Friday, September 11, 2009

September 12, 2009 Layers of Rage

Kathleen, a commenter on the last post said, "Anger at others is undoubtedly a distraction from the great aching pain."

I wanted to say "You know nothing" and "You're wrong." I wanted to be righteous and look down on all those people who know nothing of this kind of grief.

Only she was right. The rage is a distraction.

Rage is not pretty, it makes me squirm to see it in others. It's unpredictable and over-powering which is what gives it its strength. The unpredictability of it is often terrifying. Choices are to run or defend. Rage kills. And when I rage, it feels good. I am breaking from that confining box that says "You can't. You should not, you are not allowed. People will not like it." And I bust out like Superman and feel the wind in my now long hair. I will not apologize for my rage. It is part of my grief process.

And rage is a cover.

I am too-nice-person. Our nanny walks out on us a week before she is supposed to and I write her a letter that forgives her young foolish behaviour and ends with something like "I hope that someday you see the amazing woman that I see in you." She left me and the kids stranded one month after Art died and I'm all like, you are such a great person?!

I put the needs of others ahead of my own, afraid that if I don't I will not be liked. (Yes my therapist and I are working on that.) In his death, after being here for almost five month in this grief, I still fill the need to take care of others. Heck, that's part of what the tips are all about. I let them cry about my loss on me. I soothed and comforted those who needed it. I explained my process, instead of feeling my process. The only people I ever want to do that for are my kids. I knew that in the beginning of this journey. But I still behaved differently.

Finally now that I am done taking care of others, when I am hurting and waiting and wanting them to comfort me, I see them waiting for me to tell them what to do. The rage comes from that place. From them wanting me to do what I always do which is comfort and guide and forgive. And I am infuriated....How dare you!!! How dare I!!!!

And I am rageful at a society that knows nothing on how to comfort, that places rules on what is proper behavior for the a grieved, that encourages independence but teaches nothing that the most powerful independence comes from feeling comforted and loved and understood. Everyone deserves to feel that way, comforted, loved and understood.

Deeper still, is a place where the sadness is so black that I can't see my fingers wiggle in front of my eyes. So low that I wonder why continue on, I believe that I just can't do this anymore. I can touch the despair. At first it's viscous, I can move in it but slowly and with effort. When I am fully in, and its around me, it hardens into the shiny, black glass and I believe that I cannot get out. And it drains me and I think, why bother.

That mournful, depressed place is a place I will do anything to avoid. I sense it is the place I need to go, to sit, but it is so ..... overbearingly lonely. And before I enter in cautiously, the only rope I have is faith that I will get through. The confidence from past grieving moments is no use here because the grief has changed yet again. I see why older couples die within months of each other. I get it.

I am afraid of that new grief, so I try to ignore it. And every time I do, it comes back again, bigger and darker, looming closer.

These last two weeks have been the most difficult since Art has died. In the beginning I had days to get through so I counted. Day 14, Day 27, Day 40. Now, 3 days from five months I see that life is going on. The kids grow, friendships shifts, I change too. And I am mad as hell about that. And it all removes him from me more. I don't know where I stand in this world without him. I haven't found my footing yet. And that floating feeling, not having a way to steer, command, or cajole myself into a direction terrifies me. Time will teach me how to steer in this new place. Easier said than truer words exist.

I am a lost, homeless orphan, left to swim in cold, swift waters. I have help from those who loved him and love me, but ultimately I must do this alone, in rage, in fear, in love, I must do this alone. I was just hoping that someone could come with me.


  1. Anonymous5:23 PM

    As a widow myself, one of the biggest rages I experienced was when I realized a lot of "our" friends were really my husbands friends. Many more who were "Our" friends actually preferred to invest their energy in more intact, less emotionally draining families. But I made new friends who were "mine", and a new life developed. Death is a transformation for everybody, including those left behind. A new life awaits, it's right around the corner. Take a deep breath and smile.

  2. Anonymous10:36 PM

    This entry is even more outrageous than your previous, selfish one that angered many. It continues to be about you, you, you, you, you, you....

  3. To the anon poster before me - why shouldn't it be about Kim. It's her blog and it's her bloody husband!

    You write so beautifully Kim, all be it on a non beautiful subject. You have a huge supporter here. I can't say anything to make it better, only that you seem a lovely woman and a lovely family and I enjoy your soul bearing honesty. I know I could not be so brave.

  4. Though you feel alone in the sea of grief, there are many others floating near by, certain that they too are alone. Keep reaching out Kim, and you will find you are not as alone as you think. Sending a life vest your way.

  5. Anonymous5:53 PM

    Hi Kim-- I have been reading your posts and the comments and quite frankly I am really disturbed and troubled by the comments from others. I am not sure why anyone would feel that it is ok to judge and quite frankly attack your character in this your BLOG. You have been generous enough to share your raw pain in the good and the bad, and for that you are BRAVE. That you have to read others attack you and your feelings is unbelievable to me. I am so sorry that human nature seems to be to turn on and ravage those who need us most. Please keep writing- please continue to be honest and real, and please know that the opinions of others should not define the value of KIM. God Bless you and your kids and may you continue to find true support during this journey.

  6. Anonymous6:36 PM

    Open up the aperture. You're narrow "all about Kim, all the time, is bumming people out. Look deeper at thesituation. Of all the people in the world you could have married, you married Art. Your soul needed you to look more deeply into a reality beyond life and death, so you can embody deeper realities. It's true for the kids too. No other father, this was their destiny and a large part of what their lives are about. Embrace a larger reality and just remember in the immortal words of jerry Garcia, "sometimes the light's all shining on me, other times, I can barely see, lately it occurs to me, what a long strange trip it's been.". Contemplate that.

  7. Anonymous8:47 PM

    If you want a book deal, a little more insight, a little more appealing...

  8. No one can tell you how to do this Kim, so ignore the negative comments. You're doing it your way, and that's the only one you've got. This is definitely about you, as it should be. Hang in there, and a hug to you. - Michelle

  9. Ah!
    I loved this one:
    "If you want a book deal, a little more insight, a little more appealing..."

    Oh yes!
    Make it more appealing, please, Kim!

    Maybe we could call the book
    "Widow Lite"
    "Widowhood Made E-Z"

    "Chicken Soup for Widows"
    "I Don't Do Widows"

    I'm sure you can think of some titles, too....
    Take care.