Friday, June 11, 2010

A Banshee Walks Among Us

12/12/09: Clint and I always said we wanted to go down on the same plane, die at the same moment, knowing how hard life would be for either of us to go on without the other. We wanted to die together, and there is a part of me that wishes we had.

Don’t panic. I’m not suicidal, but I am floundering and have days, like today, when I don’t think I can bear the pain and loneliness and emptiness. I have spent more time weeping today than I have been without tears. Selfish? Yes. I want my husband back.

I am in such a trough of depression, that when I took Belle back to the vet today, I convinced myself she had something seriously wrong. I started to cry in the waiting room, and the only way I kept tears from rolling down my cheeks was to stare at the ceiling. She still has a bad throat but nothing else is wrong. We came home with a new medication.

My friend, Nancy, came by to see me and I started crying while she was here, sobbing that I just didn’t know what to do, how to deal with all this holiday bullshit and make it though our anniversary on Monday. I have never felt so disempowered, so completely unable to work up enough strength to face these times.

Ann Carol says I am on track, to stop expecting too much of myself, that 6 months isn’t long enough for the wounds I suffer to begin to heal and scar over. She’s right about the healing part. It’s just not happening yet.

Clint’s friend Prentiss, who served with him in Vietnam where they spent hours on top of hours operating on young soldiers, called me this afternoon, and we talked for nearly an hour. He and Clint go back to childhood, and the first time Clint had to have his knee removed because of infection, Prentiss came from Baton Rouge and stayed with me for over a week. He sat with Clint every day so I could get some rest. (It’s dangerous to leave a patient in the hospital without a guard to watch over him). He told me Clint stories and Vietnam stories and, in general, supported me without being condescending or overly sympathetic. No platitudes of clich├ęs. He made me laugh, and I am grateful.

But within 30 minutes of his call, I was having a screaming, crying fit. One of the dogs, Honey, I suspect, tee-teed on my clean rug, and you would have thought someone had died. I carried on like a banshee. No one in his right mind would want to feel this way. It’s as though a toxic force pulses through my veins, giving me physical pain as well as the unthinkable agony of knowing I will never see Clint again. He won’t ever make me laugh again, or irritate me by starting a project around the house only to abandon it for another. He’ll never take my hand and say, ”Darling, it has been a great ride.” He’ll never take the girls with him to buy me a present, he’ll never roll that chair into the Player’s Club on Monday night and work the crowd as though he were running for office.

He can’t make fun of the fiber-optic Christmas tree in the window, (Why not offend the entire neighborhood)? the one our friend, Taylor Smith, gave us six years ago. He’s can’t try to tell me which ornaments should go where on the Christmas tree. I’m not putting up a tree. The wonderfully tacky fiber-optic will have to do.

These words are not adequate. They don’t say what I feel, but they’re the only words I can find right now, so I guess they’ll have to do.


12/13/09 I finished my day knitting and listening to The Beatles until I was too exhausted to keep my eyes open. Another day gone by and I survived it.

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