Diary of a Widower

Daily entries by a husband, who stayed behind with his two sons

Determined to risk it all

SATURDAY, January 30 – This morning I am determined. I, of course, know that determination can be treacherous, but I’m willing to risk it. I let my Facebook friends know that ‘This morning nothing, I repeat, absolutely nothing can ruin the excellent mood I’m in. As far as I’m concerned, it can only get better.’

With unflagging cheerfulness, I thank the neighbor who ran into the three of us on the street and who nearly burst into tears. She offered to come and cook for us, but that wouldn’t be necessary, I said. We’re doing just fine. No, we’re not miserable or pathetic. We’re managing quite well, especially today, since it’s such a beautiful day, with both sun and snow.

Then I talked to my brother on the phone.  For once in recent months  I didn’t send him straight to my voicemail.  He wanted to know how was I doing, so I switched to automatic pilot, informing him of my daily trials and tribulations.  A ten-minute chat sufficed.  At one point, you hear yourself blabbing on and the mental energy quickly fades. That’s the signal to stop.

I open a new book and finish it at one go:  You May Call Me Anytime by a Dutch woman, who recorded her experiences after her husband’s death, are gripping and should actually knock me for a loop. Instead, I simply smile and nod at the recognizable situations. At the end of the evening, I put the book back in the bookcase, grinning at the familiar situations and the sheer lunacy of death.

I wasn’t even dispirited by Eamonn, who came downstairs crying after having a bad dream. By Sander who also came out of bed and began demanding that his mother come back. I was in a really great mood from then until I closed my eyes that night. The next morning a smile reappeared on my lips and refused to be banished.  I had no idea why and, for once, I wasn’t even going to ask myself.

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