As I thought about reaching this date a couple of weeks ago, I felt pretty good. I wasn't crying daily, I had made some really special connections with other widows online, I was looking forward to attending Camp Widow next month. But something wasn't right and way deep down inside I knew it when I allowed myself to think about it. I couldn't write anything here in my blog. I knew what I wanted, needed, to say but just couldn't be that honest. I wasn't keeping up with emails or mail or bills or housework or laundry or the yard. It felt like the walls of my life were closing in on me. And yet each work day I would put on my happy face, say what is expected, act like people wanted me to act. I'm Dianne, I'm strong, I can do all of this alone. And everyone has bought it. They're proud of me. Happy that I have made such a wonderful progression from my sorrow.
What a crock! It's all a facade. But who would know that? Who would want to know that? It's too hard ... for them. The truth is that I walk in the door after work each day (and on weekends), put on my jammies and sit in Vern's recliner. I sometimes just sit there doing absolutely nothing, other nights I stay online for hours, but often I'm not honest there either. I'm the cheerleader, the supporter, the one who tries to make everyone else feel better. But I can't do this any longer. I need to find a happy medium, an outlet, a way to be true to myself.
I made an effort to be honest when I was online last night, but only because what happened earlier in the day scared me so that I knew I had to do something different. I had my first panic attack. I had gone over to the IRS to pay the money I owed. I had let it go to the final day before they would place a lien on my home. I don't know why I delayed ... I just have been procrastinating on everything in my personal life. I was ok while at the IRS office, the guard at the entrance was nice, the line wasn't long, the man who handled my payment was very kind when I shared that my husband had died. I pulled out the death certificate and could feel the emotions starting to build, but I was able to force them back. I got into my car and then it hit. I thought I was having a heart attack. I couldn't catch my breath, my heart was racing, deep wracking sobs consumed me, strange sounds came out of me, I was dizzy, trembling, sweaty. It was frightening. I remember thinking of all of the things I had not done ... haven't updated my will, haven't prepared a list of things Jer would need to know, where I've hidden things, fearing that someone would just find me dead there in the car at the end of the day. I don't know how long it lasted, but eventually I was able to gain some control and I headed back to work where I once again put on the happy Dianne act. I've felt exhausted since that whole episode.
Today I helped a dear friend, whose husband is now in home hospice, close up his office. I'm so happy I was there to give her hugs and let her talk when she needed it, while the guys did the heavy lifting. This was very tough for her as her husband spent 15 years working out of that office. I used to see him at the oncologist office (he and Vern both received their chemo treatments on Fridays), but I wasn't prepared to see him after we finished the move. As we all walked into the room, he looked like Vern sitting there in the recliner. Same shirt, oxygen, dozing slumped over with Vern's 'cadillac' walker sitting alongside him (I gave it to them to use). I was overwhelmed and had to turn my back for a moment as others greeted him. He worked to stand up as Linda began telling him who all was there. And then he whispered my name, so I went to him ... and he hugged me strongly for a long while. It was a very touching moment for me, as it felt like Vern was hugging me. He asked if I could adjust the handles on the walker, so I did that and he gave me a 'thumbs up' ... another thing Vern often did. I cried when I got outside but also felt very blessed for my 'visit'.
Where you shed the person you used to be, and grow into the new self while you discover the doorway back to life. That is what I call Grief." Second Firsts on Facebook