Sunday, August 30, 2009

Over a Year...

I am finally past the year mark.
I made it.
Not alone.
With lots of support.
With lots of distraction.

I found the times I were completely alone were unbearable.
But once people were around, I was okay.
As long as no one hugged me for too long.
As long as I did not think of why people were around me.

But then on Saturday morning, as I breathed a sigh of relief that it was over.
I took a big deep breathe.
And then as I let the breathe escape, I realized something a little bothersome.
It is now "over a year" since my husband died.
I am been unmarried for over a year.
I have been a widow for over a year.
Roger has been gone over a year.

I am not sure if this feels better or worse.
Over a year!

And it does not feel right.
How could he have been gone so long?
How could I have survived this long without him?

It is still not fair.
It is still not right.

This anniversary was awful.
All the other holidays.
All the other anniversaries.
None of them compared.
I thought I was worrying for nothing.
But it was hard.
It was awful.
It was horrid.
It hurt.

And now what?
What happens now?
Where do I go from here?

Friday, August 28, 2009

One Year

Today marks the spot.
The spot I have been dreading for months.
The spot that I could not even imagined a year and two weeks ago.

One year ago, I watched the life drain out of Roger.
I watched his skin turn grey.
I watched his hair start to come out of his head.
I watched the involuntary muscles of his eye start to relax.

And why?
All because a stupid asshole decided tires were not an important investment.
Buy damn tires! Do not forget to inspect the tires! Do not wait to buy tires!!
He was selfish.
But he is still alive.
He gets to keep going.
To move forward.
To get over it.
To forget.
And he probably already does not even remember.
And through the power of the internet, I now have his home phone and cell phone number.
This is a dangerous acquisition.

I am moving through the motions of being alive.
I got up.
I stared at the wall in the shower. How clean do I really need to be today?
I stared at myself in the mirror. Fuck. I look like shit.
I stared at the clothes in the closet. What do I wear on this day?
I stared at the microwave as it heated some water. Why do I have to eat or drink anything?

I probably should not be driving.
I almost hit Mr. X's car this morning as I left my own drive way.
And then almost hit him with the garage door as I habitually tried to close it.
But life goes forward.
School keeps going.
And the anniversary of my husband's death is not an excused absence per the university's standards.

I am hungry but I do not want to eat.
Nothing sounds appetizing.
I just want something to numb this pain.
And food is not the answer.

I cannot think straight.
I cannot complete a thought.
Or a sentence.
I am forgetting every thing.
I stare a lot.

I am in pain.
True physical pain.
And emotional.
And mental.

I feel very disconnected.
Like I am stuck inside my head.
Like everyone else is on some other planet.
Like I am very very alone.
The world is spinning and I am standing still.

I am thankful this day is only twenty-four hours long.
I am glad that I will sleep through some of them.

Thank you for your support.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Big D

Sometimes I wish it was the Big D instead.
The Big D meaning divorce not death.

I wish I could be angry with Roger for divorcing me.
I do feel angry.
But I cannot feel it at the same time.
It was not his fault.
It was not his choice.
But I am still angry that he left.
That after all we planned.

After I finally had given myself to him, he did not stay.
I trusted him.
I gave my heart to him.
And now it is broken.
My trust.
My heart.

After I finally stopped running from commitment, he went away.

After I finally found happiness and joy in my life, he died.

After I finally figured out that I did like being married.
That I could be happily married.
He exited the marriage.

And I cannot be angry at him.
I guess I can but I feel guilty.
I feel like it is wrong to be mad at him.

But how can I not be slightly.

People "get" divorce.
People understand divorce.
They will not stop talking to me.
They will not be afraid of me.
They will not be afraid of saying the wrong thing to me.
They will not give me that "it sucks to be you and I am glad it is not me" face.
People do not understand death.

People do not understand a young widow.
People understand old widows.
People understand old dried up women/men who will only live a few years without their spouse.

But it is not divorce.
It is death.
It is the death of my husband.
My wonderful awesome husband who died instead of divorcing me.
My wonderful awesome husband who I cannot fault.
My wonderful awesome husband who I cannot be angry with.

As I Approach the Year Mark...

Since the burial was in Miami this past weekend, I spent the nights at my lovely sister-in-law's house.
It is getting a little easier being there without Roger.
It feels like a second home of sorts.
A place I can grieve with those who lost him too.
I have more memories of being there without him now.
And although random stories and memories flood my memory when I am there, it is easier.
At least it was this time.
At least it was with these memories.
At least a little.

