Friday, November 2, 2012

Halloween Be Damned

Halloween was one of our most celebrated "couple" holidays.  She loved to dress up.  I certainly wasn't shy about making a scene.  It's a holiday that we spent the year looking forward to.  Thus, it's one I've struggled with possibly more than any other holiday.  I'm glad it's over.  That said, this year was more gentle than the previous, which was a welcome change - a change that's been a long time in coming.

I stopped counting the days a long time ago.  There was a time when the idea of not knowing how many days it had been since I last kissed my sweetheart would have been unimaginable.  Today, the number of months since that moment isn’t at the tip of my mind.  But, for you today, I did some quick calculations: It’s been 1,279 days or more than 42 months or roughly 3 ½ years.  1,279 days.  That number just seems impossible to me to comprehend.  But facts are facts.  And, with 1,200+ days since that moment passed, it’s important that I continue to push forward toward my new life, no matter how difficult the process of pushing is.

My last big push was the most painful I’ve experienced while focused on the smallest space thus far. In other words, it was rather high on the the pain/density scale.  Last weekend, I (and my trusty side-kick), cleared out Maggie’s bathroom drawers.  We also cleaned out Maggie’s jewelry box, one earring and bracelet at a time.  It was exhausting.  It’s been a long time since I was droolingly bone-tired and brain dead, but Sunday evening, I could barely speak my own name.  But what needed to be done is done.  Now, instead of three little drawers full of memories of her life, there are three little cardboard boxes ready for her friends and relatives to sort through, picking out pieces that represent memories of their own.  It is almost done.

My psychologist tells me “you are moving very quickly through this.”  I laugh almost every time he says that because 3 ½ years doesn’t seem very fast to me.  Yet, the pain of every single step might prove him wiser than me.  This is hard.  Regardless, I refuse to stop.  This is my mission now and I will not deviate from the task at hand.  I have been lost too long and I will no longer sit idle.  Maggie’s lost life is a tragedy in the truest sense of the word.  Yet to lose two lives would be much, much worse.  We fought for her life with all we had.  To not fight now for mine would be beyond sad.  It would be... well....  For her, I will continue, no matter how difficult this is.  I’ve been buried in a deep hole for a long time and I will not stop until the magnificent potential of life’s opportunities again shines brightly.  For her, I will not stop.  For her, I will make it through this and shine.

It's funny.  Sometimes you see people in what you think are costumes and those costumes turn out to be representations of the type of person those people want to be.  It's sort of a twisted fake-it-till-you-make-it thing.  Hmmm...   Maybe I should get a tattoo.


  1. So needed this post this AM. I too have been buried in a deep hole for a long time, only I seem to keep on digging. Anything I can do to self-sabotage has been on the list lately. I am at 1,395 days today, so about the same time as you. I so want to change my perspective, but am definitely struggling with negativity and dare I say bitterness or maybe resentment (HATE those words). I do want to see the "magnificent potential of life's opportunities" again. Thanks for the vision of hope, I needed it today.

  2. 2 years today.
    I don't know how i made it this far. But here I am.
    I will not stop.
    Important words.
    Thanks Chris

  3. Thank you for sharing. I had to run and hide from Halloween as well. I did not expect Halloween to trigger so much emotion for me, but it did. My husband died 5 months ago. I can't even think in terms of days....and I sure as hell couldn't imagine celebrating Halloween this year. No candy, decorations, or trick-or-treaters. But it's over now, so I went and bought a bunch of pumpkins and gourds. Not for Halloween - for me - for making it through. I hope I will have your strength when the time comes to take on the harder tasks.

  4. A powerful letter Chris Weaver. Your love and pain are so strong in your words. Maggie was beautiful and looks like a lovely woman. Thank you for sharing your story. My husband died March 2, 2010 after being married 40 yrs. I am still coping with his closet in parts. You can only do so much at once, it is too hard.
    You remind me of my son, Halloween being his favorite Holiday too and what it means to dress up and be with people & friends.
    It is so good that you are working on having a good future for you and Maggie. You know that she would not want to see you in so much pain. I wish the best for you, Carole Harris

  5. i always used to envy couples that got all excited about halloween together and planned cute "couples" costumes. My husband hated most social events except ones hosted and attended exclusively by HIS 26 years, HIS friends had 2 parties the most recent being 12 years ago. Our neighborhood had a party last year, he refused to dress up, walked in, looked around and left.

    Call me an optimist, but I stillI hoped that someday we would dress up as Fred and Wilma Flintstone...he looked a little more Flintstonian every was just before the 31st when someone asked about costume ideas that I realized, it would NEVER happen.

    Huge Kudos to you for getting through the drawers and jewelry....I have done a little of this, but not finished. Recently, I took out his travel shaving kit, looked at it as if it were a museum piece, and carefully returned it intact to its holding place for another day.

    Maybe you do need a tattoo...I took a care that he gave me on our 24th anniversary and had them copy the way he signed it to me exactly on the underside of my left arm which is where my glance falls whenever Im busy doing something.