Wednesday, August 31, 2011


In the two years that Michael struggled with his tumor, I was part of an online community of caregivers whose loved one had a brain tumor. Most of these caregivers were spouses, yet some were parents. I kept in touch with a few of these people over the years, and followed many of their stories by way of Caring Bridge once I left the online group. Sadly, over the years all but one of those I have followed has lost their loved one.

Part of me was wanting to hold onto hope, to see that someone was actually going to survive this awful disease. Now not all of our loved ones had the same type of tumor, so to be fair, I'm sure some had a better outcome than Michael. Yet, of the those that I kept up with, just one has held on all these years later.

I'm sad to report that he, a young man, has now entered the hospice phase. As I read the updates posted by his wonderful mother, and I understand every word that she shares. I also empathize with her and her family, as this is a very intimate and painful period. You are savoring every moment, every breath that your loved one still has. This is coupled with complete exhaustion, both physically and emotionally.

Today as I was driving home I was thinking about this family, and wondering how they were managing. As my mind drifted a bit I began to sob heavily. It touched on a pain that I try my best not to succumb to these days. It's the pain of knowing that any moment could be their last, and wanting to hold onto each of them. I began picturing Michael in his hospital bed, and all the love and care he needed. I began to picture him in our own bed, sitting their doing his annoying Sudoku that he loved so much. I began thinking of him laying there next to me, with his eyes fixed on mine. I began to remember the feeling of holding him tightly in my arms as my body spooned his.

I sobbed, and I sobbed some more. I know that it doesn't help to get too lost in these old feelings, yet I suppose I must revisit them from time to time. I miss him so very much. I miss his beautiful smile, and the way he made me feel so loved. I miss his goofy flirtatious ways, and how I would laugh at his silly sexy moves. And I miss the look on his face when we would make love.

Yes, I know. These thoughts will only serve to bring more tears tonight, yet I can't help but go there. The difficulty for me is that this young man who is lying there in his own hospital bed, with all of his loving family caring for him, appears to be following the very same time line that Michael did. In two weeks it will the the second anniversary of Michael's death. It seems like a life time ago.

I sit here and take a deep. I know I was fortunate to have him, and yet I can't deny that I am not still angry that I had to lose him so quickly. I don't really know what the point of all this rambling is.

Just where I'm at I suppose.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Where did I put my libido?


I am feeling painfully restless tonight. I'm not sure what I want, or if it is something that I can go out and find. I think this is a feeling that comes over me when I am on an upswing from my depression. I start feeling better, and feel like I should have more going on. But I don't.

I wish there was a place where all the single guys like me would gather just for conversation. You know, like a well lit coffee house, with not too loud of music, and not too many posers. You could just drop by, grab something to drink, and plant yourself down into one of several sofas, or over-stuffed chairs, and join in a conversation. It would be a given that anyone that walks in is immediately acknowledged, and welcomed. There would be no overt cruising, just light, fun, or even deep, conversation. Yes, at the end of the evening you could trade telephone numbers, and plan to gather again another evening, or just drop by again, as there would always be a number of guys eager for some interaction.

No, there are not groups to join. I've looked. No, the online thing isn't doing it for me. And no, I haven't been to yoga in months. I'm not really looking for ideas on where to meet guys, or how to meet guys. Okay, maybe I would like to know how, but what I think I am exploring is the desire to be back out there again. I briefly entered the land of the living last month, only to sink back into the safety of my home. I'm also well aware that I'm feeling especially lonely right now because the two year anniversary is coming up soon. For that reason in itself, I'm not sure this would be the best time to meet anyone new. I'm almost certain that I would just retreat once again, but who knows, the two year mark may not be any different than today, or yesterday.

