Rhetorical stupid

“Why do I insist on compulsively reading my grief forums and then getting sad, and other dumb questions I ask myself” is my next subtitle for the memoir I’m not writing because I hate them

My world is a strange awful foreign place without you. 

I wish you were here to make fun of me for being the idiot who let our kid learn how computer keyboards work and now he wants to type all the time like it’s his job. I think he thinks that’s all I do all day at work is flail my hands around clicking. To be fair, he’s basically right. 

I don’t want to tackle taking out the trash or dealing with the first world problem of unboxing a new baby gate and toilet paper that were delivered to me. 

I don’t want any of this, fuck everything 

Give up

I gave up on writing daily. It’s the same thing. I am still a disaster. I can’t focus to write about the good memories, can barely do work, suck at sleeping, still have a long backlog of “so your spouse is dead” chores and accounts and paperwork.

I’m often frozen with tears and indecision and overwhelming anxiety and inability to do the simplest of tasks. I sit staring at nothing, wishing the Nothing was me. 

I constantly fail at prioritizing. 

It sucked seeing happy families celebrate Thanksgiving and I think I may have to institute a near-moratorium on social media to survive until January. 

I hate everything and I’m constantly angry. 

I think I’ve made one iota of progress in that I regularly accomplish SOMETHING every day even if it’s just one phone call, and I don’t have as much trouble falling asleep. 

I just want to sleep for a decade until grief might finally let me breathe. 

Neveready the battery no one wants to own

I keep hallucinating sounds. I had over 8 fucking hours of sleep last night for gods’ sake. Why am I imagining things

A bit of a jingle sounds like the opening to the IT Crowd even though I know it isn’t

The silence becomes the beep of the baby monitor complaining that its batteries are low. If on battery it complains for twice as long as it doesn’t, so this is a familiar noise but

The thing is plugged in and it doesn’t ever make that beep while plugged in. 

It’s not real. 

And my stupid stubborn brain thinks “if I can’t trust my senses this much, couldn’t he still be alive?”

Ugh. Stomach churning episode of I’m actually here. Dissociation is real, kids

I don’t know how it’s possible that I actually have to be here to experience this. The only thing I want to be real is that this is some horrible really long dream

I’m not ready. I’ll never be ready 

Upcoming support group

“Frozen” is a feeling I have a lot lately. Can’t bring myself to do anything. Aimlessly sit there and get anxious about the fact that I’m accomplishing nothing. Cry for a while. Procrastinate some more. Flip through the news and digest nothing from the words in front of my face. Do a bit of work in the evening after kid is in bed because I failed at daytime. Beat myself up for not being able to handle anything. You know, fun times. 

I go to a support group tonight. I’m dreading new people. It’ll be a mixed group rather than widow(er) specific (couldn’t stomach going to a group full of mainly retirement age folks; their “worst case” of losing their partner at 60 or something was already my “best case”). Who knows if I will feel it’s worthwhile. 

But I’ll try it in hopes it helps.

I know I’m not alone in experiencing loss but I feel alone in the intensity of my grief. 

a million little things

There is nothing beautiful about grief, nothing that makes a tidy little narrative, exquisitely delicately painful in a poetic fashion

there’s only every day full of pinpricks and burdens and memories and the insurmountable hurdle of just trying to be a working parent while your world is shattered

and crying, and tons of snot

and all the never agains

You’ll never again make fun of me for the absurd amount of butter I like on my toast, for the absurd amount of cream cheese I like on my bagels. Twice what you think is reasonable. You laugh at it, but then you make them that way for me anyway.

You’ll never kiss me goodbye in the morning, a blur of suit and tie teasing me for still being sleepy in bed, text me later in the morning making sure that I’m up to face the day and encouraging me to be productive (not that you did that recently, anyway, as we both sacrificed our sleeping in for the kid). 

You’ll never offer to finish a chore so I can go to bed, you’ll never handle the communication to make plans with friends and get me out of the house, you’ll never go off on some righteous nerd rant about a broken system, you’ll never complain that you hate the beach, you’ll never ask me to write labels or the inscription on a card so the handwriting is legible. 

I’ll never take the kid to the park so you can work on your homelab. I’ll never read a book and summarize it for you so you don’t have to read something that had one interesting idea and two hundred pages not worth your time. I’ll never offer to drive us so you can have some drinks with your friends. 

every day it seems wrong, when I’m getting up or making toast or going to the park or trying to arrange some plan for myself

to have to do it alone

I feel adrift, purposeless, pretending like I give a fuck about anything without you

Didn’t write because everything is migraine

After a multi-day migraine with no obvious trigger (I’ve been trying so hard to eat and sleep and not panic about work and that’s what I get?!?) the pain let up mostly and I finally had another “ok” day.

I cried for like two hours on the phone with a beloved friend yesterday and that probably helped. I was having an angry at everything / universe is completely unfair / this is bullshit day. I find it hard to be honest with most people irl about that because they want to fix things or find some silver lining, or tell me so much about how they wish they could do something that it becomes about their own grief or about how it’s painful to them to see me like this. Great, it’s nice that you all loved him, or that you worry about me, but you get to go on with your lives and back to your spouses and your kids get their parents and all that fucking normal shit that is gone for me, so stop making our five minute conversation all about how it’s uncomfortable for you to acknowledge grief. 

