Innocence Lost

by | Sep 12, 2010 | 1 comment

It’s a rainy Sunday- quieter than last night even.  My parents have taken Audrey outside for a bit and I’m hoping they’re not caught in the rain.  Even though I should take advantage of the time to “get stuff done,” I feel kind of immobilized by all of the thoughts racing around in my head.  Just spent a little time reading a book I had requested at the library called “A Parent’s Guide to Raising Grieving Children.”  It’s better than most, but still feels somewhat clinical/textbook-ish…even all of the quotes from widows or children who’ve lost a parent fall kind of flat.  It lacks the richness of true grieving- but gives some practical advice.

I hate that my almost 2 year old has said the words, “Appa died,” numerous times now, and the other day when she recognized the song I was humming from the slideshow we played at the funeral- I said, “That’s right that was at Appa’s funeral.”  I hadn’t really used this word yet with her and I’m not sure why I said it- but this is how I usually introduce new words- I just say them.  She repeated after me, “Appa’s foo-nah-rul.”  I hated that.

According to the book I’m probably still in the numb stage.  Probably.  I don’t think much about real life or the things I’ll have to face in the future- finances, getting a job, being a single parent- where we’ll live. I mostly live in the moment- still trying to process that you’re really, truly gone.  Already I can see what other widows have told me is true- the first few weeks and even those that followed are now pretty much a complete blur.  I don’t remember much.  But I feel it all.  I remember the phone call vividly…the exact intonation of the voice that told me- it has been recorded in my head.

I started looking through a binder I have of every email you sent me from the first one in May of 1999 to about six months afterwards.  I can’t believe how different we both were- it strikes me now as so sad.  We were innocent and child-like.  You talked so much more about God.  Maybe it wasn’t real and maybe where we wound up after eleven years was more genuine and spiritually even more mature- but it still made me so sad.  It is another loss.  The book says when your spouse dies, you’ll enter a period of deep self-evaluation.  The past is open to reinterpretation and there’s no one to check what you remember.  This is true.  I wonder if I can reclaim some of what we lost- that innocence- but then I remember I’m a widow and I won’t ever be innocent again.


September 12, 2010

1 Comment

  1. Anne D

    You may have already mentioned it, but have you read C.S. Lewis's slim volume "A Grief Observed", a memoir about the time immediately following the death of his wife?


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like…

List-making in a Dark Time

List-making in a Dark Time

For any other list-makers out there, I published this on HerStories yesterday.""In this time of quarantine, my lists are offering me space outside of the walls of my home, a way of making sense of chaos, a self-imposed structure on structure-less days, and even a way...

Simple Things

Simple Things

"In our deepest self we keep living with the illusion that we will always be the same." Henri Nowen "It's really very simple," my late spiritual director, Gladys, once said to me. She was talking about how she lived each day, waking up, having a written conversation...

Continuous Living

Continuous Living

"Anxiety turns us toward courage, because the other alternative is despair." Paul Tillich I've claimed "seasonal affective disorder" for years, and that may be so, but I'm starting to realize it's not only summer to fall that is hard for me. It's winter to spring, and...