Diary of a Widower

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

Hardly any time to grieve

THURSDAY, March 18 – Overwhelmed. Totally overwhelmed.  It’s all getting on top of me and I’m ready to collapse.  There’s so much to do while at the same time  I’m longing for the moment when I can resume my life. Start with a clean slate. That’s all nonsense, I know – starting with a clean slate, but that’s what I want.

So tired and yet so energetic. And so happy together with the children, so full of hope, so optimistic.  Still, sometimes it feels as if I have nowhere to turn. I want to be super dad, Superman, super lover and super employee, preferably all at once while, in reality, I barely have time to grieve for Jennifer.

There’s a tiny voice inside me that keeps shouting: ‘Call it a day, Overdiek, take a time-out.’ but it’s beyond me. I can’t manage to listen to that voice and it feels as if I’ll sink and drown if I don’t take action. There’s so much to do and so little time for self-reflection, so little time to think about what has actually happened to Jennifer, to me, to us.

This all seems so contradictory, since things are actually improving or maybe that’s just what I tell myself. Aren’t they just words to use when people ask me how I’m doing and I reply  ‘Better and better’. Since,in reality there’s nothing but chaos inside my head and in front of me I see the ‘To-Do List – Urgent’.

My job is slowly but surely making more and more demands on me. What it boils down to is that I don’t have the energy to do everything.  Emergency scenarios pop into my head.  Should I call in sick? Is it an option to apply for paternity leave? Or should I simply establish priorities and stop whining?

My life and that of the boys continues as usual; but, what, indeed, is ‘usual’ when you no longer have your life under control?  As far as my work is concerned, it is my fervent wish to get back to functioning at my old level. There are so many challenges ahead of me and so many fun things waiting for me, but I’m not up to it. I’m simply not up to it.

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