This may or may not end up being something.
My brain is tired. So is my heart.
I think I’m coming down with a cold.
Family arrives tomorrow for the holidays.
After I finished my workamping gig at the opera camp, I stayed here in Arkansas, visiting with my son and his family.
I’ve taken some road trips in the past couple months that I’ve been here, leaving my trailer behind with my son.
It makes traveling faster and easier, honestly. Not towing, I mean.
I spent some time with my sister and her family for a few days…not long enough…and rediscovered connections that had gone astray for a few years. God, it felt so good to reconnect with her! I felt a sense of home that I haven’t felt since Chuck’s death. Such a sense that it made tears choke up in my throat.Chuck would be overjoyed knowing that this happened.
On the other hand, really, really hard family drama is happening within my immediate family, and it’s knocking me down. Mostly because the fact that it’s happening at all shocks me to my core. It isn’t what our family has ever been. Ever.
I worked in hospice for a career, so death and grief was dinner conversation with Chuck and our kids. I volunteered at Liberty State Park following 9/11. He’d sit with me when I got home and help me debrief the death and destruction I’d witness each time.
As Chuck and I traveled in our Happily Homeless adventures, I’d keep a notebook handy to jot notes in as we’d speak of what I needed to remember, if he were to die first.
We discussed finances and what I’d need to do and everything we could think of around money.
We discussed everything military related and how I needed to notify the military immediately after his death. First thing on the list, he’d tell me.
He detailed what he wished for me to do in relation to his memorial service.
What to do if he had a stroke or was incapacitated in some way.
Take me to the highest mountain you can find. In as remote an area as you can access. Kiss me. And leave. I’ll take care of the rest.
And he would have too. He was that sort of man.
He wouldn’t live his life frozen in his body.
We talked of everything we could possibly think of, around his death.
We never, ever, never in our wildest dreams, could have forseen the necessity to talk about how my world…my entire world…would fucking implode and disintegrate.
We had no idea how many people, especially men, view widows as vulnerable prey.
How widows are percieved as needy and helpless, troublesome, and pathetic.
Whether they actually are, or not.
How, once they (husbands) are gone, and life continues on, that women who are now widowed, are, generally speaking, good for not much.
People are concerned, maybe, that widows might want something from them that they are unwilling or unable to provide.
We might, gasp! need emotional support!
If we don’t show up in the way that people want and expect us to show up, we’re seen as sick and needing help.
We’re seen as troublemakers.
Our world prefers to wear blinders when it comes to real life. Tiptoe through the fucking tulips and paste a smile on your face or you’ll regret it, they imply, because we’ll judge you and try to shame you (doesn’t work with me), and make you think that something is wrong with you.
My brain and my heart are tired.
Chuck never would have predicted that all of this has become my world.
The technical shit of widowhood, the stuff we’re told to preplan, is the easy stuff.
The emotional aspects of widowhood, the family dynamics, the perceptions of the world at large…
It’s a landscape puddled with land mines and Cat 5 hurricane forces the likes of which leave me spinning and out of breath.
And would have Chuck spinning in his grave.
If he had one.
Which he doesn’t.
Because, you know, he still sleeps with me.
Except, in his urn.
So, there you have it. Apparently I did have something to write about this evening~