Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Emotional Confusion ....

.... seems to be my theme these days.

Well, I guess when I say "these days", I really mean these past 3 years and 10 months, but who's counting?

I used to be so "stable", emotionally speaking.
Or at least, I thought I was.
I know that I could wear a good mask.  Maybe I even wore them for myself sometimes.

But these days .... these days I can cry at the drop of a hat.  Even when I'm feeling fine.
And I'm usually feeling fine .... pretty darn good, actually.
And then .... I'm not.

Yesterday was one of those days.
I started out feeling great.  But then I found out that a friend was attending a funeral later that day.
A funeral for a 23 year old boy .... who killed himself.
That news made me sigh .... and feel sad.
But the following news shook me to the core:  his mother .... his single mother .... came home to find his body.

I managed to not cry in front of my friends.  I firmly put my mask in place, and locked it tightly.
Until I got home.
And then I broke down .... because all I could think, was that woman .... that mother .... has no one with her.
She has no husband, no partner to help carry her grief.  No one to sit with her and share the blackness with her.
She has a daughter, but as we all know ....

A couple of day ago I saw a news story about a couple who have written a book.
His wife died a few years ago, leaving him to only parent their 3 young children.
Her husband died shortly before that, leaving her to parent their 2 young children.  It seems that his wife knew this woman.  And she knew that this woman  was newly widowed.  His wife, even as she was dying of cancer, encouraged him to contact this widow.
And he did.
And they fell in love, married, and have written a book.
And I just stood there, watching them .... and cried.

I'm not sure why I cried, since they all seemed to be one big happy family .... now.
Maybe I cried because I knew what they had to go through .... before they got to "now".
Maybe I cried because they both teared up as they spoke of their late spouse.
Or maybe I cried just because I'm an emotional mess "these days".
I can be up one minute .... and then hear a story of someone who's died .... and barely hold the tears back.

I'm really ok.
In fact, I'm more than ok.
I'm happy most of the time.
There is someone in my life who seems to understand more than he should be able to understand.  And he gives me more support than I've felt in almost four years.
But still ....

My body seems to be emotionally confused.
I don't like being confused.
I don't like being emotional.

But after three years and ten months ....
you'd think I'd be used to it .... wouldn't you?


  1. This evening I went to the visitation for a 24 year old girl who had just died of a rare disease. Needless to say I cried minutes after walking in. I think I'm OK, but I'm not. As I shared my condolences with her mother and walked past the casket I wanted to be sick. I wanted to be anywhere but there.

    Twice a day I pass the hospital that Dave died in. It's only a few minutes from our home and on my way to and from work. Sometimes I don't think about it, but sometimes as a sit at a stoplight I look over at it and am transported to the last week of his life. And I cry. Today was one of those days. A cold rainy day where it seems fitting to be miserable.

    And then a few minutes later I'm home. My son moved out 10 days ago, which is a good thing for us both, but it's even lonelier at home now. So I go home and cry. And sigh, that this might now be my life. Me and our dog.

    And I try to stay upbeat around friends and family and co-workers. So they don't feel sorry for me. So, yeah. That mask comes in handy.

  2. Janine, I so admire your posts, but I must say, even though you think you are better than OK, it doesn't sound like it. I think you are so brave and have endured much, but there is an incongruence between what you say and the way you say you feel and then react. Maybe it would help if you touched base with a grief counselor, if you don't have one already? This comment comes from a place of respect and caring.

  3. Anon, I truly appreciate your kind and loving words but I want to let you know that my feelings and my words are perfectly balanced. Or at least as well as they can be for a 51 year old woman loosing all of her estrogen at about the same time of year that her "Death March" begins. Jim's death date is in 2 months which means that I am always teary eyed at this time of the year, whether I know the reason or not. It usually takes a few days for me to clue in on the invisible clock that resides inside of me to remind me what time of the year it is. It happens every year so just be aware of this, not only with me, but with yourself and other widowed friends.