Grace Period

January 13, 2006

I am starting to wonder if there wasn't a grace period on my grief. Except for the first couple of weeks, which were very rough, I have had a seemingly smooth ride through grief. The people I talk to about this all say that I am doing very well, and a part of me wants to agree. But there are increasing signs that the facade of normalcy is starting to crack.

Every day when I come home from work I have some daily chores to tend to, and then the rest of the evening is mine. Only I don't want the rest of the evening. At 6:00 or 7:00 o'clock I am ready to go get into bed. I want to hide from the world, and hide from my loneliness. Friday's are simply awful. Because I am staying at work longer during the week (so as to shorten the evenings a home) I run out of billable time by noon or earlier some Friday's. The afternoon and evening stretch out forever, only to be followed by two long weekend days. This weekend will be even worse as it is a three-day holiday weekend for me. My plan is to work on Monday, a the office, just to fill the time.

Most evenings around 8:00 o'clock I start to get very antsy and nervous. Last night I calmed myself by taking a hot bath. Most nights I crawl into bed and numb myself with an hour or two of reruns on the Tivo. going to bed early does shorten the evening but it also means I wake up at 4:00 or 4:30 in the morning. I feel like my schedule is slowing moving away from every one else's. I am lost an alone and the mechanisms I am employing to cope are further isolating me.

Even as I am typing this posting I am thinking that I could go into work all three days this weekend, just for a few hours each day to fill the hours that are empty now. Tonight I am telling myself that I can go to Border's and browse or sit and watch the people. Just to be away from all this empty.

And everyday my need for fulfillment gets stronger, and my fear of nothing to do gets more intense. I think the grace period between the shock of Michele's death and the reality of my emotions about that event is coming to a close. I fear the next few weeks will be intensely rough.

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Mark H. Nichols

I am a husband, cellist, code prole, nerd, technologist, and all around good guy living and working in fly-over country. You should follow me on Twitter.