Sunday morning I turned to the crossword puzzle in the newspaper. I thought I would never attempt one again. That was something we did together. He was the one who could sit down and fill out the whole thing in a few moments. I can sit down and fill in eight or ten words. We kept about five puzzles going, leaving them in strategic places around the house. “I corrected all your mistakes,” he’d tell me. A few times I got to correct his, and those were gold medal moments.

So Sunday morning, I started filling in answers. I kept going — somehow — and in half an hour I filled in the whole thing. Then I tossed my pencil across the newsprint, said humph, and chuckled. His presence. He was working it for me, putting the answers in my mind.

The shock started wearing off last Friday, and by the weekend full reality set in — crippling grief, anger, and guilt, along with devastating loneliness. I didn’t think Saturday would ever end, and then I knew Sunday would come.

My heart pounds in my chest and throat. I cannot swallow air, I cannot breathe. At times my legs are too heavy and I cannot lift one foot to put it in front of the other to walk across the room. I am numb all over. The dog keeps watching the back door, still expecting him, wondering why he doesn’t come. It breaks my spirit to tell her that Daddy is gone and he will never walk in that door.

People have been wonderful, but I feel as though I am a reminder of pain, of what horrific, catastrophic things can and do happen in life, and I feel as though I should be shunned so people don’t have to think about it and deal with what if it happens to them.

So I walk the dog and keep my back curled, my shoulders caved, my face down as close to the concrete as I can get it, because that is all I can do now. And I try to get used to being alone. Because that’s all there is.

And then he comes and it eases for a while and I think maybe we can get through this together.


16 Comments on “Teamwork”

  1. Rain says:

    We all have to face death and nobody should feel they have to spare others from knowing how it is. Your blog will help you some, his being there for you on the spirit side will help some, and possibly you might start to read some other blogs by those who have suffered a similar loss. One that comes to my mind is She has been there and four years later still is learning from it and experiencing pain from her loss but she would be a place you would get a sense of understanding and sharing. From what I have seen of writing and blogging, it does help.

    You know it’s hard to read your words, to see your pain, but you are not alone and don’t be afraid to reach out for help from others. You had a beautiful marriage and it’s a terrible loss. Nothing makes that less but maybe there are ways that will help you through this time.

  2. DeeJay says:

    As unlikely as it may sound you will get through it.
    Undoubtedly it will never ever be the same and at times it will still hurt like hell, however you are already taking some very positive steps. Continue to home in on the positive memories, try not to address any regrets for things done or indeed not done as you know you cannot influence them and they will only make things seem worse.
    I am convinced that people do not share your own views about needing to be shunned so please do not worry about that and concentrate on your own grieving and emotional recovery.

    Remember this community of cyber friends is always here for you

  3. Sherry says:

    I’m amazed that you can be in a place to write and blog and articulate where you are this early into a grieving process….feel deeply honored that I would be allowed a small window into how you are, and how you get through the tough bits. How you start filling the answers to the puzzle again. We are separated by several state lines, but I’m so thankful for all that makes it possible for me to be with you right now.

  4. sarahemc2 says:

    You are not a reminder of the inevitability of pain–you are a reminder of the strength that pulls the best of us through that inevitability. And if this is something I ever have to live through, I know that I will find myself grasping on to your example in the wee hours of a sleepless morning. So you shouldn’t be shunned, although maybe we should all quit telling you how much we are thinking of you and just let you be for a bit.

  5. Kathy says:

    Thank you all. Don’t let me be, Sarah. It’s good to hear from you. Even if you are about to blow up the basement. I love picturing you down there makin’ moonshine and writing about it. I love knowing what everyone is up to. So far, I’m sleeping. (And, of course, I’m eating.) And I’m going to check out the site that Rain mentioned. Thanks, everyone.

  6. sarahemc2 says:

    Scotti caught me. My bootlegging days may well be over. Also, I think it’s possible that I am grounded.

  7. Kathy says:

    Oh, how funny! But I think grounding may be the wrong thing. He should buy you a barn and set you up out back, where if it explodes, the house is safe. After all, you need to do your research. This is genuine rich creative nonfiction. This is what I’d call “immersion,” one of the real tenets of CNF. Literally, immersion. And all of us were planning to “immerse.” Rats, foiled.

  8. Sherry says:

    It was all in the interest of great literature. The ‘Istas were looking forward to the branch water for inspiration…at least, the literary results thereof.

    What’s nine-letter word meaning loss of internet privileges? Starts with M.

  9. Kathy says:


    Like Mac (PC) and maroon (like on a desert island), with a Y stuck on for bad measure.

  10. Kathy says:

    Oh, I should say that I was previously advised by Husband to think outside the box. (My lameness exposed.)

  11. sarahemc2 says:


    I have successfully used your argument to convince myself that I can reassemble the still in the chicken coop and probably get away with it. (This is, by the way, not an oh-god-it-will-explode-and-kill-us-all kind of still… it’s made exclusively with food-grade plastic and an immersion heater, and is about as dangerous as a coffee pot.) Immersion, here we come!

  12. Kathy says:

    Yay! Take pictures!

  13. inktarsia says:

    A chicken coop language immersion project. We’ll be speaking in tongues in no time. Count me in.

  14. sarahemc2 says:

    Just as soon as I figure out how to run electricity out to the coop, pictures will be on their way! (Do you think I’m getting a little carried away here?)

  15. Julie Gillen says:


    You are not a reminder of pain, you are a reminder of strength and hope.



  16. Julie Gillen says:

    One more thing … if you start eating the paper off of Lean Cuisine boxes, give me a call:)

    ~ Julie

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s