Hard Mornings

It’s hard to get out of bed in the morning. Mornings used to be a favorite time of ours. She’d wake up with a smile and spring out of bed, pestering me with some master plan for the day’s activities. We’d shower together and discuss her plan and how I fit in (or didn’t!) Then, I’d watch her prance from bathroom to closet to bedroom to kitchen, like a beautiful, untamed mare always at a trot. It was a sight to behold. Easy on the eyes, ears, head and heart.

Now I feel like someone snuck into my life and tied weights to my arms and legs. They’ve also put in contacts that dull the colors and drugged me with an elixir that keeps my eyelids heavy. The puppies don’t seem to mind my recent attachment to the bed and are quick to show horizontal solidarity.

The weights on my limbs grow heavier with inactivity but once I add motion (the first is always the hardest), the weight seems to fade. The key is to keep moving, it seems.

I don’t particularly want to be alone but, paradoxically, I don’t want to talk to anyone either. Worse, when I do talk, the need to talk about Maggie tends to be overwhelming. Every subject, every sentence, every everything that I see, hear, or do ties back to a poignant memory of my wonderful wife. Since it’s been a whole 11 days and 3 hours since her death, I’ve learned some self-control and can temper the need to talk about her or at least dampen the urgency of what I have to say. It would be all too easy for me to sound like Eddie Izzard‘s reflections on the origins of Church of England sermons*:

Eddie Izzard (poorly reflected here.  Watch the video):
“The reading today is from … a magazine I found in a bush. Apparently, pink lipsticks are all the rage right now … and … uh … er… This reminds me of our Lord Jesus Christ!”

Chris Weaver:
“Ah, the swine flu is killing many, many people. This reminds me of Maggie because….”
“Yes, I’ve heard that they are increasing interest rates. Speaking of interest rates, Maggie once said…”
“Oh, your car broke down. Maggie once had a car….”
“Wow, I’ve never seen someone shoot milk quite that far out of their nose. Fascinatingly, Maggie liked milk….”
“Sorry your goldfish has herpes. Did you know Maggie had….” (No, Maggie did not have herpes, you freak.)

* If you don’t know Eddie Izzard, go rent this video tonight. I promise you’ll be in stitches.

Speaking of comedians, last night I went out to a comedy show with friends. It was good to laugh. Maggie liked to laugh….

23 thoughts on “Hard Mornings

  1. We are all still talking about Maggie. It’s a good subject … and one that no one will mind talking to you about, that is – when you feel like talking to people. I find myself even talking to strangers about Maggie … the lady at the cosmetics counter at Walgreen’s the other day, the bartender at Donn’s Depot and with the Vet this morning (my dog is suddenly short of breath and quivering a bit) I tell these strangers a brief synopsis of the amazing story of young Maggie, talk of her bravery, and tell them about this blog they should read. Also to never ignore any physical symptoms of whatever that they have for more than two weeks; seek a specialist. “It can happen to anyone” – that seems to be my message. Oh, and I show them the ‘Cancer Sucks’ bracelet that I got at Maggie’s Art Show and haven’t taken off since …

    1. I concur as I’m doing the same; talking about her and listening to a song a friend wrote for her. The website changed back, but I at least have the media file. I still have my bracelet; cancer.
      Eddie; great actor and comedian.
      A good laugh; Maggie would want that.

      1. Lori, can you send me the media file so I can include it on this blog for future readers to enjoy?
        Thank you!

  2. When you are ready, you might want to join a grief support group. Many churches have them and I’m sure you could probably find one elsewhere in the community, too.

    Also, keep journaling. It doesn’t have to be here for everyone to see unless you want that. But my therapist tells me to keep a journal and write in it daily to help keep those emotions coming out instead of bottling up inside.

    Everything you are feeling is normal. Keep talking about Maggie. Your friends will understand.

    My thoughts & prayers are still with you, your family & Maggie’s family.

    I hope I’ve said something to help…

  3. The cancer journey ends and another begins… grieving is a process and it will take time. Melissa has a good suggestion about a Grief Support Group. Local churches and even hospitals sponsor such a thing.
    (In our community there is a class which lasts for several weeks). You may find it helpful. I am glad that you have a strong network of support, from family, friends and your “blog buddies.” Hang in there, Chris.

  4. Don’t try to censor yourself, son. It’s normal and natural that everything you see, hear, and do reminds you of Maggie. After all, she was the biggest part of your life for over 3000 days. 11 days doesn’t even come close to enough time to process your grief. Be kind to yourself! Just keep putting one foot in front of the other day by day – even for only tiny steps. Besides – no one out here on the listening or reading side minds at all when you talk about Maggie.

