Threesome

Six years after my beloved husband’s sudden death,

I finally found love again.

I am deeply, madly, passionately, in love.

It is wonderful.

It is terrifying.

It is crazy weird.

Being in love with two men.

Im not into bigamy.

Im not even into threesomes.

But really, truly ….

that’s what this is.

A threesome.

But not the kinky kind.

Not the sex kind that youre thinking of.

Its a new kind of threesome.

One that widowed people invented.

One that makes little sense to the outside world.

One that gets easily judged,

and ridiculed,

by those who don’t understand.

It’s a new kind of threesome,

And it goes something like this ….

You’re standing in your kitchen and your dad and your new love are having a conversation. You are a bystander, a witness. They are talking about cars and mechanics and other boring “guy” type things, when suddenly you are silently consumed with a feeling of terror and deep confusion, as if you dont know whats going on or where you are or who this man is that is talking with your dad. He isn’t your husband. He looks nothing like your husband. Suddenly your mind switches back to the times when your husband and your dad had similar conversations about cars and mechanics and man things, and now youre sweating and panicking because this man in your kitchen is not your husband, and your husband is still dead, forever. And somehow you are just realizing this and knowing this, for the very first time, even though you have realized that he is dead, about ten billion times before. Right now, in this moment, it feels like the first time again. You have to slow down the breathing inside yourself and just pretend that everything is normal, because telling your new love that for a second, in your mind, he turned into your dead husband in a flashback type scenario – doesn’t seem like the best idea.

Me and Don at cousin Tabatha's house on Thanksgiving, 2008

Me and Don at cousin Tabatha’s house on Thanksgiving, 2008

You are on the phone sobbing with your new love, and when he asks you what’s wrong, you say you don’t really know, and that you just got really sad for no reason. You tell your new love how much you miss your love who is dead, and in the same sentence – you also tell him that your missing of the love who is dead, takes away nothing at all from how deeply you love HIM right now, today. He says: “I know that,” and continues to comfort you. You wonder how on earth he could possibly know that, or be that amazingly empathetic, considering he is not widowed himself. You sigh deeply as you realize again how incredible this man is who lays beside you today. You tell him that even though you know it makes no sense, that you wish like hell that he and your love who is dead, could know each other and be friends. He says that he wishes he had met your dead love too, which also makes no sense logically, but makes perfect sense in your world.

You lie in your bed and cuddle with your new love, and then roll over and silently say goodnight to your dead love, whose remaining ashes sit inside a christmas tin, which has a Yankees ornament on the lid, because your husband was a huge fan and would like that. Next to the ornament, you have added the meditation rocks that your new love gave you, spread across the top of the cover. Its all blended together, and when you say goodnight to your dead husband, you smile and cry a little all at once. Life and death are merging, and the beauty of it overwhelms you.

You make a joke that your dead love would have found hilarious, and your new love doesnt really laugh. It’s okay. You know logically that they are very different people, and that their reactions to things you do and say, will be very different. You are not comparing them, but the lack of laughter from your new love, in that moment, makes you suddenly think about your dead love’s huge laugh that took over his whole body and made him shake, and you miss it.

Your new love says something or does something that your dead love used to do or say. Or he tilts his head a certain way, and reminds you of him for a second. You feel as if they are somehow connected, though you dont know how that could be possible. Something inside you knows it is true, and you decide to believe it, because it means that your dead husband knows of and approves of your new love, and he is thrilled for your joy.

Your new love kisses you or hugs you or brings you flowers, and you feel a love so intense and so like nothing you have ever felt before. You feel giddy and happy and filled with brightness. And then you feel a tinge of guilt. Not because you are happy. But because maybe you are MORE happy than you were with your dead love. Then you feel even more guilt for even thinking such a thing, and then you realize that the person you are today, has been forever changed by death – so comparing one joy to another is futile, and you need to stop. You realize that the joy you feel now is not better than any past joy – it just feels that way because it has taken so long for you to feel ANY joy at all. You realize that your dead husband brought you an insane amount of joy, and that your new love doe the same, but in HIS own unique and wonderful way. It feels new and exciting, and it feels like the first time you ever felt joy. Then you get a headache from overthinking all your damn joy.

The threesome is ongoing. It is emotional. It is a lot of adjusting.

Learning the quirks and habits and details of the new love,

while holding the quirks of the forever love in your heart.

Feeling sad and thankful and curious

and happy and melancholy,

all in the same second.

Knowing that your emotions are normal,

but feeling anything but.

Learning and growing and evolving,

using all the love you collected,

from your forever dead husband,

and blending it with all the love

you are receiving,

from your beautiful new soulmate.

