One week from today is the memorial for Steve. My hope/plan is this be a celebration of his life. The theme is "Jazz Funeral" ish, or as ish as I can make it. It will be here at the house trig (re)built.

I would LOVE to know your favorite tr ig saying, trigism, glimpse into the man known as tr ig, stories and the like that I can read aloud or at least print out. Much appreciation. 

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Comment by Jenny on July 19, 2017 at 12:09am

Thank you FM, I hadn't seen the 2 of him singing. He played that little guitar every day... god I miss him. With the service coming up at home here, I'm in manic cleaning mode and I hate my bathroom grout, scrubbed the shit out of it today, so it's better, but still ugly. Can't make sense of where I am and why I'm here alone. Just why the fuck. 

Comment by Julie Johnson on July 19, 2017 at 4:08am

Jenny, you don't know me but I've been following along with your all's story for years now, and I can't even imagine. I'm so so very very sorry for your loss.   

Comment by greenheron on July 19, 2017 at 5:20am

There is much to be said for cultural traditions that embrace keening and wailing and renting and tearing of garments and wearing black. Americans are conditioned to be so emotionally reserved, to keep a stiff lip, to hide our grief. Maybe we get this from the Brits, but it isn’t such a helpful approach to the grief experience. 

I love the New Orleans funeral tradition. The beloveds and friends of the deceased walk their person to the graveyard, wailing and weeping and keening to dirge music. On the walk back, the band switches to festive music, and the mourners sway and dance, called the second line. 

When I lost a beloved spouse, not to death, but to an unwanted divorce, I ugly-wept multiple times daily for nearly a year. Some days, once I started, I feared I would not be able to stop. I’m a morning distance walker, and continued walking then. Walks became aimless weepy wanderings in all weathers, rain and snow, somewhere, anywhere, tear-stained face, swollen eyes, not caring who saw, like a mad woman. People would look away, embarrassed. It didn’t matter. All that mattered that year was the monumental loss of the man I’d vowed to grow old with and still loved. It felt like a limb had been torn off and sent somewhere. 

Yet even at the deepest point, I knew a day would come when I’d feel differently. Each day as I wept, I took a polaroid to document my grief. The stacks grew quite high. For years, I could not look at these, then one day, looked and remembered: that’s what it was like. The polaroids are now long gone, lost or tossed, I can’t remember that either.

For now though, as you scrub grout, maybe you can allow yourself a little keening and wailing. The grout would not mind, and seems to me, the loss of Steve is worth keening and wailing.

Still thinking about you, and Jeff and Eli. 

Comment by Jenny on July 19, 2017 at 5:55am

GH, yes screaming and pounding on the floor or steering wheel (screaming while driving), tears and hopelessness. It's like a tsunami when it hits. 

I know I'm in survival mode due to the service at the house on Saturday, this my focal point. I"m sure it will hit hard once i get thru Saturday. Planning to take a trip to CO to see my daughter, grandson and SiL in a few weeks. My ex died at 52, so she's struggling in her own way, worried about me, reliving the death of her dad.

I also need order, I need to function and make money, I can't lose too much ground with no safety net.  

And even with my low dose xanax, sleep is fleeting. 

Yesterday I met with the woman who bought Steve's last deck. She was widowed 4 years ago. She said last November was the worst when their anniversary rolled around. Then at the same time, in perfect unison, we both said "we had plans". 

I know it gets less painful, but I also know I need to embrace the pain, that hole in my heart, it doesn't need to heal, just scar over a bit. 

Comment by koshersalaami on July 19, 2017 at 6:15am

Going to see your daughter in a few weeks is a very good idea. Right now you're not alone with your grief. When the fuss dies down, you'll still need support. 

Comment by greenheron on July 19, 2017 at 9:35am

Oh Jenny. That sleep thing. When for a few seconds as you are waking, there is a moment of no grief, then it descends like a heavy damp gray blanket that you can’t shake off. No words can comfort. You are connected with every human who ever lived, yet you feel utterly alone. 

That little guitar of his would turn me to heaving weeping jelly every time I saw it :(

Comment by Foolish Monkey on July 19, 2017 at 11:45am

Jenny, 

I lost someone I crazy loved.  It was a grisly death and that fact added to the grief.  Every little oddity, every wrong thing adds to the grief.  I won't go into the details.  

Weird - I had booked my first trip to Europe ever scheduled which turned out to be a few days after I got the news.  I was going alone and had planned this trip for a long time.  I was back and forth about whether to go or not.   I finally decided I might as well grieve in Spain.  

Spain is a particularly good place to grieve.  First of all, everyone is very somber there - the women all have this DON"T FUCK WITH ME look.  I know it being Spanish because we all have it in the family.  (that was a great revelation I got when I noticed it.)

Then there are a multitude of churches on every street, and they're all ancient and faded and magnificent, so I naturally cried and cried and cried.  I went from church to church, crying every time I walked into another dark twinkling church.  

I bought wine and got drunk in my room.  I walked the streets of Madrid like a Zombie.  But I did buy great shoes.  :)

MY mission was to go to the Prado, so I did every day and looked at morbid paintings, which was perfect for my mood.  I went to the Museum of the Inquisition and looked at wax figures being tortured.  THAT was pretty weird but satisfying.  I needed to immerse myself in death and I did.

When I got home, I stopped talking about it because what's to be said?  I wasn't afraid to discuss it, but I contained it inside me and worked it through.  I bought a bottle of very expensive pear brandy that tasted like shit but goddamn I drank that fucker and cried and wailed and fucked up a painting that was to be in the Art Student's League catalog.  My instructor was flabbergasted.  My feeling was ::shrug:::.  I had to work this through. 

There was no memorial for two months...late october, I believe.   He was a skydiver so we fly up to 12k and they opened the door and let go of his ashes.   Everyone was impressed that they hung there for a minute. I couldn't see because there were a lot of guys in the way (I wasn't going to hang out the door while they did this and NO I wasn't in the mood to jump too).   Then they jumped out screaming his name.  I thought that was pretty cool.  

Grieving is lonely.  Even if you're surrounded by a huge cadre of people, it's you and your broken heart.  All alone.  I found what worked for me was to go into the grief when I needed to.  And stay in it.  I didn't let anyone bully me into "feeling better".  I felt what I felt.  I was my caregiver because no one knows what I was going through but me and I couldn't articulate it.  It's about a pit that needs to fill in.

It did.  There's a scar there.  I feel him.  I will always love him too.  And I still cry.  I will always cry for him sometimes.  He was worth it, lousy as he was to do what he did.  He was worth every tear. 

Comment by Foolish Monkey on July 19, 2017 at 12:22pm

Jenny, if it satisfies you to bleach grout and scrub like a charwoman, do it.  DO whatever you want to do, do what needs to be done for you.  You need to make money, but make sure you take time for you to wander around missing your guy, missing your life with him. There's a hole there now.  You're upside down and you'll stay that way until you gently bring yourself around.  There's no rushing it.  

Don't drink and drive but you CAN drink and scrub grout and scream at the walls.  

Comment by Rita Shibr on July 19, 2017 at 1:08pm

Sending love out to the universe dear Jenny,  it must be such a tremendous ache and pain losing the love of your life so suddenly. Hug over the miles to you. xo 

Comment by Jenny on July 19, 2017 at 3:56pm

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