Emptiness

It’s my third Christmas without Maggie.  So far, it’s unique in that I haven’t been overwhelmingly sad: no meltdowns, no wallowing, no misery.  However, don’t misread what I type as a description of Christmas joy or, hell, even joy.  Her absence still cuts a deep emotional wake.  I feel like I’m coated in some sort of waxy substance that makes everything feel gray and dingy and blah.  Christmas cheer definitely has found no home here at the Weaver house. Continue reading

Maggie's 36th Birthday

Today is Maggie’s 36th birthday. It’s stunning to me how much I still miss her every day. I’m fairly certain that my saying so has become repetitive, even predictable so I tend to keep it to myself. I would have thought 31 months would have cleaned out the pain. Instead, I’ve learned how to carry it better so that it’s not crippling or defining (or sometimes even noticeable to those who know me.) Continue reading

Adventures Not Taken

Shoes. We take for granted that these little bits of leather, plastic and rivets will be ready for any adventure that pops up. We assume they will support and protect us as we walk over hot sidewalks and soft carpets. And at the end of the day, it’s nice to take them off and place them next to another pair of still-warm, well-traveled shoes. Shoes are at the start and the end of every adventure.

Maggie loved shoes. Her eyes would light up when she saw a pair that tickled her fancy. She’d be so excited to bring them home that she’d walk around the house wearing them like she was a model putting on a show. I don’t know for certain but I imagine that in each pair she saw a lifetime of adventures to be experienced. She loved adventures, large and small. I loved seeing her happy. Ergo, I loved her shoes. Continue reading

Business of Change Continues

What started in the bathroom has been spreading. Yesterday, the business of change overthrew a pile of crushed dreams in the corner of the kitchen that has gathered much dust. Stacks of receipts for closed bank accounts, letters from the court, change of relationship forms, and unused death certificates have lied where they fell after completing their last call of duty. Now, untouched for probably more than a year, these papers had become a pile of pins and needles that I occasionally ran my hand through but mostly just avoided. As of today, that pile is gone and its contents appropriately sorted and filed in the filing cabinet under “Crap That Sucks.” Continue reading

Changes in the Bathroom

No lighting struck.  No drums rolled.  No sad music played.  It was just me, the puppies and my staid emotion as I carried that vase that held the dried bouquet of roses to the back of our my house.  Without fanfare, I grabbed the bunch by the stems, crunched them together as the brittle peddles disintegrated, and tossed them onto the compost pile.  Of course, because nothing goes quite as plan, a few roses didn’t quite make the trip onto the pile but I didn’t feel like walking down into the ditch to gather them together again.  Where they landed, they’ll stay.  It was done.
That bouquet of very dead and dried roses has sat on her side of the bathroom now for years.  It’s uncomfortable to call that out – years.  But sat they did, right next to her driver’s license and the cute little hat she wore when after she lost all her hair.  Now the bouquet is in the refuse pile, the driver’s license is in a special-memories box, and her cute little hat is in the closet.  It’s amazing how the absences of so few little things can paint a room empty.
Now the bathroom truly looks like a bachelor’s bathroom – empty (just don’t open any drawers.)
How is it that I’ve been ok with a bouquet of roses that has been sitting in the same spot for years?  My psychologist, the one I’ve seen now since Maggie started to get very ill, calls this state of inertia “business as usual.”  In my professional life, I’ve never stood for business as usual.  Standing still too long kill opportunities, breeds laziness, and stifles innovation.  Yet, in my personal life, I had a bouquet of roses sitting on the counter in my bathroom for years – more than 850 days.  (Today, by the way, marks 856 days since Maggie’s Angel Day – 6 days longer than she was officially sick.)
How many other things in my life are “business as usual” that are keeping me stuck?  What other virtual bouquets are around the house I’ve been looking over now for years?  Am I ready to see them?  Better yet, am I ready to move them?
Today, business as usual became new business – the business of change.
No lighting struck.  No drums rolled.  No sad music played.  It was just me, the puppies and my staid emotion as I carried the dried bouquet of roses to the back of our my house.  Without fanfare, I grabbed the bunch by the stems, crunched them together as the brittle peddles disintegrated, and tossed them onto the compost pile.  Of course, because nothing goes quite as plan, a few roses didn’t quite make the trip onto the pile but I didn’t feel like walking down into the ditch to gather them together again.  Where they landed, they’ll stay.  It was done.
That bouquet of very dead and dried roses has sat on her side of the bathroom now for years.  It’s uncomfortable to call that out – years.  But sat they did, right next to her driver’s license and the cute little hat she wore when after she lost all her hair.  Now the bouquet is in the refuse pile, the driver’s license is in a special-memories box, and her cute little hat is in the closet.  It’s amazing how the absences of so few little things can paint a room empty.
Now the bathroom truly looks like a bachelor’s bathroom – empty (just don’t open any drawers.)
How is it that I’ve been ok with a bouquet of roses that has been sitting in the same spot for years?  My psychologist, the one I’ve seen now since Maggie started to get very ill, calls this state of inertia “business as usual.”  In my professional life, I’ve never stood for business as usual.  Standing still too long kill opportunities, breeds laziness, and stifles innovation.  Yet, in my personal life, I had a bouquet of roses sitting on the counter in my bathroom for years – more than 850 days.  (Today, by the way, marks 856 days since Maggie’s Angel Day – 6 days longer than she was officially sick.)
How many other things in my life are “business as usual” that are keeping me stuck?  What other virtual bouquets are around the house I’ve been looking over now for years?  Am I ready to see them?  Better yet, am I ready to move them?
Today, business as usual became new business – the business of change.

