I’ve been thinking a lot about other widowers and widows lately… more so than in the past. I think that the whole “Time heals” bullshit has something to do with that. Plus, I belong to two support groups (1 just widowers, 1 widowers/widows) and it’s kinda hard not to feel for people who are going through… or who have been through… what I’m experiencing when they pop up all over your Gosh Darn (trying to be respectful) Facebook feed! In all seriousness, I’m not exactly a “support group” kinda guy and I definitely don’t engage as much as other people, but the names on the screens and the words of support I see them write to strangers has provided me with an unmeasurable amount of encouragement for not only my life to keep moving forward, but for theirs as well! It has just been one of those things that has pleasantly caught me by surprise.
I’m at a point where some of the fog is starting to lift and my mind isn’t fully consumed by figuring out how to just “survive”… the shock is dissipating, I guess. A few other people who have lost their loved ones (spouses) have reached out to me… and I can’t tell you how wonderful that makes me feel… that they found some sort of connection to what I was saying or that it put them, at the least, a little bit at ease knowing they weren’t the only ones going through this horrendous experience. They could see there are other people who somewhat understood their pain… which is unrelenting at the beginning of this life changing event.
Soooo, on this beautifully overcast and chilly Vermont Sunday morning I decided to jump back on the ol’ blog and update the “My Thirty Days of Mo(u)rning” page with adding the first 6 days of notes from my experience being alone in the world again after nearly 20 years with Kateri. I’m currently in the first anniversary month of my Thirty Days of Mo(u)rning and it’s nice to use it as sort of a gauge to how I’ve changed, coped, and dealt with this slap in the face from life. I’ll admit… it’s a little strange looking back at these notes a year later, but I love the fact that I can remember most of it so clearly. Of course, revisiting pictures makes for a lovely emotional Sunday morning… but it’s nice to recognize that it’s a different time, it’s a different space, and that I’m different. I don’t know if I can say “Better”… there’s a lot that goes into that… but I can definitely say things have changed… and that I’m ok. I’m may even be good… ish… and I hope you all are, too.
Thirty Days of Mo(u)rning
Widower Day 6… (April 28, 2018). Woke up at 6:58am on the couch… in the same position.
Took truck to recycling in Thetford
a. Broke the law (not my town’s dump… shhh), saw Joan, she turned right. I figured if she was going to the orchard that it would give me an in… so I followed her, so I could meet a neighbor. Laying down foundation.
b. John and Peggy
c. Beautiful view
d. Sprayed me with tick shit. New thought… I am going to constantly be paranoid of ticks since I now don’t have that person to Tick Check me (Tick Check Yourself before You Wreck Yourself…).
Took Jeep to Kmart for more green bins. (For Kateri’s clothes)
Drove to Hannaford’s in Bradford. Figured I should have at least a little bit of food I know I would eat, but don’t have to make.
a. Interesting how I’m a cook, but I was buying things I only needed to heat up.
b. First real shopping trip shopping for just me… odd sensations, realizations.
Went to Local Buzz for a sandwich.
a. Abby made it for me. Came up from behind me.
b. Same approach as Wild Hill Orchard… I need to step out of my comfort zone if I want the keep the same types of things that Kateri provided for me. I would pretty much never go get a sandwich by myself and bring it home to eat.
c. Got a pack of smokes from The Bliss (not sure if that is the name of it).
Called Will… he and Kate came over.
a. Brought enchiladas, mole, guac, beans, chips
b. Chatted in the kitchen and then on the deck… sunny, warm
c. Will called an hour later mentioning that he can always come over and we can just smoke a joint.
Tidied the garage.
a. As I type this, I realize it is giving me “purpose”… something to do, something that keeps my mind going… even if it is about what I am going through.
b. Built a support for plywood. Moved wood to middle so that I have space to move around and to start setting up the garage for the beginning of my life.
c. Threw scrap wood in black cart, baby rocker to shed, wheelbarrow.
Flipping through pictures, I came across the 3 I had taken of Kateri (the morning she died)… didn’t shock me as much as I expected it to. I was conflicted about taking the pictures, but I felt I need to have the option of being able to see her… I find the picture beautiful with the army blanket… I just love her and found it to be somewhat peaceful.
a. Deleted one photo
b. Didn’t take any other photos at Palliative.
Had a Fire.
a. Figured… why not? I’ve got a fire pit. Burnt all scrap wood from garage except planter box and piece of house (would be good to start the next fire).
b. Light out for the whole thing. Sun just starting to go down. Chickens just roosting up… I watched them march to the coop.
c. Used old gasoline to start… ya, stoopid… but kinda fun (kept thinking “WFC Style”). It got a little big at one point… need to expand the ring.
d. Looked around—this is all mine… just an odd feeling and made me think about the fact that I wouldn’t have this without Kateri… no bank would give me a loan off of what I make. Lucky that I have all of this in a time I am dealing with such sorrow and loss. I’ll figure the money shit out… hopefully.
Took a shower. Facetimed my P’s. Planned on watching Justice League (Kateri loved superhero movies… those where really the only types of movies we would go out and see… “big screen movies”), facetimed with Keith.
a. I haven’t really been able to cry when I’m alone. Talking with my P’s and Keith I got a little weepy… I was able to release a little. It’s strange all the different types of emotions and angles and just “things” the brain does as it tries to cope. I feel mellower emotionally, but I can’t tell if it’s any easier.
b. Fell asleep on the couch again (I’m writing this from bed on Sunday… at 12:30pm. Came up at 6:30 for a “Sunday morning” and haven’t really left except for 2 smokes… and had to wash my hand after each one).
Some thoughts during the day/night:
a. Willing to invest my personal time in KAF if they are willing to invest in my future… hell, I can work at home on shit and it won’t take time away from Kateri these days.
b. I still get a kick out of numbers (1234) and remember how we would text the time back and forth.
c. Realized I haven’t looked at myself in the mirror for a while… don’t even know the last time. I looked hairier to myself.
d. People are telling me “You did good”… no regrets type shit, but I don’t really care that they feel I have been a good husband/partner/”soulmate” through this and through our life. I only care about what Kateri would think… and I will never be able to ask her about that, if I gave her enough love/support… if she was proud of my actions through life and through this big pile of shit. (I am now crying). Just one of those mindfuck type things. The tears feel good.
Widower Notes n Thoughts:
- It’s nice that there is no more snow at the schoolhouse. It’s not so nice that winter beat the crap out of my chimney, gutters, siding, and GAS GRILL! A few learning experiences I guess… and I get to get a new grill!
- When I came out of the grocery store yesterday, I had: Milk, Cheese Dip, a frozen Chicken Pot Pie, and Oreos. Yup… my professional title is still “Sous Chef”.
- The sump pump is going off every 8 minutes and 44 seconds. It was every 2 minutes and fifty seconds. We’re going in the right direction!