Sunday, December 27, 2009

Step AW-AY from the laptop

I need to reconnect to the world soon.

I have lived in my lounge, since my heating and hot water went off, mainly because of the heater in here.

And rather than ask for help ... for some odd reason, I didn't want to ask the neighbour to come into the house on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day or Boxing Day ... as if it would mean that he was trespassing on some kind of sacred ground or magic ... inexplicable, but I know what I felt.

It's time ... Cliff's candle is dying. I have kept vigil for what?

I don't know that either, but I'm glad I did it.

I wouldn't even answer my phone during that time ... choosing only to communicate, through my laptop to other widow/ers.

When I feel like this, it stresses me ... the phone, I mean.

It really fucking stresses me out ... because I need the downtime, I need to be alone with him and just be. I cope, I visit the deep dark place and I crawl out of it again. If I can't answer or use the phone, then I feel guilty that I can't in case I am upsetting people. Then I get cross with myself because I can't understand my own behaviour. It is what it is. I have to do it to cope. Fact. I'm okay, or not ... but speaking or the thought of is pushes me over the edge. WTF? Completely out of character, I know ... or is it? ... it is reminiscent of the times that Cliff accused me of sulking ... and I was not ... I simply could not find my voice because I was upset. Which made me appear as though I was in a funk.

They'll get over it, whereas I am not going to get over losing Cliff. Fact.

But still ....

Anyway, I am going to have to surgically remove the laptop from my body because although it has served its purpose for the duration ... and I have expressed so much of what I feel and think about, writing through my pain and fear and hope ... and some of the stuff I read really helped me (when added to my already existing beliefs) ... I think I started to delve too deeply, you know. I mean, WTF am I looking for him in cyber-space? I am not going to find him here, or solve any mysteries, or find the answers that I seek so desperately to find.

Branching out from my last post about scientific research, I started rummaging around the NDE site, and read an experience written by a respected and qualified scholar on the subject who has lived through a near death experience (NDE). It is quite long to read, but I was trained to speed-read many years ago, so that fact did not hinder me. I found it fascinating, believable, and comforting, right up till the very last line, when her statement literally sent me reeling, into a panic attack, bringing with it further grief and sadness, more loss ... and then I remembered womanNshadow's cries that she had been told that when we die, in our after-life, we are no longer married, and her anguish about it. The statement that I read conveyed the self same message and I freaked out. BIG STYLE.

"... This gift, the Earth life given to us, comes with a catch: We are to give the gift back. We cannot keep the life we have on the Earth realm, not our possessions or attachments or relationships. What we can keep is our memories and our feelings of what we have integrated into our heart of hearts from the experience of being here, plus the love we have shared with others..."

How can she SAY that? And so calmly! Does she not fucking love her husband? Or what! I am tortured, anguished and my thoughts are finally, starting to leave the fear behind me. I am parking it in that trunk on the beach. The one with the padlock and the key. But it decked me ... just as it did my friend.

... and now I feel embarrassed because I remember leaving her a comment saying something to the effect of ... if you read something that you cannot identify with, that goes against your beliefs you can choose to ignore it ... no one on earth knows what happens after we die.

It's not that simple, is it? I wish I hadn't been so glib in that comment. Until it's happened to you, you really don't know.

Like I said .... step awaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay from the laptop.

I promise I will ... and it will be today.


  1. oh, Boo. you and i both think too much. or we aren't kind to ourselves when we do think too much. let me do this one at a time.
    sulking - i think of it was your "quiet time." it is your character. what you need to do to stay balanced. Cliff understands it. he probably thought it was cute and fodder for the boys. "yeah, quiet little minx. i'll get her laughing in bed later."

    hibernating - people do need to be alone at times. i don't recommend it for 98% of the time, but hey, i haven't jumped off the balcony yet. you are allowed to be alone to grieve when you need to. i don't want you to be critical of yourself. and you have such lovely sounding friends who understand you and support you. they will understand you not answering your phone. they love you.

    as for Heaven, we cannot know. but God of the Old Testament is also God of Love. He created love. He knows what it means to love someone so deeply that losing them puts you in a form of Hell. i cannot think He would deprive us of being with Cliff and my Dragon. it may not be a marriage exactly like we had here on Earth, but just being beside him, cleaning the streets of Heaven would be enough for me. just to be near him, see his smile, hear his laugh.

    and don't be embarrassed about the comment. it was me. no one can know "what happens after we die. you are exactly right.

    and lastly, one of your comments to my most recent post "stained glass" mentioned that you did not know what i look like. that's true. i never have nor ever will post a photo of myself. i have endured "ugly" far too many times for far too many years ~ before my Dragon ~ to ever post my photo. and you are also right in saying that he did not finish healing me from all the abuse i endured. having said that........go check your email. =oP

  2. I did a great deal of research and reading on life after death the first few years after my husband's death. I am not as obsessed but still have an interest. There is a current blog site I follow by Suzy Morgan called Nobody's Dead. It is listed in my blog roll so maybe you can access it and take a look.

    My personal take on this subject is that when die, we really become transformed in regard to love. It becomes bigger and better than it ever was or what we could imagine here on earth. So yes, we will still love and be involved with our families, husbands and loved ones but that there will be even a greater capacity to love and connect with others. Heaven is like a major love fest with so much love, peace, comfort, joy, tolerance and understanding it is oozing from every nook and cranny. And that includes who we loved most on earth.

