killing time

Killing Time – November 6, 2014 (On What to do When the Doings Done)

My wife died one month ago today.  I know I said I was going to stop trying to yammering on about it, but it’s kind of not blogging about my head falling off.  It seems pertinent to the whole picture, but in a way that I just don’t know how to as neatly connect to entertainment as I did in yesterday’s My Favorite Scene column.  The Killing Time column has always been kind of my personal sandbox.  I mess about with it and it remains, numbers-wise, the most unpopular column on the site.  So we’re going to try to confine my personal journey about recovering from my wife’s death….or not to this column.  That way I can update those who care or who maybe are going through the same things and not drive my regular readers batty (OH MY LORD HE’S TALKING ABOUT CANCER AGAIN).

There’s an initial energy burst after a horrible event.  There are things to do.  Paperwork..  Oh sweet GOD the paperwork.  It takes more paperwork to be dead than to be alive.  There’s planning and – in my case – without my wife’s income, I couldn’t afford my apartment so there was also all the stress of a full-blown move on top of just wanting to crawl into a coma and emerge sometime shortly before never.  But you keep going.  If you’re lucky you have friends and family who care enough to poke you along the way, but in the end, it’s you deciding that today I’m going to get done X, Y and Z.  All the little things, all the big things, slowly disappear off your To-Do List and then one day you’re sitting in a room, surrounded by bags, having started an epic Emerson meets Kerouac journey and you wonder……What in the hell am I doing?

My wife died.  I lost my apartment and moved for (I kid you not) the seventeenth time in my life.  I quit my job and moved out of the region in which Jan and I had lived both for the same reason: I needed a scenery change and I hadn’t had an escape of any kind in five years.  This might all seem a part of the natural course of life, but I’m 35.  I basically had what I thought my seventies would be in my thirties.  This better mean I have the greatest seventies in the history of time.  Also, I don’t want to denigrate anyone else’s marriage and call it less than mine, but my wife and I were so close that events didn’t seem real to us until we shared them with one another.  I cannot tell you the amount of times I’ve gone to yell down the hall something cool I read, dialed her phone halfway understanding it was her voicemail I’d hear, but at least it would be her voice, or woken confused in the night because I knew I hadn’t heard from her in a really long time and I wasn’t sure why and OH THAT’S RIGHT.

So that’s where I am right now a month after.  I miss her more today than I did yesterday and probably half as much as I will tomorrow.  The doing is done.  All the details.  All the distractions.  All the paperwork (well most of it).  There’s nothing but me and the loudest emptiness I’ve ever heard.  The eventual destination for this beginning of the road trip is Ohio, where I know a pastor and his family who’ve known me since I was 14 and I’m hoping he can duct tape my soul back together.  If he can’t, it’s not his failure.  It simply means we’ll all have to deal with the fact that not everything can be fixed by duct tape after all.

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