Widow Brain

December 16, 2010

I had a post laid out in my mind that I was going to write tonight, but I don’t remember it now.  This is what I call widow brain.  It is characterized by forgetfulness, lack of attention, inability to focus, and general reduced functioning.  It is written about in most grief books, but that doesn’t do it justice. It really permeates everything.  I use to have an amazing memory, now entire events and conversations don’t even ring a bell.  I have to write everything down, and I mean everything. I walk into one room to do something and then in the 10 feet to that room I forget what I was doing.  It is so annoying. It makes me feel like such a waste of space, half a person.   

It is part of the overall, overwhelming feeling of not knowing what happened to my life.  Who is this person I see in the mirror? I don’t recognize her. I am pretty sure Chris wouldn’t recognize her.  She doesn’t recognize Chris either.  It is all disconnected and jumbled.  Dark and clouded.  Far and quiet.  Cold and empty.

So among the many losses that are a result of Chris’s death, my mind is one of the hardest.



December 15, 2010

At our rehearsal dinner October 2009

For any of you widows out there, you probably know how many thoughts run through your head as you grieve.  The continual change of mood, thought and emotion can be overwhelming, especially as many of these emotions can be very complicated.  I have tried to find ways to look at Chris’s life with positive thoughts.  Not long after Chris’s birthday, as I was in a moment of fully understanding and acknowledging that Chris is gone for the rest of my life, that his life is over, that all has been decided, I tried to focus on my role in his life and on how he may have looked at it.  I know I made him happy, so happy he said the night before he died he never wanted to leave me and wanted to be with me forever, and I want to take pride in that.  Pride in the fact that he got to be happy until the last moments of his life because I loved him so much.  Not many people get to have that.

It is of course easier said than done.  It is a tough pill to swallow.  I would much rather spend the rest of my life making him happy liked I vowed to do on our wedding day. But I don’t get that choice.  I don’t get to make him food he loves, I don’t get to make him laugh so hard he cries, I don’t get to rub his neck and shoulders when they hurt, I don’t get to give him children.  It is the worst feeling anyone could ever feel and words don’t do it justice.  But when it threatens to consume me, I try to focus on what I did get to do.  I got to give Chris the happiest day of his life (so he told me), our wedding day. I got to give him 4 years of wonderful memories, laughter, and love.  I got to support the things he loved and make them important to me.  I got to be a loving girlfriend, fiancée, wife and make him feel like the most important person in the world.  I got to create a home for him that he never wanted to leave.  I got to strenghten his faith.  I got to give him a love that was unconditional, limitless, and is stronger than death and I am proud.

A letter to my husband

December 1, 2010

This is a letter I started to write Chris to post on his birthday, and then I chickened out.   But emboldened by other bloggers’ courage, I am posting it. 

Hi Baby,

It is your birthday.  It has been over six months since you died.  I can’t believe you left me. 

It was one of the hardest mornings, not waking up next to you and being the first person to tell you Happy Birthday!  The house was quiet.  No sounds of your snoring, no sounds of your big feet padding across the floor (I really miss your feet, how strange, I never really thought about your feet before, but I miss them), no sounds of your coffee maker going off, no sounds of your sleepy voice telling me to stay in bed.  What a change from last year. 

I hate not being able to force you to celebrate your birthday. I hate not being able to fuss over you and give you gifts you treasure.  Last year I got you the compass watch you loved so much.  I hate living without you. It is the winter to our summer.

When I was in church today, where we had your funeral, I cried for the whole hour.  But I remembered a long ago conversation, where we talked abstractly about death.  I revealed my fear of it, the not knowing the nothingness.  You talked of your fear for leaving people behind.  As always, thinking of others above yourself.  You said that you didn’t want to leave the people you loved and wanted them to be taken care of, protected, and ok.  Well as I remembered that, I decided the best birthday gift I could give you is to be ok, or at least try to be ok.  

I love you with all my heart and just wish to be with you.

Your wife,