I just know that I am spending too much time each evening staring at this computer screen, expecting something, or someone, to jump out. It's just not going to happen that way. I need companionship, and I need it from another man right now. No, not necessarily sex, as that has not been of any interest for me in the last couple of months. Which makes me question, where the hell did I put my libido? It appears to have been missing from my life for quite some time now. It's like something you just stop using, then after awhile you forget that you even had it. Then one day it occurs to you, hey, I used to have a very nice libido? I wonder where I put it? You go through all of your drawers. You open up the boxes you have stacked in the corner. You go through both of your cars. The kids start to ask, hey dad, what are you looking for? You say, well, something I misplaced, but not to worry, I will find it. Then you return to your search without ever having to identify that which you are searching for. The kids say, well, let us know if you want some help searching for whatever it is. Okay. Thanks.

Okay, so let's say I find the damn thing. Then what? At this point, really, what would I do with my libido? Yeah, I could take it for a walk by myself. But hey, I've been doing that most of my adult life. For a short time I was able to share it with someone that I loved. I always knew where it was when Michael was around. I never lost it then. Well, maybe I would put it aside at times, but I always knew it was there when I had need for it.

Oh well, it's getting kind of late in the evening. No sense to looking for it now. If I remember, I'll look for it tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


Tonight I needed something different. I have been feeling so down today, and really looked forward to coming home from work so that I could lay down and give in to my emotions. Being that I come home to my kids, and various pets, my plan didn't go exactly as planned, but I did eventually have the opportunity to enter my bedroom, and close the door behind me.

I needed to get in touch with why I am feeling so down. The tears came naturally, but I sensed there were reasons ingrained in my soul as to why I needed this time to acquiesce. After laying quietly on my bed I turned to a book on my shelf. It was sitting right below Michael's urn, which at the time was being cradled by my hands. It was a book called Michael's Journey, a printed version of my Caring Bridge blog from our journey through cancer. I have not looked at this since Michael died. I didn't have the strength of heart to go there, yet today I knew it was what I needed.

I turned to the entries that were dated around this time two years ago. It was a time when we were heading into Michael's final days. My words were quite straight forward in that I needed to quickly inform our friends and family about the progression of Michael's tumor. My words were also inspired by the love I had for Michael, and for the gentle ways he was still communicating his love for me. I laid there reading each entry, taking time to soak in each word with purpose. I kept reading until I got to that final day when I needed to let everyone know that he had departed.

Surprisingly, these words are giving me comfort right now. Yes, they were hard to read, and brought back emotions from a very intense period in our journey together. Yet, they provided me with the answers I was looking for tonight. I needed to know why my body and soul are struggling with such despair.

I went through so much during those days. How could I not find myself reliving those emotions during this time of year? I was living in the final days of almost two years of struggle. I was working overtime to care for my dying husband. And, I was taking in each moment, knowing that it could be our last moment together.

As many of you know, Michael lived on for almost another month from this time two years ago. It was both horrific and endearing. I was in pain, and filled with immense love. I was on overload. No wonder my heart has been feeling so heavy.

I think back on that time period now, and feel so blessed to be the one to care for Michael in his final days. I feel like I was somehow chosen to help prepare him to exit this world, and to send him off knowing that he was loved with all my heart. I can still picture his trusting face, and his eyes that would follow my every move at that time. He surrendered all to me, knowing that I would give him all that he needed. I surrendered to him, knowing that he would always be there for me.

I am a very fortunate man. I found love, and love found me. It came in the form of Michael. The sweetest man I've ever know.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

San Diego Here I Come!

San Diego Marriott hotel and Marina

Oh yeah, I'm already here.

Camp Widow 2011 is just one week away. I have been prepping for it for several weeks now. Candice and I are presenting a workshop for the newly widowed, which I suppose in the big picture I'm still a part of.

Perspective. I guess that's what it comes down to. Perspective.

Am I new at this, or is this old hat? I'm not completely sure at this point. I know that my journey has it's ups and downs. I know that I was on an upper for awhile there, and lately have been on a downer. Yet, in the larger picture, I feel like I'm doing okay. There is always room for improvement, and there is still plenty of time.

I'm really looking forward to seeing many friends next week. There will be so many that I will be meeting in person for the first time. I remember the excitement last year, and the joy that it brought me to be among those that I had been corresponding with all year long. This year has brought so many other new friends into my life, and for that I am grateful.

Who would have know that I would one day be looking forward to spending the weekend with a bunch of widows?

This is the life!