The Grief Project: A House Guest and an Open Door

Following her husband’s death, Lore Powell, PRiME contributor, kept a journal she refers to as “The Grief Project.” She is graciously allowing us to share her entries with our readers. You can begin with her first essay here

This past weekend I opened my home to a house guest. We’ll call him “Vegas.” He flew out to visit her and asked if he could stay at my place from Sunday to Monday. My fellow Midwesterners, this is a West Coast thing – no one stays in hotels. If you have a friend of a friend, or know a guy married to your second cousin’s sister, your house is their house. It’s an amazing concept.

I talked to Cece “the wonder dog” before he arrived and begged her to be nice. Please Cece, no barking at him, no peeing on the floor, no growling. Upon his arrival, Cece commenced barking, growling and peeing on the floor. Vegas sat down on the couch and invited her to join him. As they sat together, Cece put her paw on his leg and from that point on, I no longer worried that she would eat him.

Oh, and here’s another West Coast thing, because they are so accustomed to spending time in stranger’s homes, they are the perfect house guest. They know how to make you, as a host, feel comfortable by acting as if a 95 lb. dog on their lap throughout the day and evening is the BEST thing ever. I stopped apologizing and started enjoying seeing Cece’s new love. AND every time I left the room and came back, she would reintroduce me to him by running over to me and looking back at Vegas like, “Look! Look who I found!” Cece didn’t even mind that Vegas started calling her Seabiscuit (Biscuit for short) as a reference to her “horse like” head and body.

Vegas also spent the evening listening to stories about my husband and marriage. Turns out, they had golfed at some of the same courses, have similar interests and, I think, if given the opportunity, would have enjoyed each other’s company; that is, of course, until Vegas expressed a desire and interest in seriously dating me. I think my husband would have been a bit pissed about that one. I imagine he is in heaven now crabbing about tennis being a girlie sport, Vegas’s lack of cigar smoking and the fact that he rarely eats red meat.

Perhaps he breathed a sigh of relief when I explained to Vegas that although his company is always welcome, I need to further explore what it means to be on my own and solely responsible for my happiness. For the first time since I was 19 years old, I’m brave enough to think that it is possible to be single and happy, or at least comfortable with that status. I believe there may have been an unknown curse thrust upon me at birth that does not allow me to sustain a marriage; therefore, I am intent on never marrying again, but I would like to consider myself a vibrant, successful woman who could certainly be a potential partner to some nice guy. Just not yet.

Since my husband died, I’ve felt like pieces of me will never heal. Fragile and broken only begin to describe the loss. It was wonderful to know that I can still appreciate a man’s consideration, a shy smile and a silly nickname for my dog. However, until the time when I begin to feel whole again, Vegas will have to be Cece’s real love and my occasional house guest.