Sunday, January 31, 2010

January 29, 2010 Killing to Bring Him Back

Ezra is remembering his last day with his dad.

"I was so sad I couldn't cry." he says flatly.

"I was crying on the inside, not on the outside." come the adult observations in his little 7 year old mouth which...

begins to quiver.

"I didn't get to say good bye to Daddy!" he sobs, regret and anger in his voice.

I say a mommy-stupid, something like, "You said good bye in your head." Hoping that this mother guess is dead on. Hoping to avoid a life time of regret that my adult self is sure he will feel....becuase I do with so many things.

"No I didn't. I didn't say it out loud and I didn't say it in my head."

And his tears flow.

The next sound is my own sob.

"You can say good bye now, if you'd like. We can write a letter, or say a prayer. Daddy is still right here (I touch him in his chest). He'll hear every word."

Ezra declines.

"I would kill to have him back." Pallas says.

"I would too." I say and then I stop.

No, I wouldn't.

I couldn't bare to put some one else through this.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

January 25, 2010 Clearing Out

He says, "Mom, can you find money in the budget for two people to go to the movies?"

"Sure. What movie do you want to see?"
"Mom, not with you."

I fake cry which includes a snicker and a smirk.

"With who then?"

"A girl."
I act all casual, making my self busy picking up discarded tissues, socks, anything to keep the conversation going and to make him feel that we are NOT having a "talk."

"Whose the girl?"

And the conversation continues. By the time we are done, his floor is clear of all debri and I have managed to dust but not to iron the curtains.

I kiss him goodnight. I leave the room, head to the kitchen, standing in it's stark light and begin to cry.

It's not that I miss Art. I knew this would happen. This life thing -- it contiues on, ya know.

I am crying because I am confused.

This week's events culminating in tears splattering on a white linoleum kitchen floor in desparate need of a cleaning.

I have spent the week cleaning out cabinets, tossing items that we no longer need. It started with the spice cabinet. "Allspice. What the hell do you use allspice for? And why do I have two bottles of it?" And "I am sure that brown is not the color of Paprika." I reach in and toss the jars, and then I move to the other food cabinets. I move to the kitchen. "Would love this pan, if I could remember to use it."

Then to the cabinets above the table where there are bowls and flower vases and plates that I mean to use but forget that I have. They are taken down and cleaned and put into a pile becasue I am going to have a garage sale.

I am shedding. Shedding our past life, shedding Art. I am growing beyond what we were.

Making room for me, no more us.
I had shed him already in my relationship with the kids. No more "Let me check with Daddy." or "What did Daddy say?" wondering if they are telling me the truth.

But now that I have been through the kitchen, the pantry and the living room I feel light and free and fucking terrified.

I shed more.

I stand in the kitchen, not sure what to do or feel or think. This is my life now. My life. The kid's life. And ... I have no idea where I am going.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

January 23, 2010 Ezra Update

Ezra came back to me again, expressing his lack of desire to live.

I called Our House where the kids and I receive grief support.

I spoke with Lauren who is in charge of children's support.

She said I need to get Ezra help immediately.

She said it's great that he trusts me enough to express his feeling.

She said it's good that I have provided him with a safe place to talk openly.

She said to call ________ (a therapist experienced with children's grief) and tell her Ezra needed a suicidal evaluation.

She said to keep her posted.

I said I need another massage gift certificate.

and then I said


Friday, January 22, 2010

January 22, 2010 Ezra's Pain

As my world stabilizes

As I look forward, instead of back

As I feel the earth rooting me,

it is exactly as the grief people said it will be.

"Many children hold onto their grief until the surviving parent is able to cope. And then...."

.....hell breaks loose.

I see them, beyond me.

They have changed from "one more thing to deal with"

to "how can I help them."

Ezra, in my room casually throwing himself aggressively on my bed in that boy manner says,
"Mom, have you ever thought about suicide?"
My heart does not skip.

I do not turn to him, startled. I have been warned.

His bereavement group leader called before the holidays. "He talked about wanting to die. This is not uncommon. Some kids long to see the dead parent so much they think suicide is a way to do it. However, Ezra kept repeating it. I told him this was very serious and that I would be talking with you. I think this goes beyond him just wanting to see his dad."