Since there were a few other guests in the house, I was in a different bedroom than usual so as I was getting ready for my shower on Saturday morning before the "event" I noticed a few things.
It is not that I have not been in this room before.
I have been in it a quite a few times over the last three years.
But there was one thing that I had not noticed before.
A small bulletin board.
It had a collection of items hung up on it.
It looked like a memory board.

The bulletin board reminded me of Roger.
A picture of boxing gloves.
A card about the Dali Lama.
A note about being a great sister (I assumed Roger had given this to Grace).
And one small poem that really touched me.
I read it about three or four times over the weekend.
It was a good reminder.
About life.
About death.
About plans.
About goals.
About dreams.
About reality.

[The crazy/weird thing is Grace did not make this bulletin board for Roger.
It was a about her.
It sometimes amazes me how much alike they are/were.
Clara, their mom, was saying people how close they were as children.
It made me even more sad for Grace to lose her best friend and little brother.]
The poem just kept resonating inside my head.
Once I got home I wanted to read it again.
I wanted to remember exactly what it said to me.
And as I approach the year mark, I wanted to read this over and over again.
It mimicked something that one of Roger's uncles said to me on Saturday after the burial:
"It is done. It is over. It is time to move forward."

And here is the poem for all my other widow sisters and widower brothers.
Maybe it will help someone else too.

"Follow your Destiny, Where ever it leads you.

There comes a time in your
Life when you realize that if
You stand still, you will remain
At this point forever. You realize
That if you fall and stay down,
Life will pass you by.

Life's circumstances are not
Always what you might wish
Them to be. Rather than
Wondering about or questioning
The direction your life has
Taken, accept the fact that
There is a path before you now.

Walk your path one step at a
Time. Keep your head up, and
cast your dreams to the stars.
Keep your belief in yourself
And walk into your new journey.
You will find it magnificent,
Spectacular, and beyond your
wildest imaginings."

By Vicki Silvers

Monday, August 24, 2009

I Should Be Excited

Today I started at the university.
Today I started on my bachelors.
Today I should be excited.
Today I should have this bubbling feeling deep down.

But I do not.
It is not there.
The classes are fine.
They will be a lot of work but I can do it.
But that's not it.
That is not what is bothering me.

It is a bit of guilt residing down deep that is bothering me.
That is dragging me down.
A bit of "I wish he could see me".
A bit of "I wish I could ask his advice".
A bit of "If he were here, I would not be at this point."
A bit of "I am living this life, because he could not live his life any longer."

I am sure it some residual stress/grief spell from this weekend.
I am still weepy.
I am still feeling extremely lonely.
I am still feeling just awful.
I am still feeling like my energy has been sapped.
I am still feeling a bit of pain from burying Roger.

Part of me wishes I had a few days to recover.
A few days to regain my strength.
A few days to catch my breathe.
A few days to just crawl into bed and not wake up for a while.

But I am shoved back into real life.
Back into the daily grind.
Back to the realization that he is not here.
Back to the realization that life keeps going.
And will keep dragging me along.

Ugh... and a new chapter begins.
Good or bad.
A new chapter begins.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

I Buried My Husband Today

I cannot even begin to describe the pain in my heart.
A pain only my kindred widows and widowers can comprehend.
At twenty-seven years old, my husband was murdered.
At twenty-eight, I finally put his body into the ground.
A year after that pivotal moment.
The velvet bag that has surrounded the container for the last year is now deflated.
So am I.
My body is heavy.
My soul feels miles away. Maybe standing over his grave?
My mind cannot stop.

It is done.
It is over.
Now I must continue forward.
Maybe inches at a time.
Maybe just a few breathes at a time.
I will still cry.
I will still be sad.
I will always remember.

Roger and I did not write many "real" notes or letters to each other.
But today, I wrote one for my husband as his ashes were laid next to his father.
I read them to those who attended the burial service today.

