Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Soon Enough

The Wind of Change...

I'm finally close to closing escrow on my new home. It has been a long process in some ways, and not so long in others. It didn't take very long for my wonderful realtor to find this home for me, but I have had to be patient during this whole escrow process.

I found that my initial excitement quickly turned into depression. I think it had a lot to do with the timing of finding the house around the time of my wedding anniversary. A past that I am still grieving converged with a future that looked so beautiful and promising. The end result was anxious anticipation, along with disappointment that I find myself here without Michael.

I am very fortunate to have a house that I absolutely love. It will give me so much to do in way of projects, such as decorating and gardening. Lots of gardening. I know that once I'm in the house that my spirit will once again be lifted from these dark clouds.

I think that change is difficult. Change during times of grief is even more difficult. The reality is that I wouldn't even be here if Michael had not died. Yet, this is what I have chosen given my reality. The challenge before me is to allow myself to be happy. Most people would not likely understand how hard it is to be happy. I find that it takes an enormous amount of effort for me to keep my spirits up during the day. Honestly, I crash each day on my drive home. Sometimes I wonder how I am able to drive given the amount of tears that blur my vision.

I hesitated to share this, as I really wanted to be doing better at this point. Yet, as has been my blog policy, I have to be real with each of you. You know, I never really believed that the second year would be this difficult. I had read other people describe how you then experience your loss without that numb feeling, but I just didn't get it. Now I do.

This will all change. Maybe not as quickly as I would like, but soon enough.


  1. hugs and thinking of you, Dan.

  2. Dan - As always, the feelings that you describe are so familiar to me. I have made a great many changes to my life - all of which seem positive to me - and yet I return to the reality of living a life without Don. That said, it has now been about 2 years and 2 months since Don died and I do find myself in a much different space. yesterday, I arrived in Bisbee to spend my third winter at the same house that I rented in the past. The cyclical nature of my life - spending summers working very hard on our farm to sell it, and this year, on restoration of the old house in Nova Scotia, and then the third trip across the west, and the return to this town - have all helped me to see how far I have come, not just in distance and time, but in strength and resiliency, the ability to cope with the unexpected, and more recently, a growing sense that it is possible to go on and find happiness - not the kind of safe, stable happiness of the past, but a more fragile, fleeting kind that comes and goes throughout my days of work, travel, and quiet contemplation. I realize that I will never be the person I once was, but that's okay. The life that I am living is not so bad. It is sadder, but also sort of interesting - in the way that many objects become more fascinating as they develop the patina and other signs of age and wear. It has taken a couple of years to get past so many other complex feelings and arrive at this place where I feel I can carry on alone - unencumbered by tho old feelings of hopelessness, anger and sorrow. I think you are getting there too.

  3. Dan,
    I, too, have always been painfully honest on my blog about this widowed road we're on. Thank you for your words .... and for staying honest about your feelings.
    You will start to find things getting easier, but you will do so at your own pace. The second year was harder for me ..... which I think is very normal, though most people don't expect it. I, too, thought that I should be feeling "better" that second year, which made it that much harder.
    It will be three years for me in three weeks. This is the first Thanksgiving since Jim died that I feel thankful .... finally.
    That feels good, even though his absence still (and always will) sucks.
    Good luck with the closing and everything involved with the new house.
    You deserve it.

  4. Dearest Dan - I remember so clearly that I thought once I got "through the first year" that somehow it would get easier - ha, not so much. I am happy for you that your new home will bring you some measure of joy and a new, constructive place to put your energy and attention.

    Sending hugs and blessing tonight - I am thankful that this blogosphere brought you into my life. Thank you.

  5. Sorry hope my last post didn't sound flip. The second year, for me, was more difficult - it was a painful year that led me to where my heart and spirit reside today - baby steps and baby steps - sending golden light to you.

  6. "doing better at this point."

    And what point do you think you are falling short of? It's not a contest. We don't get prizes for any of this, so there is no sense in worrying about whether you are stacking up to some mythical widow archetype or that you are about to be swallowed by the bogeyman of the second year.

    The second year is just the second year. It has ups and downs, just like any other year. Try not to put too much stock in how it should be or what it's supposed to be like. It just will be what it is and that is for you to decide. I never liked the tendency we have to say - the first year is such and such and the second year is like this. Blah. Blah. It sets people up with expectations that might override their own natural inclinations.

    The second year for me? I fell in love and got remarried. It was a pretty darn good year. A damn sight better than the previous one and beat the years he was sick all to hell.

    You are selling a house that holds your husband's memories and memories of the two of you. Of course that's going to stir things up. It's normal. It's not a sign that the rest of the year is doomed to more of the same. You're doing this to move towards happiness - that's awesome and it's scary because it's change. Humans don't do change well or willingly, so you are ahead of the game by taking the initiative.

    Tears will come. And they'll dry. The second year is whatever you decide it will be.

  7. Dan, It is what it is. We can only change so much of what is here for us to deal with.You're making "progress", but be gentle with yourself. This is all huge. Give it some (more) time. I think we compare ourselves to normal people way too much, and there is no way we can be like them. There are so many metaphors I can think of to illustrate, but I know you know what I'm talking about. Treat yourself at least as well as you would treat a dear friend (or even a stranger) in the same situation, and don't try to push through this. Sorry for the bossy tone. I am telling myself the same thing here. No one who is going through this, or has gone through and come out a different person on the other side, expects more of you than what you can do. And the rest of them have no idea. It is what it fucking is. carolyn

  8. Remember that your expectations about the first year turned out to be not-so-useful, and so may your expectations about the second year. For me, the second year hurt the most, but also was when I started making the big changes, including doing a lot of fun things and starting to figure out what I *did* want. There was pleasure, and a lot of housekeeping.

    Sometimes I think the only useful milestone of "the first year" is that it's when we can finally realize that what everyone says about timelines etc are garbage -- and we can just start listening to ourselves, and living one day at a time like we might have all along. I remember missing the numbness and being thankful for awareness at the same time.

    I know it hurts, but it sounds so much like you are on a really good track with a lot of your life. Thanks for sharing so much of your life with us.

  9. just dropping by to let you know that I love you Dan. I love love love you! And I hope you know just how much you help us all. It never ceases to amaze me how you bring such clarity to me at times when I need it most.