Tuesday, November 30, 2010


It is Tuesday, Nov 30th. It is my EfM night (Episcopal Education for Ministry). Previously, I have enjoyed this, for the fellowship, as well as the education. But right now, my heart is not in it. My mind is beset with the future, or potential lack of it, if the surgery does not go well. I can talk to Di spiritually, but that doesn't help nearly as much as our prior (live) talks, and analysis of risks and potential complications together.  How I wish I had a medically knowledgeable friend to talk to. But the bond or connection Di and I had, was forged, in trust, over 53 years. That will never happen again. This is just another example of the layers of losses that death of a loved spouse brings, to be grieved and mourned.

On a positive note, I did some "Book Fairy" shopping yesterday, and made out like a bandit at Borders,  39% off here etc. Made some good selections. Will have to have a day at home tomorrow to catch up with the house and bookkeeping. Have not got ahead of the latter since I came back from the trip. I know I will feel better when I can get that  caught up again. Tax season will soon be upon us, and all that needs to be up to date, for me: or for the kids if there is any problem with the surgery.

 It breaks my heart to think of even the slightest possibility of our kids losing both their parents within the same year. But I am doing everything I can to prevent such a catastrophe. I am going, deliberately, to arguably the best medical center in the world, the Mayo Clinic, where the medical culture is very results and patient oriented. I know, on the basis of past experience, that I will receive the best care from very considerate staff. John kids me and asks if we couldn't have at least one medical crisis during the summer, when it is easier to travel to Minnesota. I know it is difficult, and  I thank him so much for being there with me, and with both of us, last January. He has been so generous with us. Maybe I just need to stop wallowing in catastrophe!

I will relax a little bit, watch some of the local news,  and then head for EfM. More tomorrow, as I work my way through this mess. Thanks God for friends who like to visit and have coffee!  Peace and love be with you all. Geoff

Monday, November 29, 2010

Writing again

It is time I started to write again. The emotional time of the first Thanksgiving without Dianne, has come and gone, and no subsequent Thanksgiving during our lives will be as painful. The family gathered, and we had dinner for 16!   Thanks to all the family members for making it OK. There were a few tears, but I believe this support group at COR has helped a lot, in validating and sharing the experience, and convincing me that Yes! Something major has happened in my life, and it will never be the same again. Grieving is hard work and I hate it. Searching for the 'new normal" is not easy. But we knew that it would happen for one of us.

Over the last few days, I have been rereading a collection of love poems that Dianne gave me in 1973, and remembering those times, our early days in Wichita.  Had it not been for her creative theatre work, I believe Di would have suffocated, culturally,  in Wichita. But, in her true fashion she made friends, branched out, and experienced life to the full.

Now I have to face a surgical procedure at the Mayo Clinic without her. We have always faced these heath crises together, watching out for each other,  and now, she is no longer here to do that. I feel slightly lost, and bereft without her support, and without her there with me. Somehow, I was without fear when she was there; or, at eat. we could discuss and face our fears.  The only good thing is that she is now done with those interminable ordeals in surgery waiting rooms, waiting for the surgeon to  come out and discuss the outcome. John,  God bless him, has volunteered to be with me, and to do it this time.

I wish it were over, and I was back here at the computer writing, and pouring out my heart. It seems that there is no part of life that is trouble free, so we'll just settle down and go through it, and be optimistic about the outcome. This has been on the cards for two years or more. Until now, I have never felt that I could risk being disabled, and there being no one to look after Di. She no longer needs care here on earth, so I can now go ahead and get it done.

The other day, on line, I read that depression, while grieving, may be more severe in people who are not used to asking for their needs to be met. Having spent my life in the "helping professions", where others' needs must always be met before those of the provider, I wonder if I fall into that category. So, I have started to ask myself, "What are my needs? What are my wants? And how can I get those needs, wants, met in the life that remains?'  Those questions have got me "off the dime", so to speak, and moving in a generally forward direction. But I still feel aimless and directionless, and seem not to be achieving a lot;  at least not nearly as much as I would like to be achieving. People say to me that I have earned some rest. That may be, but I do not want to use that as an excuse to sink into mediocre, senile inactivity.

I have received a lot of positive responses to the bulletins I wrote while away. A number of folk have said they felt as if they gave them a sense of immediacy, that they were right there with me. That is encouraging. A second or third career in travel writing?

Our last Grief Support Group meeting is this week, and there will be a healing service at COR next week, which I will attend. Then it's off to Mayo's the following week, and, hopefully, a procedure that will help to preserve my right kidney, and its function.  And then there is Christmas!  Peace and love to all, in this festive season.  Geoff