Sunday, January 07, 2007

Grief in pieces

I'm starting to think I should put a disclaimer or something up when the grief hits; it can't be any fun for anyone to read this, but it does help me to try and put it into words.

Words are important to me. My mind is important to me. I still seem to be missing large chunks of my mind, and it would be lovely if I could predict or quantify what exactly the missing bits are, but I just can't.

I was reading another blogger today, who lost a child and posted as I was losing my husband, and I thought/wrote, we are creatures of spirit, but we are also creatures of our bodies. The emotional pain, I expected; the physicality of how badly I miss him, I continue to be surprised by. I imagine being with someone else and it is too transparently transposed from the remembered presence of my husband, beside me, in my arms, sitting across the table from me. I've taken to living in a half-fantasy sometimes.

I acquired a signature guarantee yesterday at the bank, for yet another bit of paperwork (oh, yes, there is still paperwork). I seem to store up the ability to do that sort of thing, and I was feeling okay, and the deadline was upon me (without which I seem to do nothing), so off I went. I fucked up the first set of forms and started again. Why is it so difficult? Well, because I have to check off and read things like "if the account holder is deceased" blah blah blah, and that's just too fucking hard to focus on much past where it says 'deceased'. And, Please enclose certified death certificate and court sealed appointment of adminstrator. Anyway, that's done. Also I mailed off other bits of paper to the embassy to do with whatever they wish to do, so that's done, too.

When he died, I thought somehow that I would feel differently about being with his body. I imagined that I would not want to be with him. What an idiot I was. I wanted to hold him; I still do. I wanted to lie with my head across his chest, and I did, at the hospital, at the funeral home, and I still go to the cemetery (which I persist in not being able to spell) and wish to do that. The grass is growing and I just want to lie down and be there. I was married to his mind and heart, and to his body, too.

It is like nothing else I can think of, which makes it really really hard to put words to. But words matter to me, so I need to try. It is like being one side of a stone arch, and suddenly the other side, the stonework that was joined up at the top and leaned together and made an astonishingly strong structure, that other side has gone away. And all that joined up part is left hanging, leaning, like ruins of an ancient abbey. I'm still a pretty strong pillar, here, but that part leaning together and holding up a cathedral ceiling, that's not quite happening.

I am thankful beyond words (and some of you know how keenly it pains me that it is indeed beyond words) (because how can there be no words? there must always be words!) for the people who've been in my life, our life, helping us along. Us, meaning me and the kids, now. It's now enough after the major holiday part that I can feel more normal, and thus allow myself the space to breathe deep, feel, cry, talk, cry. I still only let in a little at a time, and perfectly stupid things still make me dissolve, and big huge things don't. Go figure.

Part of the normal has been being able to knit more, so I've made a couple of rather spiffy knitted things for my Secret Pal. Well, one finished and another nearly so; another fun thing in store for me to work on later this week is coming. I've vacuumed some, tossed out a whole bunch of newspaper, gathered up the mountains of books in the family room and tidied up more. I found the camera doohickey! Yay! Lost something else, of course, but again, not the wallet, so ta-rah.

I'm posting from MIT again; classes have begun again for oldest, so I have a nice chunk of time to myself, here. Also yay for that.

There. Stopped crying. Yay, again.

More cheerful things tomorrow. For now, peace.


Blogger Lucia said...

The image of the stone arch is painfully excellent.

I'm thinking of you, as always.

5:44 PM  
Anonymous Erica said...

Wishing you peace as well, Liz.

11:01 PM  
Anonymous Lynne aka witchypoo said...


9:12 AM  
Blogger Jena the yarn harpy said...

Sometimes we're without words as well. I wish there was something eloquent and helpful I could write here, but instead, I will just say that as always, we're here for you and I hope that brings some small measure of comfort.
Meanwhile, time keeps marching onward and tears are perfectly normal and perfectly okay.


10:58 AM  
Blogger Mel said...

I don't think grief ever totally leaves. It becomes worn and familiar over time, but I expect you'll continue to brush up against its sharp edges for a while. When that happens, it's okay to cry and okay to write about it because that's what burnishes those edges down.

4:34 AM  
Blogger farm-witch said...

ah, grief...the presence you never invited but can't let go of, either, because it would mean less of the memories - which are cherished beyond the pain.

I'm amazed at your strength and your ability to share what I can only imagine to be an earthshattering process. As a homeschooling mom myself, I think you must be a hero to keep on keepin' on. Great big hug....

6:24 PM  
Blogger Carole Knits said...

Dang, Liz, I missed this post. Sorry about that. The thing with grief that I think is so hard to deal with is how sneaky it is. You think you're moving forward and then it comes along and bites you in the ass again. I hope your days of these feelings become less and less frequent as time passes. Hugs to you.

6:52 AM  
Anonymous Suzanne said...

Hmm, I thought that grief might sneak up on you. I'm glad you made it through Christmas. Also, the thing with the forms sounds awful. Under the best circumstances they are taxing and soul-squashing. How can creative people shoe-horn themselves into little tiny boxes?

7:57 PM  

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