Stream of Life

Some weeks I feel like I’m just going to repeat myself. Because some weeks, nothing much changes. Nothing changes in how much I miss Mike, and nothing changes in how many changes I’m seeing happen in my life. I can’t stop it. Time is hurling itself forward at an increasingly rapid pace…at least, that’s how it seems, some days.


After over a month of waiting, I finally got my new car. You may remember a couple of months ago my post about losing my Subaru, the car Mike and I bought together over a decade ago. So this new thing is bittersweet. I felt so excited, and totally blessed, to be in the position to acquire a new vehicle, thanks to help from family and budget planning.  A decision to have something safe, reliable and under good warranty was made as a result. I nervously drove it out of the harbor here on the island after its ocean journey, all covered with salt but gleaming in its newness nonetheless. As I drove it back home I was imagining Mike being in the driver’s seat instead of me. I was imagining the excitement we would have shared…I was imaging his childlike awe of all the new bells and whistles…but here I am. Another milestone of a sort happening in this after-world I find myself in.


Another change…and the thought again that the fact that my life is changing daily before my eyes is not going to change. And he is not here to share any of it.


He is not here to support me, to talk and laugh with me, to encourage me, to drive with me in this beautiful place he loved so dearly…all I have is the memory of how he was.


I am reminded that I do not go unloved. I have dear family and dear friends in my life. Some friends are new since Mike’s death…yes, some of the old have faded away…but I do still have love and support, and for that I consider myself to be very lucky. Yes, the musician is important…let me tell you, it is so lovely to have someone around to look forward to seeing. Who cares what you are doing, who asks how your day was. Yes. I do not want to belittle that in any way. But some of you might understand…it will never be the same. What I have now is good…but it is not the same. It is, in fact, very different indeed. You can’t replace people. It doesn’t work that way. And there will always be triggers to my grief despite it. But love from any source is still a very good thing.


I woke the other morning from a dream of Mike…he was dead in my dream and I was sobbing uncontrollably…I’ve had dreams like that before and wake up with my face full of real tears. This time though, no tears. When I woke up it took me awhile to grasp the fullness of the emotion I had felt in the dream…to remember once again, he really is dead. That seems so hard for my brain to fathom, still. And it took that long moment for my life now to come crashing down around me as I looked around my room with pictures of him, paintings I had done at his inspiration…and then, the many other knickknacks and items I’ve acquired since. Changes I can’t change.


Life is a constant stream of old and new. Since Mike died I’ve cleared out an enormous amount of things from this house. And acquired new things too. It doesn’t stop. I keep clearing, things keep coming. Clothes, cars, books…but I realized I still have food in the freezer from when he was still alive. I have cleaning supplies in the garage that he bought. There is still water in the bottle he used attached to his bicycle. I found an old script from one of his shows in the back of his truck the other day. I left it in there after staring at it in shock for a long minute.


I have the emergency kit he bought me for the Subaru safely tucked away in the new car. I went through it again the other day and laughed at some of the little things he included for me. A headlamp flashlight. A small bottle of wine. As if I would be broken down and needing hands free light and sustenance in the middle of nowhere. That was Mike for you.


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  • Stephanie Vendrell
    commented 2015-11-12 14:08:36 -0800
    Thank you Stephen…Mike would have agreed with you, love being the one true constant…
  • Stephen Hochhaus
    commented 2015-11-12 05:18:01 -0800
    Yes Stephanie when new replaces old it’s an emotional thing for us no matter how you look at it. Kathy use to say “change is good” but my perspective became quite a bit different after she was gone. I couldn’t bear to change a thing for it might erase the memory. But, things wear out. I knew it would happen and things break. I could see that coming. It doesn’t change the future wishing to hold on to the past. The future comes just the same. One day her car that we bought two weeks before the cancer found us will wear out too. “Never meant to last”, Jimmy Buffett. Unless you refer to true love, the one constant in the universe.