Tom

Seven years is a a very long time.

i know that intellectually, but I also know that time means very little when it comes to grief, to missing someone.

There is always that intake of breathe, that dropping to the knees, that laugh of remembrance. Always there, often at the oddest moment. Caught off-guard we love and hate them equally, because they shock the system, the status-quo, the facade we try so hard to maintain.

No, we LOVE them, those moments.   I love them. Painful or happy, they always reside somewhere in that middle ground, because the laughs bring the longing as much as the moments of sorrowful remembering.

Longing is a good word. Seven years later I still long for Tom.

I’m not sure there has been a morning that I haven’t missed him beside me in the bed; I sleep in the same spot as i always have, in that huge bed, never venturing to his side.

When I brush my teeth in the morning I see him in the mirror. Weird, but he had a specific way of doing it….well.  I see him, or can easily conjure him. I can easily conjure him in just about any situation; his ghost is strong, his shadow (light, essence) long.

The loss is ever-present in both little and big things, in joy and sadness, in sleep or waking. In choices I have made in my life…to check out, to dial in, to rock in agony or step boldly out into an unknown. I do these on my own, without my guy.

I don’t want to, I don’t wish to, I can’t do it, I have to do it, I am capable, I am lost.

It’s all there, all those feelings, and while they are only impossibly painful some of the time, they move me all of the time.

He was such a good man. The life of the party, the instigator. I rode his coattails into more friendships and love and support, ultimately, than I would ever have imagined and am so incredibly grateful for. He loved people and they responded. Part of his love of others was a deflection off of himself, he had a chip on his shoulder that manifested in the old Groucho Marx axiom of “not wanting to join a club that would have him”….he worked hard at being the funny one, the silly one, the smart one, the most talented one. But he  truly was all of those and THAT is what attracted people to him, the truth of who he was, and once you were his friend, once you were in that space you were drawn like a moth to a flame. He drew people in, united them in love and friendship wrapped in hilarity and common interests. His talent was huge and we have many talented friends. His politics were inclusive and those we loved , with a few notable exceptions, believed like him in the possibility of a better world.

He was a mid-western boy at heart, always, even in the wilds of Los Angeles and the TV /film industry that broke his heart and bought his house and gave him joy. Near the end of his life he was back auditioning for plays….planning his audition songs, flying to New York, hoping. He had hope. And I say that even knowing that he did things that would make you think he didn’t…the way he didn’t take care of himself, ignored situations, chose to hurt himself. But he was hopeful, always, of change and growth and new beginnings.

A rock he was, my man. A rock. A blubbering, messy, human, flawed and perfect rock.

I adored him.

Our son adored him

Our friends adored him.

And we all, every one, miss him so much. His death was a loss to so many, and yet I can only feel what I feel and measure his loss to others by my own.

Seven years is a very long time, and yet it’s a millisecond in time, a blink, a wink.

We move ahead with our lives because we have to, or we don’t, or, and I have been guilty of this, because we cannot. We stay stuck in the loss and don’t completely factor in the gratitude for what we had.

Seven years.

The gratitude? So, so immense. I was so lucky to have been in his orbit for the years I was. Too short, yes. Way too short of a time. BUT I HAD HIM.

I did. I did..we dated and married and had a son and a life and friends and our life was BIG. I can see that so clearly through the fog of grief now.

Today, TODAY, the gratitude is what is bringing me to my knees, not the pain, the sorrow,the loss, the unfairness. The gratitude of being able to say that I was his wife. Tom’s wife. That we made a life. That I was deepest in, most privy to that gorgeous, complicated, funny, loving man; that huge heart, that wondrous human being.

My gratitude knows no bounds, my sorrow is bound in years. I choose today. I choose many things, but the best and brightest is moving ahead in unbridled love and gratitude for the immense gift of Tom in my life. The grace of that is what brings me to my knees today, 7 years later.

The grace of that is what I hope will propel me forward into a newer, better place, fully cognizant of a beautiful, loving voice in my ear reminding me I can do it, handing me back my power, little by little over these 7 years, to bring me to today. And keep me in today, focussed and ready for growth and opportunity and laughter and love.

He is always with me, will always be with me.

My gratitude is as immense as his heart.

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7 Comments

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  1. Huge hugs… So glad you are wrapped in gratitude. That’s what we have to hold on to, to cling to.

    Thanks for writing this, I’m sure it wasn’t easy.
    I’m coming up on two years from losing my mom. Still feels like two weeks. Sometimes not even that long. Clinging to gratitude helps.

  2. Perfect. Missing him so very deeply. Thank you.

    Ciao, Nora

  3. Seven years ago. That was a desert of a day, an exodus. You began a long march that day. I was privileged to be there, Michele. A tiny room to house such a tidal wave, yes? I’m sure Tom is proud of you. But I know I’m proud of you! You are an inspiration to me. I’m grateful to be your friend. Love you.

  4. Wow. I don’t know how you out all of that I to words, but you most beautifully and painstakingly did. The world is so delicate and precious through your eyes and I’m honored to be touched by your grace and humor on a regular basis.

  5. Michele-

    I can certainly identify with this. You make a very good point in saying, “I had him…” I feel the same way about my time with Glenn. Where others had tried, I succeeded. I managed to get closer to him than anyone else and while it’s not a competition, I enjoyed my position in his life. I felt like a better person because he loved me. The void left behind at his passing has made me wonder just what it is I have to offer anyone else. Fortunately, I was provided the slightest ray of hope these last two weeks. I still feel like I am smaller without him, though.

    Love,

    Terry

  6. Such a moving post, Michele. How wonderful to have found such a soul-mate, and how terrible and bewildering to have lost him.

    I love this:

    “The grace of that is what I hope will propel me forward into a newer, better place, fully cognizant of a beautiful, loving voice in my ear reminding me I can do it, handing me back my power, little by little over these 7 years, to bring me to today. And keep me in today, focussed and ready for growth and opportunity and laughter and love.”

    Wishing you laughter and love and loving memories,

    Susan

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