As of very early this morning, it has been one month since my wife died.
These have been by far the hardest thirty days of my life, much worse than the time after the death of my father (which was very hard). I don’t know what the experience of divorce is like, since I’ve only been married once. Maybe it’s as bad as this. And I don’t know what it’s like to lose a spouse about whom one had been ambivalent — I had never been ambivalent about Dymphna. All I know is the depth of how much I miss her.
My goal is to keep this site running in more or less its accustomed form. To some extent the American side of the news will be lacking — Dymphna and I divided our functions more than a decade ago: I specialized in European affairs, and she specialized in the USA. I’ll be looking at American issues in attempt to make up for the lack of my better half, but I won’t be able to watch the number of videos she watched. For the last few years of her life she absorbed her information mostly through videos, since she could watch those on her little tablet while sitting up in bed.
[To see a chilling video that Dymphna would almost certainly have posted if she were around, check out this excerpt from Tucker Carlson’s program (hat tip JLH), which features an interview with Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL).]
The main problem for me right now is that I don’t really want to do anything. I feel an obligation to keep Gates of Vienna going, obviously, and I know that going to work every day — which is effectively what this is — will eventually enable me to pass through the worst of my grief. The landscape around me looks bleak and uninviting, but I expect that to change gradually as I maintain my routine over the next few months.
Writing about my misery from time to time will probably also be helpful. Putting these things down in words makes me think about them carefully, and thus gain a better understanding of what’s happening.
In a different context Wallace Stevens wrote (in “The Lack of Repose”):
And not yet to have written a book in which
One is already a grandfather and to have put there
A few sounds of meaning, a momentary end
To the complication, is good, is a good.
There’ll be no book from all of this, just a series of occasional jottings.
They say you can get used to anything. Over the past six years I’ve gotten used to the occasional injections that I have to receive in my left eye to prevent a recurrence of wet macular degeneration. It’s a horrible experience, but I got used to it.
I had one of those injections this afternoon, the first one since Dymphna died. That’s why I’m not doing much this evening.
But I don’t know if I can get used to the absence of my wife. I’ll just have to wait and see.