I sat at my computer to compose a post today and, as is my wont, I checked my emails first. Because….distraction. Isn’t that what the internet is for? (may be a post coming soon about my re-entering the world of FB. Talk about distraction!)
And there was a post from my friend Christy, a lovely, gratitude filled post that put my musings to shame but gave me a great song to add to my April yoga playlist.
She really didn’t put my thoughts to shame, I am joking. But it was one of those strokes of synchronicity, because I had settled in to write about gratitude too. Differently, of course, but gratitude none-the-less.
I woke up, as I do every April 1st, with an edge of sadness surrounding me. Today is the 11th year I have had to endure this day without the man who made it my favorite day ever.
That first year, he hadn’t been dead even 3 months. It was SO hard, there are no words for that year. I took myself to a hotel at the beach and went from my room to the shore and back again over and over, sobbing, not eating, writing. This was at a point where, seriously, I think I was still not SURE he was dead. Do you know that feeling, that early mourning? Where you’re still ensconced in Magical Thinking, the “maybe they just went away for a while.” Imagine that thinking enmeshed with April Fool’s Day…..what kind of elaborate prank was this?
Of course it ws no prank and as the years have gone by the pain has diminished. But I still wake up every year with that notion. April Fools? And every year the answer is the same…” no sweets, no, I’m sorry.”
In the ensuing years so much has changed, and one of the greatest things has been the addition of yoga and meditation into my life. So this morning I did what I do. I meditated and tried to keep my mind still and allow the feelings to just flow through me. It was a good session; I really wasn’t feeling much other than the acknowledgement of the loss, which is constantly in my now.
Then I went to my yoga class, which was hard! Lots of standing asana including Warrior 3 (look it up) which I kinda hate, no, I LOATHE!. But then we did seated twists which were juicy and finally, Savasana. I laid down and quickly relaxed into being a corpse myself.
And started sobbing.
It is a wonder to me that I feel comfortable enough to just cry on my mat. It happens quite a bit, actually. Sometimes I know why, like today, but often I have no real idea. I know it has to do with release and I just accept and allow it, and always feel better afterward. Today, even though I understood what was being released, I just allowed it and, as usual, felt freer,clearer afterwards.
On my way out of the studio I had the thought : I need some fresh flowers. Clearly, I need some fresh flowers. I deserve fresh flowers on my anniversary, even if I have to give them to myself.
So I went to Trader Joe’s because….well, why would you NOT go to TJ’s for flowers? Good prices and daffodil season,which I have been fully committed to for weeks now.
Except daffodil season is over. That was the terrible the news that greeted me upon arrival. The good news is, of course, that they have other flowers and I went searching for flowers that reminded me of Tom. I saw a lovely bunch of white roses, which were always his favorite flower (and you know what? I don’t even think I know exactly why. I just always knew it and that’s what I would get him, even at his memorial service where I placed a dozen on the altar ). Right next to the roses were some white ranunculus, which remind me of roses but aren’t. And which I used to plant tons of because they are my favorite flowers.
So I bought the ranunculus. Because they are my favorite flower, but still have a touch of Tom in them. Just like every moment of my life since I met him and since he died…. my life is full of the touch of Tom. But it’s my life and those are my flowers in my apartment where I live alone and have this pretty wonderful life. And I can choose to gift myself my favorite flowers in memory of him.
And there’s the gratitude. I have changed so much and yet he’s still here in so many ways. He’s dead, I understand that with a clarity that grows every year. But he is also closer to me every year that passes, if that makes sense. He’s deeper, more fully alive in me than he was when he was fully here. I am the holder of Tom, the vessel for the memories and the laughs and the stories. And I am grateful to be that. Just as I am grateful that I am separate, that life goes on in such meaningful and surprising ways.
I actually bought two bunches of flowers. One bunch sits downstairs on my coffee table. I’ll see them as I go about the rest of my day, as long as they last. Downstairs is a Tom free zone, as well as it can be.
Upstairs I put a second vase near two of my favorite pictures, an offering to us both, to memory and grace. And to love.
Upstairs is past, downstairs is now. Future is just that…future. Unknowable and open to surprises.
How lucky I am to have such a meaningful relationship with the love of my life, even though he is no longer in physical form. Everything changes, but the REAL things only change form, they are our true north, always.
(and of course…Christy’s beautiful post: http://runningonsober.com/2016/04/01/to-april-come-she-will-again/)