This woman.Life was the calm and she the storm.Her favorite season. Her favorite holiday.Thanksgiving was her New Year. Thanksgiving was the day she reflected on the last year and told everyone how thankful she was to have made it to see another one.She was thankful she could experience it.She was thankful she survived it.She was thankful....I'm just thankful I got to spend a few of them with her.This Thanksgiving was a New Year of sorts for me. I haven’t been this productive since she passed away. I can’t remember the last time I put time, energy, effort, and passion into something of my own creation since before things started going downhill.I sat up that morning in the loft above my parents’ garage. I let tears flow for a few minutes in reflection and then returned to hiding beneath that impervious shell that made me appear so stronger and holding everything together.New things can be fun and filled with awe and wonder and excitement. They can also be scary...and overwhelming...and stressful.I’m testing waters I’ve never thought to swim in. Being brave doesn’t mean you don’t have fears or worry. Being brave is admitting that you have fears and worries and still walk forward with your decision. So whether it’s a new relationship, a new business venture, or whatever the new “thing” may be that has come into your life...it’s okay to fear and worry and be nervous and overwhelmed.So here I go. I’m not sure what will happen, but here I go.New things do not signify the end of things or people past. One way or another...we carry our past with us. Always.
It’s been a weird week.
It seldom happens to me, not because I think I’m invulnerable to feeling weird or down, but mostly because my mind is too consumed in what I’m doing to pay those emotions any attention.
My mind is a strong one. That’s not me bragging. It’s just true.
But even strong minds have their limits.
This week tested me I suppose. I spent the week observing people, myself included, for the most part.
People are weird. Even other people grieving.
I don’t think that that’s a bad thing, but I think sometimes we forget that at the end of the day, we’re people all the same, with the same character flaws and quirks that we had before we were widowed. Now, we just have an added level of trauma and crazy.
We still take advantage of each other. Use each other for our own personal gain. We lie to each other. We’re capable of disrespect and indifference. We're annoyed by people, even if they’re suffering the same plight we are. We still let each other down.
I stood completely alone in a crowded room. I do a lot of that these days. I suppose I want to feel something, anything, other than what I was feeling.Life has a tricky way of deciding when it will allow us to feel a certain way or not. Some things I feel can be a conscious choice perpetuated into reality. A small lot, however, rears their ugly heads at times you wouldn’t expect.Here I was. Drink in hand. Music playing softly in the background and all the space I would need to dance the night away should I choose to.I don’t know what it was. Perhaps it was the atmosphere of places I used to frequent but at one point I determined I didn’t need to anymore.I had found somebody.Somebody didn’t need a drink to keep me entertained. Somebody didn’t require my medication to keep me focused on them. But somebody wasn’t here anymore.Empty.That’s how I feel.Longing.For something I wish would come, either back to me or anew, but perhaps never will.To my chagrin, I’ve accepted those outcomes.Those unacceptable terms thrust upon me much against my will. A contract I never wanted to sign.Nowadays, it seems I’m working harder than ever before to do everything I possibly can...to feel nothing. Nothing at all.Because nothing would feel more peaceful than the reality I find myself in.
This is a late entry. By design.
I wanted to soak in the entirety of this weekend.
For the first time since Linzi had passed…I’d met an entire group of people with whom I shared a very tragic truth: we had, all of us, lost our loves.
There I stood, talking grief, talking life. Not crying or feeling nostalgic. Not making attempts to console the awkwardness of those around me or having to assuage the numerous, automatic and uncertain responses of “I’m so sorry.”
It just felt…normal. And normal is such a weird word if you think about it. Some attribute it to meaning the average of whatever subject to which it refers, while others base it upon the opinion of the general population. I like to think that the idea of normal is very relative to our own perception of what we believe that word to mean.
To me. This was it.Read more
Part of me is happy Linzi wasn’t here with me in Poland for this trip. Today we visited Auschwitz. It was emotional. It was eye-opening. It was heavy.
I don’t think she could’ve handled it emotionally. She was such a compassionate and loving woman. The pictures of the victims made her look extremely healthy by comparison.
Auschwitz was a mixture of emotions. I found myself in awe of the magnitude of this tremendous event and the true scope of it all. It’s hard to fathom something you’ve only read about it in books. Seeing it in person perhaps isn’t even enough to let it sink in.
There were three times I was caught off-guard, dumbfounded, and with no response other than to let fall the tears down my cheeks with futile attempts to suppress them.
I walked past the pile of prosthetics of disabled veterans, killed by the very country they’d fought for years prior in World War I.
I remember walking past the pile of suitcases and bags, packed by unsuspecting multitudes of people who were told to pack for new settlement, paradise even, via propoganda. I noticed their names were written upon them, along with some letters and various numbers. What they stood for, I could not be sure, but one thing it reminded me of that I often forget when reading about these events:
They had names.
All of them. To me or anyone really they were strangers...but to someone, they were a mother, a father, a sister, a brother, a relative, a close friend, a confidante. They had names.Read more
I am a man of many flaws, one filled with an array of imperfections. In some eyes, I shouldn’t be standing yet here I am. Doing so.
I thought about Linzi. About how much she wanted to be a mother to that beautiful little girl asleep in the other room as I write this. I thought about what she would’ve wanted for her.
I thought about all of the conversations that we’ll never have to discuss her future. To discuss if my response to certain situations are the right ones. If I’m being too hard on her. If I’m not showing her enough attention or affection.