Today he has been gone for three months. I woke up knowing this was the anniversary of his death without consciously marking the 11th anywhere but in the cracks of my broken heart.
I try hard to avoid the "four months ago he was alive. . ." game because, well, why? But it still sneaks up on me and ambushes me with heartbreaking memories so fresh and real they could be movies projected on a screen. I come across a photograph, or a note he scribbled to himself and stuck in the tray of his car, or a list he made -- oh, how he loved lists, convinced that with a list he would be organized and invincible against his ADD. But, of course, he always forgot where he put the list . . .
Even sleep is an enemy, because, well, dreams. Dreams have become faithless purveyors of vivid images of him laughing, talking, walking in the garden with me, holding me, images so real that I wake up smiling, only to crash into lonely reality.
Grief seems to have taken up residence in my throat. I can't sing. I can't even pray out loud. Doing any of these things can cause me to dissolve into tears. Sometimes I can't even talk.
Music especially is difficult, which is simply mean, because I love music, as he did. We often had classical music playing in the house. But now one of his favorites comes along, and I can't bear it.
But he would hate it that I might go without music, and so I listen to it while moving through a world blurred by tears, or holding a dog who doesn't mind having damp fur on her back.
But the big dog, Booker, can't bear it when I cry. In his distress he climbs up on me, trying to cram all 60 plus pounds of him onto my lap. He doesn't lick, as the others dogs do. No, he gently prods me with his muzzle and rests his head on my chest, wrapping a leg around my shoulder. And then just holds on. As I do.
Booker and me, just holding on.