No lighting struck.  No drums rolled.  No sad music played.  It was just me, the puppies and my staid emotions as I carried the dried bouquet of roses to the back of our my house.  Without fanfare, I grabbed the bunch by the stems, crunched them together as the brittle peddles disintegrated, and tossed them onto the compost pile.  Of course, because nothing goes quite as plan, a few roses didn’t make the trip onto the pile but I didn’t feel like walking down into the ditch to gather them together again.  Where they landed, they’ll stay.  It was done. Continue reading

"How You Can Help Me"

I saw this today on another blog that deals with grief, specifically widows and widowers.  It’s so exactly dead on.  Every sentence is exactly right so I wanted to re-post it here to share.

People have asked me over and over what they can do for me.  Here’s your chance.  Share this post so people who haven’t experienced such a loss as Maggie and I have will better understand what those of us who have are going through.  There are a lot of us around who need your support.  Sadly, you may too one day be in the same situation.  Wouldn’t it be better if those around you knew how to help?  Please share this. Continue reading

Two years and Two Days

Another significant date has passed.  It’s now been two years and two days since Maggie’s Angel Day.  It’s difficult to understand how two opposing feelings can rub up against each other and not cause a significant amount of mental friction, enough to label me more than just a little nuts.  It seems like just moments ago I was hugging her at the airport after she flew back home from MD Anderson (it was such a great hug – I had had missed her so much that weekend.)  I can feel her arms around me, her hands open wide and palms pressing into my shoulder and back.  I can remember how she felt as she sighed softly, happy to be home to me back in my arms.  And other memories are still so familiar.  I can still remember how her hair felt in my fingers or how it felt to snuggle my face into the crook of her neck.  I could draw out on paper the freckles on her shoulder and I can still feel the small of her back in my hand.  It wouldn’t surprise my body or heart if she walked right through the door.  I would go right back to holding her, hugging her and loving her like she never left.  Yet it also seems like that other moment, the one two years and two days ago, was so long ago, like a dream.  It’s been two years since I last kissed my baby.  TWO YEARS.  So long ago yet like it all just happened.  How does that not seem a little crazy? Continue reading

Pulling Weeds

You’d think after almost two years I’d be used to the silence in this big house on Sunday mornings.  I’m surprised at how thick it still is.  Sundays were fun days for me and she.  Inevitably, she’d spring out of bed with a little dance, a smile and a plan:  work in the garden, go for a walk with the pups, brunch, paint, something.  She was always moving, it seemed, moving and smiling.  Now Sundays, once my favorite day of the week, are my most lonely. Continue reading

What's In A Name?

Having not lost a spouse, it’s likely you don’t have a good feel for all the things that you lose along with that spouse.  Likewise, you probably don’t have a good feel for the name problem – so many things have to be renamed.  The problem isn’t immediately obvious.  But trust me, it sneaks up and vomits all over casual conversations. Continue reading