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I am feeling pretty lonely tonight. Possibly I shouldn't have started watching my new box set of Everwood's first season. The first few episodes are especially tough on widows, I would think.

But mainly, I just feel a little let down. Thursdays I don't have any classes, and so I usually stay home and clean and study or go to a bookstore. There is a lot of activity in the office on Thursdays usually, and if I am there I don't get a ton done because of that. But I didn't want to be alone today; I tend to not be as productive as I need to be. And so I put out feelers with several of my classmates yesterday that I have studied with before, and they all said they would call me if they got a chance, and none of them did.

Is there nobody who sees how much I am faking it? My classes this semester are the easiest of any semester in grad school, and I am barely sliding by, skipping classes and turning in homework late. Not even editing papers and exams that I have weeks to prepare. I have done no research at all in seven months, and can't even so much as download a paper before I am so sick of it I want to vomit. And I feel like I am a week away from quitting. I have felt that way all semester. I can live on my social security and interest from the life insurance for quite a while, so I wouldn't even need a job for a while.

I know I am a raw nerve right now. I just feel everything so acutely. I have always been over the top, dive right in, belly flopper, so I don't know that I did anything different with Alisa than I had with Becky way back in the day, but it was emotionally intense for me. That being said, I think I have handled the break-up pretty well. I don't think that is what is bothering me. I'm just alone, and with a four year old who senses more and more how stressed out I am getting, and reflecting it back at me. Katie is having a harder time going to sleep the last ten days or so, and is more clingy than she had been. Complaining of tummy aches more often, which is her complaint when all is not right in her world. And so I am worried about her, too.

I guess I am disappointed in my classmates right now. I thought they would fill the role that Becky's colleagues did in Nacogdoches, and they just haven't. I thought we could meet them for dinner more often, have time for our kids to play together, things that give me a little rest. Becky's colleagues did that so well. But I guess maybe that is small town living, and the less stressful life of professors compared to students. I can turn on the water works and let them see how much I hurt and then they will do those things. But I would rather pretend I was okay, because I am most of the time. How do I distinguish for them when I am asking because I am free and when I am asking because I could really use some help?

I need a kick in the *ss. I need a professor to tell me my work is crap. I know it is; how can they not? I need Becky to steer for me. For years, I knew she had the rudder, and so I could flail away to my heart's content and know that whatever direction I was flailing in was correct because she knew what she was doing. Mainly, I needed the phone to ring today, and it never did.


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Hi, Curtis, I am sorry you are having a hard time right now. Of course you are. Things are hard for you and that's a fact. I cannot presume to know how badly you feel tonight - I am not there yet - but maybe I can suggest, you have to let yourself feel the bad stuff, get through it? And that the night will pass, in time. It always does. I just wanted to say hi and I am sorry. You have so many friends here and elsewhere I am sure. This is just a bad time. It will get better. Bless you, Curtis. Margaret

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i'm sorry to hear that you are hitting such a rough patch...i too cannot presume to really know how you are feeling, but i just wanted to let you know that i'm thinking about you and katie. i'm sorry that your classmates haven't really been the support that you need. some people often get so wrapped up in their own lives that they are oblivious (or rather choose to be ignorant) to everyone elses' cries for help. having people that you are counting on disappoint you really hurts, and i really feel for you on that. what are you studying right now in school? if you really think that a break would be good, don't be afraid to take it. you can always go back and finish. i'm sure katie is picking up on your sense of frustration/sadness/loneliness. kids are really good at doing that. i really hope that you two are keeping the lines of communication wide open. she needs you as much as you need her. that's a pretty strong and special commitment, and relying on each other can only help you through all of this. i'm so sorry that i don't have any real answers to give you...i just wish that i could've called when you really needed that phone to ring. my thoughts and prayers are with you and katie through this post though. and i'm sure many others on the board feel the same way.

God bless,


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Sorry you feel down, but all I can say (you may not like this)

is that it will happen many times and you never know when.

The only way for me when I am stuck with one of those

feelings is asked myself what Mike would tell me to do,

and I start again from there.

Maybe you could do the same and ask Becky for direction!!!!!!!

My phone only rings when some people wants to complain about

their aches and pain and they never think to ask me about my

own, or for medical appointments.

To be alive after the death of a spouse is like living in a cocoon,

we are the one that produce the protective covering without

thinking and people react by retreating in their own life.

You broke out of your cocoon, now you are back in.

Take heart time will come for you to emerge.

Good luck


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Curtis, I am so sorry for the pain you are feeling. Like the others, I cannot even begin to imagine the grief you still feel, and will continue to feel for some time, because I lost my dad, not my spouse, and I know that the grief is different for each relationship.

You have done so amazingly well in the last 6 months. You have kept it pretty well together, I know probably not just for your own benefit, but for Katie's as well. Kids are creatures of routine. She is probably feeling for sadness and frustration, and loneliness. Kids pick up on that stuff pretty well, and take their cues for our behaviors. She will be fine in whatever you do. Maybe for your own sanity it would be better to take a break from school. If you are convinced that your work is lacking and you are struggeling to even concentrate, then by all means maybe a respite would be good for you. Quitting your job though, remember kids like routine, and seeing you not going to work each day might do more harm than good - but this is just my two cents.

What have you decided for the Holiday's this year? I know for me and for my family it is going to be especially hard becuase it is the first as is for you and frankly I am dreading them. Since you have a nice little padding in the account, possibly you should take Katie somewhere special, somewhere you wouldnt have even th=ought about before. A trip of some sorts, just some FUN bonding time between Father and Daughter? And this would be something she is old enough and will remember forever. Again, just suggestions.

