Last night, Mike and I went to a concert. It was a surprise I gave him, to see one of his favorite bands. The entire night was incredible… one of those magical nights you remember forever. The joy in Mike’s eyes was palpable. No one had ever surprised him with such a wonderful gift before he said, and you could just feel the joy and love radiating from him all night. It was a beautiful evening. We had lawn seats at this outdoor arena. Not only was every song amazing and the energy of the crowd amazing, but there were songs from this band that I’d never heard before that slammed into my heart with such deep emotion. They went right to the core of me and touched something so very deep...
Most will forget the way you wore your hair and your favourite items of clothing. They will forget your tattoos and the way you smelt when you drenched yourself in cologne or perfume. They will forget the way you walked, the way your body moved among theirs, they will forget your movements. Yes, all of your mannerisms. They will forget the sound of your voice.
In time without realising, they will forget your unforgettable face. A photo of you will make them close their eyes and think of you. Try to remember you, your face. It becomes an image of bits and pieces, pieces that don’t quite fit together the way they did when you were here. No doubt they will feel the pain of your loss, but its pain that most will forget. Most will go from thinking of you every day, to eventually only thinking of you twice a year. On your birthday and on the day you died. For a while though they will think of you and remember you when something reminds them of you. For a little while they will miss you.
After my husband died, I spent a whole lot of time grieving. And existing. And just trying to breathe. In and out. Sometimes more in than out. Sometimes hyperventilating. Sometimes forgetting that oxygen is a thing.
Make it through that hour, that minute, that day. Whole lot of time spent sitting in his car that I was left with, in the university parking lot, wondering how the hell I was going to get out, walk into that building, and teach 4 classes. Dreading all the questions from the clueless but well-meaning people. Listening to the whispers in the hallways: "That's her. That's the professor whose husband dropped dead." Getting dizzy from all the tilted heads, showing their pity and their sorrys at me, as I tried to stare anywhere except directly into their eyes.
I spent a whole lot of time in grief counseling offices, trying to find someone that made some sort of sense when they talked. Someone who wouldnt just throw cliches at me, tell me it was time to "move on", or try and "fix me" with a pile of pills and meds. I wasnt interested. I somehow knew that I needed to live and sit inside the darkness, in order to ever see some light. I knew that pain was something that would be at the nucleus of my core for awhile. I knew that I had to process every nook and cranny, dissect every corner of his death, in order to gain any peace. I don't know how I knew these things, but I just knew.