"Roger was my best friend.
He loved me before I loved him.
He was silly and fun.
He was a little dorky and a warrior.
And he was mine.
He was "COOLness".
He was charming, handsome, and devonaire.
He was hilarious, just ask Grace, his sister.
He was my encourager and my rock.
Always pushing me to be a better person, be more kind, and be more patient.
He was my hero.
He promised to take care of me.
And he has kept his promise.
Through family and friends, I am always taken care of in all ways.
He promised to never leave me.
And a year ago, as I pleaded with the world for him not to go, he physically left me.
But he left many friends and a huge Cuban family to be with me.
And in my loneliest hours, I still hear his voice, see his face, and remember our story.
Making me laugh.
Making me cry.
And making me a better me.
Roger was a great gift giver and some of his best gifts were a sister, a mother, family, friends, and his love.
I recently reread a book Roger gave to me and my favorite line was 'Time is nothing.'
For me and Roger, time is nothing.
I love him and he loves me forever.
And to my big Cuban family, time is nothing, death is nothing.
You are mine and I am yours."

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

How Am I Doing?

So as I approach the next big day, Roger's burial, I am being asked "How are you doing?"
How am I doing?
Man, I wish I knew a simple one word answer to that.

I am weepy again.
I cry randomly.
I cry at things that do not require tears.
I cry more than appropriate at things.

Memories are flooding my memory.
Roger is constantly on my mind.
Almost every guy I talk about is now named Roger in any stories I tell.

The replay of the accident is strong again.
The images.
The feelings.
The questions of why and how.
The analyzing of the scene.
The anger of the driver.
Does he realize what this weekend is?
Does he even care?

And then there is a sense of dread.
Followed by a sense of "let's just get this done."
I want this month over.
I want the burial to be over.
I just want to be done.
Can I just fast forward through the part where I watch them place dirt on my husband's ashes?

The thinking.
The wondering of was Roger a dream?
The wondering of is this a really bad nightmare?
The thoughts of fate.
The thoughts of God's plan.

I still have such an amazing support system.
I have lots of friends keeping me in their prayers.
In their thoughts.
And I sincerely appreciate it.
Do not stop now.

So I do not know how I am really doing.
I am keeping myself busy.
I have traveled every weekend this month.
I am seeing movies each week.
I am reading.
I am volunteering.
I am working on projects around the house.
I am cooking.

I ask for positive vibes for this weekend.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Time Traveler's Wife

A few Christmases ago, Roger bought me "The Time Traveler's Wife" book.
It was not even on my wish list at the time but he knew me well enough to know I would love it.
I had been telling him about "Outlander" series of books that I read a few years ago where one of the main characters time travels.
And Roger being the awesome husband he was and the amazing gift giver found "The Time Traveler's Wife" for me.
He knew me so well.

And I did love it.
I loved the story.
I loved the premise.
I loved the detail.

And the crazy thing, she becomes a widow.
But in some ways, she is lucky.
She gets to see him after his death.
Not right away.
More than forty years later.
But she got to see him.
She also knew it was coming.
Maybe not the complete details.
But she knew.
How I would give almost anything to see him again.
For five minutes.

A couple of months ago, I saw a preview for the movie adaptation.
I was excited.
I teared up at the preview.
I could not believe one of my favorite books was coming to the big screen.
I told Mr. X we had to see it.

A few weeks ago, Mr. X was going on a family vacation.
He needed a book to read.
I had the perfect book.
It is not a huge girly story.
It would be a good easy read for him.
I handed him "Time Traveler's Wife".
A book given to me by my husband.
It was a strange feeling.
To share a gift Roger had given me with Mr. X.

But then we could share.
Mr. X and I could share.
We could share the story.
We could share the movie.
And in a way, he would share an experience with Roger and me.
Strange and weird but I liked the idea.
Like, Mr. X would know part of the old me.
The married/engaged me.
Part of Roger.

So he read the book.
He loved the book.
I loved that he loved the book.
And so I re-read the book so we could discuss it.
Like our own little book club.

Then on Monday afternoon, we saw the movie.
I will not discuss too much about my review of the movie.
[Same review as most books that are made into movies.]
I did not cry as much as I thought I would during the movie.
I thought I would be sobbing.
Especially since the previews made me tear up.

The part that made me cry to most: the actual dying scene.
Because it was similar.
It was too similar.
The view of time traveler's head as he was dying.
The way Clare, his to be widow, held his head.
His last breath.
His hair.
His skin.
Too much for me.
I wanted to run out of the theatre.
I wanted to hide my eyes.
Like in a scary movie, I wanted to close my eyes and ears.
But I did not.
I started to cry.

The crazy/insane part was I felt like I was seeing the movie with two people - Roger and Mr. X.
Both were very palpable to me.

