Tough Day

Today marks three weeks since I, or rather, we lost my sweet Maggie.  It’s been a tough day for me, definitely the toughest in a while by far.  It feels like I’m peeling an onion of emotion, one layer at a time.  With each successive layer, the deeper the pain and, presumably, the longer it will take to work through it.  Today I think maybe for the first time, or at least the most intensely, I felt the thick and sticky permanence of her absence.

The last six months or, heck, maybe longer were filled with continued bad news.  Sometimes daily we’d get hammered with relentless unpleasantness.  After a while I think we just got numb or shell-shocked.  Sure, each blow still hurts but after twenty punches to the gut, really, what’s one more?  And on and on the beatings continued.

Think of it like you just got your legs cut off and someone is beating you with a tire iron.  Beat, beat, beat, beat.  After about ten or so blows you’d fade into some sort of psychologically protective state of not-all-quite-there.  Maybe I did, too.  Well, after the beatings stopped you’d think “Wheee!  The feeling of not getting beaten feels a lot better than, well, getting beaten.”  Pretty nice! But, eventually, the shock of those used-to-be-there legs kicks in.  I’m pretty sure that’s where I’m at right now.   Today, I’ve sure missed her just being here as my life-partner and best friend.  All damn day.

I woke up to the absence of her voice.  For holidays she was notorious for having so many plans that it was a challenge to organize.  It would drive me a little nuts.  Six parties, four BBQs, a few weddings, one or two quick visits and a movie, all in one day.  We’d typically hit the ground running, with a beaming smile, of course, excited about all that was going to happen.  This morning, however, nothing but crickets.  Just me and two puppies, none of us jumping out of bed.

I spent the majority of the day at a nice Memorial Day BBQ with friends poolside.  Again, the absence of her voice was nearly deafening.  Afterward when I came home, the lack of her voice just echoed throughout the house.  Her spot on the couch was empty as I watched a couple of movies.  She offered no opinion on supper choices.  And even now, as I type this, the getting-ready-for-bed noises are conspicuously absent.  And no doubt, when I climb into bed, there won’t be much discussion of the day with her.  I feel like a ship that has lost its rudder.

7 thoughts on “Tough Day

  1. Your descriptions could be a textbook for grief counselors, my son. Being able to write them is like using steel wool on your pain and loss. Although the steel wool removes only the most minute layer from the surface, still it does remove some.

    I think of you every moment of the day. Wish I could ease your way a little.

  2. Yesterday was one of the hardest days for me, too, in the last 3 weeks. It’s so hard for me to believe there are going to be so many years of holidays, birthdays and special occations that I don’t get to share with her.

    I had a dream with her in it last night, though, for the second time since she died. It was so good to see her.

    I love you, Chris, thank you so much for being in my life and continuing to write.

  3. Thanks for your thoughts, Chris. I missed her yesterday, too, even though I didn’t typically see her on Memorial weekend. My husband and I were driving home along Hwy 290 with the sun setting in front of us. It was just about 7:30 pm, the time when she passed 3 weeks ago. I watched the sky turn many colors with sweeps of clouds that formed swirls similar to one of Maggie’s paintings.

    I echo Lori’s words: I love you, thank you for sharing your life with those of us in Maggie’s family, and continuing to write. Just so you understand…Maggie’s family was much broader than Lori, Virgil and me. Everyone she every made friends with became part of her family. It was our philosophy to treat everyone as brothers, sisters, sons and daughters. Several of Maggie and Virgil’s friends continue to call me ‘Mom’ because I firmly believe that if a child was under my roof for even one night, he/she became a part of my family and received the same love and caring as if they had been born to me. So, Chris, you are my son and I will always think of you that way no matter what the future holds for you.

  4. I too yesterday marked the 3 weeks without Maggie. I’m wondering if every Monday I will say it’s been 6 weeks, 15 weeks, and so forth. Chris, you have given me one of the greatest gifts of all, a new endless stream of friends and family because of you and Maggie. It is a void, there is no getting around that. I’ll compare it to a glass of champagne, my favorite. You, Lori, Mary, Flo, Martha, Kyle, Tracey, Amy, Brooke…well you get the idea, we’re all these tiny effervescent bubbles that tickle your nose. We’re all bubbling around in this glass of champagne. Maggie would be like someone pouring the glass and the fizz going all the way to the top, if not bubbling over where you have to suck up fizz so it doesn’t. She’s the extra bubbling fizz. We don’t have that crowning fizz on our glasses, but what’s left bubbling around inside is still full of a lot of great bubbles for me. Okay, I’ll leave the analogies and great writing to you. Thank you for sharing your most beautiful soul with us.

  5. I wrote on a past post of yours but I lost my husband to cancer in Feb ’09 there are ok days and baaaaaaad days. They are all normal. I just wanted to share there are a few websites that are helping me connect with other widowers and a place to vent or listen be it online.

    I am 42 and am three months out. I can relate to every description of everything you are feeling. And I am so sorry.

  6. Your words of loss went right through me. I am sorry for your pain – I’m sorry that you’re missing your best friend.

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