I’ve noticed that I’m learning to accept all of this in my life. It’s not as hard as it had been – not as hard as frequently, anyway. I haven’t asked “why” as much, and I haven’t been fighting guilt or what-ifs as much. I still do – just not necessarily daily.
But I still miss Matt as deeply as I did that first week. I’m glad that I’m learning to accept it, but that gladness doesn’t hold much of a light to my aching just to be with Matt again.
So I’m just reading through Without, start to finish, and I’m about half way through now. A lot of the poems are about his last days with his wife as she was dying from cancer, and he talks a lot about how they spent those days. It’s such a different scenario than mine, but has all the same underlying themes and emotions. It makes me think about how brave he was to remember all of that and write about it at such length; it’s so difficult for me to spent almost any length of time thinking about all of my memories with Matt. I wrote out a bunch in my (paper) journal (plog?) and a part of me wanted to keep going, but I kept having to stop because I was crying. But I’ll go back to it. I don’t want to lose those memories.
I don’t have anything particular to write at the moment, but read this poem last night and really liked it. It’s also from Without by Donald Hall.
Air Shatters in the Car’s Small Room
on the recliner between
Jane’s hospital bed
and window, in this blue
room where we endure,
I set syllables
into prosy lines.
William Butler Yeats
denounced with passion
“the poetry of
Friends and strangers
write letters speaking
of courage or strength.
What else could we do
except what we do?
Should we weep lying
flat? We do. Sometimes,
driving the Honda
with its windows closed
in beginning autumn
from the low motel
to Jane’s bed, I scream
and keep on screaming.
On second thought, this is a stanza from the poem “Her Long Illness” by Donald Hall. This one has resonated with me the most so far.
He hovered beside Jane’s bed,
solicitous: “What can I do?”
It must have been unbearable
while she suffered her private hurts
to see his worried face
looming above her, always anxious to do
something when there was
exactly nothing to do. Inside him,
understood that if he was good — thoughtful,
reproach, perfect — she would not leave him.
Last night went much better than I had been anticipating. I found the lady’s office with no problem at all (I’d driven by the building many times before going to Springwater or Centennial Park). She was very nice and attentive and asked me questions whenever I would stop talking. She seemed to be surprised that I was seeking out help so soon after Matt’s suicide – she kept saying stuff like, “This is so new, Erin.” She also seemed to think that I’m doing the right things to cope – staying in touch with family/friends (even if it’s mostly through this blog), reading, crying, seeing her, etc. So I was glad to hear that, as a professional, she thinks I’m doing as good of a job as can be expected right now. I actually felt a little better after the session (which was helped by the fact that Ryan isn’t having to stay in Dickson indefinitely, I have to say).
Today, at this moment, I am not feeling so terrible. I have plans for tonight (helping Ryan clean up his place in White Bluff) and plans for tomorrow (hanging out with some old B&C coworkers). I’m not sure what I’ll be doing this weekend yet but I’m looking forward to being able to sleep in, anyway. I still constantly miss Matt but right now it isn’t making me so depressed.
When I got home from work yesterday, there were two packages on my front door – some flowers (thank you Vanny!! 🙂 ) and some books that I’d ordered from Amazon. The books are Crocheting on the Edge because there’s an awesome (https://picasaweb.google.com/107633384795586606813/MANTELLEPONCHO4#5386792157984952770) pattern for a blanket in there which I’m going to make with some yarn that Helen bought me. The other book is Without by Donald Hall. It’s a collection of poems that he wrote about his wife (Jane Kenyon)’s death. I’m really liking it so far and might post something here eventually. We’ll see.
Anyway, this is starting to seem very rambly to me and I don’t feel like proofreading and revising, so I’m done for right now.
I felt a little better when I woke up this morning and saw blue sky (also I went to bed earlier than has been the norm for the last month, so that might have helped too). Last night’s bath was nice, and watching Babette’s Feast was too. Ryan was there all evening so I didn’t do much straightening up, but I’ve done a pretty damned good job of keeping the house clean lately. It’s not spotless, but it’s SO MUCH BETTER than it could be.