I cried more when I got home.
Just thinking about the love the main characters shared.
The best line of the book, "time is nothing".
And when it comes to my love for Roger, time is nothing.
My love for him transcends time.
And I know the love I received from him does the same.
It will always be part of me.
I will always be able to feel it.

So maybe it was even more of the perfect gift.
More than Roger even realized at the time.
More than I realized at the time.

Thank you dear.
Thank you for all your amazing gift giving abilities.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

The Music Plays On

Music has been a big part of my life for most of my life.
I was in choir from fourth grade through my senior year of high school.
After that, I still sang at church when I went and in my car and pretty much when I could.
I love singing.
I miss "organized" singing.
And I will never forget what my high school choir director told me back during my freshman year of high school. She said something that would help me for years to come: "They can beat you down and take away everything you own. But they can never take away two things - your birthday and the love of singing. Music gets into your soul and your heart. It cannot be taken away."

Her quote has stayed with me for years.
It is one of the reasons I do not let me birthday just fall away to the way side.
Yes, I do not have many "big" birthdays left.
Yes, I am not a child.
But it is the one day of the entire year that is mine.
I take advantage of it.
I celebrate it the entire week.
And sometimes the entire month.
Why not?
It is my birthday.

And then the music.
It is a powerful force for me.
Music can always take me back.
To good times and to bad.
It can lift me up.
It can make me cry.
It can put me to sleep.

Lately music has been surging through me again.
I hear our song, the one Roger would let me sing while in the car and harmonize to (or at least attempt to). Snow Patrol's "Chasing Cars."
I hear the songs from our wedding. Our first dance - Michelle Featherstone's "Man and Wife".
I hear songs the DJ played at the wedding - T Pain's "Apple Bottom Jeans".
Songs from last August - Ne-Yo's "Forever".
And instantly I am back.
The memories flood my brain.

But now there are new songs to hurt me.
Love songs especially.
Some that help me.
Kate Havnevik's "Grace".
Mat Kearney's "Breathe In Breathe Out."
Ingrid Michaelson's "Keep Breathing".
Ingrid Michaelson's "Be OK".
Beyonce's "Halo".
And some that have new meaning.
P!ink's "Who Knew".
Dido's "Slide".

For me, it is like my grief has soundtrack.
I know this has happened for other bloggers as well.
Sometimes I really want to just wallow in the music.
I want to hear the sad songs.
I want to know I am not alone in the sadness.
I want to go back to the moments when Roger was still here.
And like most of my life, music has that power.
That reach.

And when all else fails, the music is still there.
In my head.
In my heart.
In my soul.
And like my birthday, music never fails me.

No More Guilt

A couple of months ago, I wrote about the first birthday.
I decided then to go to the Paradise Island, Bahamas for his birthday.
Specifically to Atlantis.

I was feeling a lot of guilt about not going to Atlantis for our honeymoon.
A lot of guilt.
I felt like I had robbed Roger of his ideal honeymoon.
I felt like I had robbed him of something he really looked forward to doing for a long time.
I felt like a horrible wife.
A bridezilla who wanted her way.
And yes, I know I was not any of those things.
But the guilt was very heavy.

Now I feel a bit absolved from that guilt.
At least that one.
I know now Atlantis was not the "perfect" honeymoon spot.
It was not our perfect honeymoon spot.
There were kids.
There were families.
There were teens and babies.
It was expensive.
It had bad service.
It had mediocre food.
I would have been disappointed.
(And I was a bit disappointed.)
Roger would have had to dealt with my disappointment.
And I would have probably felt an even crazier guilt.
And maybe even some regret that we went to Atlantis had a bad time and did not get to have a perfect honeymoon.
But our honeymoon was nice.
It was more than nice.
It was perfect for us.
It was relaxing.
It was romantic.
It was the Caribbean.
And it was far away.

Now, the birthday weekend itself was exactly what I needed.
I accomplished a set of goals for the weekend.
First, it was relaxing.
The water was great.
The pools were nice.
The sun was awesome.
My travel partner, my twin, Nicolle, was great.
We celebrated our husbands.
We celebrated our accomplishments over the last month or so.

Second, I took on the water slides.
This was one of the primary reasons Roger wanted to go here.
The boy loved water slides.
It had one of the largest water slides (in the Caribbean?).
It is called the Leap of Faith, a seven story plunge into a shark infested pool (riders are not in the pool but go through the pool in a safe acrylic tube).
And both Nicolle and I took our turns down the slide.
Yes, we screamed but if we can survive this "situation", we could and did survive a measly water slide.