Knowing that your heart

keeps expanding,

as it creates a nest

big enough for three.

java house

Hiatus (written on July 28th)

(NOTE: Im so ssorry for ignoring this blog for so long. It wasnt on purpose. I was really sick, and I couldnt write or read or do much of anything for almost 6 weeks. Im MUCH better now. The following post was written back in July when I was sick – I wrote it for the Widows Voice blog, and it should help explain why Ive been Missing in Action from my own blog. Im back, baby!!! Thanks for all your support, and as always, I welcome and LOVE all of your comments. )

So I moved back to my home state of Massachusetts at the end of last year, after 26 years in NYC, to finish writing my book, live with my parents temporarily, and get back on track financially, after 5 years of struggling pretty hard following the sudden death of my dear husband Don.

Living with mom and dad at age 45 is sobering. It feels like going backwards. Going from my active and independent social life in NYC, to small town suburbia where your parents know your every move, is just strange. The first few months here, I had no car, no job, and not much of a life. I came here to write the book, and that is what Ive been doing. But you can only write so many hours in a day, and so many days in a week. After awhile, my eyes start to hurt, I lose focus, or I’ve just had enough emotional toll for one day and cant do it anymore.

The past few months, things have started to brighten up some. I have started feeling more like an adult again. I started dating on the dating sites here, mostly so Id have something to do on weekends and have a social life. I picked up a small, part-time job working as the Social Media advisor for a local Real Estate Agent, I got myself on my parent’s car insurance so that I could have access to driving a car, and I started a local Massachusetts Soaring Spirits Regional Group, planning 2x per month social gatherings for widowed people. And then, about 6 weeks ago, from one of my many dating experiences on the dating site, I found my person. My “next great love story.” I fell in love.

And then, soon after all of that, like within 2 weeks time, I got really sick. Right as things were starting to find their rhythm, everything went into full-stop hiatus. A great big stall in my life. I went to the ER twice in one week. Once, because I was so lightheaded, I almost hit the deck while brushing my teeth. And the other time, because I woke up with the worst headache I had ever experienced in my life. Truly. Tests were done. Cat-scans. Brain scans. EKG’s. Heart stuff. Blood was drawn. And drawn. And drawn. More tests. More being sent home and not being able to move from dizziness and nausea. Being so tired that simply taking a shower made me out of breath and finished for the day. Not being able to read words on a screen, look at a TV, or hold a conversation even, because it made me so dizzy the rooom wouldn’t stop spinning.

We finally got a diagnosis. Vertigo, which Ive had before and its a nightmare, combined with a virus called CMV – a form of mononucleosis, that generally sticks around for a month or so, elevating your liver levels to the point where your urine turns a scary color, and your eyes and face turn jaundice and yellow. There is no appetite, NO energy, and no life. Every part of me felt so lifeless. I was terrified. My new love was also terrified. We JUST found each other, and now I was going to fucking die??? Yeah, this is how the mind of a widowed person thinks.

So Its now been a few weeks, and Im starting to get better. The doctor said every day, I will feel better and better, get back more energy, and slowly get back into life. My liver numbers are back at normal range, and I have more blood work Monday to make sure everything is going in the right direction. I am hopeful to be on a plane with my doctor’s blessing in a week and a half, to San Diego, to give my latest presentation at Camp Widow. The last few weeks, I couldnt write these blogs. Today, I can. It feels good to be getting pieces of me back again.

Its been very scary to be sick with something, and not know what the hell is wrong. My mind went to some pretty bad places, thinking I had horrific brain tumors or that I had a heart attack the day before the 6 year death anniversary of my husband’s death, from a massive heart attack. Oh – right. Did I mention that all this started the day before the 6 year death anniversary of my beloved Don, so I was forced to go to my BIGGEST grief trigger place, the ER, and re-live all the horrific pieces of “that day” in my mind? Yeah. That was fun. It’s been a rough few weeks.

However, when you spend a few weeks being hostage in the house, and going nowhere at all except back and forth to the hospital for more appointments or blood work or ER visits, it forces you to slow your mind and heart. I am so thankful that I am here in my home state while all this is happening, and with my parents, because they have taken such great care of me, and Massachusetts has one of the best health insurance programs for people not working like me, so Ive been able to see all the doctors and specialists and get all the proper tests done and everything that needed to be done to ensure that I wasnt going to fucking die. Im still broke as all hell, because I havent been working at all, due to being very sick, so at the moment I have probably $14 in my bank account – but at least I have health insurance. If I had gotten this sick and was still living in NYC, not sure what the hell I would have done or how I would have paid for my care.

Its also given me a chance to really sit and think about the wonder and the beauty of finding love again after loss. Its been such a long, hard road for me after losing Don, filled with heartache and false starts. But I never gave up on love. I worked hard for it, and I put myself out there again and again, even after having my heart shattered several times. And honestly, my heart STILL hurts from those shatters. It probably always will. But now, it is here. Love is here. He is here. And the timing couldn’t be more perfect.

My life has taken a short hiatus, but when I am sitting perfectly still, looking into his beautiful bluish-green eyes – for the first time in a long time, I can see my future. And it makes me smile.