Sunday, July 30, 2006 - midnight. Not sleeping yet.

I can't sleep. I feel sick. I sob, stop, sob, want to throw up, sob, sit in the quiet and feel like I'm floating into nothing. In my life, when things aren't right, I do things to make things better. I plan, I organize, I strategize. But, there is nothing to do here. Mike's dead. As much as planning this bash and looking at pictures and movies keeps him "alive" - he's not. And he will not be. And that thought makes me feel lost.

I flipped through the TV channels to find something mindless. Hillary addressing the Democratic leadership council. How f*cked up is it that Mike's gone and she and Bill and George and Dick and the rest of the headliners are still here? Not like they were supposed to go first... but... yes, they were supposed to go first. They're old - er. It's crazy. The war is still a mess, Israel and Lebanon are imploding. The war that Mike and I protested in March 2002 is still still still going on. And he's gone. It's f*cked up.

I flip some more. Sweet Sixteen, MTV's nod to a hyper-materialistic Celebrity-adoring culture is on. Some uber-sexualized sixteen year old girl is at a Beverly Hills jewler buying a $175,000 necklace to wear to her big bash which is going to be so great that people will "remember it for the rest of their lives!" I don't even know what to say to this one except that I found myself unable to change the channel because I didn't want to miss it if (as I was desperately hoping would happen) the $415,000 car she rented to drive up to her red-carpet party accidentally ran over her and her $175,000 necklace.

I flip some more. Ali G. Show. Borat is singing the "Throw the Jew down the well" song to a bar full of townies. Mike loves Ali G. We sang that song all the time around the house... and to Tom tom. Who is a Jew. And Armenian, if you're interested. Tomtom, can I post that?

Anyway, there's a finality here that I can't get my head around. Cannot. How can he be gone? He was just here. One year ago we hadn't even moved into this house yet. We had just returned from a vacation up in New Hampshire where Baxter sat in green grass for the first time at the Hebron town common where we met with old friends and listened to folk music.

And in case you're considering it - grieving alone blows. Avoid it at all costs. All I want is to be held and have someone wipe my tears away without even saying a word. But, the person who would do that isn't here. F*ck. All the planning and organizing in the world can't make this better or even different. Distration is the way out. But sitting here in bed watching the ceiling fan spin like a scene from Apocolypse Now isn't exactly distracting.

I'm going to get some tea. And maybe watch some other mindless show that won't help distract me.


Sandra said...

hey, in case you're still up at 5am, i'm here if you'd like to call. My work number is 011-353-1-716-6957. i know i'm not Mike, and i'm also a long way away, but i am at least awake at 5am philly time :-)

big hugs, see you soon - Sa

Anonymous said...

No answers, no cliches.
Just thinking and caring about you.

Anonymous said...

I love you. You can call me any time and we can stay awake together.

-mary c.

Anonymous said...

Ditto here, to what Mary C. said. "I love you. You can call me anytime and we can stay awake together." I know you know that, but I wanted to post it anyhow. I wish I were there to hold you at those odd hours of the night. I so wish I could take away your pain.

I hope and pray that Lonia can somehow find a way to live with you or near you. I think it would help you both - and Baxter too. Oh, how I wish you and I lived closer...
Loving you and here for you always, Jae

Anonymous said...

Thinking about you Danna and feeling your pain,there will be days like this, and this is when your support system kicks in and Danna we all love you. Hope that somehow we can channel some strength your way.


beth said...

Ditto everyone's comments. We love you and you call us anytime of the day or night if you need us, or just need someone to talk to. We'll come stay with you any night of the week, or if you and Baxter want to slum it in the city in a hot as hell rowhouse with really loud window units and a crazy cat and take a shower in the morning in a bathroom the temperature of a sauna, you know where we live.



francine said...

Hey Danna-- I think it's hard for all of us to get our heads around the fact that Mike's gone, and I know it must be a million times harder for you. I personally am irrationally mad at MEDLINE for giving me false hope by stating the likelihood of a good prognosis and for using that darn word "benign." And yes, I think there were worse outcomes that could have happened, but it's just literally unthinkable to me that he's gone. I know that you're not only grieving the loss of Mike but also the life with him that you'd planned. It's a lot to take in. I personally (don't ask me why) keep harping on how he won't get to be a grandfather. I know it's weird, but I keep thinking about that (I guess I imagine him as one of those really cool, funny grandfathers). Anyway, I think time will ultimately heal all of us. Try to give yourself that time and know that you have a great big happy life ahead of you.

