Sunday, March 11, 2018

Just holding on

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.


DCB said...

I am so sorry that you are experiencing such pain & loneliness, but I am thankful that you had a love so devoted, a friendship so deep, a companionship so treasured, that it will give you solice, when the intensity & constancy of your current grief subsides. May you then be comforted by the wonderful memories that the two of you shared, until you meet again. Please know that you continue to be in the prayers of not only your dearest friends, but also those of us who admire and respect you through this blog, your community service, and your activism.
Peace be with you,

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

From TorchSong Trilogy

Arnold: Ma... I miss him.

Ma: Give yourself time, Arnold. It gets better... But, Arnold, it never goes away. You can work longer hours, adopt a son, fight with me, whatever... it'll still be there. But that's all right, it becomes a part of you, like learning to wear a ring or a pair of eyeglasses. You get used to it. And that's good. It's good, because it makes sure you don't forget. You don't want to forget him, do you?

Me: Love you.