Having secured Rob’s interest and commitment to the memoir, I revisited the opening chapters because I have never been happy with them. I spent the week vomiting forth memories and have about 3000ish words between the first and second chapters. Wound picking aside, condensing a four year time period to three chapters and having them make sense has proved challenging.
The emotional assault has been a bit of a challenge as well. On Tuesday, Rob came home for lunch and as we sat down he looked across the table, sized me up quickly and asked,
“Are you doing okay?”
“Yeah,” I said. “Why? I made good progress on the memoir updates today.”
“Which is why I asked because you have that look about you.”
The look that says I have been scraping scabs and peeling layers of flesh, figuratively speaking of course.
And it’s probably not the best time of year for such work with the date of what would have been a tenth wedding anniversary looming, but if not now – when? Like actually living my life, I can put off the memoir until memories don’t evoke deep feelings but just when the hell would that be? I just don’t buy into the idea that grieving is finite or can be done to death by focusing on it exclusively until it’s mastered. It has to be integrated and that can’t happen unless one goes about the task of living.
But you don’t have to write a book, do you?
Well, it seems to me that every bereaved person plus his/her dog writes a book, so on this score I can finally count myself among the normal and it’s not being widowed I want to focus on.
Although I have to tell some of that tale, I want to tell the story of me and Rob and our rebuilding because it’s the journey back that counts. Most everyone goes through hard times or horrific times, but not everyone comes back. I did. Rob did. I think that is a story worth sharing because there seems to be some misguided idea among those who’ve lost that there is a mythical and finite amount of happiness in the universe that is distributed in a half-assed and nonsensical way with the undeserving receiving more than their fair share.
I got slapped a bit on the subject this last week when I commented on a widow blog to the effect that our happiness and contentment are within our control and when we see others receive blessings we feel they didn’t earn that perhaps we don’t know the whole story. I really don’t believe that happiness is a lottery thing. The times in my life when I have been “unhappy”, and I question the actual existence of the state positive or negative, is usually because I wasn’t trying to be “happy”. I was just waiting for it to happen. Like magic. Which doesn’t exist I am told.
Anyway, I was told that sometimes it’s too much to just hold body and souls together let alone look for “happiness/contentment”, so there you remarried lucky person. And though sometimes it is, it doesn’t change the fact that neither state will fall on a person like manna.
And so, I am almost done with the super painful chapters which is worth weeping over the keyboard a little for a while.
4 thoughts on “Write It and Weep”
Well, I don’t think I have to tell you my opinion on writing it all down. 😉
Just trust the process, and trust that the outcome — which may be very different than you expect — will be worth the pain involved in the process.
i’ve been struggling with words around things that are on-going in my family, as well as capturing the past… it’s challenging to say the least. But i’m writing from the perspective of a Nato observer in most cases. Can’t imagine trying to write up the things that dog me… let alone such a journey.
Delving deep into those wounds can’t be fun. I’m sure it will pay off dividends in your memoir though, and I salute the courage to face those memories down, wrestle them to the ground, hog tie them and write them out.
Writing is painful stuff. There’s no doubt about it. Unfortunately, the deeper you dig, the better the results. It’s a devil’s bargain!