Anonymous said...

There's a book by C.S. Lewis called
"A Grief Observed". He wrote it after his wife died.
He went most of his adult life as a bachelor and in his sixties, met, fell in love and married a woman, only for her to die a few years later.

I've always wanted to read it. I think it would be a less cliche and pychoanalytical read, drawing upon his own personal loss.

Here's the link: http://www.amazon.com/gp/richpub/listmania/fullview/2KJWPFPTZECD/103-5514433-5705410?%5Fencoding=UTF8

Anonymous said...

That book sounds like a real downer. Probably not the best read at a time like this. Just a thought.

Cara said...

This won't help with the sadness, dear Danna, (if only), but may be of use on another front. Since your *only* obvious deficit is that you can't cook, I thought I'd pass along a few of my most reliable kitchen tips:

1) The George Forman grill. Makes the best grilled cheese ever. Great for eggplant; good for meat although I often seem to dry it out. Love the cooking lines, though.

2) For last minute meals, I always seem to have these things on hand: COUS COUS (looks smart when you throw in little veggies or even a little chicken broth for flavor), FROZEN SHRIMP (sauté with garlic, butter, white wine, lemon, and did I mention garlic?) and a POLENTA ROLL (cut into hockey pucks, cook for 15 minutes, drizzle something on top.)

3) A brown marinade good for all meats. 1/2 cup honey, 1/4 cup soy sauce, 1 lime juiced, 1 tablespoon of sesame oil, 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Marinate in meat for 30 minutes. And, if you don't have one of the items (except honey or soy), it doesn't really matter.

4) Honey is my secret weapon. I stick it in the most unlikely places and it's always a winner.

I'm not such a great cook -- which is why I'm good to take tips from; I'm not intimidating at all.

So, if this is remotely helpful, I'd be happy to encourage others to send in a recipe or tip, as well.

Most of all, continue to cobble your meals together with the most important ingredients of all, your heart, the salt of your tears, and your unwavering inner fire.

CSM said...

soooo.... here's a suggestion... we have a blog, we have a calendar... we have a friend in need of some personal touch and care... can we use the 185cranios calendar on Google to sign up for visits with you? that way we can all have dates with you and the baxman? i suggest this not because i don't love comin' over and hanging with you two-- but because NO ONE should have to spend THAT much time with me (truth)! -Susan

Amy J said...


I'm writing this nearly 24 hours after your last entry; so I'm hoping you made it through the day okay and that you can sleep tonight.

Hold onto those thoughts of Bax seeing Mike. Hold onto your sense that you will not always so feel so bereft and anxious and empty.

Yes, you will never be the "old Danna", how could you be? But you will indeed shift and the person you are supposed to be will get figured out. And one day you'll find that your bad days are less bad.

Our grief counselor told us that there would be a point when the heavy cloak of grief we carried around with us would feel a little lighter. Being the person I am, I asked how long until I would feel a "little lighter." She said 2 1/2 years. That gave me permission to feel like it was okay to be sad and mad and to yearn and long for my boy and feel crazy with pain ... and that it was "normal." That I didn't need to "buck up" or "fake it".

People always say to me "I can't imagine what you are going through." Well, your blog is educating people. This is what it's like. It's not so hard to imagine, is it?

If there is a light Danna, it's that it's only been 1 1/2 years for me, and I'm beginning to feel a shift. It took lots and lots of personal and professional support, plus a puppy that has made my family laugh and brought positive energy into my home and into my interactions with people. I have moments (not yet days or weeks) when I feel like I can survive. But then I have days when I feel all of those wretched emotions you felt last night.

So all that to say this Danna: you are not insane, this is the way it goes, and you will find your way through this deep dark forest, even without a map or a plan. It will just happen.

with love, Amy J

Anonymous said...

My apologies for not clarifying my meaning
about the C.S. Lewis book. I hit the "Login and Publish" button instead of the preview button
without finishing my thought.

My Aunt lost her husband suddenly when he was
45 to cancer. She found some solace in the book
because it reflected how she was thinking and what it was like to go through such a life altering experience. She found it somehow "comforting" to know that her thoughts and feelings weren't bizarre and that other people had gone through similar ordeals and survived.