    We all need time for self-reflection and insight. I truly believe that most of us don't get enough of this, whether or not we're grieving. It is hard to justify when the world is whipping by and everyone expects us to keep up and move on.

    It is important for all of us to keep vigil and search for answers even though we may not find the answers we are hoping for. An experience like this pushes us to look beyond ourselves for understanding. Our worlds have been rocked and disrupted. There just has to be a period like the one you've been in and for each of us it will be somewhat different. But I don't know how it is possible for people like us to just jump back into the thick of life without some downtime, hibernation, introspection, searching (whatever you want to call it).

    I think too. that we will venture back out for a while but there may come times when we have to go back to our caves for awhile. So be it. Something will happen to us or a person we know and we'll need to reexamine our thoughts and beliefs again. We'll build up from the point we left off at. People have said to me that our experiences make us so more developed as people. It is true. We have thought more, cried more, searched more, read more, grieved more, remembered more, prayed more, reached within more...

    I wish we did not always think in such black and white terms. People think we will eventually get over the grief but that is a myth. It is the same with moving back into the world. Why does it have to be one or the other? We can inch back into reconnecting at the same time we are still keeping vigils in our hearts. We can still keep the candles burning while searching for the meaning in all of this. We can make phone calls as best we can and know that our laptops are there for us too if we need them. Or if it is time for a break from that, it is okay too.

    Hang in there and know that whatever you are doing at whatever time is right if it feels that way.

  3. THANKS SO MUCH BOTH ... it is good to get an "OK" from your "peers" otherwise I get really worked up!

    WITM - I will check out that blog later x

    wNs - can't access my email grrrrrrrr

  4. Okay Boo, get a grip. Stop stressing out and stop your sulking! Sorry, I couldn't help but tease you a bit. Something that we all surely miss is our other half giving us the messages that help balance ourselves. Without them we find ourselves not answering phones, guilty (me), isolating, guilty (me), and searching for answers when we don't even know the question to, guilty (me).

    I get so frusrated with when I read any scientitic, or educated, discussion about what the afterlife is really like. How the hell are we truly to know? All anyone can do is share what their beief is, or what their idea is, and what brought them to this. Until the day that Michael appears before me to say okay Dan, have a seat, I'm going to fill you in on the details, then I am free to believe what I need to believe. Anything else is just speculation.

    As for the whole laptop syndrome, I know that at some point mine will have to be surgically removed from my lap. But for the time being, it is my window to the world. It is also the last Christmas gift I received from Michael. So any comfort I get from my writing, or from my cyber friends, is all provided to me by way of him.

    My feeling is that we should be speaking of heaven, or the afterlife, through prose. It allows us to express beliefs in a personal, less tangible way. It is what works for me.

    Here is a poem I had read at Michael's memorial. It is a bit long, and it teases a bit, in that you think it is says what you don't want to hear. Stick with it and it will come back around to what we need to hear.

    Well, the poem was too long and I couldn't get it to post. Rather than cut it up, I will place it on my blog.

    Sending loving thoughts to you and all your readers.

  5. you know what, Dan, I think I needed someone to take the p*** so that I stopped taking myself and everything so seriously. You are right about the prose ... in fact, I said to Kim (Home is with You) that for the first time in my life, I had turned to science to seek reassurance (normally I would turn to poetry, music, literature, read, talk to like-minded friends, intellectuals, and within myself and my beliefs) AND LOOK WHERE IT GOT ME!!!!

    For some reason, like when my parents, uncles, aunts, friends, etc died - and my dog - it was enough. I was placated in a way - satisfied with the beliefs that I had.

    This time it is different - very different. The reasons are obvious. I loved everyone that died before (and since) Cliff died, however, I was not IN love with those mentioned before, nor did I spend every day and night with them. I was not hoping to grow old with them, and I would not have died for them either.

    I need to relax about it, and stick with the old familiar, not only because it gives me comfort, but it is what I believe.

    All of a sudden, my belief was not enough ...

    I read the poem on your blog, before I read your comment here ... thank you so much for posting it. I felt peaceful reading it actually, and thanks to its length, it made me stop, read, get into the "rhythm" of the prose and by doing so, it seemed to bring me back to "me" (or the new me!)

    thanks again, it was very thoughtful of you and also I liked that you shared something read at your Michael's memorial :-)

  6. Dear Boo,
    This is such an incredibly courageous blog and so beautifully written. I'm a writer who wishes she could have captured what you and Stephanie Ericsson have done with your searingly honest words. I was widowed when my husband of 42 years whom I'd met at the age of 11 and married at 20 after a long bout with dementia and prostate cancer. He died just short of our 50th wedding anniversary. I've written a memoir about that time. It started as a journal but I turned it into a book. It's called Moving to the Center of the Bed: The Artful Creation of a Life Alone. You can look at my website: to read about it and me. I've found a lot of friends through that book being out there.
    In any case, I think what you are doing is both healing for you and for those who come here to read. The realization that we are not alone but traveling similar paths alongside each other is heartening.

  7. Sheila, thank you so much for your very kind words. I'm sorry about your husband, I thought your website was very helpful and plan to add it to my "useful resources". It is comforting to reach out to others in our position, and sometimes they are the only people who can really touch us.

    I guess I have always worn my heart on my sleeve, so for me, what I write just spills out onto the page, and I don't feel courageous, I'm simply letting it out, rather than keeping it in ... and Stephanie Ericsson's book was wonderful wasn't it?

    Wishing you peace