"Can a 7 year old be suicidal?" I ask incredulously.

"Yes they can" she informs. I am silent.

I took the information in and let it swirl around in my head during winter break. Seeing if he showed any signs of depression.

Nothing till now.

Suddenly I have the mother self-conscious awareness of the power of my words, aware that I have to keep this open. Oddly I am not scared.

"Yes I have Ezra. Do you feel like committing suicide?" my voice even.

"Yes" he says.

I turn to my closet, picking up a pair of shoes to put away. Do not make this seem like a "talk" I think. He is a boy, I must stay in motion.

"Why?" I ask hanging clothes in my closet

"Everyone talks about dad and I don't like it. I don't like talking OR hearing about him."

"Are the feelings that come up scary?" I can no longer resist. I sit on the bed and look at him.

"Yes, they are." he replies in a squished voice as he answers mid summersault.

"For me, I sometimes feel like I can't possible get passed them. I sometimes feel like dying would be better than feeling them."

And I swallow because every word I say is TRUE!

He starts into another summersault, but glances in my direction. Searching? Seeing if I'm telling the truth?

"When?" he asks.

"On Tuesday." I say reflecting how now my grief seldom side swipes me during the day. How long has it been since they have seen me cry over Art?

He looks at me


yells "Pallas, do you want to play...."

He leaps of the bed as if he just remembered there's bread in the oven and dashes out of the room.

I am left on the bed inbetween crying and couragous, dumbfounded.

I am sure of only one thing

I am finally grief-less enough to help him.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

January 20, 2010 His Wallet

“Can I have dad’s wallet?” Langston asked.

“Sure.” I said quickly.

And the sadness swept in on the sing-song 'ly.'

Like love-ly or


Floating in, settling.

As the ly settled I saw that I knew, back in February....

I knew he would die.

February was his 44th birthday. He had wanted a wallet. Something I had failed to get him at Christmas.

I remember standing in the store trying to decide which one to get for him, a decision clouded at that time with no sleep, feeling thinned out and elongated from running back and forth between him, the doctors and the stress and the kids, their lives and the stress.
Back then I thought that my will alone could keep him alive.

I remember choosing a wallet.

I remember picking up the wallet. I remember it in my hand. I remember facing the cashier.
And I remember, before I placed it on the counter, I turned away.

Placing it back in it's place and whispering, quietly,
inside my head so even I could barely hear ...
"Let's wait and see what's gonna happen."

I remember leaving the store, facing the rest of my day as if I never thought those words.

If you had asked me yesterday if I thougth Art was going to die, the answer would have been "NO!"

I thought I was surprised when he finally gave up fight. I thought I was unprepared when I watched as his very last exhale left his body.

But inside, buried so I could not see it or hear it, I knew it would be a struggle for him to live. Inside, back when, I knew it was over.

So I never bought him the new wallet.

I'm sorry, honey.

I'm sorry I gave up.

Monday, January 11, 2010

January 11, 2010 SPLAT

I am standing,


in the parking lot of Costco

in the arms of

a strange man.

The parking lot of Costco, my cart next to me.

I am unable to find my car.

It's not my car, it's the one I am borrowing.

And when I left the store, striding like a woman who knows

EXACTLY where she is going, I remembered what it looked like.

But as I neared the row, I forgot where I parked.

"This is stupid." I say out loud.

My strides begin to shorten, then they falter and I can't find the car.

And then I can't remember what car I am looking for.

Is the mini-van? No that's at home.

Whose car is it? What does it look like?

And out of NO WHERE....I am sobbing.

I can't find my stupid car cause I can't remember what it looks like.

Is this grief or am I losing it?

Shit where is the car?

Why am I so hysterical about not being able to find the car?

And then I stop, attempt to gather myself (which means I am telling myself to fucking knock it off, get a grip and calm the hell down.)

"Are you OK?" says a gentle voice.

There is a man standing next to me. And just like in the movies, I look down and shake my head.

And then I start to laugh AND cry AND sob.

"I can't find my car. I can't remember what I'm driving. My husband died almost 9 months ago and I really hope this is the grief."

And then he looks at me, knowingly and says,

"My wife died 5 year ago." he says "It's the grief." He smiles.

