There is no getting around the silence. It's tangible and fraught with emotions. We can dress it up however we wish, but the silence that consumes every corner after our beloveds die is, almost, as palpable as their presence once was.
I'm on the road again, headed to Camp Widow in Tampa, driving PinkMagic. My intention is to stay primarily at military family camps for overnights along the way. I feel more secure on base, and I feel closer to Chuck. Today was my first day of travel, with a late start from Phoenix after running into difficulty with the lights on my trailer. I didn't get far; I'm at Davis-Monthan AFB in Tucson. Quite frankly, everything is so emotional, and Chuck and I had always wanted to come here, so I decided to call an early day.
The stars tonight are quite beautiful, clear-lit and visible way up there in what seems like forever. For a little while, I sat outside on the picnic table with a blanket around me for the chill, just....gazing. Thinking. Wondering about this Odyssey, which is no longer only about honoring Chuck's final request of scattering his cremains at our favorite places, but about creating a new life without him. Part of that creating means attending Camp Widow. It means registering for the flashmob and the Widows Dash. Neither of which I am in any shape to do, physically or emotionally, but that is precisely the reason I need to do them, to push myself.
Dancing with the flashmob will most particularly push every comfort zone. Since Chuck's death I haven't danced, I haven't hooped, I've struggled with yoga and the heart-opening poses. Before he died, any of those activities would have been done joyously by me. And it isn't that I won't allow myself to feel joy in doing them now. Its' that I don't feel joy enough to do them. It just isn't in me.
I expect there will be torrents of soul-wrenching tears when I join the flashmob; I expect it will call up every bit of emotion in me.
What do I expect of this Camp Widow? I don't know. An easing of this devastating grief, perhaps. I can't imagine such a thing but I'm open to it. At the least I'll connect with hundreds of other widow/ers and there is incalculable value in that. I'll make new friends, I'm sure. I'll be able to talk about Chuck.
This widowed grief. Never could I have imagined the down-to-my-toes filling every cell in my body crushing sense of loss and emptiness it would bring me. You can't dress this up as anything other than what it is and I'm not going to lie about it. It's horrifying and devastating every second of every day.
So, I look up at the stars and I wonder and I think about Chuck and this new life without him that I have to create and how unbearable his absence is to me and the long road ahead to Florida, to, I don't know....forever.
And then I stop thinking and I just look up at this starlit sky. My heart can bear nothing more than this moment.
And tomorrow I'll turn the key in the ignition and continue on.