Day 279: an awkward lunch

Today was a rough day. I started my day normally enough but some time between feeding the dogs, the turtle, and cleaning up the puppy destruction of the day I just got sad. I cry a lot less these days, but still do at least briefly more days than I don’t. On the drive to work, my mind started to drift back to nine months ago and I started thinking about all the support I had back then that now, except for a few people, has evaporated. For some reason, this got to me today. I think it has to do with the impending move and how I wish I felt like I could call in those favors based on offers of “Let me know if there is anything I can do.” Usually, I am okay with the fact that most people are gone. Today, it made me cry. I thought about my husband and what he would think of the state of things. He was always the first person to offer help or to be kind to the point of self sacrifice. He was no saint, but he was a very giving, generous man.

I have noticed that most conversations I have these days with the people that surrounded me in the beginning start with “I really meant to reach out to you sooner.” I know they mean well when they say this, but really all I honestly hear with that statement is “I really meant to reach out to you sooner, but the thought of having to actually think about your situation makes me a scared little pussy so I just chose not to until our paths pretty much were forced to cross or the guilt got to me. My next sentence shall reveal which one it is.” Spoiler alert: typically the next sentence reveals the reason to be the former.

Every day however I do have lunch with some guys that try to make sure I’m not that sad widow in the corner no one will talk to. In exchange for their company, I try not to burden them with my struggles and emotional turmoil but today it just got to be too much and I started crying in front of them like a big, dumb girl. I felt kind of like I broke the unspoken rules- that they treat me like a normal person and in exchange I act like one. I could literally see the wheels of panic spinning like mad behind each of their eyes as they desperately tried to come up with something else to talk about, anything to distract from me loudly blowing snot into a crumpled napkin. To their credit, they didn’t get up from the table until I seemed to have my self under control. Truth be told, that control is an illusion.

The fact is I need some damn help. I am overwhelmed. I am stressed out. I am exhausted. I am being hit by a wave of grief either brought on by the passing of time or the pressure of having no time or some sadistic combination of the two. I do not want to drown in these feelings. I want to keep doing what I have been doing which is just keeping on paddling towards the shore, intently focused on the horizon and believing with every ounce of faith left in my weary soul that the shore is just out of sight, soon to emerge. I still believe it is there. Some days I believe I can see it, but sometimes you just have to stop paddling, lay back, ignore the shore and look at the stars.

Good thing for today: My manager was out so I was left alone way more than usual, which was the perfect thing for a tough day.

Day 274: Change is afoot, and my feet are dragging

It has been a few months since I last posted. Part of it was being tired, part of it was being busy, and part of it was simply not knowing what to say. Things are still hard, but there is much more light these days. Life has been in a state of influx since my husband died suddenly last July 26th, and now one day shy of nine months into this twisted journey, more change is coming.

The simple fact is I cannot afford my house. A house payment is more than one of my paychecks. So, a few months ago I started the search for a new home. A few weeks ago, I found a town home that seems promising and put in an offer. It seems like all things will go through and I have a tentative closing date of May 15th. This means I have started the arduous task of going through my late husband’s belongings. Every choice is hard, but necessary. It is emotionally exhausting. Why did he have to have so much stuff? I am inspired to try to live simpler so when I die, no one is left with the magnitude of sorting I have been faced with, but paring down possessions has been really hard. I even rented a large dumpster, filled it, and am still just buried in stuff. I am feeling so overwhelmed facing this task I do not feel read to handle. However, if I have learned anything these last 9 months, life doesn’t give a shit what you are ready for- you either handle it or give up and I have never been the giving up type, no matter how tempting it has been in moments.

As for things with the new guy, it is still going very well. We have been talking about long term plans and his daughter and I have started to really click. On a recent week long visit, we trekked down to Tucson for a tour of UofA, and it seems that is now her first choice for college, which makes me really happy. If all goes the way we hope, after his daughter graduates high school next year, they will become Arizonans.  It is exciting and still a little scary because allowing love in your life also invites the possibility of soul crushing loss and grief, but when someone is worth it, they are worth it. My husband was worth every ounce of pain and every tear shed and to be shed. The new guy in my life is also worth this, and that realization is very heavy to accept.

We do not typically enter into relationships even considering the worst case scenario, but widowhood makes the thoughts of loss bubble to the forefront. When my husband passed, I felt certain that I would never be willing to face the risk of feeling so much pain again. It surprises me sometimes that I am willing and willing so soon. It comes down to love is positive. Happiness is the only point to living. If you don’t do things to make you happy, then you are simply wasting moments instead of living them. I don’t want wasted moments. I want life.

Good thing for today: It is a lazy Saturday, my coffee was good, and I have lazy Saturday shows recorded on my DVR to catch up on. This may not be the life I wanted, but I can still enjoy the simple things.