Week 6

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GriefWeek 6
Week 6... ending Stasis? The memorial and turning the page?
Week 6... ending Stasis? The memorial and turning the page? (Not that it's that easy, or she will ever be forgotten)
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Created: 2023-04-04 

2023-04-27 to 05/01 - Memorial

  • Grief/Day 35 - I did the Brave Widow podcast, cleaning up and prepping for the weekend/memorial. And am going to do a video.
  • Grief/Day 38 - Technical Difficulties, the Memorial, and closure. It was full of contradictions; Gads that was easy and hard, fun and tragedy, love and loss, sorrowful and joyful. She had a wonderful life and touched so many. But life is for the living, and even with the passing of the most beautiful person I ever knew... life goes on.

Journal[edit | edit source]

Day 35[edit source]

           Main article: Grief/Day 35

Just the Ten of Us -

Brave Widow
I did a Brave Widow VLOG/Podcast. She had liked some things I was saying on grieving Widows Forum (the day before stuff) about the bio-mechanics of what's going on and how to cope (treating it like an Anxiety Disorder). And she referenced a book (The Widow's Brain) that talks about it, that implies similar things. (I'd read an article synoposis of the concepts, which had reinforced my ideas before I coalesced them). But it was a nice, pleasant talk, and when she puts the podcast up, I'll link it. I went through a few of her others, and generally liked what she had to say and style. (Good common sense stuff). And we both feel the same... I have no control over my spouses death, but I can try to help others and make something good come out of it.
One of the points I riffed (that I thought was good, but I'd already been processing in the back of my head for a few weeks), is that our society has gotten so cushy, that it's divided us. Everyone used to have to deal with grief during say C.S. Lewis's time or before. You had things like 10-20% Wife mortality in childbirth, or 30% for kids, not to mention more wars/etc. Everyone was used to grief and dealing with the grieving. Now days, we have it so easy, that people don't see it as much, or have their own experiences to draw on. Collectively, it divides society from the grieving, because most people don't know, and don't even know enough people that know, for them to "get it". The mean of society shifted from understanding grief, to not.
  • Cleaning House I've been keeping the house pretty clean -- but still need to do the putting things away, and getting the house more presentable for others staying here. People are going to be coming in for the Memorial. And I'm going to be airport shuttle duty.
  • Speaking or Video? I was going to stand up and speak at the memorial, tell a few anecdotes... but I don't know if I can it past the frog I get in my throat. Also, doing proofing of videos and slides and writing her bio and so on, just left me far more emotionally on edge. (A little more sobby than I've been since week #1 -- but I've been trying to compensate with working out, walking, chores, swimming, massage). A friend suggested just do a video -- and even if I don't use it, I have backup (as well as practice). Love the idea. Will have to do that.

Day 36[edit source]

           Main article: Grief/Day 36

Three's Company -

  • Last minute Running errands, Housecleaner came (her child is in the Hospital), but getting everything finalized for visitors. And I made 3 videos to prep for the memorial; funny but true, something many don't know, and one on who she was. I was crying during the 3rd one, there was no way I could have done it at the memorial without being a wailing mess.
  • Coming into town Some of our longest friends (Mark and Anne) came into town and we did dinner. My brother and most of his family made it a little after that. We had good conversations and company. A few people had to cancel because of flight problems. The in-laws (Mary/Bill) are many hours delayed thanks to Southwest stranding them in Vegas and being unable to get planes out. But we are having people fly in from all over the country to pay tribute to Melissa.
  • Walkabout I've been talking about running away from it all and taking June (and some of July) off, and doing a walkabout, going to Iran, Greece, Germany, London, and visiting friends and family abroad. So I chatted with work, and my immediate management supports it. I have a 8 week sabatical + can do 6 weeks of bereavement -- but I have things at work I want to do in August. So I'm checking on dividing up some of that time. But a getaway between chapters of my life, seems a good idea -- and lets me do some head clearing on whether I even want to work any more.

