Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Maybe It's Just The Week ....

                                                                                  picture from here

.... that is causing so many of us to feel so many more emotions right now?

I don't know.
I still don't know how this grief thing works.
Or, more pointedly, how it doesn't work.

All I do know is that it sucks.

It sucks that Dan's "date" was yesterday (I just can't use the word "anniversary" to describe the annual reminder of such a horrific day).
It sucks that the hurt still hurts.
It sucks that there's no magic pill to take to make it stop hurting.
No magic words to say, no magic actions to perform.
It must just hurt until it doesn't hurt quite so much.

And it really does get to that point.
I promise.
But there are still times.
Times when that wave comes rolling in behind me, quietly so that I can't hear it coming ..... and then it crashes over the top of me, knocking my head down and my body to my knees.

Yesterday I found myself on my knees, trying hard to push myself up out of the water so that I could grab a gasp of air before falling back down again.

I had to drive downtown yesterday with one of my children.
I didn't want to be driving downtown, but it seems that I had no choice.
Not a good parental choice anyway.
One of my children made a very stupid decision.
Incredibly stupid.
And then said child forgot about said decision.

Unfortunately, life sometimes has a way of reminding us .... and others ..... at the very worst possible moment .... of those decisions. And they come to light.
And it did.
So I was driving downtown to go talk to an attorney.
A defense attorney, who might represent my child.
I felt very emotional .... and very much alone.

I haven't driven downtown much in the last 3+ years.
At least, not during the day time.

Downtown + daytime + emotions trying to be pushed back while driving with a child I'm angry at + feeling alone, vulnerable and taken for granted + seeing lots and lots of men in suits walking around, just like Jim used to = one huge, gigantic wave.
Bigger than any I've felt in quite some time.

And yet I managed to keep it together.
Sort of.
I did cry half way during the meeting when asking this nice (and really good looking!), yet expensive attorney why I should hire him when I doubt that my child will not make another "stupid decision" in the not-too-far-distant-future.
(I love my children. Fiercely. Hugely. Unquestionably. Always. No matter what. But I do not always enjoy being a parent.)

Yes, I cried.
But it wasn't the ugly cry.
That came later.
After the meeting.

My child rode home with a friend who met us for the meeting.
He wanted to spend some time with this child and talk about stupid decisions.
And of course I agreed.
I needed time and space to succumb to the wave.
And succumb I did.

That wave crashed down on me inside the car and it, and I, filled the car with a lot of salt water.
The wave crashed so hard that the parking lot attendant who had left a ticket on my windshield (I thought it was a free lot--stupid me) looked like he was going to approach my car, stopped, stared .... and then seemed to think better of it and disappeared.
Smart man.

I sat in that car and sobbed.
And sobbed.
And sobbed.
I sobbed for missing Jim.
I sobbed for the stupidity of my child.
I sobbed for doing this, all of "this", alone.
I sobbed from the sheer exhaustion of it all.
I sobbed for the things yet to come that I'll be doing alone.
I sobbed for all of us and the unfairness of all of "this".

And then I started driving.
Rush hour.
In Houston.
It was a long, wet drive.

By the time I made it back to my neighborhood the wave was gone.
Well, mostly gone.
I think it disappeared sometime during dinner.
Dinner with a few friends.
And two very strong and very welcomed margaritas.
No, not a magic elixir for taking away the hurt.
But a great combination for shaking off the effects of a wave.
At least it was for me.

I hope this week is going better for most of you than it is for some of us.
If not, know that the waves will pass.

And heck, you might want to try a couple of very strong margaritas.
They couldn't hurt.


  1. I really loved this post! It read like my own story! Different child, different decision- no expensive lawyer, but same feelings of being alone and similiar wave.I think as any widow knows facing everything alone sucks!Even now after 2 years, it just sometimes feels overwhelming, even the everyday stuff that most people share responsiblity with and just do not get how we often drag ourselves through it and the exhausion of doing it and the emotional drain of doing it without our significant other and the other parent who is suppose to be there! I think I will have those margaritas!

  2. Yep. Another post I can relate to.
    (Surprise, surprise, right?)

    My 20something son seems to make only poor decisions.
    Doesn't want to hear any common sense.
    Not dealing with his dad's death well at all. (Are any of us?)
    And is redirecting his anger at Dave's death to me.

    It's exhausting. For both of us.
    It's not fair that I have to do this without Dave, and it's not fair that he doesn't have his dad to guide and counsel him. (And to give him a smack on the back of his head, 'cause that's what he really needs!)

    I'm not a margarita fan, and alcohol isn't any kind of a solution, but yes, sometimes a glass of two of white wine won't hurt either!

  3. I know what you mean about 'the wave'. It really does sneak up on you at the most unusal moments too. And sometimes the usual as well. And yes, I have been really missing Ole, my husband, a LOT for the past few months. I haven't been able to put my finger on why this started up so fierce but it has. I try and think of better things when I feel that pain pinching my heart. Sometimes it works and sometimes...well, there is 'that wave' again. Hugs...

  4. Wonderful blog. So sorry for your hurt and sadness, Janine. I've never had your exact experience, but for me that feeling of being all alone taps in to to my feelings of abandonment that come from growing up in an alcoholic family system, and the feeling for me is that no one is really ever there for me, so I have to handle everything alone. This has been heightened so much since my husband died. And its a really painful, sad feeling to feel that you are all alone. Primal. And yet in reality there are so many people who care so much about us. But we still feel so alone. Hoping you feel better soon. Blessings and love to you Janine.

  5.'s only been 6 months for me and today I just couldn't move. Couldn't do a thing. Not go to work, thank God I have a flex schedule, not shower, not a thing. I made myself wash some clothes, vacuum a little, straighten up a bit, just so I wouldn't feel like such the slug and eat all day. I can't imagine doing this with children in the house. Although, being here alone is not easy either. I feel for all of you...of us.

  6. So sorry, Janine. Crying in the car is something I do a lot. I feel "trapped" in that small space, and the wave is so huge. Of course, it always finds me wherever I am - but there's something about the car that amplifies my feeling of being alone; I have to do all the "driving" on my own now; I miss riding in the "passenger seat" in my old life...

  7. I love you Janine and wish I could magic away all your worries and pain and tears, but I can't ... oh but I wish.

    What I do know though is that you will let these tsunamis flatten you because you know there is no option ... and I know for certain that you will stand up again and shine, as only you can xxxx