Saturday, April 11, 2015

One Month

It’s been one month. A month to me has always seemed like an abstract concept of the passage of time. Why 30 or 31 days? Why 28 in only one? I can’t tell you how many days it has been since my world shattered but I can tell you that it has been one month. Maybe thats why we use them. The 11th of every month will forever have new meaning to me. It will now be a marker of the passage of time in a way that no birthday, holiday or phony reason to buy someone a greeting card has ever been. 

As I compose this entry I am preparing to finish gathering the last remnants of Maddy and my stuff from the Wallace house. In case you don’t know I live alone now. In a one bedroom apartment close to my sister. I just couldn’t spend one single night alone in the house that Madelyne and I shared as she fought rejection to her last breath. It’s a beautiful new apartment. With a smattering of new furniture and my personality splattered about it like paint on a Jackson Pollock. But one corner of my new apartment is Maddy’s corner. For now it is a little pile of pictures and keepsakes, items that we used for her memorial service. Things I have not had the energy or will power to go through yet. Today that pile will grow as I bring Madelyne’s remaining worldly goods into my new world. Eventually there will be a little memorial to Maddy in that corner. I plan to use her vanity table to display some of the items and pictures that had special meaning to her, and me. But that is a task for another abstract passage of time. 

When I am not on the cusp, or in the wake, of performing the monumental task of putting Maddy’s affairs in order I have some pretty good days. I have been amazed at how well I am able to cope with day to day living. My bereavement counselor at Hospice seems to be very impressed with my ability to cope as well. I have never been the kind of person who can be depressed for long periods of time. It’s not like I run away from sadness or anything. I still cry every day, sometimes to the embarrassment of the people I work with who walk in on my sobbing. Sometimes to the embarrassment of myself as I walk quietly in public with tears running down my face. But after the sadness passes, and it always does, I can smile and even laugh often. Work is good for me. I believe I already mentioned the outpouring of encouragement and support from our listeners. Without that I do not believe I would be handling this so well. I’m even getting back into the gym! It’s important to me that I work out. One, because I became so involuntarily skinny from all I went through with Maddy. Two, because the endorphins I get from woking out are my drug of choice. I can’t/don’t want to medicate my feelings away. Working out gives me a boost that allows me to continue processing my feelings in a healthy way. I mean really, I’m a single guy living all alone, what else am I gonna do with my free time?!?!

I am still taking life a moment at a time. I can’t yet say that the good moments outnumber the bad moments, but I can see the tide shifting that way. I have many friends and my family still keeping me busy in much of my free time. I have actually began to decline offers in an effort to be truly alone sometimes. I think it’s important that I make time to process some of the feelings I am having by myself. Today’s journey to the Wallace house will be unaccompanied. It will be good for me to have no distractions while I pack up Maddy’s few remaining items. I know that my friends and family are only a phone call away if things get too intense. So it’s like I’m working with a safety net. 

Oh, one last thing I remembered as I was reading over this in preparation to post. Yesterday my bereavement counselor said something that made a lot of sense to me and actually gave me some comfort. I have been having a little inner struggle with how well I am managing my life post Maddy. Almost guilty about being ok. He said that sometimes when we lose someone to such a long fought battle with illness we have already done a lot of our grieving before that person ever dies. That resonated with me very much. Maddy and I fought for years to get her transplant. I was half expecting her to not make it through that back in 2011. Then the almost two year fight against the rejection. Honestly, I spent a lot of that time grieving the loss of her lungs. Although I never showed it because I wanted to be nothing but positive for her. So it makes sense that I have already been grieving, in a way, for many years. This is another one of those things that does not really make the pain any less but gives a small amount of comfort, it also eases my guilt at moving along with my life so quickly. I know, I know… It’s stilly to feel guilty about trying to have a happy productive life because Maddy wanted me to. But there is no sensible way to account for un-sensible feelings. They are just there and we have to find a way to cope with them until they are not there anymore. 

Thats it. I’m going to go move the rest of my crap out of that house now. 

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