My Private Little Club

This is a strange little club. A club I do not want to be a member of, thank you very much. If anyone told me a year ago, that I would be alone on major holidays and even lonelier on the personal days, like my birthday and the birthdays of my children, the anniversaries and the weekends, I would have called them a liar. I have friends. I have good friends. I have a group of people who care deeply about us, I know I do! Then why do I feel so alone?

Death wears you out.The thing it wants more than anything is to see you alone, lying on your bed, listening to sad songs from your college breakup days and eating stale marshmallows. (Hell, I don’t even like marshmallows-who bought those?!) We have to fight that urge to lie down and let it run you over. Grief robs your enthusiasm. Sadness saps your strength. I know about this. I live it. Now, I know people are afraid. Hell, I am afraid! When I wake up every morning, I no longer feel dread. I feel longing. I think longing might be worse. Then again, not really sure, because there is no road map for this trip. I don’t know if it will last two years or a whole lifetime.There are no guarantees, no definite..except that I have work to do, my work is not finished, so I’m told. I am working on an idea for a screenplay, and I’m really looking forward to summer vacation to dedicate some serious chunks of time to the outline.

One thing I do know, and I’ll bet there are others who have lost their spouses who will agree with me. There is no “wrong time” to visit with someone who is longing for a loved one. There are no, “I didn’t want to bother you”, or “are you too busy?” moments. There is one simple truth for you to carry away from this blog. People who are mourning do not want to feel sad! This is where you come in: They are thrilled to talk with you about all the happy things going on with you and your world. You can’t say the wrong thing, so don’t worry about that. Many, many friends have told me about their fear of accidentally upsetting the bereaved. In the scale of things, remember, we have already been as upset as we’re ever gonna get. Remember how you felt after you had a really good cry? Those endorphin’s have kicked it up a notch. You feel, relaxed, almost giddy. You are ready for something else. That is how it feels, a lot of the time. So, talk about the good old days. Look at photos. Reminisce about the time he tap danced on the table. Don’t be afraid to talk about the person. Remembering the good times helps us to remember there will be good times again.

I’ve lost the person who I’ve spent 50% of my life with, and 15 hours of almost everyday. Trust me, I have more than enough time to spend 1 hour with you. I think the real question might be,” Do you have the courage to spend time with me?” I am you. Maybe a little older and wiser, but still your friend. More now than ever.

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4 thoughts on “My Private Little Club

  1. There is no wrong time, Sandy. Also, blessed are the people who are brave enough to call your deceased spouse by name — a simple “I miss Scott”, or “I wish John were here” is so appreciated. We think about the departed all the time — let’s acknowledge their presence. (Having just gone through a HS graduation w/o John, I was so moved by a mom who came over and greeted me, saying that she was thinking of me that morning and said, “I wish John was here.”I nodded and said, “Me, too.” At that point we both teared up and nodded, separating. A 30 second interaction that was one of the most precious of the whole weekend.)

  2. Thank you, Mary Beth. I think I could go on another topic about “the name game”. It also reminds me of how much I miss hearing my own name said aloud. The best of days has a friend who does acknowledge- “Scott would have loved this”. It is the wink or the hug that we all need.

  3. Thank you Sandy… I think it’s wonderful… and yes the worse thing is to not remember, long for, talk about… then they truly would be gone… and that would be very sad… the tears that arise from our bringing up memories are tears of love I would say, not sadness… because you get that warm amazing feeling with the tingle that goes straight up your spine… It doesn’t matter who they are, a spouse, a parent, a child, a friend… I lost my Mom in 2002 to Alzheimer’s, when she was alive and had forgotten who I was, it was like a death, then she really passed and it was as hard as it was on the day she didn’t remember me. In our family, Ladybugs are VERY important, one landed on my brother the day we buried her on a frigid day in January believe it or not. Now at just about every momentous occasion in our family one shows up for just a moment or two… my mother loved Ladybugs… it’s our way of saying she’s close by… yes eyes well up, one may shed some tears, when you’re feeling down you may want to hear her voice with some good advice or to say something funny to lighten the occasion… but it never goes away and that I say is a good thing… new things come and enter ones life, we are filled with new experiences and people, but the warmth that we feel when we remember a moment, or say that person’s name… well, that’s what makes them continue in our hearts, a place where they will forever remain… Thanks for doing this it’s wonderful… Gisele

  4. Well written Sanford…..Scott would be so proud that you are writing or should I say documenting this journey of yours. I think what people often forget is that just because a few months or yr(s) pass, doesn’t mean u don’t stop grieving and needing the support of your friends and family. You and the kids are loved by sooo many. We are all here for you and love u very much! Xoxo
    I miss uncle _______! (U no who I’m talking about) lol!!!!

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