Tuesday, October 19, 2010


It's been really interesting, over the past few weeks, watching myself go back and forth from left-brain to right-brain mode; from thinking to feeling, from rational to emotional, and back again. I can't seem to inhabit both halves of my head at the same time -- it's pretty either-or. I don't quite hear an audible click when the switch occurs, but I haven't really listened for it.

As long as I'm in left-brain, thinking mode, I can make phone calls to close out accounts, fill out paperwork, and talk to people about all sorts of practical, day-to-day matters. I can even go to work and get things done.

Somehow, the universe smiled at me and I ended up in thinking mode for most of Mr. B's memorial service Sunday. It worked out pretty well; I was able to get everything set up at the church, make it through the service without looking like I'd been beat with a baseball bat -- I'm not exactly a delicate weeper -- and meet and greet many, many people Mr. B had told me about but never had a chance to introduce me to. It was good day, full of sharing and laughter and stuff like that.

But when my right brain kicks in, usually when I'm tired or driving in the car (WTF is up with that, BTW?), I am reduced to a huge ball of raw, writhing Feel-eens.

Last night I was pulling the photos of Mr. B off the boards we set up at the service, and it hit me upside the head like a large, wet carp: I still love him like a crazy person. I still have an awful, ridiculous crush on him. I fell in love with his high school picture, the one with the serious bed-head. I fell in love with the picture of him in his late teens, playing with his two young nephews, and again with the picture of him standing on the ice in the Arctic in his 30s. I fell in love with the picture he had taken of himself with his cat, probably for an online dating profile after his divorce in his early 40s. It was brutal, falling in love over and over again with that man I can't ever have. What's even worse, I did have him for just a little bit, then I lost him.

It hurts like all shades of holy hell.

In Feel-een mode, I can't stop my eyes from filling up at random, highly inopportune times. My social filters don't work right. I find myself over-sharing (shocked - I know!) details about the less-than-optimal parts of our relationship. Don't know why I do it, other than maybe I want someone to tell me it's not my fault.

What I want is for him to tell me it's not my fault.

I feel shitty about things I wish I had done differently. I wish I had been more assertive with him about getting a sample in to the doctor when he started coughing up 'stuff' over a year ago. But... our quiet, passive Mr. B was blessed with a huge 'Don't Boss Me' button and I tried really hard to respect that. It was a huge challenge, because I am such a mom. Such a nag. I wanted to do better, be more mature. So I didn't push.

Now I find myself whispering "I love you. I'm so sorry, baby," over and over into the pillow that was under his head when he died. Yeah, I kept the pillow. I sleep with it. I even safety-pinned the pillowcase on so I won't get confused and throw it in the wash.

Shut up. At least I no longer sit around with the box of his ashes on my lap.

If I'm lucky, I'll be back in left-brain mode tomorrow. I'll get things accomplished. Maybe even get some groceries in the house and do Poop Patrol. Got to get as much shit done as I can, before the switch flicks back and I end up back in the exquisite hellhole of unrequited love.


  1. Don't you just hate it when you want to be rational and you aren't? Let it happen anyway. This relationship deserves the struggle toward the peace that will eventually settle in bit by bit. Sending hugs.

  2. You are doing and feeling just exactly what you should be doing, and it's ok. It's no one's fault really and I know how much easier it would be if you could really blame someone, but you can't. Focus when you can, and when you can't, bawl like a baby. I would be doing the same thing.

  3. A large wet carp--that's the perfect choice of fish. A trout, halibut or even grouper would not have been the same. Hilarious!!!

  4. In our cars driving is often the only the time we are alone with our emotions.

  5. It seems, if anything, Mr. B's spirit ought to be around, thinking up a heck of an apology to YOU for being so stubborn. That service was beautiful, touching, intimate, celebratory, and full of friendship and love. I'm sad and upset that Mr. B's time on earth, and with you, was so limited. That said, he certainly used his time well and he CHOSE well, too.

  6. Sitting here in the family room in tears...I can feel Mr. B watching over you, whispering back to you, "This is how I needed to go."

  7. I'm just catching up on your blog. This post has me crying my eyes out. I can feel your pain so deeply in your words...and I wish I had something comforting to say. All I can offer is, "I'm thinking of you".


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