Saturday, June 9, 2012


May 6, 2012 My friend once told me that her divorce was "unclean"; that is, she couldn't grieve the loss as she would the death of a spouse. I am witnessing the death of my spouse which is taking a very very very long time. It's sort of like watching someone you love become consumed by rust, rather than the merciful speed of clean flames. There is nothing clean about this process, either physically or emotionally. You have to become a marathoner even though your every training has only been in the sprint department in order to survive. Another friend, whose husband is going through the same process, said this: "Every day is the same. Every day is different." Such insight. It is monotonous, boring, and isolating. It makes me escape the burgeoning joys around me..the springtime promises of fresh clean air, of new life springing forth from mother earth and new mothers of every species. Even in our own family I am witnessing the gestation and impending birth of new life, and yet..the darkness of the slow, steady loss is still compounding my thoughts and imprisoning me in my own mind. The newness that happens every other day or so, the changes that dispel actual monotony, are negative...the newness of continuing, relentless loss.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Stages and Changes

March 24, 2012 Something has happened within me. I hope to God it is that I have moved on in my stages of grief. Yes, I know it won't be a linear path and that I will probably dip down again. But somehow, beginning last week, I started feeling better. Certainly not pleased that my partner is suffering but aware that this is a long trip and I had better wrestle what happiness we can find, right. now. Stewart s neurologist ordered a "test" called a "sleep deprived EEG" for him yesterday. it involved staying up all night...both of us! If you had carefully contrived an adventure designed specifically for the two of us to fail, this would be it. When we had traveled a year ago, he became significantly paranoid with the jet lag. I did suffer...I was ok until about 3:00am but then started to falter badly. Stew, on the other hand, was incredible! He was alert and supportive of me trying to rest some. He watched TV and remarked upon some of the stories he was following. When we got to the hospital at 7:00am, he walked around the waiting room, whistling and looking at the plants and magazines. I, on the other hand, sat in a chair with my head lying on the backpack in my lap. We had reasonable conversation. March 28, 2012 Happy. I couldn't figure out what that feeling was. Things just feel easier. I am much kinder. (others keep telling me that I am plenty kind, but this isn't easy, that no one is perfect, that I am only human.) But I know how much I love this man and what he means to me. And I know the depths of kindness I have within me for him, some of which I had been withholding, probably through anger. So I have always known how much better I could be if I allowed myself to be. I helped care for both my parents when they were sick and dying. It wasn't a picnic for sure, but we banded together as a family and it felt like an honor to be included and involved. I even had a sort of mystical experience while bathing my mother after she had soiled herself. There I was, washing her bottom, and a spiritual blessing washed over me in those felt a great blessing for me to be able to help...especially this woman, my mom, who had card for me like this her whole life. It made me sad to witness the decline and loss but happy to be able to provide comfort with dignity and respect. It made me happy to do it, not bipolar. Obviously spouses are a whole balliwick of their own. We have no generational sense of order in their loss. These guys have relinquished the rule book and are, in fact, abandoning us. So with spouses, you have to put in your rage time before the natural compassion can bubble up to the service. For about a week now, I have been pleasant as his caregiver and he has been pathetically grateful. Hugs are spontaneous, sincere and frequent. Why oh why is this so difficult most of the time?!