Thursday, June 21, 2012

What I Mean When I Say "Homesick"

There comes a time during every vacation when I decide I'm ready to go home. Vacation is great--new adventures are great--but home... It's just home. Home brings comfort and routine; I spend less energy at home and can focus on other things. Damn I love those mountains, but until I buy my cabin, home is in Lawrence.

On Sunday night in Estes Park, while packing for home, I sank into a recliner in our rented cabin. A heavy weight pressed against me--it wasn't exactly the "grief landmine" feeling, but something close. I suddenly understood the easy comparison between losing my spouse and homesickness.

The only problem--when your partner dies, you can't go "home" again. Not to the same home.

Aimee has been gone for nearly three months now; an eternity in some ways (half of Elliot's life), but a blink in others. The first few weeks of April were muddy and slow and painful. Part of May vanished beneath "endings" (school, soccer, etc., etc., etc.). June has clipped along with my deck building project, Colorado, camps, art classes, and trips to the swimming pool. Day by day, the new normal takes root. It digs deeper. But this isn't quite home. It's a new place. A move without moving.

Baby steps...

Yes, this is why you learned the Pythagorean Theorem in high school: so you could build a deck. It's also handy for laying tile. I'm well beyond this point (attached the joists today), but I thought my students need to know that math is real. Look--I'm doing math.  Math is helping me guarantee a square corner. Yay, math!

(Somebody tell me to bend at the knees next time. My lower back is killing me.)


Barry Napier said...

Math AND construction? No thank you, sir. But best of luck with those baby steps (and the deck)!

Anonymous said...

You know time will make it better never worked for me. I am homesick for my husband. So does the longer we are away from home make our homesickness better? No, we get more homesick. I am a forever changed person. Now I realize a simple question like
"How are you?" can be like now why would you ask a person who has been through what you have been through ask that? Why would they ask me that? Really, really do you want to know the true answer to that question or the answer you are hoping for? I get emails from a suicide support group and they encourage you to realize your healing must be controlled by you not by what others expect it to be. Seek out others who just listen. I liked where you said you went out by yourself and screamed. After my husbands death a very strong person took me in his arms and just held me very strongly without saying one word, not even I am sorry. I felt I was drawing the strength right out of him. When he released I told him that he ought to feel very weak because I drew a lot of strength out of him and not a word did he speak. I've learned a lot from my journey. Keep talking. I will listen.