Day 37[edit source]

           Main article: Grief/Day 37
  • Down to Earth People were coming into town -- but that made it more about entertaining and socializing. It was great seeig friends/family and having them at the house.
  1. We went to Lifetime Fitness (my Gym) and they were dicks to my brother. "Sorry, you've been a guest twice in the last 60 days, you have to pay $40 for a day pass to visit again"... oh shut up. So I stepped in and truth bombed her, "I'm sorry, he was here to visit my wife while she was dying in the hospital, and now he flew back this weekend to help run her memorial. Do you think you can let him work out a 3rd day?"... she backed off but said, "OK, well this will be have to be the last time". And I snipped, "That's fine since this was my only wife". Dumb fucking policy, and I was more snarky than mean about it -- but there was a barb in there about it being dumb fucking policy.
  2. I had to do an airport run to pickup Debi -- and the airport is crazy this weekend for some reason. And some people had cancelled flights and weren't able to make it. But Debi did, we eventually got through the mess, and everything was fine.
  3. I had ordered BBQ, we put it out, and people just grazed as they were hungry, and more people came over, and everyone snacked and chatted, and cleanup was plastic plates, and beer bottles (and some wine glasses). The kids swam in the pool, fished off the neighbors deck, or played ball in the yard, it was actually a wonderful night.

Day 38[edit source]

           Main article: Grief/Day 38

Friends - Memorial / Celebration of Life. Gads that was easy and hard. But life is for the living, and even with the passing of the a beautiful person... life goes on.

  • Easy:
  1. A lot of people showed ≈80+ with probably half from out of town.
    • It was great seeing the people -- each bringing back great memories. Different eras, places we'd lived. People that Melissa had touched (or I had). Many of them connecting up and chatting with each other. And making wonderful new connections. "Oh, of course those two would get along." The people made it work.
  2. My brother did an excellent job of running it. And the planned and spontaneous testimonials were perfect. Many funny, lots of great stories. My friend Richard summed it up -- when every picture has her smiling from the soul, when that many people from all over tell the same fundamental stories about how kind, giving she was, and how she touched them -- then that's a life well lived. Even if too short.
  3. My pre-taping my 3 little stories / allegories worked well - I was able to be nerdy AV guy -- and still share things that I wanted about her, and just hint at a fraction of what an incredible loss the world suffered when she passed.
  4. Our friend Gina had helped with a video (picture deck movie, and just all around support). But that fucking video montage of photos with her music at the end, just had me bawling. Too many memories/emotions.
  5. The food from Lupe's Tortilla was perfect -- everyone seemed to enjoy. When it whittled down to 20 or so, we moved back to the house, and continued it until everyone went home and I crashed about 11:00.
  6. It was a wonderful send off. She was so loved and lovable. And it was a great party with great people.
  • Hard:
  1. I had all sorts of technical difficulties. You couldn't see the screen the way it was facing, so had to re-orient the room. It took a while to get everything setup. Then I couldn't get Facebook Live to work. Having worked with Facebook, they are a lousy, arrogant and incompetent organization that doesn't know how to write software, support it, or manage user privacy -- and all their incompetence resulted in lousy error unhelpful error message that nobody could figure out -- and just increased the stress. But whatever, we'd just record and worry about it later.
  2. Of course you want it to be perfect -- and nothing ever is. Things I had cut got re-added, the venue worked well, but wasn't perfect. Things I'd said, didn't all come our perfectly. I felt like I didn't have enough pictures of our neighbors, or other individuals. Oh, I forgot to Gina enough credit for her help. And so on. You can't do justice to 55 years in 55 minutes... so it can never be perfect. But it was good enough, and she would have loved it.
  3. Most of all, the guest of honor was missing. She would have loved it, and loved being there. I can manage grief most of the time... but the brutality and finality of the loss when you're having a party for her and withhout her? And everyone and everything reminds you of that loss. The people made it great, and all were helpful. Then I had to go to bed alone, again, and get lousy sleep (another night of crying in self pity like I hadn't had that bad since night 2 after she passed), knowing that tomorrow I wake up and keep moving on with life without her. Time to clean up, keep shifting my life from her/us to just me, and never forgetting, but having to stop living in the 32 wonderful years of my past. And figure out what the present and future is going to be.

Day 39[edit source]

           Main article: Grief/Day 39

After MASH - Memorial / Celebration of Life.

  • Celebration of Life Recording The day after the memorial was like any other. I think I had hopes that there would be this great weight lifted, and closure. But there isn't. Someone I loved dearly is still dead... my partner is still gone... the hole is still the same size and depth it was yesterday. But I got to see friends and family (a few left today, and few more in the coming days), I uploaded the memorial, get to be thankful she was so celebrated and loved and everyone did such a great job. And I swim, work, clean, prepare to travel -- and just go on without her.


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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/Weeks

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