In the wake of my grief, now that the worst of my pain for my life mate/soul mate has burned itself out, I am left with . . . emptiness.
Most of the things I once cared about are gone. Not just him and our shared life, but completely unrelated matters I once cared about are gone too. I loved reading — it was always the only thing I ever wanted to do — but first the major publishers started the process of killing off my love for reading by producing such mediocre books, and then the indie movement gave my love the fatal blow by outdoing the major publishers in mediocrity. I know there are good book out there, but I no longer have any interest in wading through the muck to find the gems. (To be honest, after reading more than 20,000 books, both non-fiction and fiction of all genres, there isn’t much that is new to me, so I can’t blame the loss of this love totally on the publishing business.)
I’m also losing my love of the language. When people no longer see the beauty of words, when typos and textspeak are the norm, it seems foolish to care. I feel as if I am trying to breathe new life into a creature that is already moribund. Admittedly, language is always changing, and the youth have always been its custodians. Maybe it’s not language that is obsolete but me. I am outdated, outnumbered, and out-of-step.
I will still write, of course, and I will still search for the best word to use to put across my ideas, but I no longer see any reason to rail against the inevitable. There is no reason to pass on what I’ve learned about writing, storytelling and editing because there is no downside for new writers. If they don’t want to hone their craft, they can publish their untutored books on Amazon and the various ebook sites, and make a fortune selling to untutored readers.
My love affair with computers and the internet is also waning. There are only so many cute animal photos one can look at, only so many political commentaries one can read, only so many advertisements one can ignore, only so many inspirational comments one can gag on. Like words, the internet is a tool, so I still log on every day, though not with the glee I once did.
I need something to care about. Too bad I can’t just snap my fingers and voila! There it is, the thing to love. I’ve almost always lived as if each day would be my last, so I followed my enthusiasms. I created the things I wanted to create, learned the things I wanted to learn, opened the businesses I wanted to run. There is no love languishing in the back of my heart, waiting for me to find the time for it.
I can’t go back and redo, relearn, recreate. There is only forward. In many respects, I am a brand new creature let loose on this earth, open to new possibilities and new loves. Maybe someday I will find them. Or maybe they will find me.
July 25, 2012 at 10:16 pm
Going back to school has opened doors for me. Being with young people has given me a new perspective, and learning new things makes my brain sing!
July 26, 2012 at 3:52 pm
Sounds like you’re having a wonderful adventure!
July 26, 2012 at 10:04 am
Pat, that’s the rub, isn’t it? Finding anything that actually matters. I am still far behind you with my grief, naturally, though the first anniversary (also my 42nd birthday) approaches and still have my continued deep pain to “hold on” to. I thought your post the other day, admitting to missing that initial big grief for the kind of momentum it holds, was extremely brave in its honesty. I can well imagine, in a few years time, feeling similarly.
Back to today’s post – for me there are two things keeping me going: Singing with my chamber-choir which I used to love but which admittedly, currently holds only a trace of the joy it once brought to my life. Where it was an element I could never imagine being without, it now only reminds me of what used to be; alas this seems better than nothing at all. Perhaps one day the joy, the fulfillment, the deep connectedness it gave me will return. The other that keeps me going are my animals – my young dog and my 2 senior cats. They need me. Do the love me? I believe so, but I can’t truly know. What I do know is that they bring me little smiles and a tiny bit of pleasure. They ask for so little and yet make me feel connected to something else, something living. It helps. I am not sure, were it not for them and their needs, that I would have found a way to get out of bed for this past year.
Please have a hug.
July 26, 2012 at 4:01 pm
Malene, I don’t know how to find things that matter. The death of the one person who connects us to this world changes our perspective, and everything pales in comparison to that great loss. It’s a good thing you still have your chamber-choir and your animals to keep you going. I have a hunch the secret is to find anything to keep us going until we find the momentum of life again. As terrible as it was, grief had its own momentum, and all we could do was hang on. For now, until I find something to care about, I’m just trying to be.
Sending you good thoughts and hugs as you approach the first anniversary.