A Day for Dozing

I keep opening my laptop to write today’s blog, but then I play a game of solitaire, close the lid and go read a bit and end up taking a nap. I don’t know why I can’t stay awake. The heat perhaps, though it’s not all that hot in the house. It could be something to do with the falling barometric pressure and the storm that is on the way bringing rain and hail.

This area is notorious for hail, so much so that some insurance companies don’t include hail damage in house or car insurance policies, and the ones that do include some coverage, have a huge deductible. (The insurance companies say it’s the law in Colorado, but they aren’t fooling anyone — they want the law, policy holders don’t.) One good thing, my car is finally under cover, so I don’t have to worry about the poor things being pummeled by golf ball-size hail.

Although I don’t think it has anything to do with today’s sleepiness, today is Jeff’s birthday. That milestone doesn’t seem to have anything to do with me anymore — it just seems like another number and a reason to remember him as well as indulge in a bit of nostalgia.

Even though I feel good about my life now, I still miss him, still find myself confused at times about his being gone. I know it’s the way it is, and I have become used to it, but it still seems . . . off. As if maybe our being together was a dream. As if I dreamed him and none of that was real. Or maybe it’s this particular phase of my life that’s not particularly real. Either way, it doesn’t seem as if his life has anything to do with mine. Or mine with him.

It was a long time ago — our life together. His death.

I wrote a post seven years ago about how, in the movie Heaven Must Wait, Andrew McCarthy tells Louise Lombard that his mother died. She told him she was sorry. He said, “It was a long time ago.” At the time, the line struck me as particularly poignant, and I realized that someday, I too would say, “It was a long time ago.”

It is odd, and perhaps typical of such a loss as mine, that although time passes and other things in life supplant at least some of his influence, and although I don’t think of him all the time, I do always miss him. The void he left behind that I filled with tears is still there, but when I happen to brush against that void, I tend to shy away from it. I don’t need the tears as I once did, and there’s no real benefit to indulging in sadness anymore. It really was a long time ago.

And yet . . .

Maybe that’s reason enough for sadness — that he’s so far away the tears no longer come.

Considering body memory, I suppose it’s possible that the effects of this day are draining my energy enough to make me doze off. But whatever the reason, the truth — the still hurtful truth — is that I am here and he is not.


Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator

6 Responses to “A Day for Dozing”

  1. Joe Says:

    All of this ticks so many boxes for me, although it’s been just over 3 years in my case. Speaking of dreaming… Last night I dreamed I was able to talk to him on the phone, after leaving many unanswered voice messages, and finally got through. I don’t remember what was said in our brief conversation, but we did talk for awhile, ending with my plaintive question: “When are you coming home?” I woke up and recalled the dream fragment and remain rather perplexed by it.

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      That sort of dream always seems to have some sort of import, as if perhaps you really did make contact. But no one knows the truth of such dreams. They are perplexing.

  2. Treve Brown Says:

    Hi Pat. As ever you write so well about these strange lingering feelings. I’ve come to the conclusion (after seven years) that I am now more aware of the void than the actual loss. A chunk of my life that just isn’t there and (seemingly) can never be filled. I often think of your observation that seven years in we are literally different people, and that too seems so true. I miss her so much, but I don’t think I could easily go back to where we were, even if it were possible to have the opportunity. It is such a strange, strange business, isn’t it?

    Your garage looks lovely by the way. I currently have a craving to have a little garden office/room built, just for the fun of it. Like you playing ‘house’ is a remarkably soothing business, and right now gives a comforting sense of stability in this increasingly crazy world! Warm wishes from England, Treve

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      Thinking about the seven years observation — I wonder if some of the void we feel is ourselves. Not just the void they left behind, but the void we left behind when we stopped being the way we were with them and become someone other.

      A garden room sounds wonderful. My neighbors just built a cabin in their backyard as a writing cottage for her, and I now have such a yen for a tiny house in my backyard, too. Luckily, finances don’t lead in that direction, but I am building a gazebo of sorts with leftovers from the garage. I wouldn’t have thought of it, but there was a concrete pad in front of the old garage that remained after it was torn down, and it seemed that a concrete pad is a terrible thing to waste.

  3. Judy Galyon Says:

    It’s strange how life works.

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