8pm Meetings with Grief

Grief is pissing me off. She’s been totally ignoring me for the last few months. I think she’s found someone else to hang out with, I don’t know.

Maybe I’m just being paranoid.

I’ve been trying to get a hold of Her so we could sit down and touch base.

I’ve wanted to check in with Her to see what Her schedule looks like; what Our schedule looks like.

But She’s not returning my texts.

My emails go unanswered.

And I hate leaving voice messages, so you can just cross out that means of communique.

So let me explain everything I’ve been doing on my end at least and my rational for it all. You be the judge about what you think is really going on with Her…..

I’ve spent many a night home alone while Cael was out living her life trying to force myself to feel.  I’ve tried to pencil in a time….(say between 8 and 8:30 every third Saturday of the month)….. as required “Grieving Widow’s Night In”—GWINI for short.

I’ve felt I could sneakily coax Grief and all her accompanying cronies of Sadness and Hopelessness out from under the sofa,  invite Them up for some pizza and beer, -have a good ol’ snot-filled, red-faced, air-gasping cry with Them, then, using a hand-held brush,  usher the spent emotions into a dustpan and toss Them in the garbage.

Perhaps recycling bin would be more apropos.

If only I could squeeze all of my emotional outpouring into a tidy 30 minute window of reserved “cry time”, I’d free up the rest of my evening to live my life as I normally do.

For some reason, “Operation Half-Hour Emotion Overflow” hasn’t been working out too well.

Grief has been a no-show.

Not cool, Grief. Not cool.

Listen, it’s not for lack of trying on my part.

I’ve prepped for my meetings with Grief.

I’ve packed my briefcase to the brim with pictures of Jamey and me from the our “younger years.”  I’ve poured over pictures of our spartanly-decorated apartment in  Ohio and scoffed at the pictures of me next to an oven “cooking” and looking domestic at our first shared apartment over Murphy’s Bookstore and Ephemera in Mullica Hill.

I’ve offered to conference-call Her in on our wedding vows, to listen toJamey’s voice quivering with happy sadness as he recited his lifelong promises to me.

I’ve double-tapped and zoomed in on the purity in Jamey’s eyes when he sat me down at our wedding reception so he could serenade me with Sinatra’s “Summer Wind.”

I scrolled through picture after picture after picture of Jamey and Caeley flying kites and raking leaves and riding bikes.

These feather-light moments of our family’s history together should have been enough to strike a heartstring or two; should’ve been enough for Grief and I to come to a mutual agreement that She would possess my body for 30 minutes; that She would fully consume me so that I could feel, experience and subsequently purge and heal.

No such agreement was made.

How could you make an agreement when one of the major parties isn’t present to sign on the dotted line?

Maybe I’m being a little to harsh on Grief.

Perhaps She’s a procrastinator like I am.

It’s possible She’s waiting for the right time to call; like She needs to get Her shit together before She can mess all my shit up.

If that’s the case, I get it. I do.

But could You at least give me a warning that You’re on Your way, Grief?

Like a “Be there in a little bit.” head’s up text so I know what to expect?

It’s been 5 months since Jamey passed away and although I’ve seen You floating around the office and You’ve occasionally popped Your head in my door to let me know You were around, we have yet to sit down and have a nice, long, needed talk.

At least I think I need it.

That’s what all the studies and books and people say….if you don’t Grieve properly and thoroughly, Grief will always find its way into your life down the road.

No offense, Grief, but I’d prefer you leave my future relationships and happiness alone.

So text me.

Or email me.

Or….sure, what the heck…give me a call.

Let me know when we can meet so I can get this whole thing over with.

The sooner we meet, the sooner I can get through the bad which will help me move towards the good.

I’m ready for the good, Grief(see what I did there?)

I think it’s time.

I’ve earned it.

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2 Comments

  1. Dunno, my friend…..You can probably find a professional that will tell you there’s something wrong with you.
    Your timing is just right for where I’m at, thanks for the post; another one to read to my shrink.

    But I’d bet if you compared notes with other brain cancer caregiver/surviving spouses, they may nod their heads and say ” me too”
    … just a hunch.

    when they told us he had a brain tumor in 2012 it was like he died that day. I’ve been grieving for a long time already. I may be wrong but it feels like grieving came with the diagnosis.

    Today; I’m unemployed, I am the housekeeper, maid, cook, med dispenser, chauffeur with a fleet of ancient rattly pickups, handyman in an old house that is half remodeled, other half crumbling, lumberjack, paper shuffler, and patient advocate who sleeps in another room so I can actually get some sleep.

    I’m tired a lot and pray for my guy with the diseased brain and pray for mercy and forgiveness because I’m a selfish sinner like most everyone else in my situation.

    Today; he visited two neighbors, had tea, did crossword puzzles, looked out the window a lot, came up with unfunny jokes and proudly emailed them everywhere, looked through the house for lost items that don’t exist and stared into space the rest of the day.
    Frontal/ temporal lobe brain damage is so awful…

    He told his oncologist at our last visit that God is curing his tumor and we are all going to be surprised someday when there is no tumor at all.
    She looked at me, I shrugged and she gave him a stiff smile and said ” it’s good that you beleive that.”

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    1. P.S. praying for you and your family on this feast day of St’s Michael, Gabriel and Raphael.
      Thank you so much for your prayers.

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