Sick, Clothes and Backwards

The last two days I've been sick. 
Fever. 
I found myself lying in my bed, the wrong way. 
Backwards (head where my feet usually are, feet where my head usually is) 

The fever is making me feel backwards. 

I'm preparing to move from the house the kids, Art and I have been in for 6 years. (Huh. The kids and I have been here for six, Art only 4.) It means going into his closet and getting rid of the rest of his clothes. The ones that no longer smell like him. It means going into the attic and going through the ones I put away for the kids and this time asking them what they want to keep. 

I am at peace with this idea. 
Settled. 
OK 
Ready. 
That feels backwards. 
"They" said I'd know when the time was right to get rid of the clothes, to take down one of the photos. I couldn't imagine there would ever be a "right" time in his wrong death. 
But without looking for it, it has arrived. 

The time is right. 
There is peace and gratitude in letting more of him go... 
or 
is it the fever? 

------ 
Post from 
August 27, 2009
4 months after Art died. 

8_28_11.JPGYesterday, I took Art's remaining clothes out of the closet. I divided them into the one's I want to keep and the ones to give away. Today I drove them to the Mission in downtown LA. Some tall homeless person with size 14 feet will finally have clothes and shoes that fit him.

Yesterday, I took down the get-well cards friends, co-workers, family members and students had sent him. This wall reflects me.

 

 

8_28_11_1.JPGI am that wall. I am empty, vacant, not complete. I am not surprised at the depth of the grief, just disappointed in it. I am surprised at how quickly I begin to hyper ventilate, and how powerless I feel. I can't talk, even though I wanted to call a friend. 

I think we are fine and then it hits, the wave and I swear that I will drown. And I cry so deeply and so completely that my whole body gets involved. I shake and feel nauseous. I force my breath. My nose quickly fills. My head aches, my arms tingle. My feet move rhythmically back and forth across the sheet. I hold myself, I let go. I punch his pillow. I hold myself again.

I know I need to call someone. Anyone. But what will I say? What is there to say? I don't want to be cheered up, I don't want to be soothed. I want to be held, to be allowed to grieve, with the noisy blows from my bulbous red nose and with the lines of tears from my swollen eyes. 

I don't want anyone to tell me it'll be ok because right now, it's not. I want someone to wrap their arms around me, to sit with my pain, to stroke my hair and my back. To NOT say "shhhh." To cry with me even. No judgment, no better world. Just this grief here and now. 

Tomorrow is my 45 birthday. 

---- 
August 28, 2011 

Today is my 47th birthday. 

I am in awe at how different I feel, strong, relaxed and ok with my widowhood. It is a feeling I can't describe, the opposite of the black hole of grief (which is equally indescribable). I'm content, at ease, peaceful words that three years ago I couldn't even understand let alone feel. 

Today I cried, not from sadness but from relief and gratitude. I'm OK, but for the grace of God and time, I'm OK!!!! 

 


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