tonight I have felt the increasing sorrow coming up from somewhere deep within me. By chance a friend and her daughters called me tonight to thank me for some belated birthday gifts I sent. It was perfect timing. I was able to discuss with her my concerns for my daughter, and to share the significance of today. This is the same friend who usually provides me with my morning hug and kiss when we start out our day at the office. Unfortunately, we have missed each other at work all week, and I definitely was feeling the need for our connection. Again, it felt like some kind of divine intervention, or a friend's knowing, that led her to call me. Because of our conversation I am feeling less alone tonight. She asked how my evening would go. I told her that I could sense that I would be falling back into my despair, but from my experience, I know that I will be okay.

I think we all need to trust ourselves, and trust in our own experience and short history with grief. I know the depths of pain, and I know how easily I can forget why it is worth getting through this. I don't want to run and hide from the pain. I want to face it. I want to embrace it. I then want to let it go. I know that it will always be a part of my reality, but to changing degrees. For the most part I am okay with this. I recognize that I wouldn't be going through this if I hadn't been blessed with the love of a wonderful man.

I will accept this blessing. Oh how it pains me to say this. The tears are falling as I write. I have to accept this. I have no other choice. hour later, I was able to burn the video onto a DVD. Father's Day is coming up next month, and the kid better come through for me!


  1. for all the sadness of this day for you, your posting has an uplifting feel to it. accepting the depths of this pain also, in a way, gives you the chance to remember how great a love you have with and for Michael, and he for you. i like the John Donne writes about death. "transcend."

    the ups and downs will be more apparent to you as the shock starts to subside. for me, and maybe only for me, but the handful of weeks after the year milestone showed me a grief where i realized i truly had been numb the whole first year. it is different for different people but being forewarned and all... i simply want you to be aware and to continue to trust yourself. seek out your friends. plus i am so glad fortune does smile on you when you need it, like with your friend from the office.

    i am glad you got the video burned. and the children had better come through for you on Father's Day.


  2. You really are a special dad - struggling along with that videotape! Yes, there had better be some recognition on Father's Day.
    Good that you got to speak to another widowed person today. A couple of days ago, quite by chance, I ended up in conversation with a parent who had lost a son just a couple of years ago. We discussed how a all-consuming project or passion can be helpful when we are grieving.
    Good luck with the realtor visit. I'm sure it will go just fine - in spite of kids, dog, and $2000 cat!
    You're quite right. We experience the pain of grief because of the love of our spouses. As we so often hear, it's the price we pay for our love.

  3. Hi Dan,

    I just recently started following your blog. You are a very gifted writer. One quote you made me think of

    How lucky I am to have loved someone so much that losing them is so damned awful.

    Anyway, I am sure you hear it a lot, but I am sorry for your loss. I look forward to hearing about your new adventures as life unfolds. I am very excited for you to interview for the new job. How awesome is that.

    I am on the other coast, am married (for the third time-- via divorce) to a man and I am a woman. I see that you are gay and thats fine. To me its like saying you have blue eyes. You are what you are. Your loss is just as heartwrenching as if your spouse had been a man, woman, yellow, brown, white or black. I wish I could or say something that is helpful.

    Jacky from MD

  4. Welcome Jacky. Thanks for reading, and thanks for sharing the quote.

  5. Hi wNs and bev. Thanks for the good feedback. When I picked up my youngest son at school today he had a gift for me. His class has a store where the kids redeam points from doing well for items. He bought me a notebook, pens, post its and paper clips. He says they are for my job interview, and in case I get the job.

    Okay, so the hours working on the two minute video was worth it.