I’ve noticed this past week how very loud my grief is in relation to all the other bits that make up the person of Stephanie. We all have our memories, milestones, accomplishments, regrets…all the things we did and that happened to us, combined with the sorts of personalities we are, making us the people we are now. But when you have this experience of your husband dying right in the middle of it…well, that one thing alone is just so frigging loud. His loss is like nothing else I’ve ever gone through. It is a constant noise in the background of my being, and sometimes it drowns out everything else.
I know I am learning how to live with it. To live with the grief of missing him, the sorrow of the disappearance of the life I knew with him. That it will never go away, I will never get over it…and some days, I think, hey, look at me, I’m surviving. I’m figuring this stuff out. Other days not so much. Other days I just want to hold my hands over my ears and run screaming away from it…but I can’t. It follows me everywhere. I cannot escape. Maybe that is why I am filling my life with other stuff. Music, places to go, people to see…maybe I’m thinking if I tune in to other channels, the sound of my grief will get dialed down somehow. The musician and I just came back from a staycation weekend at one of the resorts where he plays here on the island; he gets a good deal on a room there. And yes - it was lovely. Air conditioned splendor (it’s been so bloody hot and humid here); gorgeous beach, great food.
And Mike was there the entire time. I was constantly imagining what he would say, how he would like that, or not like this…I could see him in my mind’s eye floating in the water, or walking across the sand…then I was standing waiting for the elevator and realized the music over the sound system was the CD of a Hawaiian group Mike played for years every time he gave a treatment. It’s a lovely, gentle, soothing background sort of music. It was the same CD that was playing at the chiropractor I started seeing after he died; it made me cry because somehow, I thought, he was there, and telling me, I’m sorry I can’t fix you anymore honey, but this person can help you. And she did. I can’t listen to that CD now. But sometimes it’s just playing. And then he is there, so clearly, so loudly. And I miss him so much.
I do realize that I would not have been there at all if he were still here. I would never have done all the traveling I’ve done; so much is changed in my life. And we can see the positive side of that. Our worlds are evolving around us in ways we could not have anticipated. We are learning to live in the world that exists without them, because there is no other choice. We are perhaps even learning to appreciate our own lives with more depth and awareness than if we had not experienced this level of grief. And there are good things in there. But really? The strange new is just so frigging strange.
And LOUD. The scar that is scraped across my psyche is permanent. It is ringing with an endless reverberation. It will not shut up.