Saturday, April 19, 2014

Trigger Points

You never know what's going to set off the Giant Wet Feels. You imagine you've come to a certain place in your head and heart and you can handle yourself in public well enough for practical purposes. Then someone hands you a bunch of lilacs and says, "Is it true? Is that sweet man gone?" And it's farewell to all that hard-won composure. The following day someone might bluntly come out with, "I heard somebody was sick and died. What happened?" And you can stare them down as the supremely bad-mannered assholes they are and say, without batting an eye, "That's right. My husband died." At which point they come to their senses and have the grace to look ashamed.

I was cleaning out some old files in this computer, which used to be Asa's before he got his tablet. I put off doing a lot of routine maintenance, but got around to it this morning. I came across this little text file, dated early October 2012.

"Bucket List :

Read as much as possible

Be pain free as much as possible

Ride bike as much as possible

stop doctors except for pain

watch more funny movies

Help Morwyn"

Aw, shit. There I go again. You just never know what's going to be a trigger. I finally deleted all of his email accounts. That was harder than I thought it would be.  I get phone messages from different hospital clinics who don't know he's gone and I break it to them and sometimes that's harder than it should be.

Tuesday I was getting ready for work - I had just packed my lunch and fed the cats. I sat down to finish my second cup of coffee and the phone rang. It was the grief counselor for the hospice center. I'd been doing just fine, putting my shields in place for the day and she has to call and set off every Giant Wet Feel in my body. Just by asking me how I was doing. And then explaining how the One Month Mark is kind of a tricky time for most people, as all the hullabaloo and paperwork frenzy has pretty much died down and the reality of  Day To Day sets in. Well, I'm still dealing with some paperwork frenzy, and the ballyhoo ain't over for me, as we haven't had the private memorial and ash-scattering yet. But thanks for the heads' up - like I needed it.

We store most of our wall art and family photos in the back room of the bookshop. This week I decided to bring home the framed photos of Asa and me that have appeared in the local newspaper - all but the first one, which I'm leaving at the shop on display. Having them around me at home makes me feel a lot less alone. Sensing my own history gives me a kind of peace, I guess. I'll be bringing home the family albums next week.
These are my parents and their first house with the car that towed it, 1946.
My daughter and I share their love of tiny living spaces.

I've been eating so poorly lately, it's amazing I haven't made myself seriously sick. The first couple of weeks after Asa died, I did very well. Home cooking, plenty of fresh veggies and fruits, lots of water. That pretty much went to hell. I always bring lunch to work and I usually forget to eat it. So I have it for dinner. Or breakfast the next day. Lots of wine is being drunk. And orange soda. My wonderful friends drag me out of my apartment at least once a week to eat at their house and they always send me home with lots of lovely leftovers, for my lunch next day - or dinner. Or breakfast. I have a bad habit now of making something to eat and bringing it out to the table, starting in on it and then leaving most of it to go cold while I read or watch TV or start cleaning or sorting or organizing yet another box.

I have no schedule. I go to bed anywhere from 7 pm to 3 in the morning. I wake up at all hours. I've had more migraine auras (and headaches) in the last month than I've had the whole year before. I'm getting good at catching them in time to take Advil and head off the monster bitch headache, so there's that. But I feel the need for some kind of structure. Gotta work on it.

I'm almost finished making an art piece. It only took me five times longer than usual, and three tries to get it started, but I'm feeling very good about it.

Steps forward and steps back - eventually it will feel like progress.