I’m having a hard time finishing posts. There’s a bunch of half-written ones sitting on my hard drive. I’m feeling stuck, and not just in regards to writing. I don’t like my life right now. It’s lonely and I expect it will stay that way, maybe permanently.
This blog started under a different name as a way to come to terms with a widowhood that was not expected. Writing blog posts became my way of coping with a present that seemed incomprehensible. Its anonymity gave me a safe spot to direct anger, grief, confusion, and sadness. Connecting with other people in a similar situation provided an ad hoc online support group.
The very act of writing was healing. I’m a rationalist, the kind of person who likes to imagine there is a logical progression to events. Of course, there isn’t, but I need to impose some semblance of order to chaos. Writing provided that chance. Creating a blog post gave me a chance to step through an event, define its genesis, and consider where it might be taking me.
Then there were those posts where I just related events as simply and honestly as possible, and the very act of documenting them was important. I knew the smoothing effect of time and distance would eventually eliminate the sharp immediacy of what was happening, and I wanted to remember. Writing about events as they occurred provided a first-person account of what I was going through. Going back and rereading those raw early posts is a form of time-travel to where I was16 months ago.
That was then. This is now. My grief is a knife dulled from over-use. That first year was busy; having external deadlines provided a sense of purpose and accomplishment. It filled the void. I realize that now, as does anyone who has gone through a similar situation. There’s the immediate work needed in getting the memorial and funeral completed, probate managed. The hours spent in going through effects and taking care of things. Details vary; regardless, the work takes a lot of time and energy. I’m struggling with the “what’s next” that comes, inevitably, to all of us who like to imagine that we can plan our way through life. Now I’m facing the areas that can’t be managed, planned, or controlled. I don’t want to be alone. I don’t like my life. I’m not happy.
All the glibly banal self-help aphorisms are useless. I fully realize what is within my circle of influence and what isn’t, what I can control and what I cannot. I am not stupid. I am doing all the right things, from spending time with friends to taking classes. I am busy, but not engaged. There is little enjoyment from most of what occupies my time. I look to fill time, to make the hours go by. I am disengaged from most of what is happening around me. I’m sure this, too will pass. I am sure that eventually I will come to accept my new status in life, to stop expecting anything more than the reality I have. I’ll adapt, make due. Perhaps, even, at some point there will be something that makes me feel it’s all worth it. Perhaps. But not now.