The hardened life.

Family hug, 1996

A sad declaration, written in my journal when I was just sick and tired of being sad and tired.

  I have been forced to stand on my own, to define and empower myself as a single unit rather than part of a pair. I have had to take responsibility for things I could get away with not doing, have had to be much more practical and unsentimental about things. Sentimentality is too powerful an emotion to bear now.

The life I define for myself is leaner, stripped down, less indulgent. Like a hard mattress, a rough blanket, a single pillow. In some ways, many actually, this is good for me. I feel more confident, more in control of the edges of my life, less anxious about the next shoe dropping. But my life is a lot less rich and beautiful. My harder, rational side is unmitigated by the gentle flirtations of love. And, while my heart is still here, still beats, is still capable of love, I fear it is also smaller and harder and less romantic.

Patti’s death has changed me forever. Just as Patti’s life did.

This fear has passed, but the memory lingers on.

11 thoughts on “The hardened life.

  1. Why didn’t I realise that when he was here It was all about me? Now I realise he was the best of both of us and now he’s gone I am much less than a half.

  2. I just received your book from Amazon – really looking forward to reading it.
    I have enjoyed and been inspired by all your other books.
    S

  3. There’s a bit of ice that’s hardened on the bare stems of the bare trees. Inside myself are several hardened personalities that have lost interest in connection to the rest of life. So many people live within each of us, some romantic, some turned to stone. I think I’ll try to find a beautiful statue today to draw, something sensual but made of granite, bronze or marble, because, as you said, every day matters — as well as every manifestation of ourselves that we harbor during this mysterious, painful and beautiful life.

  4. Please know that your thoughts and writings give me strength. I to am now a single unit after so much time as a pair. Your words today help me to stand with an unbowed head. My best to you.

  5. I feel like that after divorce after a 29 year marriage…except I’m not sure about the part about being capable of falling in love..I might have truly lost that. Your book crosses over into many kinds of grief. I’m going to order another copy of your book. I’m giving my copy to my sister whose husband died just over a year ago.

  6. I remember after Neil’s death I couldn’t shake the idea that the best part of my life was now behind me. That I had given the best years to Neil and it would be a strange, long, lonely decline into old age. One day I stopped, rebelliously (my life’s been like that), and thought, what if that’s bullshit? What if the best years were actually ahead of me? Years that I couldn’t even imagine? And not long after, my beautiful Jim came into my life. I was right. As amazing/ stressful/wonderful as my life had been with Neil, in my 50s, I learned to be even happier than I’d ever been.

  7. Danny…it’s been a long while since I’ve commented on your blog. My mom gave me your memoir book recently. My wife of 30 years died about a month after you lost Patti. The post above really hit home…especially the last line. It’s been tough lately, after I recently ended a new relationship that was the first time since I lost my wife, that I experienced “being in love” again. Things were just not working, and I had to let it go…and now the loneliness creeps back to center stage. Just want to say that your honesty has always kept me going forward. And I am so glad that you have again found someone special for your life…it gives me hope.

  8. Warren, so glad to hear you are inspired. So sorry about the false start with love after your wife’s passing. I think it’s harder for men to be alone than women, but at least you were willing to try. I’ve known friends…widows and widowers… who were way too frightened to fall in love again. It was just too hard to become someone different than they were with the past loved one. For me, even after three + years, I had a hard time shaking the feeling of guilt. Like I was betraying my husband! I’m so very happy for Danny’s happiness, too! How awesome!!

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