So I have a counselling appointment tonight. I’m nervous, but maybe a little bit excited. Not very excited though. But even if I don’t like her and don’t go back to see her, it will probably still be good for me. I’m not very good at talking. As much as I am dreading this, I cannot imagine how hard it must have been for Matt. I really can’t. I’ve come to realize over this last month (plus) that I really had no idea what Matt was feeling. I knew that I didn’t have much of a clue and I would try and try to get him to open up and tell me. Sometimes he would, most of the time he wouldn’t. But even the times that he would open up…I just didn’t have any past experience that helped me in any way to understand what and how he was feeling. I didn’t know. I feel like I could have been more supportive if I had been able to understand more. I know there’s nothing I really could have done about that, but it’s just another “what if.”
All my regrets concerning Matt have to do with not being able to spend enough time with him. I guess it could be worse.
I get off work in 30 minutes and have been trying to think of something that I can do tonight that will help me feel better. I think I’m going to straighten up around the house, then take a bath (ahhhh), then put on Babette’s Feast and do some crafting and/or drawing. Sounds like a pleasant-enough evening, eh? It makes me sad that Matt won’t be around for any of it (except as he is inside of me, which I’m struggling to understand and actualize… I guess). But he won’t be there, and I’ll be alright without him. It hurts me to say so, but it’s the bittersweet truth. (More bitter right now but the sweet will come, I’m trusting.)
In other news, I can cross my legs under my desk now. And I can buckle my belt a notch tighter. Talk about bittersweet.
Thanks to those of you who have upped the comments here – it makes me feel good to have feedback, even if it’s just one line.
I DON’T WANT TO MOVE ON.
That’s all. I don’t want to.
I know I have to.
But I don’t want to.
But I know I have to.
There is some sarcasm in that subject line, BTW.
For that matter, there’s some sarcasm in that first line there. But at any rate, it’s Monday, again, and I’m at work. Again. I never noticed what a drag this really is before. Or rather, I did notice, but I always had something better to look forward to once I got home.
The idea of trying to build a new life out of this is so daunting. This is going to be the hardest thing that I have ever done. I don’t like reaching out to people – it takes me way outside of my comfort zone. I know that reaching out is good for you, blah blah blah…I guess I expect people to let me down on some level, and that’s probably at least one reason that I’m hesitant to reach out to new people (or even people I already kind of know). Hell, Matt let me down. I know he didn’t mean to and didn’t want to, but he still completely did. But people will do that, and I’ve certainly let people down before, and I need to learn how to accept that possibility without letting it handicap me socially.
The problem which is nagging me in the back of my head (now matter how much I try to ignore it) is that I was SO HAPPY in my little world with Matt. If we spent time with people, it was typically just people who we were comfortable around. If we had to meet new people, at least we were there to help and encourage each other. Now I have to go back to doing it all on my own. That sounds a little melodramatic, I know, but really no one should be juding me for being dramatic right now (including myself).
Ohhhh…..siggghhhhhhh…..I don’t want to do any of this shit.
But I have to.
So does anyone want to hang out with me tonight?
About 30 minutes after that last post, I’m feeling grateful for the people around me who love me. I’m thankful for Matt’s love, too, even if it didn’t last long enough. I can’t imagine how hard this would be without so many people who want to help me and who care about me. It’s hard for me to see and feel thankful for that sometimes, but I’m trying to work on that. There are so, so many emotions running through me at any given moment that it’s hard for me to focus and react and make decisions and all that, but they say that time brings clarity out of all this chaos.
Anyway. I’m very thankful for my family and for Matt’s (who seem to want me to remain a member of their family – which is a relief and a comfort), and for all Matt’s friends and my friends. I’ve heard that there are people out there who don’t even know me but still care about me and this situation, which I don’t quite understand but I’m not going to argue.
So. Thank you.