Tuesday, August 17, 2010

This is a typical "me" afternoon.

Sitting at my desk in a building spaz trying to work through the idea of the death of one's lifetime partner.

So you have these, like, mostly wonderful 30-50 years of marriage (you know, all divorce stuff aside) and then your partner dies.

You know, they die after all this life-building is complete. You've hit retirement, you've bought the overpriced, fuel-inefficient RV, and then this person that has been by your side for decades is suddenly whisked away by a rogue blood clot.

Or whatever.

So you've got these remaining, oh, 1-20 years of your life left without this person that you imagined spending all this "remaining" (depressing word choice, yay!) time with.

But they aren't there.

And your kids have moved out and had families of their own.

And your health isn't getting any better, on average. You could be in shitty health but still truck away for a good decade.

So you hop from senior citizen home to senior citizen home until you can't take care of yourself anymore and then you wind up in one of those homes halfway between a regular senior citizen "home" and a hospice.

And, if you track back a little bit, the last few years of your partner's life could have been filled with pain and you were unable to do anything about it except help him/her get out of bed. Right? Impotent against the body's decay, frustrated and hurting for your partner.

So it wasn't just a happy, easy, in his/her sleep death, it was a miserable, in and out of hospitals, pacing the corridors, drinking shitty coffee and eating even shittier hospital food, watching them sleep, watching then TV on mute or low volume, whatever show happens to be on. And then you watch that show over and over as the days pass, sometimes weeks pass.

And then you get them out of the hospital but, really, they're wasted. More skin and bones than they were.

And you know each trip to the hospital is not going to help them get better, but prolong.

They're almost like little refill stations running rapidly out of gas.

The car is going to stop eventually.

But you keep taking her in and filling her up because of love, because you want him/her not to be in pain, and you've got this hope that things will turn around.

And sometimes they do.

But, eventually, goes back down again.

So, five years later you've gone through the house you guys bought together, someplace either in the naturey-bit of the world or someplace near your kids so you can babysit the grandkids, you've gone through memories and letters and ticket stubs, you've given away all your furniture as you deconstruct this life, boxes and cupboards you haven't touched in twenty years emptied under your fingers. If you're lucky, you'll have an offspring or two there to help you do it, keep you company, tell stories to and think about the good times, keep you distracted from how much everything simply sucks.

Then you take a couple suitcases and your favorite photos and move to this senior citizens' home.

Where you are surrounded by six dozen people in the same situation.

And you're goddamned depressed because you're alone.

And, yeah, the first few weeks, maybe even the first few months, you get visits from your kids, your grandkids, but after you "settle in" and after the novelty of it wears off, the visits trickle to those only inspired by guilt.

And you're still alone. Without your mate. Waking up and reaching for their hand every morning, like you have for the last thirty years, but that hand isn't there buit you can't break the goddamned habit because you've been doing it for so long, so each morning is a reach for the left side of the bed followed by tears.

So you get a cat.

Or some goldfish.

And sit on the edge of your bed in the morning, if you can motivate yourself to get that vertical, and list out these reasons why you should continue moving forward.

And it makes me wonder, overall, if it's easier to live with brief partners, have a life of happiness, and no partner at the end, no one to leave you through death, no one to mourn.

Or if it's easier to go through all of the above, having lost one's partner.

And if, really, for some it would have been easier to not have experienced such things, and for others it was completely worth it, depending on the personality of the person in question.

Where do I want to be? Where will I be? Will I even make it to 30? What will I live and regret doing, regret not doing, and in fifty years, will that be me sitting on the edge of the bed, being stared at by some cat that is decades away from being born, looking for reasons to live?


The above is why I read other blogs and webcomics at work. Otherwise I drive myself absolutely insane and sit here, like I am, with my eyes kinda like this --> o.O turning into a total spaz, having to call PD and go, "AAAAAAH CHRIST LIFE IS DIFFICULT!!" and then he laughs at me.

Fuck this, I'm spending the rest of my lunch break at Barnes and Noble, reading about hookers.


  1. The death of your partner after many years must indeed be awful. I saw my grandfather go through it after grandma died - 50 years together. First and only time I saw my grandpa cry. It was heart wrenching. However, I think if I asked him the question "would you take back the last 50 years and change things - never meeting grandma - to relieve yourself of the pain you're in now?" He would wholeheartedly say no. He believed his life was better and more fulfilling because she was in it for so long. I believe when you find "the one" that is how you'll feel too. When the end comes and you have to say goodbye, you will find strength in ways you never knew you had.

    As brief as my marriage was, I truly believed losing him would be the worst thing EVER... and it was... for a short time. Then, I got past it after I cried myself to puking for a long time. I learned to move on without him.

    Try not to focus so much about what happens on the other side. Easier said than done, I know. Be glad you're getting the opportunity to express everything sexually, emotionally, etc with someone you enjoy and are truly compatible with.

  2. Most people spend their last years of life disabled not because it was necessary, but because of a lifetime of grain poisoning. Check out some paleo diet blogs for how to eat without succumbing to the chronic diseases and disabilities we associate with old age.

  3. GirlX,

    Yes, I have a problem staying the moment. I'm either way off in the future or rooted in the past. I'm rather avoidant of the "here and now", something I've tried to unsuccessfully break myself of.

    It's hard to imagine losing someone so integral to one's life and surviving. I'm still amazed at what your ex-husband did to you, and that you made it through for the better.


    "Grain poisoning" sounds so severe. I'm on a modded paleo diet, actually. It does well for me, eventually I'll kick it up to a full paleo, but not just yet.

  4. Everything is temporary. Give up 50 years of love and companionship because it wasn't permanent and replace it with a bunch of admittedly impermanent relationships? Doesn't make much sense to me.