Life After Emilee Logo | Neal Klein honoring his wife after losing her to pancreatic cancer
Life After Emilee Logo | Neal Klein honoring his wife after losing her to pancreatic cancer
Life After Emilee Logo | Neal Klein honoring his wife after losing her to pancreatic cancer

Rings, Connections, Lonely, Letting Go, Anal Cancer

Hi… Liz..My latest imaginary friend…perfect for today… (site name and patient names are fictitious)

You friended me on PWAC?  I just, over last few days, had some issues and said I would not post there anymore.  But I did bop on there and grab your name and read your last post…about your husband. I wanted to read the rest of your posts, but I did not. I pissed off some people…actually I frightened some, pissed off some, a combo platter…I attempted to get media attention for a patient named Ariel… and in so doing I used her post and her profile info and I scared some people who felt I was a threat to their feeling safe on PWAC, and I pissed off some just because…

Because they wanted to be pissed off and don’t like anal humor, because they don’t think anyone should be humorous and laugh about asses, because anal cancer is not funny. Well, it just so happens I agree that anal cancer is NOT funny, but I happen to find anal humor funny at times. Yes, sometimes I have to wipe ……. The egg off my face… and sometimes… I just get wiped out…. And sometimes, the whole thing just blows, especially when the diarrhea is totally uncontrollable. Stuff like that.

They could not get past the tragedy and suffering to have a chuckle at it all. And no, it is not my ass on the line, but my ass may not be the smartest ass, maybe not at the head of the class, but not wiping up behind either. Oh well, what is the word…immature?…sometimes…adolescent?  sometimes… but not …..uhhh…again…the word….trying to be purposefully hurtful in any way, not malicious or vindictive. In bad taste? I don’t know…some people liked the humor, and enjoyed a laugh or two.

If you can’t laugh at your own sh*t, what can you laugh at? Em and I would laugh at times at how we had to, at certain times during her ordeal, plan our short driving excursions around bathroom locations. Ok, 3 minutes or 4 or 5 to the next bathroom stop…will we make it there? Must be a place with the bathroom in the FRONT of the place…dunkin’ donuts…depends on which one… and no that was not a depends joke. Bed, bath, and beyond…good place on all counts…in front, and clean, usually.

And the person I tried to get the media attention for, she liked anal jokes and humor. Yes, diversity is a good thing. But, (notice how there is frequently a but) I need to be around people who can laugh fairly easily. And snorting is perfectly fine. As a matter of fact, at the christening we had a conversation about this, and I bonded with this man, cause we both snort when laughing heartily. It was verrrrrrrrrrrrrrrry funny.

Hi Liz,

I am Neal. You friended me. That is cool. I would like to friend you back, even though I only read one of your posts. Which, I believe was your last post, and that was a year and a half(?) ago??? I would like to read the others if you would send them. Must have been the ones before he (your husband) died. I would like to see where you are at, at the current time. As you already know about the waves, and the intensity and the frequency, and that they never completely stop. They just don’t last as long not usually as strong, but sometimes they are. Grief waves I am referring to.

Me? Yesterday was 6 months. I very much need to make some friends. I am not used to that, having to make friends, since I had but one friend, for 17 or so years, but although I like my independence, I want some companionship. And yes, I am lonely. Intensely and deeply, at times.

You are a stranger, but I guess I need to talk, and maybe you do as well, and that is why you friended me. We shall see.

I was so taken in a couple of weeks ago by an online scammer, but that is another story…humorous and pitiful in retrospect. Shameful too. What a powerful emotion. Shame. Intense. All out of loneliness.

Okay…I have had a ring of one kind or another on my left hand fourth finger, for 17 or so years. I took off my wedding band like 4 months ago because it is too tight. I seem to have taken on this water that is stubborn to get rid of. I put hers (Em’s, short for Emilee) on my fifth finger. We have the same one, with an inscription that says, “I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine”, written in Hebrew. I put her spin ring on my fourth finger, left hand since it was the place where it fit and it felt good there and it kept me from feeling naked by keeping a ring on that finger.

