Just when you feel that your life may be on track, fate, the gods, or happenstance steps in front of you and waves its fat, jiggly arms.

I posted last week about tackling some of my late husband’s belongings in the bedroom. It was a mistake. I did not realize until my week started to unravel that the repercussions of doing so now would extract a heavy price. I thought enough time had gone by, but grief has no clock.

Part of my unraveling week was also due to a health scare that ended up being no biggie. However, my state of  mind was surely rattled by so unceremoniously throwing out clothes that had lain dormant in his dresser for almost two years.

The morning after I took on that task, I woke up with a lot of pain in the left side of my chest. “Hhhhmmm… that’s interesting,” I thought. I replayed the day before to deduce when I had overexerted myself enough to pull a chest muscle, but could not recall anything that strenuous. Sure, I suffered greatly from a broken heart every day, but the physical pain near my heart was something I could not put a finger on.

After the second day of chest pain, I started to wonder if I should be concerned. My husband had died of a massive heart attack. He had ignored warning signs – not wanting to be a bother. (If only he knew what a bother he was now, the big dope!)

A day wasted in the ER revealed my heart was physically fine and I was only suffering from a minor viral infection. What a boob! I thought, as I sat in the very same emergency room at the very same hospital where my very same husband had been pronounced officially dead. While l  sat perched on the edge of a gurney waiting for a doctor to release me, patients with real medical problems were wheeled past with some urgency.  I tried not to think of the last time I was there, that most awful of days. On that day, I am sure my uncontrolled keening was heard by everyone – maybe even some of the same doctors and nurses here now.

Approaching the two-year mark has been my emotional undoing. I don’t know why, when I seemed to be making such great progress getting on with things as it were, but there it is.

The trees that have it in their pent-up buds
To darken nature and be summer woods –
~Robert Frost

Last night I dreamt that we were in a car together and James was driving (as he always insisted on doing). We were traveling through city streets during a major storm – a hurricane as it were. Uprooted trees flew by the car window as we escaped several near misses. But as is true in dreams that make no sense, we just kept driving instead of pulling over and finding a nice safe basement to hide in.

It doesn’t take Freud to figure that one out, for sure. I’ve had a heightened feeling of restlessness and aimlessness as of late. This feeling of being uprooted won’t let go of my spirit, and infects every part of my life. I struggle to focus on my job, which I know from a practical standpoint, is not good. But emotionally, it has no importance. Trips to the gym that have provided somewhat of an anchor, have been sporadic, further exacerbating my mental unmooring. Friends and family are certainly important to me, I remind myself, but I don’t feel pulled to connect with anyone right now.

There is no where I want to go, nothing that I want to do. I pace around the living room in the evenings, not really seeing anything around me, fretting over I don’t know what. The cold March rain outside my window reminds me of another spritzy day when I had rushed to the hospital to find out my life had been changed forever.

The hardest holiday

I was driving home from the airport after two weeks of exhausting travel and had just gotten off my exit.

I couldn’t wait to get home, and the finish line was minutes away. It was the Saturday after Thanksgiving and I was driving by a shopping mall to get to my small oasis on the lake.

Sitting at a red light, I looked over at the lane next to me and saw my first reminder of the next hardest holiday. A car had a Christmas tree strapped to the roof like a prized trophy. It punched me in the gut in a way that is hard to describe.

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