Thursday, June 26, 2014


The way we Americans talk about the stages of grief (denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance) makes them seem like a linear process, but the experience of grief is anything but direct. Labyrinthine would be a better word, perhaps. Recursive is also not inappropriate.

For most of the last year, I've just been sad. Not really depressed, not bargaining, not in denial, just sad.

Lately, though, I'm angry.

I'm angry at Adam.

I hate all the tasks that are suddenly my job.

I'm frustrated by the estate process.

I resent my continued responsibility for Adam's things when he is no longer here to be my partner.

Adam's forgetfulness and his disorganization, the things that always drove me crazy, are still problems, but his wisdom and helpfulness no longer mitigate them.

This last year, for the first time, I felt like my marriage had compromised my career, and I'm not even married anymore.

I'm angry that he left me. He reneged on our deal.

I know that Adam's death was an accident, and that he didn't leave me by choice. Really, I do. But grief is not rational. Logic is not operative in this wilderness, and, in truth, there are far worse targets for my anger than someone who is not here to feel it.

 I get to be angry.

a glimpse of midlife

It used to be that the yellowed paperbacks in my life had come into my hands with their own history, having been read and loved and given up by someone else first.

This was new when I bought it.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

sable letter

Typeface from Charbase
Sometimes lately I feel like I have a giant black W tattooed in the center of my chest below my collarbone. 

Sometimes it aches. Like when I spend time with couple friends and feel lonely. Or when the kids are being awesome, and Adam isn't there to see it. 

Sometimes it burns. Like when people ask "how are you" more for their own benefit than for mine. I know they are trying to be compassionate and helpful, but this is not compassion.

My closest and best friends, the ones with whom I actually want to talk about Things and Stuff and Feels, rarely ask. Instead, they wait for me, knowing that when I have something I need to say, I will find them, and they will make themselves available.

Because here's the thing, asking is an implicit command for me to perform my grief, and that is not helpful. I refuse to access my vulnerability on command. I refuse to perform my grief so that someone else can feel more comfortable with theirs. 

There's been an uptick in these interactions as the one-year mark approaches, and it pisses me off.   

I get it. If you are grieving Adam's death, this week is hard. But I refuse to occupy the hole he left in your life. I refuse to be sucked into your stage of grief, because it's yours, not mine.  And I'm not sorry for protecting myself this way.

Monday, June 16, 2014

in the joy of fullness

There were eight extra people at Rambling Farmhouse this weekend, and it was glorious.

My friends being my friends, much of the long visit centered on the many meals we prepared and shared together. Even in the work of feeding five adults and six children, there was joy. The quotidian mysteries of prepping, cooking, and cleaning are a solid foundation for deepening friendships.

Today, we are back to three at Rambling Farmhouse, and I am tidying up, still so happy to have shared this time with Chris & Kendra and Erin & David.  These table linens on the line are a testament to friendships newly made and further deepened.