One good thing about getting up early, is that when folks ask me how I am doing, I can reply, “I’m just tired”. I get up early. People know I get up early. It is a valid excuse for being tired. But getting up early doesn’t make me tired. It’s all the stuff in-between getting up and going to bed.

I’m tired of only being able to sleep on one side of the bed, even though the whole thing is mine anyway. I’m tired of rolling over onto Jim’s side of the bed to turn off the alarm, and having to push his pillow out of the way. I’m tired of laying there on top of it, and wishing it was him instead. I’m tired of having to rely on extra blankets and wearing pajamas to keep the bed warm. I’m tired of making the bed in the morning, and the fact that it is never messed up.

I’m tired of seeing the kitchen look exactly as I left it the night before, and knowing that if I blow off unloading the dishwasher to write down a dream, that no one else will do it. I’m tired of the dog’s hopeful eyes on swimming days, and knowing no one else will take her out. I’m tired of noticing that the gas tank is low in the truck, and figuring out a time when I am not cold and sweaty to fill it.

I’m tired after a really good swim practice when no one notices my new swimming muscles and says “ooh la la”. I’m tired of taking a shower by myself when I designed our shower to have 2 shower heads. I’m tired of shaving my legs, washing my hair, and being the only one to notice or care.

I’m tired of always having to make my breakfast, of eating the pot of oatmeal by myself and having food go moldy in my fridge. I’m tired of having to do all the meal planning , grocery shopping and food prep. I’m tired of not being taken out to dinner or ordering in a pizza on a whim. I’m tired of Steve Forbert and Josh Ritter and a glass of wine being my only company until Jasper gets home from track.

I’m tired of trying to figure out how to parent a teenaged boy when I never was one myself. I am tired of being filled with joy at how incredibly well he is turning out, and not being able to see that joy reflected in Jim’s eyes. I am tired of worrying about what sorts of long-term damage will be done to both of my kids due to losing their dad at a time when they are supposed to be learning about intimacy. I’m tired of not having Jim here to say, “look at them….they will be fine.”

I’m tired of arguing with the insurance company that still hasn’t sorted out what should be claimed on Jim’s policy, what was covered on COBRA, and then figuring out a catastrophic policy with a health savings account. I’m tired of being in charge of all the finances, and figuring out a new budget, of paying all the bills. I’m tired of calling 1-800 numbers and asking them, politely, to remove Jim from their mailing lists, of not so politely telling telemarketers that he is dead.

I’m tired of looking at all of Jim’s gear and trying to figure out what to keep, what to toss, and what stuff is worth if I decide to sell it. I’m tired of planning vacations and river trips and being apprehensive about who will row my boat if I am scared, or drive so I can navigate, or just take charge for a while so I can nap. I’m tired of no one being there to pick up the slack if I just want to escape the responsibilities of home for a while.

I’m tired of cleaning up all the dog poop, doing all the yard work, and being the only one to remind Jasper of his chores. I’m tired of replacing lightbulbs, and batteries, and furnace filters…and needing a ladder to do it. I’m tired of bringing in the paper, sorting all the mail, and filtering all the phone messages. I’m tired of starting to think, “I could do this while Jim does ______”, and then grabbing my bootstraps and doing it myself.

I’m tired of not having enough concentration to read a book, and not being able to tolerate anything heavier than Indiana Jones in a movie. I’m tired of drifting off to sleep alone, and not having anyone to turn out the light and remove the book from my face, or turn off the TV and tell me to go to bed. I’m tired of coming home from dancing after midnight, or a rowdy time with the girls, sneaking into bed, and not having someone wake up and hold me close.

I’m tired of being independent, yet so dependent on my family and friends. I am tired of just wanting be alone when I am in a crowd, and then wanting to lose myself in a crowd when I am alone. I am tired of being compassionate with my “process”, when I just want passion in my life. I am tired of the “deer in the headlights” look when someone new finds out that I am a widow, and I am tired of never knowing exactly what trial or kindness will reduce me to tears.

I am tired of thinking about me when I was used to thinking about us. I am tired of contemplating a future for one instead of my dreams of two. I am tired of being told this is a rare opportunity to start anew, when all I want is the tedious old. I am tired of pretending that everything is OK…because it is not, it is so not OK.

I am just tired.

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5 Responses to Tired

  1. deb says:

    Kathy, this really means a lot. touching and so honest. keep on writing–your words keep me grounded. Deb

  2. Beth waddel says:

    Being a widow majorly sucks, my friend…no doubt about it.

  3. Krista says:

    it is so not OK… but you will be, more and more so each day.

  4. Karen Faunce says:

    I’m just so sorry, Kathie.
    Lots of love, Karen

  5. Dan Cordon says:

    This post really hit home with me because I still remember how quickly things changed for me. It was the inability to watch movies, or even be as compasionate towards others problems/feelings as I would have liked to have been. It was the “who is going to take over all those responsibilities?” and fatigue of trying to keep and operate everything as much like it used to be.

    Self-help books try to tell you that this is an opportunity, and an experience that will make you stronger. They’re just wrong. These experiences make you different, not better, and not necessarily worse. I’m sure you’ll never say “I’m so glad *that* happened to me. Otherwise I would have never discovered my love of badmitten.”

    I do not know you as well as I wish I did. But I know that you are an incredible person, who is surrounded by others like you. That isn’t going to make things feel any easier for you, but hopefully it can make the process a little less bitter at times.


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