Saturday, January 9, 2010

Stuck in the snow

Having managed the drive back from the coast on January 7th, I returned to work yesterday, which was good, even though I had to work from home, due to the fact that my road was impassable.

I worked my way through 500 emails and one telecon. There were quite a few emails from friends and colleagues promising to sponsor me for the walk, which meant the world to me. I was also so touched at some of the emails that my widow-friends had sent me over the holidays ... the empathy and love within those mails was almost palpable.

And you can call me sad, but I so missed being able to be at the office, amongst friends and colleagues there. I like the buzz. I like the companionship. Because this is now missing at home.

At around 16h30 when I logged off from my Company's network, I felt so sad that it was Friday evening, that he isn't here, that I am marooned home alone, and that life basically will never be the same again. I will never feel the same again.

The numbness has lifted, and how I wish it hadn't. Pain has taken its place.

Today, I haven't bothered to wash even. What's the point? I slept on the couch last night because ... actually I don't know why, I just did.

I just can't motivate myself to do housework or sort through paperwork either ... when Cliff was here, I had a purpose ... I did these things for him even if I found them boring or tiresome. Some days I find I can still do stuff for Cliff, today is not one of them.

I have taken the dogs out in the snow though, and found that helped lift my mood. Being out in the air, looking at how pretty the snow is, laughing at how Barney disappears because it is so deep. Then I set off alone, thinking how lovely it would be to just walk, hand in hand with Cliff, to the little shop. The simple things in life are free. Last night I thought about how much I'd love to go food shopping with him, that I wouldn't be able to focus on the food because I'd be marvelling at him. Just the wonderfulness of him.

I miss you so much.

And I realized why old people talk to checkout girls for so long. It's because they haven't spoken to anyone else all day. So I made a point of not talking to the checkout person at our store because I didn't want to assign myself to that niche in society. WTF. My brain works very peculiarly these days. The thoughts I have, the things I do and say.

I now know just how tenuous, just how fragile and precariously thin that line is ... the line between sanity and insanity.

Last night I typed up a list of the clothes I want to send to womanNshadows so that she can make Cliff's quilt, along with some ideas for what she can embroider on it. And then I went to his wardrobe, opened the doors, just stood there for the longest time, looking at his shirts hanging there. And I was reminded of how big he was ... those shirts are big enough for me to wear as dresses. I miss my bear of a man. I miss him. I smelled some of the things that are preserved for moments when I am at my weakest and held them and just sobbed. I'm crying now, just remembering doing it.

I miss you baba. It hurts so much.

Hopefully it will stop snowing. I'll be able to get back to work properly.

I'd really like to drive down to the coast tomorrow to see Shaun, Vicki, Gary and Gaynor. I need to see them ... they cheer me up and give me a taste of Cliff again somehow. But I think the snow is going to stop me.

I do have something to look forward to though. On Friday, Sara and I are going to the Old Dovorian Cocktail Party at the RAF Club in Piccadilly (London). What to wear? Oooh, maybe I need a new pair of shoes, a new outfit? Dog-hotel to be booked. It will be good fun. Have I mentioned before how much I love my boarding-school friends?


  1. Thinking of you today and how raw you are from the first anniversary and also thinking of womanNshadows as this is her 11 month anniversary. She will do a lovely job on your love quilt. Send some socks of Cliff's so she can make you a pet that you can hug?

  2. Jude, thanks for thinking of us today. I have been thinking of wNs lots today ... there is a candle burning for the Dragon as I type here, and I am about to call her xx

  3. You've been through so much the past week, some time off doing nothing is perfectly acceptable. Please don't be too hard on yourself - we all know there are days we get more done than others and in the end we get all caught up anyway.

    I laughed at your resolve to avoid talking to cashiers too long. And I understand why you missed going into work - the companionship, hustle and bustle do count for something.

    Recently I had the exact same thought as you about that fine line between sanity and insanity. And your observations about the numbness morphing into the real pain are accurate. I noticed the same thing at my first anniversary mark. But all of us will be there to provide one another love and support in the days ahead. And I know that you will channel some of your feelings into heartfelt concern and advice to others.

    Your cocktail party sounds fun - I'm glad you are looking forward to it! Go for the shoes and an outfit! I will enjoy hearing about it.

  4. WITM, I laughed at myself about the cashier thing too afterwards :-) It's widow-brain, it really is.

    I am about to email my friend to see what she's planning to wear ... :-)

    take care of yourself and rest too xx

  5. hey, Boo. i wasn't going to get online today. i didn't know what to say. but i did after your phone call.

    so far i've been to shy to say too much to the check out ladies and i hope when i do start talking in public that i don't take up too much of their time. i know you miss him. oh Lord, don't i know.

    i'm going to go write about you now. if you go look you might catch a glimpse of some beading that i'm doing for two fairy godmothers though the photo in no way gives anything away.

    and like Jude says, don't forget the socks. you've got some time so take your time, but don't forget the socks.

  6. Hi Boo,
    I find it is the small things that I wish I was doing with Austin that often drive me to my knees in grief. They seem to sneak up on me, whereas the big things are so anticipated and worked through in my mind long before they arrive. Keep breathing. I know Cliff would love to be there with you, walking in the snow and doing the loving simple things that write the stories of our marriages.

    Your cocktail party sounds like fun. I hope it is a pleasant distraction and you enjoy the process of planning, getting ready and going out on the town.

    Have you had enough of winter yet? Everytime I watch the news I keep hearing about Britain getting hit with crappy weather. I say bring on spring!!!!!

    Love Deb

  7. Hi Boo. Your desperation to not be counted among the old folks in the grocery store is funny, because I feel like one of them as well. I'm usually by myself when doing the shopping. Today my son Remy was with me when I dropped by the grocery store. After dodging carts for quite some time, he turned to me and asked why there were so many old men in the store today. I didn't have the guts to ask if he was counting me among them, didn't think my ego could take the answer.

    My daughter used to work in the store, so often the cashiers try to strike up a conversation with me. They all call me "Mr. Cano", and give me that sad look of "I know you recently lost your husband." It was just a little over a year ago that they were excitedly congratulating me for getting married. So, even without trying, I'm already being spoken to as the old widower.

    I've learned to appreciate it, even though it's not how I'd like to identify.

    You seem to have some good friends. At some point I would like to hear about your boarding school experience.

    Love. Dan

  8. wNs - I hope you are enjoying your wine :-) I will check your blog in a minute ... you have got my curiousity going for sure! Thank you for your patience and understanding about the clothes ... it is just hard, but step by step, I'll get there with your help, I have the list and ideas, that's step one xxx

    Deb - it is always the little things. Amazing how it always is. I remember writing about a can of tomatoes that literally brought me to my knees. And as for the weather, we have the army on standby in my area because they may be needed to clear roads, and possibly guard salt/grit reserves. We are expecting lots more snow over the next couple of days. Bah!

  9. Dan, for the second time today, you have me laughing. I'm sure Remy would think we were all extremely old, apart from Kim ("Home is with you") because she is only 19 :-)

    I will have to write a post about my two boarding schools, and just hope that they don't sue me ;-)

    Love to you

  10. Boo, I hope you don't mind--I quoted you (with link) in my post today. I don't know how to trackback, but I did give you credit. Post is here: