When my husband was alive he was constantly on the computer. He was part of a broadband group that discussed computers and life. I always shook my head and wondered how he could spend so much time chatting with people he never met. “Come on,” I tried to coax him to watch TV. “In a bit,” he’d wave me off as he continued to hit the keys. Later, rather than sooner, he'd appear to sit with me.
After his death, I wrote to one of the broadband members, an older woman he wrote to off group and told her my husband had died. He had been ill, but he was up and mobile and had written to the group two nights before. She posted my e-mail on their site. I was a little mortified, I thought she would just put out the word, not send my words out. The messages I received back from all those members warmed my soul. I suddenly understood my husband's passion for this group. They had all become tightly connected. His photo is on their website in memorandum. It came together for me and I got it. I was so happy he had those friends who cared for him and relied on his expertise on their problems.
Because my husband was private, I did not put a death announcement in the local paper. Nor did I have a ceremony. He would not have wanted it and his friends had become few due to some business mishaps. Yet that e-mail that circulated to the members of that group brought me more comfort than any other condolences sent to me by people who knew him personally.
It hit me yesterday, as I was working on my blogs, that I am as addicted to the computer now as he was then. I have my widow/dog blog that talks about daily life with six dogs and promotes my upcoming book. Then a few weeks ago I started a second blog to celebrate my love of antiques and jewelry making. That blog to reconnect with my old antique buddies from the days I did shows and sold on Ebay.
Posting on my blogs late at night makes me feel alive. I have friends I’ve never met who want to know what I’m doing. I chat with them as I would on a phone call with my best friend. I have a place to be when darkness falls and I am lonely.
I write something witty about the day and then hit publish. Suddenly I am not alone. Yes I have the company of six dogs by my side but it is human contact that I am missing. I am addicted now to writing late at night. I write on my blogs and I write my essays. Writing has given me a purpose where I thought I had none. The title of wife gone. The energy of another human in the house with me at night the missing ingredient to make me feel whole. Now I create my own energy and laugh as I blog about my dogs or my last bad date. Someone, somewhere will be reading my crazy thoughts.
Realizing I am now like my husband was when he spent hours on the computer brings a smile to my face and I feel connected to my past. I understand the pleasure he got from his online friends and I am so happy he had those wonderful folks to talk with.
None of my friends get it. They wonder why I am always looking for e-mails, writing on my blogs. They do understand my book. The computer has become my friend. The written word my new beau. I can open my heart and send out my thoughts and someone somewhere will hear me. The act of writing more satisfying than anything else I do (with the exception of dog kisses). Making me feel alive, connected, even if my words spin unheard in the universe, I have sent out my heart and wait to see what the universe will bring back.