gratitude, grief, life, sobriety, tom, widow, writing

January 21

“Thank you for the days, those endless days those sacred days you gave me.”

That’s what I have today. I have the memory of those sacred days, those days that I don’t regret even though I might not have fully appreciated or lived them, and, especially those days I did appreciate and fully live, those endless days with the love of my life.

Today marks 8 years without Tom.

It’s pretty hard to fathom, considering that it feels like 8 seconds.

Today when I woke up I was catapulted back in time to that day 8 years ago when he died and my life was changed forever.

But then my life was changed that day in 1985 that I met him. And in 1988 when we moved in together. And 1989 when we married. And 1992 when wonder boy entered our lives. And every day that ever happened when we were alive together because they were all great, even when they weren’t. Of course that’s hindsight, but what is any of it now but hindsight? All in the past, all “gone but not forgotten”. *SIGH*

Here’s my day today….

up at 9 (well past the time I was up 8 years ago, wakened by a screaming child) and sat down to write my “morning pages” (stream of conscious writing as suggested by the book “the Artist’s Way”, a group I just joined). The pages were full of angst and fear and sadness and I got it out.

Breakfast

Thoughts of taking a runner, hopping a freight train and living out my days as a hobo.

AT&T serviceman fixing my internet.

With internet back the hobo idea dissipated pretty quickly

Lots of texts and messages and emails. Made me happy, people saying his name.

Writing

Since above  hobo idea was discarded, what to do? Wandered the apartment for a bit. Helpless.

Lie on the bed and cry for a few minutes, willing him to come home. Feel better.

Shower

Writing before my regular Tuesday Yin Yoga class.

If all goes well it will be yoga, dinner, meeting, and home to Sherlock, though I reserve the right to change my mind at any time.

It’s a regular day, as extraordinary as every other day. That’s what I know and hold on to. That’s what keeps me from the runner, keeps me moving forward and sane. This life is a gift.

There is a theme that comes up in all my groups, usually a little past a year, when the dust has settled, when the reality of life without has been fully acknowledged, if not accepted (I don’t know, fully accepted? not sure that can happen). That theme is “Ok…you can come home now”.

I hear it over and over, it is a shriek or a quiet sigh, a knowing laugh, a pleading question….it is what eventually comes up.

What I know is that it never goes away. Not always loud, not every day, not disturbing life except in those odd times when it hits, HARD.

“Ok, you can come home now. All is forgiven, it doesn’t matter, wherever you were is ok, just please, please come home. NOW.”

I can’t explain it to them, hell, I can’t explain it to me. There is no explanation for that feeling, that overwhelming sense of the possibility that it was just a joke, a disruption in the force, a plot twist. It happens,  unbidden, and I ride it. There is no other way. That feeling has to be felt, followed through to the end, which is the knowing that it is impossible, that it will NEVER happen and, not that you are crazy for having the thought, but that you are normal for having the thought. You are not the only one and never will be.

I like it when my groups talk about this, because it reminds me of the not craziness of the feeling, it normalizes it for me, as well as for the group.

I have had that feeling the last few days, have said it out loud. Have written it down, have followed it through to the end. Have felt crazy and then felt normal.

I was laughing to myself today at the thought of how easily I would throw each and every person I know and love, friends, family, all of you reading this (NO ONE IS SAFE FROM MY EVIL PLAN!), under a bus, over a cliff…..whatever, for just one more day with Tom. Laughing because it’s not possible, so no worries, but also laughing because it’s sick and it’s true.  Sorry all, just the facts.

I miss him.

That’s really it. There is nothing I do NOT miss about him.

Coming to the place of understanding that that is ok, and that I can still grow and change while missing him, can still have a life, a full and good life while missing him, has been harder to navigate but I think I’m there. I really do. Acceptance is key, yes?  Today I can accept the facts, whether I like them or not. There is no more magical thinking going on in terms of Tom and the fact that he’s dead. It’s a very good place to be, or, rather, so much better than any other place I’ve been on this journey. Who knows what tomorrow holds, next month, next January 21?

I hope I look back on the year feeling as much love and loss as I do today, tempered, as today is, by the fact that my years have started to get better, clearer and more meaningful. That I am moving forward instead of being dragged backwards by my own self-pity and addictions.

I believe that Tom would be proud of me today. That thought means a lot. I believe that though, I do. I hold his opinion in high esteem. I loved him more than I have ever loved anyone, and my imaginations about what his opinion of me today would be bring me comfort and laughter (Yoga? Meditation? SOBRIETY???) and peace.

He was a great man, the love of my life. I am proud to live my life in a way that I think he would approve of, doing things for others, turning that hideous loss into a way of being useful in the world.

Of course, fuck it all if he could come back. (Breathe. Normalize.)

 

 

And when the work of grief is done,

The wound of loss will heal

And you will have learned

To wean your eyes

From that gap in the air

And be able to enter the hearth

In your soul where your loved one

Has awaited your return

all  the time

John O’Donohue

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13 thoughts on “January 21

  1. Pingback: The Thing Is | Words for the Year

  2. Read this once. I so wanted to read again but I had to wait to prepare myself to do so. It is so achingly sad, so achingly beautiful, it physically hurts me to read this. You have expressed where you are in the most beautiful way possible. All best.

    • mishedup says:

      Thank you.
      For your kind words and for stopping by.
      I attempted to see your blog but couldn’t…
      if you would ever like to invite me I would like that.
      Meanwhile, your comment meant a lot to me.

      • Hi Mishedup, when I have a blog which is worth of being read – I will open it up. Just cant seem to settle down to it at the moment – its all over the place! So in the meantime I am being a leech and living off others blog efforts!

  3. Beautiful and powerful stuff, M. I loved this, the utter honesty (run me over? Really? lol) and the normality of it, in a way. I don’t have this experience, but I can see that it never really goes away, but morhps and changes. As you have changed.

    I know Tom would be proud of you (see? I learned from you to say his name :) )

    Hugs to you
    Paul

    • mishedup says:

      thank you Paul.
      I like that you learned to say his name and to feel the normalization…..i write some of this stuff so people learn, people who don’t have the experience can, perhaps, be better equipped when it happens to those around them, not be so afraid.
      And, sadly, yes…I would not spare you ;-)

  4. I don’t know how I missed this post. Sorry to be a couple of days late but I’m thinking of you and the love you shared, and the love that will always be.

  5. Terry says:

    Michele – I was just catching up on reading your blog and came across this entry. Beautiful, just beautiful. Those who have endure this kind of loss see a lot of their own experience in yours. Thank you for expressing. It so eloquently.

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