Chronicles of a Reluctant Widower – Part No The Second First Day

My second evening alone without my wife.  (Saturday didn’t count because it was just too damn chaotic!)

I had a good-ish day.  Got some work done, had a lekker ‘kuier’ with a good friend, had chicken wings shipped to me all the way from Norway, getting d1nner from down the road, two offers to come “stay over for a holiday”, people are good to me.

Better than I ever would have thunk, would have expected.  In all the misery and criticism of unsocial media, I have found real gems of real people.  Behind the bullshit of socked hashtags and ‘look how great my life is’ and lunchtime photos of sushi, there are a handful of real genuine people whom I would not have in my life if not for Zuckerberg’s brilliance.

But dammit, the evenings are the worst.  Too tired to do anything productive, too stressed to read.  Headache that I’ve had since God knows when which I only realised I had on Saturday night. And the long, long empty evening ahead that nothing can fill.   Wanna know how bereaved people end up alcoholics and junkies?

This is how.  It’s finding a way to cope with the vast emptiness of the night.

I’m not saying I’m there.  I’m saying I understand it.

Let me tell you about the tightrope.

The tightrope is the line I’m walking between the “wallow” and the “too fast moving on”.

I now need to take care of me in such a way that does not desecrate the memory of my wife.  A bit too far to the left, and all I’m doing with my life is building shrines and forgetting that I too, am human, with needs.  A bit too far to the right, and all I’m doing is forcing myself to forget about her.  Neither of those are good options.

To walk that tightrope is damn difficult.

And then: the writer in me wants to experience this fully.  I want to feel the anger and the pain.  It hurts like fuck, but I do not want to numb it (apart from this bucket of battery acid in my stomach – that can fuck right off!).  I want to feel the fear, the hurt, the confusion, the headache, the heartache, the emptiness.  NOT feeling, it, numbing it down with alcohol and narcotics (prescription, I do not do recreational!) would be doing both of us a disservice.

Sitting with this pain, feeling it, dealing with it, inviting it over for tea and biscuits, feels like the right thing to do, and I’ll thank myself down the line.

I’m here.  I somehow survived the night.  woke up at least 3 hours too early with a massive headache, ringing in my ears, and that very, very ouchie stomach.

Somehow, the stomach is the worst of it.  Viscerally, I mean.

Hey, its Monday, a working day.  Giulia’s publication and Leigh’s re-launch is on 10 Feb, and I have a handful of product photos to take.  And while “real life” seems so fucking insane right now, so agonizingly pointless and vapid, it’s doing what needs doing that will get me through.

Andrea keeps slapping me upside the head and going “Don’t be daft”, and she holds my hand and says to me “Take it easy on yourself, you’ve been through hell”.  She’s right, as always.

So, lets see if I can actually do something on this here Monday.  Not denying or avoiding grief, but trying not to wallow either (No Nick Cave or The Cure today Gerry, ya hear??)

A fine balance. And well, there’s an ordinary world I have to find.  To create.  And that has no deadline.

Thank you to everyone who cares enough.

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