Going through the (e)motions.

VICTOR 07I just learned something this week. Something new about grief.

Yep, I’m still on the grief train over here…albeit in “panicked passenger” mode…desperately seeking the drink cart, woo-hoo!

And just to completely derail for a moment, I have been on many trains. We lived in Switzerland during my high school years, and my mom is from a picturesque little town in the alps, Wassen. Wassen is known for its beautiful church that sits out on the edge of a slope. It is also known for the train tunnels and tracks that wind up through the mountains, the Gotthard pass. From the town, if you look up the mountain, you will see the same train pass by 3 times. Each time a rung higher, and each time going in the opposite direction. Continue reading

Hope. A glimmer.

There might be quite a few Joan Didion quotes working their way into this blog. After her husband died suddenly from heart failure (whilst their daughter was in the hospital, deathly ill) she wrote “The Year of Magical Thinking”. The title itself is one I can aspire to, as I immediately thought, how about more like, “The Year of Messed-Up Thinking”, but I will get back to the title later. Continue reading

Tentacles

Oh shit, I can feel the rage coming.

See, that’s what’s so fucking annoying about grief. On the one hand, it’s completely unpredictable – you have no idea when or how it will hit, yet rest assured, even you, will be dragged through EVERY single phase of it at some point. So really, it is completely predictable in an unpredictable way. You will experience despair, you will experience confusion, you will experience numbness, you will experience pain, and you will experience anger. You WILL experience it ALL. Continue reading

Praying to the porcelain god

Well, today it finally happened. I experienced a complete meltdown at work.

After months of showing up, (not an easy task in itself), taking on projects with an almost frightening zeal, and trying to prove to myself and everyone else that I was still the calm, reliable employee I once was, I finally cracked.

I’ve fought hard to keep things at bay. My mind has been working overtime to maintain my sanity and only let the reality of my loss sink in slowly. I’ve even tried, loosely, to keep my grief contained “to evenings and weekends” (ha!) – and the privacy of my car. I haven’t done it intentionally, it’s a self-protective mechanism. I’ve always processed things slowly, and quietly. Continue reading

Um, it’s pretty dark in here…

Illustration courtesy of the New Yorker.

WTF? Why can’t I see anything? How did I get here? Ok, ok. Stay calm. Yes, it is dark. But I am OK. Still breathing, still alive. I just wish I could see something. In fact…could someone please tell me where the hell I am going????

Breathe. Just breathe. Let’s take inventory.

I still have cell reception…so it’s ok to call. I just talked to a friend in fact, and tried to explain how I feel like I am walking around in some kind of hazy gelatinous bubble. Yup, a snakey shadow of my former self.

And like I said, I am still breathing, I guess that’s a plus. I just can’t understand how I got here. It’s dark and lonely. Everything looks muddy, and even though this thing keeps moving, I have no idea where we are headed. Oh, am I repeating myself? Well, for all I know this big old serpent might only be going in circles.

I know people are out there. I can hear the muffled concern. I’m just not sure they see me clearly. And I understand how it must look from the outside! A little scary to approach… potentially venomous. I’d really like to be able to say, “I won’t bite!”, but what do you expect? I am in the belly of fucking a snake!! Obviously, I don’t have control. Or perspective. Which reminds me, could YOU please CALL ME? Even though I have your number, it’s really hard to dial from in here.

Nope, sorry, no idea how or when I will get out. But one thing is for sure, if I make it to the other side, I definitely won’t be wearing the same skin I went in with.

E.T. phone home…

Losing a spouse is BIG. So big, I can’t even wrap my head around it yet. There are defined “stages of grief”, and most people do experience these. But they also say that everyone’s process through grief is unique. Here’s one version of my experience:

I call it “Alien Abduction”. You’re going along…about your day…living your life, some things are good, some things suck…then suddenly the rug is torn out from under you, and you are left flailing. It’s like you get yanked up into a maelstrom by your hair, and flung around like a rag doll. THEN! The aliens that grabbed you start probing in places you never knew you had, and drop you back down in fucking Kansas – naked – with no Starbucks (or husband) in sight. Internal wires are all tangled, things just don’t feel quite right. Somehow you walk home…(this, after having been partially lobotomized), you get dressed…and you go to work…day after day…never quite sure when the next emotional abduction will take place, trying to figure out what parts of “you” you still have, but all too aware of what you’ve lost.