We all love you on this board and know this is just another BUMP in the road, it will pass, and life continues - and with a 4 year old - it continues on busily. Take care Curtis, and hug Katie even more that she is being clingy, she may just need to be reassured as she is greiving too.


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I can only imagine your pain. I don't knw what to say except that I know you will pull through. And the reason you will do so is Katie :) There are going to be lots of bumps, but hopefully in time they will smooth out.

I am a big believer in anti-depressants when things get very bad, just throwing that out there in case you would consider it. When my mom was diagnosed, I could not cope with anything and the prozac took the edge off a bit.

Thinking of you all the time and I only hope to hear good things about your fture.

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curtis --

Hang in there.

It will get better.

And thank God you do have Katie to keep you grounded.

I won't pretend I understand,

But I do sympathize.

You know we love you, and I for one have admired the grit

you have shown throughout the last six months.

If it gets too bad, isn't there a friend you could call?

(that's what women do, at least.... find a broad shoulder and kvetch).

God bless and keep you, curtisg.


Prayers always,


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I am so sorry you are feeling down. From what others have said that have lost a spouse, I think your feelings and very normal. It just seems there's just no easy way to get through the tough days - you just get through them. Hopefully, by now, you are feeling a bit better. Sometimes it just helps to get it out like you did with this post.

Hang in there!



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I am doing better today. I didn't get as much done as I should have, but I never do. But Katie had a fun night with my dad for a while and then with me. And when she is happy, it is contagious of course.

I talked with a couple of my classmates today about just how much it would mean to me to study together, and I think that will help. I wish I were doing better, making my days more productive than they are. I feel like I am capable of so much more, and just unable to get at it. I wish we were less of a burden and more self-sufficient. Becky could have done this without so much help. But I am not her, and I can only do what I can do.

I am so incomplete. A song don't have much meaning when it ain't got nothing to say. What she could do was magic, son. All I can do is play.

I know the account in Genesis must be wrong. God must have taken more than a rib from Adam. I feel like 90% of my guts have just been sucked out of my body. A rib I could live without. (Though at my size you'd think I still had plenty to spare.)

I know some think it is too early for me to be dating again, and maybe it is. Maybe it is doomed to fail for a while. (Just how cute is Christina, by the way? I have only seen the doggie. And how attached to New York?) No, it is the sense of incompleteness that drives me into the arena. Maybe I have a lot to offer; some have very nicely said that and I definitely try to hide the neurosis for a while and put the generosity and big-heartedness forward. And I am surrounded by love, but it is not the kind that generates meaning. It is not the kind that steers so I can flail away and know it is productive. It is not the kind that allows me to share the responsibilities. Decisions are mine and mine alone; I can ask advice, but I pick the day care and I pick the bedtimes and on and on and on.

Start with friends, says Becky, and I know it is wise and helpful, but what the hell do I need with more friends? I have plenty of those. I don't mind being Don Quixote and fighting impossible battles and getting knocked on my keister. But I need a Sancho to ride with me. I can spend the rest of my life battling windmills as long as we can pick them out together and pick each other up. Life isn't about outcomes - we are all going to die and every marriage ends in a death or a divorce - but it is about the process. It is about the ride. It is in the journey that there is meaning, not in the destination. But I have no Sancho. Where is she? I'll gladly buy her a mule. (I am nothing if not romantic)

Now I am not being stupid and outwardly desperate. And I won't rush into anything - well, at least not rush into anything any more than usual. And Katie is always the first priority. And I have plenty of friends who will keep me close to the straight and narrow, if not actually there.

Just how cute are you, Christina? We have great Mexican food down here. :wink: I am no prize, but Katie is adorable. Though she is a lousy typist.


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This thread is breaking my heart AND making me smile at the same time. And Becky, I read your message wrong the first time and thought you were saying to check his PMS. :lol:

Curtis, like others have said, I can't presume to say I know how you feel, but I sure do feel for you. I was never much good at that "just staying friends" thing, either -- How do you share just part of your heart when you want to share the whole thing? Some people seem to strike that balance a lot easier and let things unfold more slowly, but I am certainly not one to even suggest how to manage that.

I'm glad you talked with some people about how much it would mean to you to get together to study, etc. -- and I hope they will take you up on that and fill some of the loneliness. You and Katie (and Christina!) are in my thoughts and prayers.


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I think the next time I start dating, it will be easier to go slower, just because I doubt I will have a chance to see her interact with Katie as much as I saw Alisa do that. Because she is her Sunday school teacher, I could incorporate Alisa easily into evenings with us without worrying too much about introducing expectations for Katie. Especially since I often have dinner with women friends (alas, all married). And Alisa and Katie have such fondness for each other. Alisa is an elementary school teacher and a brilliant mother for her own two children. And the quickest way to any father's heart has to be loving his child. (Well, until she is a teenager. Then it becomes the quickest way to any father's firearm, but we'll cross that bridge later.)

But I am a belly-flopper. And I can't imagine that changing. Just not in my nature. I don't follow the rules. One of the scary things is talking to my single friends and classmates, and they are professional daters. God help me if I ever start thinking like them. Every time Deno gives me another rule of dating she has picked up from some book on co-dependence or Mars/Venus or whatever the heck she is reading, I want to barf. (I have long thought I want to write a book called Men are from Earth; Women are from Earth.) I am not going to date looking for friends, and I am not going to go three months before wanting to be exclusive, and so on and so on. (Sorry, 'flake)

I am waiting for e-harmony to e-mail me another deal. In the six weeks since I didn't renew since I was already dating someone, it seems like I got two special offers a week. Now that I want one, there has been nothing for ten days. But there is no particular hurry. I am definitely not doing anything until after my midterm on Wednesday. Speaking of which, I have another hour or so to work tonight before I must sleep ...



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