The spin ring has her and my name and her daughter Courtney and son Matthew’s names on it. I took it off two days ago, because I am wondering if it keeps women away by leaving a ring there. I am starting to go to things like yoga/walking on the beach, swing dance at Yale, short hikes, etc, because I like doing those things, and also want to make some friends who share some interests. I should find a singles singing group….lol…. I love to sing.

More about singing…and writing. Started writing when Em died. Been writing ever since. And like writing poetry as well…with rhyme and without. I starting going to this verrrrrrry informal singing group that meets at Smilow Cancer hospital/Yale every other week. Just for fun, sometimes we sing in the lobby of the hospital after we warm up, one time for the kids on the cancer floor (that is my LOVE, my favorite…while it breaks breaks breaks my heart, I love distracting them for a few minutes with my silliness and performing and engaging them in some way). Sometimes we just sing in our own little group of 4 or 5. One plays guitar, I do as well but not so hot, I play harmonica a little, and love to sing, did I mention that…. I love to sing?  lol

So, my finger, the fourth on the left hand, is now naked. Will it make any difference? Who knows?…Add it to the list of things to which I do not know the answer. (I fixed this sentence to be proper grammar, I had the “to” at the end and like it there better, but sometimes I go by the rules, and sometimes…NOT.)

Yes, I can be quiet and listen. I was going to say shut up, but I never really liked that expression….fermez la bouche…..sounds better in french…. for some reason, when someone says shhhhhhhhhhh or shut up…..instead of “quiet for a minute”….. I have to calm an anger nerve… and fight the urge to say…no….YOU shut up…. not sure why…. I will look at that at some point.

Oh…so you are on the receiving end of rambling brain at the moment? Thrilled yet???

Happy birthday belated to July. My dad’s was the 10th, he would have been 94. He died at 43. Em is in August, the 24th. Today is the first day of her birthday month. I used to write a note every day leading up to and after her birthday…all month.

I just got dinged that I do not have the correct email for you and so, this note awaits your getting in touch with me. HA, very funny Em.

That won’t stop me…I will copy and save this.

The ring, the naked finger. Emotions? Yes. I just let go. Of my rock, my life preserver, a piece of what grounds me. For what? I don’t know yet. For the chance of meeting someone and connecting. For some companionship. For some intimacy, NOT FOR A COMMITMENT at this time. No. Friends, deep friends is okay. Maybe more, maybe much more, but can’t say at this time. Need someone to share stuff with however, wherever that leads it will lead. Here are a few words I wrote this morning on hanging on and letting go.

This I posted on Em’s facebook timeline page:

This is the first day of your birthday month…when I was being really good, I would have a card for just about every day …. I was not always that good…. I did try…. but this is the first day…. so HAPPY FIRST DAY OF YOUR BIRTHDAY MONTH…… you would have been 62 this year….ohhh sh*******t I mean 39…..damn…. always…..always…..39…not a day over….yes dear…. I remember…..39….39….39….never older….. lol…standing joke…. never more than 39 candles…. so…. this year it will be your 39th birthday…. well…. happy birthday month…. and yes… I will do my best to remember … a little something every day….

I know the butterflies in the garden…and the bumble bees on the butterfly bush…. they all have your name on them… thanks for all the signs… It is a real juggling act to let go and to hold on…. the image comes to mind of the person being rescued by the coast guard …the person that has been clinging on to some object for dear life that has been keeping them alive….and then in order to get picked up by the rescue basket that is dangling next to them, they have to let go of the rock….or the life preserver ….or whatever they have been holding onto…. (I cried when Tom Hanks lost his friend Wilson, a soccer ball with a face drawn on it, after being his companion for a couple of years; I cried over a soccer ball…Watching sad movies with me can be a trip…tissues a plenty.)

They have to let go in order to grab onto the basket that will carry them up to the helicopter and to safety….but they have to let go….. and have faith…there is that moment in between…that moment of floating in space neither here nor there… there is this tug of war that goes on….. letting go and floating, you have to let go in order to connect somewhere else…. you have to let yourself float away from the rock for a while in order to hold onto something else…….. maybe you don’t want to hold on…maybe you just want to float with someone else…. so many metaphors… so much floating and drifting….

