Denial.

Blog post 1 of 365.

So I mentioned the other day that I was gong to do one blog entry every day for the next 365 days. I’m not sure how much you will get out of me each and every day but maybe instead of hitting you with fits of crying at work, I’ll be able to add some laughter into that as well. Because I really don’t want to make you cry every single day for the next year.

I’ve been thinking about how I want to go about this and have gone from creating weekly themes that I write about and dive into to the Julie/Julia approach after I glimpsed over the book ‘I’m grieving as fast as I can’ by Linda Feinberg. I just don’t think Jesi/Linda has quite enough ring to it though…Instead I will approach it, well, actually approach may not be the word to use. I’m just going to go. I don’t know where I will end up but my secret desire is to be closer to the spirituality that I once had and maybe, just maybe, feel my husband once again.

And with this – comes –

Denial.

Reading the book “I’m grieving as fast as I can’ by Linda Feinberg, I came across a chapter that spoke about denial. For the past year (I don’t count the first three or so months much) I have been saying that I feel like I have blinders on. That my body just goes through motions. That I try to pick up from where I left off the day before. I’ve said that my mind has shut down in order to protect itself. I’ve been searching for the word to best describe all of this…and today I found it. Denial.

Feinberg writes in this book that those who are in denial, may do some or all of the following:

– Keep their deceased spouse’s toothbrush.

– Have all of their clothes in the same place they left them.

– Not part with their ashes.

– Keep saying ‘we’ instead of ‘I’.

– Keep things the exact way they were.

– Become who their spouse was.

I have to say that when I read this chapter…I was laughing, in tears, jubilant, sad, pathetic, normal, abnormal and had my ‘aha’ moment all wrapped up into about 3 seconds.

The toothbrush. Yes, I have Doug’s toothbrush. I told myself that I was saving it in case Lido wanted it. I also have his deoderant. Yes, you read that right. His used, arm-pit haired deodorant. It’s in my bathroom. I haven’t thought of those items until today. I also have strands of his hair wrapped up in a kleenex that is tucked into a book. Unfortunately, I just can’t remember which book I put it in. The day after the crash, that morning, I went straight into the bathroom and gathered it all. I knew people would be coming over and staying and I didn’t want anything thrown out.

I didn’t want it to be real.

His clothes. All of his hanging clothes and the two suits he owned as well as an extra flight suit is hanging in my closet. I purposefully unpacked them and hung them there when I moved. I even took out a couple of pairs of his shoes and have them scattered in among my shoes. His slippers sit beside mine. Every once in a while Lido puts them on and shuffles about the rooms. His t-shirts, socks and underwear still sit in the dresser he used. Yes, I even unpacked them and put them back where he had left them. I even have two air-tight plastic bags with his dirty laundry. I can’t wash them. I don’t know that I ever will. I do have a couple of his t-shirts that I wear (and those get washed) and one pair of his boxers that I wear when I want to feel especially close to him…(I have washed those as well). I have his winter coats hung up and go into that closet every once in a while and just smell each and every one of them. Each still has him lingering on them mixed in with the leather, the cotton…

I don’t want it to be real.

His ashes sit on my bedside table. I have opened them once and put a little in a piece of tupperware thinking that I would scatter some of his ashes when I was on a trip. Those ashes sit beside his toothbrush and deodorant in his dop kit that I take with me on trips. I do say ‘we’ instead of ‘I’. I correct myself sometimes. If I don’t say ‘we’ it isn’t because it flows naturally out of my mouth – It hurts. It burns. And if I do say ‘we’ my intention is to not claim Lido as part of the ‘we’ but I tell myself that people think that this is what I mean…And yes, I keep things how they were. My desk is the same desk we had and even though it is in a different place – the items on it are in the same place as we had it. The basket that he threw change in, his wallet, tums from his pocket, his keys, pens, scraps of paper, tiny notebooks – All of that is still in there. It is one of the new items that have made it to my desk.

It isn’t real.

Being a pilot. No, I really have no desire to become a pilot. However, my pursuits are in that industry completely. I have started a foundation that provides scholarships to helicopter pilots. In a way, yes, I am becoming him. At the same time, I am keeping who I was with him. Nurturing his dream. Supporting his dream. Still. I try to be more like him in a lot of ways. The things that made him who he was. I try and probably fail miserably but that is constantly on my mind. Not just ‘how would he have handled this’ but ‘what gestures, tone of voice would he use’.

He is alive.

Yes.

I am in denial. Full fledged.

And I’m okay with it.

Especially the toothbrush, deodorant and hair part. I’m laughing about that. I’m sure he is laughing about that. Hopefully you are too.

I’m really not insane. I’m just a widow.

And this is all of me.

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2 Comments on “Denial.”

  1. Janice Says:

    Jesi, it’s been a long time since I’ve last seen or spoke to you but because you had been a part of my life (regardless of the length of time or however degree the relationship was) I think of you and see how you are doing, especially after Doug’s passing. For whatever reason you have this blog… I am glad you have it. It is so REAL and so HUMAN. I feel like if you could dive into someone’s core, this whole blog would be it… which is so rare. Most people wouldn’t think twice about exposing themselves so openly and freely the way you do. To offer any light, even though you are not asking for one… to me, and I am sure for many others, it helps me see and appreciate the things I take for granted in my life, especially my husband and our relationship. Puts things in such a different perspective, makes me deeply grateful for every moment, really. Anyways, with all of my heart, I wish you so much. Abundance and love… simply from one human being to another… regardless if we ever crossed paths or not. I truly wish that for you.
    All the best,
    Janice

  2. Tea~ Says:

    Not quite sure what kind of friend I am… I say burn the book and enjoy the toothbrush. If those symptoms are denial, then I’ve got an oar too. Welcome to the boat.


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