  5. While I can’t imagine the pain you’re going through, I’m told from others that have lost close loved ones (spouses, mothers of young children, etc.) it’s the ‘everything’ that reminds them of their lost loved one and the ‘nothing’ that reminds them. I have been told that you have to remind yourself to take one step before the other, you have to remind yourself to sleep, eat, drink and even breathe until the point where you no longer have to remind yourself of these seemingly instinctive habits. It’s a process and it’s different for everyone… I’m so glad that you have family and friends close to you that will help you through this process… however long it takes.

    You’re in my daily prayers. I’m sending you a ‘virtual’ hug from NJ… I hope you feel it and all others that come your way!

  6. chris…take some of those Maggie-Mae-isms and write a SONG about her that we can all hum during our day to remind us of love & courage & life. It must be a HAPPY-PEPPY-CATCHY tune just like Maggie would dance around her morning. I know it would keep my days in perspective. She’s impressing the Lord and very loved, and so are you.

  7. Chris, I am a lurker and have been following yours and Maggie’s journey for many months. My wife of 44 passed away on January 31st of this year from colon cancer. We were married 22 years, have 2 kids and you are going thru EVERYTHING I am going thru(or have already gone thru). I got thru valentines day, my birthday, our anniversary, my sons birthday, mothers day already. Talk about a busy few months. Next is her birthday in june. I can relate to you not wanting to get out of bed, not being happy with the “she is always with you ” comments. I am going thru it all too. This week i went to the dr. for a checkup and cried in the dr.s office because it was same building as my wife’s oncologist. It was overwhelming. Just try to get thru each day. Try to laugh a little, cry a little, talk to people a little, clean a little, cook a little. I am not going to tell you its going to get easier because so far for me, it hasn’t. I wont tell you that you will “get thru it” because I am not “thru it” yet and doubt i ever will be. Just take care of yourself. God bless you.

  8. We send love and support and prayers for you several times a day, and remember, we are just a phone call away. Meme & Big Daddy

  9. I met you guys a couple of times through Brooke. Although I now live overseas, I’ve been keeping up with your trials through your blog. Thank you for having shared this adventure with us. But most importantly, thank you for having been a loving, caring husband to Maggie. That was the best gift you gave her. May God keep you in His grace as you move forward. And I am certain Maggie will now watch over you from the other side.

  10. I will never get tired of Maggie stories. There are just too many that I don’t know about. One of my favorites is to tell how when pete got me a car for my birthday Maggie says “that’s cool, is it in your name?” So her, so funny, and always looking out for eveyones best interest.

  11. It’s only natural to want to talk about a person that is important to you; please don’t feel that you need to monitor yourself in that respect. Anybody who’s ever lost someone meaningful to them will understand, and many, I’d wager, would feel very honored to be the person you chose to discuss your life with.

    Also, please know that the rearview mirror will always be with you… as you heal more, your need to constantly check it may relent, and you will probably feel guilt over that, some feeling of betrayal. Your healing is going to manifest itself in many ways you won’t understand, and probably will rail against, but there’s no right or wrong way, just know that.

    Life is a chance. Love is infinity. Grace is reality.

  12. Dear Chris,
    I am very sad to hear that you lost Maggie. While I did not know her, I did indeed know of her as she is a former classmate at LBJ. I too lost my wife 2 years as well. Unfortunately we are part of a club noone wants to join and everybody hates.

    The road ahead is long, but keep her in your heart, look to her for guidance in all you do, and she will never be too far away.

  13. After my father died, someone told me that the grief never ends…you just learn to live with it. Actually, you don’t “learn” anything because you really have no choice.

    Also, I agree with Wendi that your friends want you to talk to them about Maggie.

    To echo the poster above…”Bless your broken heart.”

    1. Wish I could delete the sentence about not learning anything…it just didn’t come out the way I wanted.

      1. I understand what you meant, I think. You meant that grief becomes something like a new (and somewhat sensitive) appendage growing out of your heart that can’t be cut off so you just have to get all your sweaters mended to fit. Close?

        1. Yep. Obviously, I do not have the gift of conveying what I mean through writing. And, obviously, you do!

  14. Something just dawned on me while reading this update. Chris – in a sense, you are writing a Survivors Guide to … well, Surviving! [ “Survivor” in the sense that Maggie was ‘survived’ by you, Lori, Mary, Virgil and so on] Many readers here are either about to go through this journey … or maybe won’t for a long while, or perhaps will get the bad news next month – but with one out of every three people in the US one day hearing “you have cancer” (I believe that was the statistic I read the other day), it’s a insight you are offering in real time of what this journey may hold for some of us who have to take this path with a loved one. Many people who will go through this will may or may not pick up a book on it when they are in the thick of it. But your peak inside it now is perhaps preparing folks our age (30-somethings) for something they never thought they’d have to deal with for some time from now. And we may just want to know that in the end … that those left behind, will survive.

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