Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Another Ugly Four Letter Word

Everyone: Carl. Carl: Everyone. So there, now you've met. The last few weeks have been full of big changes for us. We've bought a new home, he moved into my house for a few weeks during the remodel of the new house, and now we've moved into our house together. The wedding is still a few months away, but well into the planning stages. Holy cow we have a lot going on!

I've had a tough few weeks - work has been crazy (as usual) and with the move, my personal life has been hectic as well. I think the busy-ness has kept me from really listening to my inner voice, and in the rare moments of quiet I find myself feeling oddly emotional and trying to find the source. I'd call it sad because I sometimes cry, but I finally realized a few days ago that it isn't sadness at all. At first I wondered if it was grief and some new unexplained wave of agony over Daniel. But it's not. I've found myself touching Carl's chest after he's asleep, making sure he's real. I sometimes get weepy watching him quietly breathe and I've been trying to figure out what the hell is wrong with me. After some soul searching and probing at the hurt spot I realized something shocking. It isn't sadness from grief, although it's related; this weird emotional state I'm in is fear: gut wrenching, heart stopping fear.

I know I don't have to explain to you what the fear is about. Some of you are probably trying to figure out why I'm doing this at all. I've stepped back into the land of not knowing. You know, that place we were before our spouses died? That place where you had no idea what was around the corner? Only this time? This time I know that death is out there. This time I'm not going to say "til death us do part" and smile an innocent smile - imagining our matching rocking chairs well into our 90's...

This time, this time I'm not sure I won't burst into tears, knowing in excruciating detail the meaning of the words. This time I know what I'm saying and how painful the disolution of a marriage can be. I'll still hopefully imagine the rocking chairs (yes, I still have hope or I wouldn't be doing this would I???), but I have a less happy alternate ending in my head too. I don't like the thought of it, but it is there nonetheless.

I've made Carl promise that I get to die first. In good humor he has accepted this challenge - and reassured me that he's always felt he'll live to be 90.

He'd better!

(so funny, in previewing this before I posted I realized that CARL is also a four-letter word - just for clarity - FEAR is the word I'm referencing. HA!)


  1. Yes! I have wondered how I will ever do that. I feel such tenderness now towards my friends and loved ones lives. I want to protect them and hold them tighter and love them harder because now I know what that loss is like.

    We are all going to die, that precious feeling you have is the reminder to live - anyway. Despite the knowing, live and live and live -
    for we are here to love and care for one another.

    may you have an ever expanding joy right along side on this beautiful journey you are taking.

  2. The first thing I thought was where is she going with Carl being a four letter word! Ha! And the second thing I thought was how often I check Michael's heart to see if it is beating. I feel so lucky to have walked this journey with you from nearly the beginning...jumping off the curb is just one more step on the road. Love you.

  3. May you both live well into your 90s and die on the same day (and that didn't come out right, but widows totally know what I mean).

  4. I made my S.O. promise that he will let me go first and he has graciously agreed as well. Good partners are like that.

    I've also imagined what it will be like to say "til death do us part" and I know there is no possiblity that my voice won't crack or that I will be able to stop the tears that will slide down my face. And that is as it should be. I expect that everyone gathered to witness the event will understand.

  5. So true,as far as losing our innocence.I still hope for happy ever after but sometimes I worry that won't happen.I am afraid that going out with someone I won't love them as much as I loved my late husband,but you help me to I see that it is possible.