Well… as of today it has been a year since I started jotting some thoughts down pertaining to this whole widower thing on this little bloggery I have called Thirty Days of Mo(u)ring. Yup… a year. I have published 74 (75 now!) posts, learned a bit about how these things work, learned a bit about myself, have gotten some lovely words of encouragement, and have had strangers come into my world that I would now consider my friends… ish. I had absolutely no idea what I was gonna be doing with this blog, how I was gonna do it, or really even why (still don’t), but a few people have reached out to me to say “thanks for sharing… it has helped me get through my shit.”… and I can’t tell you how much that warms my innards.
There are so many things that I want to share, but being a widower is hard… and it takes time away from life. A year. It’s weird to think about all that has happened in that year… and all that I thought would happen. At this point last year, I hadn’t yet finished the upstairs bathroom that Kateri and I started to remodel before cancer… but I finally did… and I took a bath. I hadn’t yet rearranged the living room into a configuration that Kateri would never see. I hadn’t yet gotten on Widow/Widower support groups to try and promote my blog… and then find out that I didn’t wanna share it on that platform because it felt more like self promoting than being supportive. I hadn’t yet gotten on dating apps because of the curiosity… and crushing loneliness. One of my best friends hadn’t yet left Ned for Arizona… cutting off one of our last connections to a town I absolutely loved. Our closest friends here in the Upper Valley (the one Kateri always wanted to live next to, to be neighbors with until we grew old) hadn’t yet decided to start taking steps to relocate for other exciting opportunities. I hadn’t yet been to Atlantic City where “Angel” approached me asking if I wanted to “conversate” in my hotel room (I didn’t). My boss and good friend hadn’t yet left work to make another go at opening another successful restaurant. Old friends hadn’t yet come to Vermont to sit on my porch for the first time… solely because they knew I needed them. My mother had cancer in her brain a year ago… and doesn’t as of today!… (now we’re just waiting for it to clear from her lungs… CT scan today). There have been a lot of changes and learning experiences in the past year. On this day last year… it hadn’t even been three months since I heard Kateri take her last breath as I held her arm with two of our best friends sitting next to her… and holding me.
I wish I could say I’m in better shape than I was a year ago, but I’m not too sure I can say that. They say time heals… but so far I still feel it just changes things. Personally, I’m constantly overwhelmed, constantly worried about money and everything attached to it (I’m a worry wort), constantly trying to “figure out” things that can’t be figured out, constantly trying to do things that make me happy… and always trying to find more hours in the day to fit it all in. Just because I have moved further away from that horrible horrible date, it hasn’t exactly made it easier. I have been forced to manage my grieving and sadness because life doesn’t stop. I still have to go to work, take care of responsibilities, take care of the house, the chickens, deal with the blah, blah, blah… and fit the emotional stuff in when I can. Sometimes it will just show up and I have to either suppress it because I’m about to go back into work or I’m at the store or something. Sometimes, I’m in a place where I can let it go… like sitting in my car in my driveway when I just get home… or in my bed writing a blog. Either way… it’s a hard thing to manage… and a stupid thing to have to manage. It also doesn’t hurt less… it’s just more sporadic.
I know this all sounds pretty depressing… as if there was very little joy in my world… but that’s not the case. It’s a very manic experience being a widower… kind of all over the place emotionally and psychologically. Which just means there are times I’m doing well and feel pretty good about the direction I’m going… and then there are times I need to take a break from writing blogs or thinking about whatever to just go outside and dead-head the daisies in the planters on the porch… because it provides me with a sorta connection to Kateri… she loved dead-heading flowers. She would say, “Pop their little heads off” or simply “Off with their heads!”… and it made her happy. I loved seeing Kateri happy.
I guess that’s one goal of sharing your life with whoever in whatever capacity… to see them happy… which makes us happy. It doesn’t always happen… and sometimes things happen that we just can’t be happy about… but they’re gonna happen anyways. Sometimes, there are days where we just want to stay in comfy clothes, smoke a pinner, eat ice cream, and watch re-runs of Friends. But the joint burns out, the ice cream gets eaten, Friends move on to short lived spin-offs or other endeavors… and we all have to put our pants on to start a new day.
Widower Notes n Thoughts:
- I should probably take the home phone and internet out of Kateri’s name at some point… but I’m really afraid of losing my number!
- I look down a lot when I walk… so I miss shit.
- I’ve been wanting to get Kateri’s truck up and running. I loved seeing her in it… and currently it would be helpful to move wood!
- Kateri’s dream car was a Toyota with a wooden bed… such the Vermonter!
- I’ve noticed I’ve been able to remember some of the fun stuff from before the pile of shit… which is such a nice corner to turn within this process. It doesn’t happen a ton, but when it does… it’s just so warming.
- Yup, I could eat better, sleep better, and just take care of myself better… but I’m doing good enough.
- Thank you to everyone who has checked my shit out! It makes me feel warm and fuzzy…. even though it’s hot and humid.