Sunday, March 28, 2010

As Good as it Gets

I remarked to a friend this week that maybe this is as good as it gets. I miss him, long for him, need him, daily. But he's not here, and will never be again. And in between the missing, longing, needing, life goes on. Good things. Happy things. Fun things. Many many not so fun things as well. Life goes on, without Henry in it.

The only way to not miss, long for, and need him is to push him away. I wrote not too long ago that I am having some positive memories of him, some fond recollections. This fortunately continues, but unfortunately is far outweighed by the sadness. I still have regular and painful flashes of the pain and suffering inflicted on him by his treatment. His death, the days leading up to it are still seared in my mind. I am not willing to push his memory away far enough so that it is no longer painful. Maybe I'm not able even if I were willing.

Maybe this is as good as it gets. It is what it is. He's gone. I can't change that. I can't change what I did, or said, or thought.

So I feel like I should be working on acceptance, but I'm such a cynic I think it's bullshit. It is what it is, whether or not I accept it. I've always had such contempt for middle class ennui; now I watch myself beginning to sip that koolaid. She didn't marry the right guy. He didn't make it in his career. She got lupus. They can't afford the house/vacations/schools they wanted. My kid died. So here we are, living in a free society, with more money and health than 99.9% of all homo sapiens who have walked the face of the earth, and we're not happy.

I don't know where to go with this. I feel I've hit a bit of a wall, psychologically. Sometimes I want to take this bull by the horns, and do something that gives me control over it....write a book, meditate for a month, run a marathon. But I think my lesson is that there is no way to control it.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Beauty

I went out for a run today on this gorgeous spring day with my 11 year old.

She is beautiful, she really is. In a Sandra Bullock, girl next door, athletic pony tail and no makeup kind of way. It's a good thing she doesn't know how beautiful she is yet.

Anyway, I was trailing her, badly. Sucking air. She's prancing along effortlessly, long legs and the start of shapely hips 100 yards in front of me. It's so strange, and lovely, to see her this way.

We passed a couple with an infant in a stroller.

I choked back tears. (No, not unusual for me, I know.) But to think that just 10 years ago she was the one in the stroller. It was such a profound juxtaposition. Where has the time gone?

There is beauty all around me, in my life.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Concensus

The concensus is that the second year of grieving is worse than the first.

Grief stories and experiences are so different. Yet almost everyone I've talked to with personal experience in this area agrees on this point.

I think that I can see that. Part of me feels like I'm just really beginning to grieve in the last few months.

The first six months were truly horrible. It's painful even to recall the horror of each day, each thought, each memory. I don't mean to use dramatic words, but "horror" isn't an overstatement. Then I had a few months of improvement, mostly just in comparison to the prior six months. But after a few months of quiet, things have gotten harder again.

It's as if the first stage was the survival of a life-threatening injury, and now it's time for the long journey of recovery and rehab.

Today is a good day for me. Spring is in the air, the sun is shining, and I have a sense of optimism. I feel up to the task of the next year, and further, even while anticipating the difficulty.

On bad days, though, I'm not so sure. I feel vulnerable, like a strong blow will drop me. The anniversary had me feeling bruised and beaten for days.

As always, there is nothing to do but wait and see.