This is what “normal” is going to look like for a while. I just realized this last night, and it made me sad. Anna Laura gave me a book by Marie Howe called This Is What the Living Do, and that phrase keeps popping into my head. This is what the living do – go to work in the morning, mow the lawn, unclog the drain, drink coffee, try to have friends, feed the cats, renew the car’s tags.

I also realized last night that the only constant in my life – so far as people and things go – is ME. It’s silly to become too attached or dependent on people or things because I am not able to control them. People might tell you that they’re going to be there for you, but they can’t guarantee that. The only person who is guaranteed to be around as long as I am…is me. That makes me feel lonely, but also reminds me that I am alive. I ought to be open to letting life flow through me like a river; I would like to be able to enjoy everything I’m able to, but let go when I need to. It’s going to be a process.

On an unrelated note, I put up my faux canopy last night. The rest of my bed frame is being delivered today, so I should be able to get the bedroom all nice and wrapped up tonight. I have new sheets, a new comforter and duvet cover set, and a new mattress pad – all of which are still unopened because I’ve been waiting to get the rest of my bed. Once I get that set up, all I’ll need to do is move the box of Matt’s clothes and do some general organization/straightening up. I have some bookshelves to fill but that has never been a problem at all. 🙂 I would almost like to just spend the rest of the week in bed, reading books or drawing. I would like it so much more if Matt was around, but he isn’t and never will be again.

I watched I Heart Huckabees last night while putting up the canopy, and it was – as always – excellent. So many things used to have so much less meaning than they do now. It’s like I have been opened up to a new level of LIFE that I never understood or really even recognized before – but I recognize it all over the place now. The inevitability of human drama, for example! When Katerine talks about how unfair life is, and how something will inevitably happen to screw things up, it resonates so much more than before. I’m more thankful than ever for the Jaffe characters too, since they offer a sort of hope out of Katerine’s hopelessness.



Honestly, the past week has probably been the best since Matt died. This doesn’t mean that I haven’t cried or felt depressed; it just means that I have felt less of those things than before. I think there are a few factors involved here. I have realized in the last week or so that I still have the ability to care a lot about other people. I can love people besides Matt, and receive love back. It won’t be the same, but I’ve just been grateful for any that I can get this week. It means so much to me that I have friends who seem to deeply care about me, and I’m encouraged to see that I can care about them too. Being able to give and to receive love is a very good thing, and I’ve been glad to see that I’m still capable of both.

Another possible reason that this has been a pretty decent week is that I can tell how much I have changed in the last 11 weeks. When I read over older entries, I still feel all those emotions as I’m remembering how I felt when I wrote about them, but they’re more dull now. (This isn’t true across the board or all the time – it’s just so much better than it had been.) I’m glad to see that I have made progress. It didn’t seem like I was getting anywhere at all in the midst of everything, but with 11 weeks’ perspective I can tell that I was. It’s sad, but a good thing. Matt is not in the present anymore – he’s a memory. Yes, that’s still depressing. But time makes these things so much easier to accept and to deal with. No, my life is not what I wanted it to be. I’m not a very ambitious woman; I had exactly what I wanted in being married to Matt – except for his mental illness. But I am accepting change and trying to do it gracefully and honestly, because I have no other choice.

I bought a bed frame today. I haven’t slept in my bed since Feburary 20th, and my therapist has encouraged me to set some kind of goal for myself with regards to sleeping there again. So, to that end, I bought a bed frame. It’s shipping from Amazon so I won’t have it for a while, but that will give me time to clean up and re-organize. I’ll have to make it into MY bedroom, not our bedroom. The bedroom and the garage are going to be the hardest rooms to make “mine,” not “ours.” Yes, this is also depressing. But I have to tackle it, and I am going to.

Life certainly can be frustrating. I’m learning so much out of this. I hope that this makes me a better person eventually, though I kind of feel like it already has somehow.

These sunny spring mornings, man…

I’m coming to see that I have to take my emotions as they come. I can’t control them, and they’re not going to flow according to any pattern that I’ve been able to make out so far. They just come, and I have to accept them and let them move through me. This is especially difficult when I get up in the mornings feeling so sad, and have to go to work and put on a happy face. Being at work is a good thing though; it helps this awful time to pass more quickly than it would otherwise, and it’s good for my self esteem to perform well at work.

It’s amazingly beautiful outside right now. We had rain all day long yesterday, but the clouds have gone off somewhere else and everything is bright and colorful. All the spring weather brings up so many longings, most of which are for Matt. It was this time two years ago that we went to Savannah and had such a blissful, happy trip. Last year I had just started a new job, and we were working on being more active by playing tennis and hiking and the like.

And now I’m just struggling to make a new life for myself out of the scraps of my old life, which I loved so much. I’m having to consciously plan activities for myself and schedule times to hang out with friends.

Matt will never be a part of my present life anymore. All that I have of him is memories, and there will be no new memories. It still seems absurd sometimes that he is dead. We did everything together. We were never apart unless we had to be. It hurts me so much that he’s gone.

I am starting to occasionally feel like I’m going to be OK. I think this is an improvement because up until recently, the best that I could say is that I hoped I would be OK; now I feel it sometimes though. If I’m not conscious of feeling this way, everything is fine, but once I become aware that I’m learning to live without Matt I get depressed again. Nevertheless, I can tell that at least I’m moving in the right direction – and so far as that goes, I’ve heard that any direction that I’m moving right now is the right one. I just need to be moving. And I need to remember that 7 weeks is barely any time at all to be able to grieve and heal.


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.

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 ( 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. 

This evening

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. 

and another thing —

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.

By the way…

I know these last SEVERAL posts have been quite glum. I know it’s not fun to read depressing shit all the time. But I don’t want anyone worrying about me, because I’m alive and plan to stay that way. I have no idea about anything else at this point, but I know that I’m going to keep plodding along with this life and living stuff. As much as I abhor the thought of living the rest of my life without Matt, I don’t want to die with him either. And that will be my choice as long as I am alive.

So just wanted to let everyone know that I know that I’ll probably be okay again. I knew it before Matt killed himself, and he knew it too. I don’t want to accept that right now because I don’t want to accept that Matt is never coming back to me, but it’s just true and something that I cannot deny. I don’t think that my right brain and my left brain have ever been at odds to this extent before. It’s like there’s a disconnect between the two sides, and I can only focus on one side at a time rather than reconciling them. But I have no right to complain about brain problems.