The Plaintive Parp of the Cartoon Horn

And lo! As the toxic trinity of Christmas, Mark’s birthday and the second anniversary of His death approach, the widow finds herself spiralling further into the bottom of a wine bottle with no desire to re-emerge.last photo - together

Actually, she could just do with getting away for the next eight weeks. Ideally somewhere hot which doesn’t involve air travel, and where TV programmes featuring “Top Chefs” or Matt Baker are banned.

I haven’t felt like myself for the past few days. (My new self, I mean – my old self departed 22 months ago along with my husband.) This is a shame, because I was kind of getting used to the new self. The self who is perpetually miffed and who pretends to be all hard but really is as flimsy as a warm fart. That self was no fun unless she’d had a drink, but at least I was learning to live with her.

This New, New self feels flimsier than ever. Crushed beneath the weight of the people I have lost. I can hear it coming, the weight, like an acme anvil whistling down from the precipice above. And I’m Wile E Coyote in the valley below, waving resignedly to the plaintive parp of the cartoon horn.

Perhaps it’s the season. Perhaps it’s because He would have turned 39 in January. Perhaps it’s because a new series of Take Me Out starts in the New Year, and we were about to watch that when He died. Perhaps my desperation to see Him again has reached a new level, because it’s coming up for two long years and there’s no let up in the amount I’m missing Him.

Which wise-arse said this gets easier?

21 thoughts on “The Plaintive Parp of the Cartoon Horn

  1. I don’t think life gets easier at all. Not sure if we just learn to cope better. Some days we day. Some days we don’t. Someone said to me the other day. It will get easier once u get all the firsts out of the way !! What the hell does that mean? Also I’ve noticed that some people are less sympathetic too as if it’s been almost a year I should be on the mend! However I’ve been invited by one of these ‘people’ to a birthday bash on Saturday night. I really don’t want to go but I’ve declined so many of her offers that I feel I ought to go. But I’m already getting in a flap about it as I may have to look like I’m having a good time for fear of spoiling hers. May have to rely on my old friend Rioja to guide me thro the evening. Take care xx

    • I think you’re right, it is about learning to cope rather than the wounds ‘healing’. There is a void and we have to grow around it. Or some such shit. And yes, I have heard the ‘firsts’ theory many times. It’s a nice thought and everything, but in practice it means nothing. Second time around, it feels worse, somehow. Perhaps I am out of the fug of shock and into the realms of Oh MY GOD this really has happened! Only go on Saturday night if you feel like you want to, not like you ought to. And you can always come home if it gets too much. Love to you. x

  2. all I can do is let you know I am here for you, and send perpetual love and warm hugs from a place in my heart where I am with you; it seems so outrageously cruel to have thrown one’s arms up into surrendering to that anvil one knows is going to drop and squash us – and still be taunted by it; just come, already, you BASTARD!!!

    much love and light,

    Karen xoxoxo

    • Perhaps we just have to let it come, be flattened, and prepare to pump ourselves up anew. I’ve a feeling this is going to be the pattern forever now. How did the chemo go on Wednesday? Hope you are doing OK. Much love x

      • chemo was a breeze; but 24 hr. after each infusion I get an injection of neulasta to keep my immune system from being suppressed – it migrates to the bones to do it’s magic, so bone pain is the price. the meds I took to prevent it did not work. so I spent 24 hrs. in bed, writhing with pain – during a hellacious blizzard – alone, without my Beloved to soothe me and render reassurance and His love. another first, that set off cataclysmic grief over the next 3 days. next time I will take the new meds pre-emptively – but still, the awful ache of longing for my Love looms large. but I have time, chemo is only every three weeks and maybe I can rally internal resources to help the emotional suffering, too. thank you for letting me use your space to vent. I love you – you are so generous and kind, and I do FEEL the love and caring coming from your beautiful heart, I will hold you and your daughter close to my heart during this most difficult season of missing your darling Mark, and contending with all the happy, merry shit bombarding us from all corners. xxoo, karen

      • Holy shit, what you describe is just awful, and not having your beloved to help you through it is a double whammy of pain. I truly am thinking of you, although I have no real concept of what you mmust be going through Karen. Please continue to use the space to rant, I love that you’re here, offering support despite your own suffering. I’ll hold you close too – we need each other, especially at this time of year. Much much lkove xx

  3. I find there are so many versions of me at the moment, depending on who I’m with and how I’m feeling. Not quite sure that my new self is fully formed yet.

    I’m so sorry you’re having hard time – the time of year, dark nights and Christmas on acid ads that bombard us at every juncture are all contributory factors I’m sure. I thought I was doing ‘better’, but as I hurtle towards the first anniversary on Friday everything seems as raw as it did in the beginning.

    Be kind to yourself and don’t beat yourself up about how you’re feeling. You’ve had a lot to deal with recently and it’s bound to have brought up a lot of feelings that you thought you’d dealt with. Sending you lots and lots of love & hugs my friend xxxx

    • Lovely supportive comment as usual. So you face the anniversary this week? – I’ll be thinking of you Fi. I like what you said about the new self not being fully formed yet – I absolutely feel the same. How strange it is to be making the acquaintance of a new person in this way. And someone who is so bloody unpredictable in their actions and emotions! I do think the time of year has a lot to answer for. You’ll find me under the duvet…XX

  4. When this happend to my mother, according to the family she spent at least two years in a total daze. We would probably call it post traumatic shock these days. You have my respect that you are up, walking and talking at all so soon after this experience.

    • Hi there and thanks for reading and commenting. I understand completely what your mother must have been going through – I feel as if I am emerging from the shock of it all, slowly but surely, into a new phase of disbelief. It is largely due to my daughter, family and friends that I am walking and talking so soon – plus the reserves of strength I think I never knew I had until now! It helps to get support from the ether too – so thanks again. Lucie.

  5. Hi again, just to say I completely relate to everything you’ve said, the feelings of sinking and not being sure why, the wanting to get away, the feeling of a lack of identity, the second year stuff. You know what? Christmas will come around again in another year (yes it will!) and maybe, just maybe, the next one will be a bit easier (same goes for all the other anniversaries). What struck me most about your latest post is the lovely photo. Especially how totally happy and utterly content Mark looks. Sorry if this makes you cry, but try to hang on to how happy you must have made him in his life. I’m sure he’d want to thank you for that.
    Once again I’ll say it, it’s a crap time isn’t it? But you are not alone.
    Maybe we should look to book a carribbean holiday for next Dec?


    • Actually that did make me cry, but what a lovely observation Zoe, and a very strengthening thought – that I made him happy in life. It’s easy to overlook that fact when all you see is the void of where he once was. On the day, I must say I thought about all the other widows and widowers out there and (terrible admission) it did make me feel marginally better knowing I wasn’t the only one going through this. Whilst I wouldn’t wish it on anyone, it helps to be less isolated. Caribbean sounds great! Do they even HAVE Santa there???? ! Much love. x

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