And like most of the holidays and anniversaries I have experienced thus far, it was not as bad as I expected.
I am starting to learn this lesson slowly.
It is the before and after that sucks the breathe away.
I only cried once during the actual birthday.
I thought a lot.
I remembered a lot.
I walked down memory lane a lot.
Nicolle and I asked each other silly questions.
We compared notes on dating, wedding planning, (short) marriages, and widow-ness.
In that way, it was a great vacation.
In most ways, it was a great vacation.

It was what I needed.
It did answer a lot of questions.
And thankfully, no more guilt.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Birthday Cake

Last week, my friends gathered at my house to have some cake for Roger's birthday.
We did not celebrate on his actual birthday.
I did it a couple days before since I was in the Bahamas on his actual birthday.
But for all the guilt I was/am still having for forgetting to make him a cake last year, I had cake for him this year.
His 35th birthday.

My wedding photographer and friend, Scoobie, helped me make a slideshow on DVD of the zillion candid shots I have of Roger over our three years together.
It was beautiful and I will keep it along with all the other slideshows Scoobie has made for us/me.
Mr. X and I prepared some finger foods.
[Mr. X was so great at helping me at something for Roger. So great at keeping me on track. So great at distracting me. So great at helping me host a party for my dead husband.]
Courtney made an amazing birthday cake.
With layers. Roger loved layered cakes.
My other amazing friends brought over some more food.
It was nice.
I was doing well.
At least for the most part.
At least on the surface.

Courtney started to cut the cake.
His cake.
His layers.
The tears started to fall.
He was suppose to be here.
Celebrating with our friends.
I sat and watched as each slice was cut and then delivered to my friends.
I sat in a chair alone.
I know no one knew what to do.
Mr. X was not sure of his appropriate place.
But I was so lonely in that moment.
So very alone.

I watched as piece after piece was handed out.
Until there was only one.
One very lonely piece left.
Roger's piece.
Thankfully someone (Courtney, I think) moved it.
Out of my sight at least.

After everyone left, I started to break down.
I crawled into bed and just cried.
It was over.
First big day anyway.
My body was so heavy.
Mr. X let me cry.
Held me and just let me cry.

August 13, 2008

On New Years Day 2008, Roger and I discussed our resolutions.
With the time we were gaining post wedding, we wanted to volunteer some of our time.
We wanted to give back.
We were blessed.
We wanted to help others.
So last summer when my good friend Jody mentioned the Headdress Ball, we were excited.
Of course, we waited till the last minute to send the applications in.
As in the very last day to get the orientation done and the very last day to complete the application.
I asked Roger if he wanted me to complete his application.
"Nah. I can do it. Just email it to me."
I went ahead and filled out the basics for him.
Phone number.
He had to fill out his "special skills" and which areas he wanted to volunteer in.
Roger's "special skills" area was filled out with: "strong, friendly, carpentry, computers/networking, security" and my favorite "acting".

Now all of these make me smile.
This was so his sense of humor.
And I emailed it to the coordinator just as it was.
"Strong" was true but does it qualify as a special skill? Was he trying to impress me? Did he not realize we were already married?
I was already impressed.
I am not sure what the volunteer coordinator thought.
The "acting" was a stretch.
Roger was in two student films.
A film student at UCF.
Very very low budget films.
In one movie, he was listed four different times.
Different parts and part of the set design.
These movies are hilarious for their poor acting and super low budget.
But he did have lines.
Like one.
Maybe two.
And he got the part because of his martial arts training was at UCF.
Same school as the film student who just happened to come in to recruit people.
Roger could fall correctly, so he got the part.

That night we met up at the center for the volunteer orientation.
I was coming from work.
My coworkers and I were late.
Roger was later.
He had worked from home that day and was having trouble finding the center.
He finally found it.
I gave him a quick kiss and then we went in to find seats in the conference room.
He gave up his seat for me and he sat on a table against the wall.
I sat with my friends.
I can still see his expression on his face.
I had thought the theme was superheroes for which he was super excited.
Unfortunately, when I googled, I brought up the previous year's theme.
He was a bit disappointed.
But he still was being a good husband and we were going to have fun volunteering.

We never made it to the Headdress Ball that year.
It was suppose to be in September.
He died in August.
Frankly, I forgot about it for several months till Jody mentioned it.
I did not even think to let the organization, Hope and Help, know they lost two volunteers after the accident.

