Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The ghosts, the grief, and the goods

I just stood there, unable to move for a brief moment that felt like hours. I just stood there and I could see them..... the ghosts of us past.

One of these ghosts is a shadowy image of my former self.... the wife. I see her coming down the stairs and then another quick move from the corner of my eye and I see her go into the kitchen. I can see him too. They move fast and I can hear soft whispers whirling around me and all of sudden I am dizzy. I lean on the entry railing until I can refocus.

"Come on. Let's go." I say to the dog. I couldn't get out of there fast enough.

Being at The House to pick up the dog is not my favorite thing. The House has too many memories and dreams from a past life. One that was not that long ago.

The curtains. Ahhhh those curtains. They were the cause of personal blood, sweat, and tears and some tantrums too if memory serves. The kitchen remodel visions we had and hanging just the right picture on just the right wall in the living room. Hmmm. The grief and mourning of it all makes my chest feel tight. It was the life that was being made there and supposed to be taking place there that are the most difficult to wrap my heart around.

As I back out of the driveway, the neighbor is getting his mail and looks at me with a heavy gaze. My mind starts spinning with what the neighbors must be thinking. I am turning the corner and look back at the house once more and admire the exterior paint job we did with family and friends. I also see how Ex has been doing some extra yard work and it looks nice.

There are hardly words for how someone can feel internal numbness and pain at the same time. Just an odd sort feeling, but that was what it was. I had this heavy odd feeling with me most of the morning at the dog park and then when we came back home I was drained. So, a nap was in order. Napping with your dog just might be the perfect step in recovery from such a morning.

Had dinner with a friend that night and discussed how coming from the emotional morning of ghosts and grief was making me question if we made a mistake. Leaving that life? But I realize that looking in the rear view mirror all the time is not a safe way to drive forward and get to where you need to be going. Glance back to be healthy and safe but keep on keepin on.
I will be fine!

The next day I made sure that I had plans on this particular Sunday - booked in advance. Spent it with my nieces. We did lunch, saw Mary Poppins, and sang in the car to their Mylie Cyrus CD. I couldn't think of two more loving people to be with for an afternoon where I needed some distractions. Laughing and chatting with them was another step in recovery.

The day was fun and went by fast. Next thing I knew, it was time to meet Ex so we could do the dog exchange. One quick moment on the drive, my sweet dog puts his head on my shoulder, sighs, and then licks my cheek. He knew I needed that and he is so amazing. I was playing with the dog on the edge of the parking lot, of a business we agreed to meet at, where there was a slightly wooded area. Of course he loses his ball and has both of us walking around looking for it together making small talk. We finally give up and of course I find it on the way back to the parking lot. We get the dog settled into his vehicle and were doing the usual goodbyes when all of a sudden we froze.

There was a quick moment where we just stood. Just stood frozen with emotional ghosts and grief building between us. "This is a Fucked up day" He says. I agree saying "It is hard because I have been walking around with this heavy feeling because I know what today is but nobody else does. Nobody else really gets it but us." Because on this day, at this very time six years ago, we were smudging cake on each others faces at our wedding reception.

I asked him how he was doing and he said good... really good. He asked me too and I said I am good but still have those moments of thoughts about what was supposed to be. We talked about how that was normal and he has them too. Then he said "Yes. There were supposed to be many good things but it just didn't work out that way. We just have to keep going."

These thoughts come in waves and days like this anniversary were going to especially hard since it was the first one. He reminds me of the good things coming for us. As I wipe a small tear from my cheek I smile, agree, and comment on how I am looking forward to that for us both. I am glad that we had a brief moment together to share on this particular Sunday.

I felt lighter because I know I have a lot of good in my life. My family and friends are huge. My loving dog. The care and support from my ex. The new dreams I have now and the ones I am making with others in my life to come. "The good" I think to myself as I drive away.
Not looking back. Smiling.

Good Grief Ghosts!


  1. Only you and Ex know what this is like for you and know that you made the right choice. It's sort of hard for me to read ..but actually in a good way, such raw emotion. I can relate, but don't want to. You are right, it makes people scared, scared for their own life.....what if this happens to us...

  2. Babe, u blow my mind. This is totally awesome. u just might have started a book. I smiled, and teared up, but I do know u will be alright. The looking in the rear-view mirror is exactly that. Caution, then move forward.
    Love U, MOM

  3. I know I don't know you, but I think this post was so insightful and honest.

    Thank you for inspiring me.

  4. That sounds really hard. The first time my Ex and I had an anniversary after we separated, she had a date and forgot all about it, so was never had that awkward moment. I felt like shit and she felt great. I think mine was easier than yours.

  5. Oh lady,
    This was such a beautiful, raw post. Yes, it's about something terribly hard, but the way you expressed it is really beautiful. The analogy of the rear view mirror is just perfect.

    You are a story teller, and a good one at that. Keep it up, you never know where it may take you.


  6. This was so poignant. I love the image of not looking back - just driving on. Wonderful story telling. I felt like I was right there with you.