Monday, July 21, 2014

Catching up

It was a rough weekend. I'd been feeling physically off for a couple of days at the end of the week, and whatever it was landed with a vengeance Saturday morning, derailing my plans for brunch and for the Portland informal memorial for Jay.  I spent most of the morning living Jay's toilet-based lifestyle.

I would rather have had brunch.

* * *

I've been both unpacking the book boxes from the downstairs bathroom and moving the books off the brag shelf upstairs onto the shelves in the basement. I'm almost done with that project.  Then I can sort out which books need to go where, including family and the archives.  Then I can see what's left for friends.

* * *

There are a couple of pieces of furniture going to various family members, and once that's done, I can move the brag shelf a few inches over on its wall and borrow some muscle to move my sideboard into place in the dining room.  I've really missed that piece of furniture and it will be nice to have it reunited with the dining table, both of which lived in the kitchen in my Baltimore house.

* * *

I'm still having trouble sleeping, although it's mostly settled down to having trouble getting to sleep. Once I'm asleep, I do pretty well.  But even with a white noise generator running every night and a fan running on the warmer nights, I'm still apparently waiting to hear Jay. It wouldn't be so bad if I were one of those people who can run well on short sleep, but I need every minute of my 8+ hours per night.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Find the ashes here and there

There's been a lot of change around here this week.

Saturday brought a swap of dining room tables. I wanted mine back from Nancy (but was too shy to ask for it directly), and we discovered that Jay's would fit in Nancy's dining room if the leaf was removed. So, a swap was made.

I tried to find a picture of Jay's table in situ, but was unsuccessful.  It's almost impossible to search his Flickr for anything useful.  But here's a shot of the new table:
It fits perfectly in the space, much better than the old table did.

Sunday brought the purchase and delivery of a new sofa.  It was a bit of a struggle getting a sofa out of a flat-pack box and birthing it into something that could be comfortably sat upon, but I got it all together.

And here's a shot of the old sofa:
And the new one:

More and more the place feels like mine, but I'm afraid Jay's getting lost in the shuffle.  I'm trying to figure out ways to keep his energy in the house without feeling overwhelmed by it.

I'll figure it out eventually.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Sleeping, or not sleeping, as the case may be

One of the things I've noticed about how things have changed since Jay died is that no matter how functional I am during the day, and no matter how careful I am with things like napping and daytime caffeine consumption, I always have trouble getting to sleep.

Tonight is turning out to be one of the best examples of that.

I'm exhausted, but I have no desire to go to sleep.

I think some of it is how difficult the nights of the last month of Jay's life were.  I spent them sleeping on the sofa across from him in the living room, needing to be able to awaken at a moment's notice if he needed care, which he did every night, even if it was just for me to walk him to and from the bathroom so he didn't fall.

On nights when he'd had a good night, I would come into the bedroom about 4 in the morning and sleep the last couple of hours on the bed.  Those mornings, I would wait to hear him call for me from the living room.

I think I'm still waiting to hear his voice calling me. So I can't sleep and when I do sleep, I don't sleep well.

I'm off to take something to help get me to sleep. Let's hope I can stay there well tonight.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Achievements unlocked

The house is almost completely mine now.

New/old dining room table, new sofa, all but one box unpacked. Closets rearranged, with a couple of exceptions, kitchen mostly arranged to my liking and with a mix of my stuff and Jay's stuff.

Walls slowly being populated with my art, or at least plans for same, in with a mix of Jay's stuff that I either love or am sentimentally attached to.

The hardest news this weekend was finding out that my mother is going into a nursing home. That combined with the moving of house stuff was tough.

Decent progress, unsettled emotions. Another day, another day of grief, another day of recovery.

One foot in front of the other.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

It takes a long time just to get this all straight

Up and down day.

Last night was tough. I stayed up as late as I could, somehow knowing it was going to be a bad night of sleep.  Then a stray thought as I was laying in bed started me crying. I wish I could say I cried myself to sleep, but I was awake for a long while after that. The night was full of weird dreams, including the first dream I can remember since Jay died where he appeared. It was not a pleasant dream.

I started today with a pedicure, which was a lovely bit of self-care.

After that, it was a bout of furniture moving with help from former housemate Nancy and another friend. We moved the sofa and two smaller pieces into the garage, and traded my former dining table (which had been in Nancy's house) for Jay's dining table (which is now in Nancy's house).

The sofa and the table swaps have me very tender-hearted at the moment. Both of them were good moves from a space and practicality angle, but were tough emotionally. Jay and I spent a lot of good quality time on that couch (no, not like that, you dirty-minded people), and many a lovely meal was had at that table.

But I spent Jay's last days sleeping on that couch and walking him to and from that table for his last meals.

So I have an Emotionally Complex Response (ECR) to both pieces of furniture. I'm both glad and sorry to see them go.

I'll go buy a new couch tomorrow and hopefully have it delivered sometime this week.

All of this will make the house more mine.

But that, of course, is another layer of ECR. Every step toward "house is mine" is a step that pushes Jay further out of the house.  I've never felt him in the house since he died, but I keep hoping to, and every change makes that feel less and less possible.

And all of this just emphasizes to me how lonely I feel. It's all a big circle, or spiral, or cycle, or something. Maybe it's just me standing here with one foot nailed to the ground, going round and round and round.

If I had a point for this post, I've lost it. And maybe that's the point - I feel lost and lonely again still.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Keeping on keeping on

Interesting day today. Had my usual Thursday therapy session, followed a little while later by a massage. Taking care of mind and body. If I'd actually gone to open meditation tonight, I could have taken care of soul, too.

* * *

I had the realization today that I am, in fact, getting to merge my household with Jay's, as I find places for my things among his things.  And I'm in the unusual position of getting to do that without any argument from the owner of the other things.  Truly, I would have gladly given that privilege up to keep Jay around longer.

* * *

We're having a heat wave, and I'm realizing just how soft I've gotten. It barely crawls into the 90s and I'm miserable and sweaty.  How did I ever survive in the Maryland heat?  Oregon heat is so much more civilized, but that doesn't make it any less hot.  I just hope the A/C holds up ...

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

And down we go again

Feeling very lost and lonely tonight.

Coming out of a 4-day migraine, so that might account for some of it.  Starting to reply to some local OKCupid messages, too, so that might account for some more of it.

I'm having long passages of time where I almost feel normal, then I get hit with a wave of sadness that I can't turn to Jay and share that feeling.  I see a picture of him or read his words and miss him so terribly.

I keep moving forward, trying to make a life for myself, moment by moment, day by day. I know that all this effort will pay off in the long run, but right now it is painful and slow and halting.  I hate like crazy to learn how to do something new in the public eye, and even when I'm not writing about what I'm doing, that's what all of this feels like - new and awkward and off-putting and weird.

And as I was reading an advance reader copy of Last Plane to Heaven last night, I had the awful realization that when the book comes out, no one will ever have a signed copy of it.  That made me profoundly sad.

So just lost and lonely tonight, which will pass, as these things always do.