Now, I volunteer there.
I started earlier in the summer when I had to complete some volunteer hours for a class.
I completed those hours but still go to fill some of my time.
For the first time in my life, I am a receptionist.
It is mindless work.
I get to read while answering a few phone calls and greeting some clients.
It is a sweet gig.

Today I got overwhelmed while there with a random memory.
It has been almost a year since Roger was in the center.
Almost exactly.
One of the chairs from my reception area was missing.
I normally have three and today I had four.
The office manager saw it in the conference room.
The conference room.
I offered to move the chair back.
I could see the spot where he sat.
I could see that expression of his when he learned there would be no superheroes.
I wanted to cry.
I waited to cry.
When I got home, I threw a small temper tantrum.
The back gate to the backyard would not close.
It was enough to put me over the edge.
So I threw my stuff on the ground.
I stomped my feet.
I screamed.
I cried.

The evening has not been much better.
Slowly the year is slipping away.
Slowly, it will be more than 365 days.

Damn him for dying.
Damn him for leaving me.
Damn him.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Catch 22

Today I finished my associates degree in education.
This was not my original plan when Roger was still alive.
My original plan went out the window when he died like most plans I had.
Like every single plan I had.
I was not even going into teaching when he was here.
I was just getting a piece of paper to have a piece of paper.
A piece of paper in health care administration.
Something to shove into the faces of those that doubted my abilities.
Something to further my career and perhaps help me really find a job I loved.

And I am happy that it is done.
I really am.
And I am proud of myself.
I really am.

But I want to call him.
I want to hug him.
I want to hear him say "I am proud of you" in front of me not inside my head.
I know he would be.
I truly know that if there is an after life and all that he is rooting for me.
But that is not satisfying my craving for his pride.
His love.
His hug.
His looking at me with a big cheesy smile.

If he was still here, I would not be here.
I would be somewhere else.
I would not be finished today.
I would not be finishing with education.
I still had a while to go with my part time school status.
I would still be plugging away at that.

But yet with his death, I got a new opportunity.
Yes, it is great that I am making a positive out of a negative.
Blah blah blah.
But there is still this feeling in my stomach that wishes I still had him instead.
Instead of having my AA in education, I would rather have him.
Knowing that without him gone, I am accomplishing goals.
Knowing that he died, so now I can do these things.

Then there is the whole thing of it is just an AA.
Who cares.
It is not that big of a deal.
And this nagging voice that says "It took you long enough."

But then I think about the day when Ms. Pat Duncan standing in her office at the Governor's School in Dublin, Virginia on a fall day back in 1997 told the sixteen year old me I would never become anything.
Maybe it is her voice that is nagging me.
And I say to her "Look at me now."
Look at everything I have overcome.
Look at everything I have become.
Maybe not in the traditional way.
Maybe not going the same route as most people.
But I have done a lot.
I am a lot.
And I will be a lot.

So to my dear husband.
So to my best friend.
So to the man who helped me in so many ways that I have discovered and that I will discover.
Thank you! Thank you for keeping your promise of providing for me even in your death.
Thank you for not making me cash in that new savings bond.
I still love you.
I will always love you.
I will try to be happy in this catch 22.
I will try not to focus on the pain.
Thank you.

Monday, August 3, 2009

I Have "Herpes"

For starters, I just finished my microbiology class and in the last chapter we were talking about some of the pathogens like viruses that cause sexually transmitted diseases.
So as I was reading a widow friend's blog today, I thought of an analogy.
A dark sense of humor analogy but it mostly fits.

Grief is a lot like herpes.
Herpes are painful lesions and when most people think of them, they think of the genital ones.
They are a virus.
Spread by sexual contact.
And widowhood is slightly sexually transmitted.
I mean, I was married.
And in marriage, I had sex.
And without marriage and sex, I would not have been a widow.
So widowhood is sort of transmitted by sexual contact.
And in widow-ness, there is of course grief.
So I have "herpes". A version called grief.

Herpes is very painful.
And after the initial breakout, a person has reoccurring attacks throughout their life.
Much like grief.
Grief is very painful.
And grief always comes back.

There is no cure for herpes.
There is no cure for grief.
Even if I move forward in my life.
Even if I fall in love again.
Even if I marry again.
Even if I never have something bad happen to me ever again.
Grief cannot be cured.

