There's so much to talk to him about. The wisteria bloomed! In August!?! A particular former bishop announced his retirement. A hawk landed outside the round window and then drank out of the bird bath, giving tiny heart attacks to every bird in the area. Robert Mueller is getting convictions. And our grandsons are both in high school (!) a fact that would have made him grin ear to ear at those beloved boys.
And you know what surprises me? That I can still be caught by surprise when I turn to tell him something. That the grief is still so raw, so painful.
It's been eight months and 10 days since he died. It feels like it was this afternoon.
I guess I believed those who said it won't go away but it will get easier. And yet here it sits, hunched just one thought away behind my veil of composure, ready at any moment to take my breath away, fill my eyes with tears, make my chest fill with pain.
I've gotten really good at disguising these attacks, at turning away or going silent or concentrating really hard on something else until I regain control. But when I'm alone it always wins, leaving me weeping from the force of the longing for him.
So I just keep moving. I made through General Convention, even though every time I walked out of the House of Deputies and he wasn't there waiting for me, smiling and saying, "Hello my love," my heart hurt. And oh, he should have been there when I was honored by the president of the House of Deputies, Gay Jennings, because the work that was being recognized was made possible by his support, his wisdom, his having my back every minute. He would have loved it!
I made it through vacation in Hawaii, the vacation he bought and paid for the spring before his death.
And I am surviving going through his office, although I can only do so much at a time before the emotional toll is simply too much to bear. He and I had talked about other ways to use the building his office is in, because as he got more frail, he worked there less. He always loved playing with ideas for new uses for old spaces.
But remember, we are talking about a space Gayland Pool occupied for many years, so every. single. cubic. inch is filled with stuff he kept -- books, art work, photos, books, letters, cards from people he helped, people he married, people who loved him (thousands of cards), files, books, prayer cards, prayer books, hymnals, and more unidentifiable things than you can imagine.
And I have to go through it all, because his filing system was, well, very unusual. I found the title to his car in a file marked "pets." See what I mean?
And art work! What wasn't on the walls was stacked against the walls.
I found the brochure about the walking tour of historic sacred
spaces that he helped create.
And more political banners, bumper stickers, tote bags, and other items from the causes he supported than you would believe.
He gave money to every progressive cause that helped women, children, minorities, the vulnerable, the environment, and animals. He loved the ACLU. He was a life member of the NAACP.
And his sermon materials. Oh my. File after file for Year A, B,and C. Fifty years of priesthood wrapped up in notes, sermons, and more notes.
And that's all in the first room . . .
So please pray for me. For stamina, for wisdom, for patience, for discernment of what to keep and what to let go, for, well, for making it through to tomorrow without this beloved maddening, funny, wise, smartass, courageous, caring, creative, disorganized, energetic, and loyal man.
Oh God, my love, how I miss you.