My Wife Died Eight Years Ago Today.

Nance
7 min readDec 8, 2021

I killed her. I mean, the doctor who did whatever it was they did with the machines actually did whatever it was that caused her to die, but I was the one who made the choice, so yeah. She had so much brain damage that it wasn't really a difficult choice, aside from how existentially difficult it was to make. I was going to put a picture of her up for this blog post, but going through old photos was really hard, so I stopped. There's porn of us somewhere on the internet if you're a fuckin pervert and really need to see what she looked like; I don't know where it is, we didn't upload it but had a laptop stolen in a burglary and some of our sexy time videos made their way to the dot coms. I saw some several years ago, and had an administrator take it down, but I'm confident there's still some out there. And yes, I was searching specifically for it, but I stopped doing that shortly after I found it because it was just really fuckin macabre.

So, now that I've offended or creeped out or disgusted you, dear reader, I'll get to the thoughtful blog post I'm about to write.

I haven't got a haircut in two months. I used to go twice a month, to keep my shit lookin fresh, but I started having severe panic attacks in the barber's chair, so I've put that on hold for a bit. The last time I went I thought I was good to good, I was all happy and shit, until I started thinking about having a panic attack, and then I had a panic attack. It's really fucking embarrassing to have a panic attack like that, which just makes everything worse, not everybody really gets it, and trying to explain to people who don't know firsthand just makes you sound like a pitiful moron, or at least it feels like it. I had to act like I was super hungover and needed to take a break for ten minutes before I could finish my haircut, then I went and sat in my car for half an hour afterward, hating myself and everything around me and feeling like a fuckin twelve year old who just got punched in the stomach and thrown in a trash can and made fun of for not even having lunch money to take.

So, I'm growing my hair out. And, I'm growing my beard out too! I look like shit. More importantly, however, I feel like shit, but that's not new, so fuck it.

When I met my late wife I had a beautiful bowl cut, longish bleached-blonde and Kool-Aided-green hair draped over the shaved sides of my head and tops of my ears like little curtains of punk rock confidence. I was like four feet tall, awkward as fuck, probably smelly, and really fuckin shy. I still remember meeting her that first time, I was wearing a bright yellow shirt and her best friend came over and told me "my friend thinks you're cute." I had no idea how to respond, it was the first day of seventh grade, and one of the cool eighth-graders had just shattered my frame. If you've ever seen that Godsmack CD that's red, I think, with the girl's face on it, that's what she looked like, cool and sexy and intimidating; and I looked like one of the poor kids from The Sandlot that didn't make it on screen because I was too sad. I went over to where she was standing, but obviously I didn't say or do anything. And that's where the memory fades, I don't know exactly what happened next, but by that Friday she told me she was my girlfriend.

We "dated" for two glorious weeks. Then her ex beat me up and they got back together. We spent the next few years meandering in-and-out of each other's lives, and eventually we got married and made babies, also a lot of memories, also mistakes and accomplishments.

I was thinking earlier about how much I hate myself. I think about that a lot, so it's not like I'm extra sad or anything, but I did kinda trip myself out a bit thinking about the thingsI've done in my life, and all the things I still want to do.

My late wife loved the shit outta me. I think I never fully understood how much or why, because I have always been insecure and unsure of myself and relied, heavily, on external feedback and validation to form my sense of self. We all do that, but I'm pretty sure I cross the line into dysfunctional, maladaptive codependency, but that's pretty much the boat we're all in nowadays anyway, and I've found that really all it takes to get up out of the funk bubbles I trap myself in is some serious self-reflection and a little bit of hard work. I loved the shit outta her too, and all was well with the cosmos. At least things were well enough that we, like, had a comfortable life and shit, and we were working toward our shared goals. The thing that tripped me out was remembering that, while I have always had a hard time with myself, being myself and accepting myself and doing something worthwhile with myself, my wife always loved me and believed in me, whatever that means, and wanted me to do all the things I so foolishly wanted to do myself.

Back when we met I was still coming into myself, and she was pretty instrumental in that. After I finished puberty and stopped watching Power Rangers I became a punk rocker, and a lot of things became important to me. I started really caring about the state of the world and the conditions of the people in it, all the genocides and oppression and exploitation and bigotry that comprise the status quo. I read Noam Chomsky and Michael Parenti, then discovered Huey Newton and the real Martin Luther King, not the defanged, polite one they like to teach about, and from there I read Marx and Kropotkin and Bakunin, and finally moved on to Derrida and Foucault and Benjamin and Marcuse and the other freaky European sodomizers (oops, misspelled philosophers). All that shit really mattered to me, and I thought I would grow up and join the fight.

Then we started growing our family, and money became less an abstract idea and more a thing directly correlated with things like a house and clothes and soup for our family. I thought I was just young, silly and idealistic, and that everybody went through that phase, and that part of growing up was forgetting about revolution/anarchism/socialism/communism/leftism/giving a shit. I thought that it was okay to just go to work and push all that out of my immediate awareness, I thought we were going to do a feel-good story and everything would be fuckin awesome.

Turns out the fucks at Lego lied, nothing is awesome. I don't want to get lost in the weeds, you can read about the sudden and unexpected death of my wife and the ensuing deterioration of my family, my soul, elsewhere on my blog. Or, just watch a fuckin Hallmark channel feel-good movie but turn it off before the resolution and imagine things got worse.

It was difficult trying to fit back into a world I felt I never belonged in in the first place. When we were growing and raising our family we were members of a team, Team The Best Team actually. When everything disintegrated it became me against the world again, and that's a scary feeling. I have spent the last several years paralyzed with fear and doubt and anxiety. I have spent the last several years learning how to be a person again, learning who I am. It hasn't been easy or pleasant or all that successful, but right now I feel kinda good about things. It feels good to remember that my wife loved me. Me, not the person I want to be or the person I think I am or that I'm supposed to be. She loved me, and cared about all those silly, idealistic things I cared about, and remembering that almost feels as if she's giving me permission to keep caring about all that shit and keep trying to do something worthwhile.

That's all, that's the end of it.

I apologize for the low quality of this, I’m writing it on my phone at four am from the bathtub. That’s a joke that probably very few people will get, but there it is anyway. It’s actually almost dinner time, and I’m sitting in my car in a parking lot, but I am using my phone, and I’m not gonna proofread this. Thanks for dropping by, and thanks even more for sticking around! I appreciate your time and attention, and I hope you’ve found something you appreciate as well!

--

--