Herpes re-attacks occur when the person is stressed.
Grief can come back at any moment but especially when stressed.

People are also are afraid of people with herpes.
They are taken back.
Can they get herpes by hugging others?
People think widowhood and grief are also contagious.
People are not sure how to react to a widow.
Can they get widowhood by being around me?
Can they hug me?
Can they be around me?
What do they do if I cry?

But no, grief is not contagious.
And although there is no cure for grief, I appreciate the love of everyone.
I promise I will not give people the disease of widowhood.
Even if I cry.
Even if I am hugged.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Holly & Scott's Wedding

Last May, Holly and Scott tied the knot.
It was a beautiful wedding and I was excited for both of them.
It was also the first wedding Roger and I attended after ours in February.
We were husband and wife.
We knew what they were experiencing for the first time.
And we got to enjoy the whole wedding experience from a new point of view.
We knew how much work it was and we knew how fun a good match could be.

The day of the wedding, Roger and I helped Scott and Holly by setting up their arch.
It was part of a barter deal.
Holly and Scott hung Chinese lanterns at our wedding.
Both turned out very nice.
It was hot however the day of Holly and Scott's wedding.
I kept sitting down in the shade to catch my breath.
Roger dutifully marched on.
Such a good husband.

He brought his trusty tool kit in case we needed anything.
He looked so cute as he carried it over to the ceremony site.
So boy scout.
So prepared.

After we finished setting up the arch, we went into the locker rooms at the country club to clean up and shower.
Roger was semi-excited.
This was the same locker room Tiger Woods sometimes showered in.
When we met up after getting ready, he described the locker room to me.
I smiled at him.
I loved that he enjoyed simple pleasures.
I loved that he could find "cool" stuff in almost anywhere.

As we went to find our seats for the ceremony, Holly and Scott had put out poppers at the end of each aisle.
I realized that ceremonies can be a little boring for boys.
And so I thought Roger might enjoy being in charge of the popper.
I gave him the aisle seat and just explained to let it off when Holly and Scott passed after they were married.

As the ceremony came to a close, Roger picked up his popper.
As they passed, he pulled the fuse.
And then he did something I could not believe.
He let it go.
And like Roger's luck, the popper became attached to Holly's dress.
Oh my God.
Oh my God.
"Dear, you have to go get it."
Roger replied "Really?"
"Yes! It is stuck to her dress. You have to get it."
In the pictures, you can see Holly's face.
And then you see Roger bending over to get "something" off the ground.
Tugging to get the popper off the dress.

At the reception, we got to enjoy dancing together.
We danced a lot. Pretty much the whole night.
It was nice.
It was the last time we danced in public together like that.
And we were married!
I was his wife.
He was my husband.

I think of the popper story often.
Remembering how silly it was.
Remembering how Roger it was.
It always makes me smile.

Thank you Holly and Scott for a wonderful night last May. I truly enjoyed your wedding night.
It is a night I will always remember.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Day 1...

... of August is done.

And of course I survived.
I felt blah.
I slept until almost noon.
And I almost took a nap.
I did not shower.
I wore super comfy clothes and almost did not wear a bra.
My hair is pulled back.

I still felt myself sitting around with my eyes glazing over.
Thinking all damn day.
Thinking about this.
Thinking about that.
Getting lost inside my head.

Almost a damn year.
A whole year?
How the hell!
How. The. Hell.
So long ago.
Yet so yesterday.

The worst thing was realizing that I have almost been unmarried for a whole year.
Twelve months.
Double the amount we were actually married.
A whole year of being a widow.
Not married.

I met someone yesterday that has only been married ten months.
I could not help but think "Oh, you got married after I had become unmarried."
I had not really had that thought before.
This kept running through my head even more today.
There are people who have been married in the time I have been unmarried.
Yes, this should be obvious but it was strange.

Today, I tried to remember what Roger looked like naked.
And I cannot remember.
And of course I do not have pictures of this.
I know he was hairy but otherwise, I cannot recall him.
This is disturbing.

I remembered strange memories.
Like last August one of the local grocery chains was closing.
So we bought eight boxes of cereal.
And tampons.
And taco seasoning.

I also realized I was not crying every day for a few months until about a few days ago.
Now I am back to tearing up almost every day.
Sometimes it is when I remember things.
Sometimes when I think about this month.
And sometimes for a reason or two I cannot determine.

The good news is one day down, only thirty more to go.
Just thirty more to go.