Diary of a Widower

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

Sick of myself, of everything

TUESDAY, September 14 – The rain was pouring down and before I knew it, I was soaking wet. Glorious. I needed it, since I was feeling pretty grungy.  I’d just spent an hour with my lawyer crunching numbers, writing up scenarios, and counting hours in order to establish what Jennifer’s death was worth financially. The city of Amsterdam is legally bound to pay compensation to her family.

The calculations could have been done months ago, but mentally I hadn’t been ready for all that.. Come on, your wife is dead and you have to decide how much she was worth. The procedure in itself seemed fairly simple, but, nonetheless insurmountable.

I got on my bike and prayed that the rain would wash away the unpleasant nasty aftertaste. Once home, the smell of vultures lingered and the first thing I did was take a hot shower. I felt like crying my eyes out, but the tears wouldn’t come. Besides what would I be crying about?  About Jennifer, who is no longer here, or the unbearable fact that someone has put a price tag on her absence?

That wretched feeling dogged me like I was wrapped in a smelly blanket, following me to work, where I stared listlessly in front of me. With my typical naivety, I had apparently expected that I would be capable of sitting around the table with my lawyer in a businesslike manner in the morning, and then head back to work in the afternoon as if nothing had happened. On the agenda that afternoon there was the first in a series of four cross-media workshops, the sort of project I’m expected to lead, as deputy editor-in-chief.  I just couldn’t swing it. I felt paralyzed and all the misery of the morning meeting was starting to fill my head.

One of the scenarios my lawyer and I had discussed was the very real possibility that I would not be able to combine my demanding work load with the role of father. Today that was clearly the case. I left the building. Sick of myself, sick of everything.

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