Saturday, August 28, 2010
A house full of laughter.
Today was a nice change of pace. I had planned a BBQ, and was having my cousin, my daughter and a friend of hers over for dinner. I got up early, got the house in order, then went shopping. I took my time at the grocery store, looking up and down every isle. I told myself to take my time. There was no hurry, so I wanted to enjoy the fact that I was out of the house, and among other people. Of course one of the downsides to this is that the grocery store is in the gay section of town, and there were couples at every turn. I think every gay couple in San Diego was also planning their own BBQ. I wish I didn't feel so envious, or heartbroken, when I saw couples. I found myself studying them carefully, trying to remember that feeling of shopping with my husband, planning for a dinner with guests. I watched how they spoke to each other. I watched how they touched each other with purpose when they spoke. I realized that this is why I stay home most of the time, as I was fighting back tears the whole time. In between stores I did in fact find myself in tears, but then I am in tears every day lately. Don't throw too much sympathy my way. It's just part of my survival these days.
While shopping I decided to buy a bottle of wine. It's not that often that I have a drink, but thought it would lend to the festive occasion. I quickly got out my iPhone to see what was a good wine to pair with poultry and pork. As I was doing this all I could think of was Michael. He loved a good bottle of wine, and knew all the right types to buy. Of course with this realizations were more tears. Only this time they were joyful, as I remembered how important these decisions were for Michael. After hitting a couple of stores I ended up at another nursery, this time looking for some house plants. Wouldn't you know it, one of the couples from the grocery store were doing the same. I couldn't escape them, those damn happy gay couples!
I've been spending some extra time setting up my back deck for such occasions. I had purchased some seat cushions, more plants and a BBQ grill. When we were out there one of my neighbors looked out over his deck and commented on what a nice job I have done making my deck so cozy. It felt good to get this acknowledgement. He probably doesn't realize what a small gesture like that did for me.
The rest of the evening was all of us, including the boys, eating, telling stories, and laughing. Lots of laughter. I haven't laughed that much in a very long time. It felt really nice. For the first time this house started to feel like a home. When my daughter and her friend left, and the house was suddenly quiet, I went out to sit on the back deck alone. I had some time to talk to Michael, and to look out over the city lights. It was another chance for me to sit and cry. Now I hesitate to write this, because I don't want people thinking I write this for sympathy. That is not the case with me. My reality is that I rarely cry in front of anyone anymore. And I don't usually let people in close enough to even know that I still cry for Michael almost daily. But I do want those that read this blog to know what my reality is. If you are reading this to gage how you are doing with your grief compared to another widower, then I want to be open with you about my experience.
I had been doing fairly well for the past month, but there has definitely been a change as of late. During these past couple of weeks the grief is much stronger. It's likely because I am coming closer and closer the the one year anniversary of Michael's death. I think about this way too much, and need to take breaks throughout the day to cry a little. As I was sitting outside, I turned to look back into my home. I looked into the softly let dining room, from the vantage point of an outsider. It looked warm, and comfortable. I could sense that a nice time had occurred in that room quite recently. It made me smile, and at the same time made me sad. I'm pleased that I had this social time, and sad that I had it without Michael. I suppose that is a theme that I will need to get used to more and more. I want to move forward, and I want to be happy. I also realize by my having such strong reactions to all the couples today, that I want to be in a relationship again one day. I don't want to be alone and lonely. I want to be loved, and to plan such evenings with that person. It's also what Michael wants for me. This I am clear about.
I have decided to give myself these next couple of weeks to feel what I need to feel about the one year mark. I then want to do something to push myself forward. I want to start meeting people, and going out. I need to engage more with people. I don't want to sit at home and cry all the time. And, I don't want to keep myself in isolation. I want to have more of these evenings, and to have more laughter in my house. It's time. Well, it will be time, soon enough.