And then I swear to God,

I'm hugging this guy, and crying in his shoulder and with his arms around me. He doesn't shush me. He tells me about the time he landed at LAX 8 months after his wife died and wasn't even sure he was at the right airport.

And now I'm pulling away and laughing and then BINGO I remember what car I'm supposed to look for and




We smile at each other. I give him one last hug and we whisper a thank you to each other at the same time because it's our secret. He knows what he did for me. He knows the gift he bestowed on me and he is grateful I willing said yes.

He smiles and waves one last time before he turns towards the store.

SPLAT....grief undone.

Friday, January 08, 2010

January 9, 2010 I Like Him

So there's this guy....

I met him at a party of another friend.

He's genuine, has a sense of humor, and thinks I'm funny. He's easy on the eyes and athletic. He fits my outline of what I was looking for. (Yes I have an outline. It makes it easier to find what I want!)

I feared that once I started a relationship (and this is not there yet), that every time my knee was caressed by a non-Art hand, I would find it uncomfortable, painful...something that I would have to "get used to."

I anticipated feeling like I was cheating. I thought I would compare... He does that. Art used to do this.

And I am surprised at how wrong I am.

I don't remember Art's hands. I mean if I really, really, really focus on them, I remember how it hurt when we intertwined our fingers, his large fingers making the spaces in-between my fingers stretch to discomfort.

I laugh at the memory of his "gentle" touch and how he mastered it after years and years of trying.

I remember the weight of him and how if he ever had a heart attack when we made love in a certain position I might actually suffocate beneath him.

I remember kissing him. I don't remember how he kissed, but I remember loving kissing him.

But I have to concentrate to remember. It's not a physical memory. It's an emotional one.

I miss the feel of a man. I miss the connection of having a familiar hand pat my backside or encircle my waist. I miss feeling that strong male energy. I miss having my body touched, sometimes gentle, sometimes not.

I remember in the beginning, just needing a man in the house. Didn't have to do or say anything, I just needed to sense the testosterone.

I remember month 3 or 4, the crazy, wild, do-anything physical longing that took over large moments, driving me to consider picking up a beautiful and willing young man just to feel what it was like to be touched.

Around month 6, I remember the craving, anger and resentment a hug from a friend's husband erupted in me. "I don't want to remember what I'm missing!"

And then the cravings died out, the hugs lost their power and my need to be touched both sexual and emotionally seemed to dry up.

Now, with this guy, I feel like an addict who's slipped; having worked a 12 Step program for affection. I had forgotten I needed it. We find ourselves in close proximity and all I want to do is crawl up in him and immerse myself. The smell of him that close, the touch of his rough face, hands on my thighs, on the small of my back.

And as I pulled away, I wanted to stay. I wanted to listen to the deep reverberations as he talked with my head on his chest. I wanted to remember what it is like to have my legs intertwined with another man's. I wanted to just smell his unfamiliar man smell. I wanted to bask in the rediscovered sun. I wanted to sing .... I love this! I love this!

Only I couldn't figure out how much of this drive was about him and how much of it was about feeling like those dandelion flowers you blow on, you give a short burst and the seeds scatter wildly.

Instead of reveling in my craving. I said good night.

And tonight, I remember that I'm lonely. I miss the knowledge that after I finish writing this post, there will be a man, in my bed waiting for me, keeping my side warm.

I miss being loved.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

January 3, 2009 40 Day Fatigue

The wall of my current situation has slammed me hard.

I am exhausted, bruised and sliced up (and proud) by what I have done and will do in the next coming months.

Want to tell all about the latest financial blow but can't do it just yet.

This break I bought myself a magnet that says:

"What If
We Just Acted
Like Everything Were Easy."

My compass is working on resetting to easy?

I feel it.

For now, though, I just need to rest.

Friday, January 01, 2010

January 1, 2010 Sometime I forget...

Sometimes I forget that he is not alive.

Sometimes I don't remember until after I inhale and breath begins to leave my mouth, lips forming the beginning sound of a word.

Sometime I don't remember until I have turned my body in the direction I think he is, to ask him a question.

Then I remember

That no matter what I say

He won't answer.