Yeah that was a disjointed word vomit rant but whatever 

An ok day is like, I only lost my patience with my toddler a couple times and I didn’t hate every minute of everything and I wrote in a journal a bit at naptime and it didn’t spiral into bawling all evening (though the night is young and I did tear up at a financial planning commercial that followed someone from birth to retirement. fuck everybody who lives a good long life). 

I can’t fucking wait for Nov 30 when I get to have my first treatment of Botox for migraine prevention because at this point I would inject the shit myself if it would stop even one of these multi-day awfulness cycles. 

Lately I’m irrationally angry about everything. I’m angry at this stupid wardrobe thing in my bedroom but I haven’t gotten it together to put up some other shelving or finish sorting out his clothes. 

I finally got some shit done like changing the names on our insurance and cancelling his credit card. I took Toddler yesterday to play at a local preschool that has open hours for their big playroom, and I got through telling some of the parents and staff Zack had died. But there’s a 900 item list of awful shit I still have to do and no one can really do for me so it’s not as big a relief as you would hope, to have been able to tackle a few of them. 

Weepy morning

After a couple of “good” days I didn’t sleep well last night because my kid didn’t sleep well and now I’m super weepy. Though I don’t even know that the poor sleep is the cause. This just happens. 

I got fuck all done this morning except trying and failing to read things, and dragging myself out to vote. 

I finished the last serving from a bag of frozen chicken nuggets that Zack bought me a long time ago and then I ate some dried mango that I think I bought to bring in my bag for his hospitalization in January or February. Or someone brought it (along with other dried fruits and crackers and things) to my house in the wake of Zack’s death. 

I have a hangup about these “death foods”, as I think of them. It’s stupid to waste them, so I eventually consume most of them while simultaneously resenting their existence. 

So I ate them and then I bawled about it. 

I gained back the weight that I lost a few months ago. I’m eating more regularly, which is good because not eating is a huge migraine trigger, but I’m sure my diet is in no way balanced. But I can’t bring myself to bother doing much about it. Like with many dimensions of my life, I’m just making sure I don’t die while I figure out how to care about anything again. 

Not the worst day

I totally failed today at explaining inertia and momentum to my toddler in response to his observation that the swing on the playground continued to move long after it had been pushed. I like to try to elaborate on cool concepts he notices, I guess as practice for the Why? phase, but sometimes I just flounder when I realize I’m not sure I truly understand something enough to simplify it without hand waving or duplicity or bad analogy. But he seemed satisfied with my rambling apology that Daddy isn’t here to explain kinematics, and was still willing to try the swing…

I forgot that it might be wet on the playground so I didn’t bring a towel or burp cloth or anything and we both got our butts wet on the slide. But toddler often isn’t willing to try the slides, so when he wanted to go on the tallest one I wasn’t about to tell him no. 

“Everything is fine,” she says as, back home, she puts on a dry pair of her dead husband’s jeans, baggy on her. For some value of “fine” that’s roughly equivalent to “I’m still surviving and this is not the worst day.” The jeans are worn, the frayed edge of the right-hand pocket evidence of the years of use, a trace of his existence. Somehow comforting

I’m feeling a little better now that a work deadline is past. And I’m studiously ignoring my anxiety about the upcoming 2nd birthday and holiday season for a little while longer. Just reveling in the fact that I don’t hate existence quite as much at this particular second. 

It’s still extremely bittersweet but I’m not as uncomfortable with the idea of revisiting things we used to do together, should be doing together. At least the past few days. Could change any moment when I fall back down a long dark pit of sorrow. But sort of enjoyed playing Destiny 2 with clanmates Fri and Sat. It seems unlikely that I’ll carve out the time to be raid ready anytime soon but doesn’t seem as unfathomable that I could handle trying it someday. It’s good to hear familiar voices on chat and I was able to observe something Zack would have liked (the Haunted Forest modifier called Glass, half health but much faster recovery) without falling apart.

He was always fond of glass cannons, could handle the movement needed to survive. I’m a little slower and more ponderous, my lack of FPS experience prior to my late 20s or something innate I don’t know. Got better over the years at the improvable things like not standing still getting shot, but still can’t elegantly kite a boss around.

Lamented an adventure I was doing yesterday where I wiped at the boss (is it a wipe when you’re alone?) multiple times in a darkness zone and wished I had someone else to pull aggro when tons of adds spawned. Was trying to finish as friends were wrapping up other activities, so then I rushed, so then I got more frustrated when I failed again, so then I got more sad that Zack and I are supposed to be doing all the story campaign together and he would have been there to res me. 

But then friends were ready for Gambit, a confusing new pvp-ish mode. So I quit the fuck out of that encounter. I’m teary-eyed now thinking I’ll have to go back to get through it even though I know it’s trivial and I can outlevel it and go back to tick it off in a bit if I want anyway. “You don’t have to do it alone” rings in my head; statement someone made to me about real life things, but it’s quite literally true here, where if I’m mad at this mission I can do it another time when a clanmate can join me. Sometimes I want to be alone, but I often feel isolated lately. So that’s another reason to try going back to social things like Destiny that don’t require lining up childcare or driving late at night when I’m tired. (I may have said that already in another entry, or just in a paper journal, or just to a friend, who the fuck knows.)

I feel bitter and flippant a lot. I think often of my in-game idol in Destiny, the Titan (my original and favorite character class) Wei Ning, even though we never get to meet her directly. “So I ask Wei Ning: what about the Darkness itself? What then? And she says: I’ll punch it too.”