Tag: Husband

‘Don’t worry about your wife, man.’

This hippie guy I knew back in my Topanga Beach days,* thirty years ago for godsake, emails me out of the blue and writes:

Hey man, I’m sorry about the passing of your wife. I read about it on your blog, that’s how I got your email address. You write about her being in oblivion and never seeing her again. Well, we shared many a joint together, man, you and I, and I couldn’t let that go unaddressed. I’m here to tell you, don’t worry about your wife, man, your wife’s fine. She’s in a better place than you and me. Keep on tokin’ and you will be together again — that’s all I can say. — Bongo Baldecki.

So I write  back and say: YoBongo, I couldn’t believe hearing from you after all these years. Thanks for what you said about my wife, but let me cut right to the core from the get-go and tell ya that I’m not alive without her. Oh, I’m breathing and eating minimally and drinking copiously and sleeping fitfully and feeding the cat and driving down to the liquor store but I’m not alive without her. Whether she went to some sort of afterlife, an unknown sphere or dimension or became an as-yet undiscovered wave in the electromagnetic spectrum, or whatever — or none of the above — all I want to do is try and find her. If it doesn’t pan out, so be it. But I’m going to give it a shot — perfect word for the mission, don’t you think?

I didn’t hear back from him, but I think I know what he would say: It’s your call, dude. If you go ahead, say hello to Jerry Garcia for me, man.

*Topanga Beach days

Wild party on County Road 9

You try. You try to get through the death of your wife. You got through the death of two brothers and your son. Why is it so hard to get through the death of your wife?

For one thing, your wife helped you get through those deaths, especially the death of your son. That was a tough one. You went crazy. You wanted to kill yourself. Your wife stopped you.

You can’t do that. It won’t help Will. And I need you. 

You went on. You lived through the nightmare. Years passed. Your wife was always there for you.

And then she fell ill. Ambulances came wailing in the night. Emergency vehicles flashed their lights. Medics worked frantically at her bedside, their faces taut with urgency.

And then the inevitable night ride to emergency. A grim scenario played out before, but this night they could not save her.

And now you live alone. You try. You try to get over. You join a bereavement group. You volunteer at the local library. You go back to the empty house. You have no immediate family left. You’ve stopped waiting for the phone to ring. You read a lot. You drink a lot. Gin is a lifesaver. Until it isn’t. But Xanax is, every time.

You put seemingly hopeful posts on your blog (obviously this is not one of them). You try to get off the subject of death.

But you know you’re kidding yourself. All you know is, you want your wife back. And the rest of what you know is, she’s never coming back.

Your wife was a believer. She believed in something after death. But you can’t wrap your head around that. You are twice bereft — of your wife, and of belief.

Not a good place to be in an empty house on County Road 9.

What’s going on here?

Sometimes I think I’m dead, at first I thought it was the phone that was dead because it never rings anymore but I called a distant relative because I have no immediate family left and left a message which is another reason I think I’m dead and don’t know it because I call these people, even the doctor’s office and leave messages and no one ever calls me back, and of course no one ever comes to the door, even when I order books on Amazon thinking they will leave the package on the doorstep if it’s of a larger size or in the mailbox at the end of the driveway if it’s smaller, but no book on the doorstep or in the mailbox, and when I venture out, in the car, to the local liquor store, there‘s a different person behind the counter who has no idea who I am, not the same guy who was there for years and knew me well and what I like to drink, and when I go to the grocery store, there’s  another example, I never see the familiar faces I used to see, as though they have a whole different staff now, so I drive back to the house, an old bungalow in a village about ninety minutes north of New York and go inside where my ailing wife used to say from her armchair in the living room, Hi, honey, I’m glad you got back before the storm, which she doesn’t say anymore, in fact she doesn’t say anything anymore because she has been dead since Christmas and I was so overcome with losing her and not having her in the house anymore to say Hi, honey, I’m glad you got back before the storm, that I didn’t know how to go on but somehow I guess I did because I’m still coming in the door and seeing her empty armchair in the living room which is certainly not a living room anymore and I’m thinking that I’m also dead, that somehow death sneaked up on me and took me with it even though I wasn’t aware of it at the time or even now, leading me to believe that death is a solitary continuation of life except that no one knows who you are or comes to the door or calls you on the phone or says from an armchair in the living room, Hi, honey, and so on and so forth, a sort of living death or death-life, but hang on, hold the phone as the saying goes, if that’s the case, where is my wife, she’s not in the house and I haven’t seen her in the village, but if I’m here she must also be here, I don’t mean here in the house or even the village or even New York City, I mean somewhere, and it’s just a matter of finding her, something to live for, so to speak.