Saturday, August 21, 2010
When the dust settles.
I'm struggling with the thought of what direction my writing should go. I tend to be one of those people who is always looking ahead, trying to map out somewhat of a direction. When I first started this blog, I didn't really know where it was going, or what I wanted to say through it. In a short time I realized that what would help me, and maybe others, was to commit to writing on a daily basis. I wanted to have a chronicle of my grief, with all of it's nuances, written for those that follow me on this path.
As a refresher of sorts, I came to this because I was looking for a widowed voice that sounded like mine. I looked for current writings from male widowers, and I was looking for writings from gay widowers. Unfortunately for me, there wasn't much out there. That is what led me to write something myself. September 13th will be the one year anniversary of Michael's death, but not the one year anniversary of beginning this blog. That date would be October 19th, which was our first wedding anniversary, which I celebrated without him. The one year anniversary of the "one year" commitment to write daily would likely be October 31st.
What I worry about is becoming a professional widower. Does that make sense? It's a touchy subject, as I have been party to some conversation about this on more than one occasion. While I am a widower, will I still be a widower if I were to remarry? Some would say that I was a widower, but if newly married I that just that, married. And no, I'm not getting remarried. At least not that I am aware of. Along this same frame of mind, would continuing to write about grief lead me to plant my feet a bit to firmly into the widowed ground? Can I truly move forward if I only identify as a widower? If I begin to write about other themes, would my readers feel like someone changed the channel when they left the room?
I sometimes already feel some of this self resistance building up within me. Like many others, I want to write a book. Not some book for a massive audience, but a book for people like me. So in beginning to write this book I have to think, who will read it, and what do I want to convey to them? I would have to say that in my adult life there have been two very significant "movements," if we were to describe it as music. There is the parenting portion of my life that has been quite challenging, yet one which I have used to help others in many arenas. I have done plenty of speaking about public adoption and gay parenting. I have also helped others in navigating the mental health system and special education system. As a husband, I have had significant experience in being a caretaker, and widower, all while navigating a system that is not necessarily gay friendly.
Maybe because I am raising kids with special needs, I don't have the luxury to focus all of my attention in one place. This could be a good thing, and this could be something that prevents me from ever accomplishing my own personal goals. Unfortunately, that has been the fall out of my adult choices. I rarely seem to have a period of time that is conducive to achieving these goals that I have set.
I feel like these past few years have been like an enormous forest fire. And now, after all this time, the ashes will begin to settle. Well, likely not. But I want to believe that my life can get easier, and that my time can be more self managed.
If the figurative dust begins to settle, what do I want to say?