Day 15

From iGeek
< Grief
GriefDay 15
The Black Box for my heart, Widows Fire, Going out with the guys.
The Black Box for my heart - who knew a sports watch (that tracked heart rate) could show my emotional reactions to my wife's heart attack or passing? Widows Fire -- craving physical contact is a reaction to grief? And going out with the guys for guns, steak and beer.
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Created: 2023-04-05 

Growing Pains

Check out your heart
So on one of the grief forums, someone posted their FitBit's heart rate for the day their spouse died. It looked like they were having a heart attack. So I checked out the Apple Watch log. It's a low fidelity black box for my heart. It only samples every few minutes, but it still catches the physical reactions to pure love/grief.
  1. March 22nd -- I normally have a resting heart rate in the 70s-80s. I was woken up ≈3:45am by the Hospital and told my wife had to go from Rehab back to CCU and get put on a vent because of sepsis (Septic Shock). Bang, I'm awake: coming. I calmed myself down a little (I assume my heart was up higher before I put on the watch/black box); just because Dad died of this, doesn't mean Melissa will. Got dressed (including Watch), and started driving down to the hospital. I can see spikes, and know what they mean. Theres's when it shot to 120 rage screaming in the car while driving, "NO!". There's where I was getting news or researching what it means, or when I pulled out the DNR (I'd carried with me for 5 weeks) and said "no more surgeries without my permission". There's where my heart broke and shot up to 154; I was either telling the doctors they had to let my baby go, or that's the moment afterward when I was in the room asking her if she knew I loved her more than anything in the world, and she blinked once slowly, "yes, she knew"... before they administered the drugs to put her under for the last time.
  2. I peeked at the next day, and there was a huge spike to 149 when I woke up and remembered my wife would never be there again. It was elevated the entire day, and would spike up a couple more times during rage cries.
  3. I went back further to Feb 18th. I'd just got in the jacuzzi (lightly stretching before my swim) when I got and answered a strange local call a little after 7:00am. (I almost never answer those spam calls, but needed to this time). “This is Theresa, a running partner of Melissa, your wife went down and we are doing CPR"... 151 heart rate. It stayed above 100 most of that day, until I fell asleep at 10:00. I can't imagine if I haddn’t answered that call (and did my swim first)?
  • Voice Mail Someone on the forums says, "I keep listening to my LWs voice on voicemail" -- and the reply is, if it gives you peace, then it's fine. If it gives you hurt, stop doing it. We weren't big voice-mailers (usually answering or calling back). But I think, "Oh look, there's a scab I hadn't picked -- let's check out my voicemails from her". A couple cranky ones about traffic that made me laugh, and a dozen heart crushing happy ones waiting for one of her flight, "Good morning sunshine, love you", or something I needed to do for her. "Love you too babe". Heart melting bad fucking idea. I'm not in denial -- but dear God hearing her voice brings her back and tears my heart at the loss. Someday, I'll be able to hear that with nostalgia and fond memories, but today it's a cruel reminder of what I lost.
Guns, Steaks and Beer
So in need for an outlet we did my wed night shooting thing with Mike (and Richard and Jackson/Grandson). We make boom-boom. Mike brought his hand-cannon used for hunting polar bears -- Jackson fired and didn't end on his ass. Richard said he felt the earth move. It was funny watching a guy a few lanes down firing a 12 ga., have to put it down to see what was making more noise that he was. One guy was firing his $7,000 Stacato race gun, and I avoided mooching a ride, as I don't want to blow $7K -- but he let me hold it, it looked nice. I was just firing new optics I'd put on my S&W 5.7. And I helped Jackson sight his gun, and proved it was on target, at max range. Then we had steak and beers at the local pub.
NOTE: This was a much more constructive testosterone release than trolling for hookers who look like my dead wife. But there's always Friday night.
Widows Fire
On one of the grief forums the folks are talking about "Widows Fire". And I'm casually thinking "that's probably just the craving for the physical affection that you lost, or desire for re-affirmation of life" that we all have after weddings/funerals. After reading a bit more, it's an intense physical lust reaction caused by grief; your body/brain is used to touch and intimacy, stacked on top of deep loss, and for many, you basically get second puberty. Many have intense guilt over complex/competing feelings. Just great.
I'd added this... then my neighbors were a little shocked and the bluntness or it sounds like trolling (it isn't). It was meant more as human / laughing at the human condition. But I removed it as they were right, people can be judgy and totally misconstrue the point. Then I thought "Fuck it", their hangups aren't my problem. I know how I intend this, and it's not to disrespect my wife in any way. She would have laughed, or kicked me for oversharing. But it's part of the complexities of the grieving process.
  1. About 15 years ago, part of my brain shut off. The boy seeing a hottie walk by and having a fleeting fantasy of a little strange -- just wasn't kicking in. This was new for a healthy male, so I checked for low-T even though things were fine with us. Chemically? Everything fine. Just I loved my wife, was getting it enough, and was not really interested in day dreaming about getting it somewhere else. I became a lot safer for Women to tie their shoes around.
  2. Recently, I'd been noticing some of those old thoughts were no longer on some obscure back burner. WTF, my wife isn't even memorialized and this is a real grief thing? Not a fan.
  3. I'd said on the forum that I get wanting a reason to live (and who doesn't like a post coital cuddle and snore), but emotional roller coaster. I'm hardly a prude, but I don't see how this could be healthy even if I don't feel like it's cheating ("till death do us part" is a legit loophole). Defenses are on full to not getting hurt again (pre-flight checklist definitely includes a doctor note), and it seems hard to walk the line between using someone as an emotional surrogate or just using their body to make love to a memory ("shhhh, don't talk, you're ruining it", "can you put your hair in a pony tail, and mind if I squint"). Until you can focus on being in a relationship for yourself and the other person, it just doesn't feel like it would be psychologically healthy. Many seem to go back to high school sweethearts or someone from their past that they knew they had feelings for (pre-death) to make sure... but I'm pretty sure that coach is dead or in prison, so I don't have that option.
  4. The women are all giving each other tips on what toys to buy to fend off regrets and bad choices. Which reminded me of the joke -- that I put in. Was too shocking so I pulled it out. Then someone else put it on the grief forum in response to the women's vibrator conversations -- so I put it back in, but attribute it to that other guy. "When a woman buys a vibrator it's seen as a bit of naughty fun. But when a guy orders a 240v Fuckmaster Pro 5000 latex sex-doll with the 6 speed pulsating pussy and non-drip semen collecting tray and the optional built-in realistic orgasm sound system, he's called a pervert." <- Note: I'm too cheap for that. And Melissa was unimpressed with that joke when I told it to her years ago.


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02/18 my wife had a 2023_Heart_Attack, and passed away on 03/22/23; the hardest day of my life. Except for the ones after it.

Tags: Grief

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