And the basket is there… for rescue ….. do you want to be rescued… are you really going to drown…maybe you need to practice swimming… maybe you need to thrash around in the water…. is the water scary or friendly or both…so many uncertainties and so many questions… yes, I know how to swim… a little out of shape, but I can swim…. I am a strong swimmer…but never ever underestimate the potential power of nature…she is stronger…and don’t forget it… always respect that… be humble…be true to yourself…. and what the hell am I talking about ……?????? beats me…. just rambling on….

I had a dream last night…..scary dream…..someone with a huge shears….like a nightmare size pruning shears, trying to stab me with it….. I did this ninja type side step and turned my body so the blade slid just missing my torso and I grabbed the man and using his momentum I shoved him hard into the cave wall just beyond where we were standing and his head….ok….I spare you the details….. he was definitely done…DONE…

A very …how shall I say…a very empowering dream…. I sidestep, turn, and defeat the enemy…who is larger than I, stronger, darker and evil, …….and then I am outside on the shoreline, asking someone else if there are any more of those evil beings, those monsters…. and as far as we know at the moment, that is the only one, and that one is dead…totally dead…… beyond resurrection….

And we can breathe more easily now, and relax a little, because there is no one trying to GET US anymore. We finally feel free, although not all at once because we have been living in fear a long long time…it is not so easy to just let it go in a moment, but slowly, we can let it go, and feel safe again…. welcome to my dream, my brain, my thought and feelings for a little while….. and happy first birthday day Emilee.

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How am I doing for a lighthearted how do you do? Just light and surfacy. Oh, my brother was July 24. I met Em on July 7. I am in September. First week.

So, I am willing to let go and swim in the pool of…possibilities? Pool of something…lol. Music, songs, dancing, writing songs, writing about life, poetry, cognizance of time of conscious living, of being authentic as I can, of letting my real self open up and live, and laugh a lot, and love as much as I can….all that is around me… people, but also the butterflies, and the flowers, and everything else that touches my senses and helps to make me feel alive, and I love connecting with my grandchildren….

They keep me very present…and I adore that and adore them, and it brings out my child and my spontaneity. The most recent are my younger son and daughter-in-law’s (but she feels closer all the time, and I adore her), and are 7 months, Anderson, and 2 years old + 2 months, Kennedy. On Long Island. Just a ferry ride away. I take the Bridgeport to Port Jefferson Ferry, which saves stress and drive time, but is probably a touch longer in time. Much more pleasant though.

I will go water the hanging flower pots and all those that do not get hit by the sprinkler system.

Yes…there is the feeling of should I be looking for human companionship? Am I betraying Em in some way? Is someone going to think less of me for having a female friend? Will I soon forget her? NO. Do I care what someone else thinks? Well, I do not want to lose the respect of my step daughter. My sons are old enough, they will be happy with whatever makes me happy. My older grandchildren, 6 and 10? They will ask, I will talk about it, when the time comes.

Right now we talk about how MIMI leaves signs around the place and in the world. Her earings wander under the bed and on the living room floor, and a sign at the big plant nursery says “Gazanias 20% off” ….no fricking body knows what those are except me…lol….gazanias….ha…. I plant them in the window boxes…and the nursery was out of them two months ago…. What they are doing with them now is beyond me… it was a sign …on a sign… verrrrrrry funny Emilee.

The baby christening was very nice. The restaurant where we had lunch was very good food. And the time back at their house was very laid back and a lot of fun talking to people. The ferry ride back was smoother than going there (3-4 ft waves on Long Island Sound). I fell asleep for the entire boat ride back.

The plants are calling. Have to see if flutter, the butterfly is out there today. And buzbee, the bumble bee. They like to hang on the butterfly bushes.

Neal Klein
Life After Emilee, on the loss of my wife to pancreatic cancer. I’m not accepting comments right now but please feel free to get in touch via my Contact page.

 

 

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