Thursday, October 14, 2010

Tug of War

I woke up at 5AM to go to the bathroom and couldn’t get back to sleep.  This was a huge problem in the beginning but hasn’t been a problem recently, so I was a little surprised by my brain wanderings.  Usually, lately, once I’m asleep, the battle’s won and I can get through till 10 or 11 like the teenager I must still think I am.

This morning at five I played tug of war instead.

That’s really what this phase of grief should be called.  Tug of war.  It’s this constant battle that I’m fighting between knowing that I have to let Sawan go, and wanting to keep him close.  It’s wanting to move on with my life and feeling like I’m betraying him by forgetting the little nuances of being married to him.  It’s feeling like if I’m not the bearer of his memories, then who will be?  So I have to remember every detail and when they slip away, feeling the huge loss all over again.

This morning the sadness was, like lots of mornings, not having him to snuggle me.  I struggled hard against the urge to imagine what life would be like if he were still here.  To have the fantasy for a moment.  And then, I tried to remember what he would look like before, in the half-light of morning, the silhouette of his body in the bed, and I couldn’t remember.  I panicked.  It came to me at last, but that was the point that I decided that I was no longer being productive in the bed, that sleep was elusive, and a pumpkin spice latte was the best solution.

The thing about a tug of war is that eventually one side wins.  I wonder what that will look like for me.  Maybe I’ll just get comfortable with the battle inside me.  For now I’ll just drink a lot of pumpkin spice lattes.


  1. That part of a Grief Observed broke my heart. C.S. Lewis described his memories as being clouded by tiny bits of paper that came and covered his love, distorting his image of her. I absolutely felt that way, that my memories were slipping away or being corrupted. To a degree, they still are (I can never remember as well as if he were here, after all), but I also bought a journal to help me write things down. To remember.

    I know your mental capacities in this regard outshine mine by a long shot. I'm glad you are writing things down, and freeing yourself to do what you need to do in the moment you need to do it (like the latte). You will win the war... but the battles can really leave you a member of the walking wounded.

  2. Oh, Addie. Thanks. I'm so thankful I have you.

  3. your writing is getting better, sis. keep it up.