Between Love And Hope
I've spent a lot of time lately wondering about this place that sooner or later we all experience. This hollow place between love and hope...I think we define this as grief. It's like standing in the middle of a tunnel through the mountains.
You can clearly see two distinct pinpoints of light...you know what they are and where they lead and yet you're frozen. Unable to move in either direction...because you know, each step forward is painful...searingly so. Much better than to remain here...numb and immobile.
It's said that grief is a passage and that is truth but the passage also has many stops and the occasional derailment along the way. It is here that I ponder...where can I possibly hope to go? Worse still...why would I? That which I most desire is irretrievably lost and beyond my reach.
Forever...I don't know. Oh, my sweet girl...I just don't know!
I'm not new to loss. Grand-parents, siblings and comrades, even my mother but this seems to tear at my soul. Does that mean I loved those people less or you more...does an answer to that question have some meaningful application? I wish I knew. I only know that for me, losing you was akin to amputating the best parts of who I am....or was.
Through this void a steady winds blows, sometimes as gentle as a summers breeze rustling the leaves at sunset or without warning, the shrieking howl of sudden decompression at high altitude. My reactions range from misty eyed sorrow to gut wrenching bawling...I mourn not only your loss but all of the unfulfilled dreams we'd held...is this selfish? Probably. Intellectually I understand all of this but my heart gives not one damn about logic or reason...it only wants you.
I am fortunate that many people, friends and strangers alike have not only offered but DO take my hand and try to help guide me forward. A kind word, a call or even a video or picture (technology is sometimes genuinely useful.) and I am deeply grateful and thankful to all of you for each of these acts of kindness. I'm quite sure that from their perspectives, it's akin to dealing with a petulant child...each step forward is often accompanied by being dragged back three. For your patience, I am humbled...and for those whom have remained steadfast, I beg your forgiveness. I am trying...
With my upcoming surgeries, a co-worked recently asked if I was afraid of dying. I replied as I have in the past. (due to my career choices) No. I've never been afraid of dying...I've been afraid of many other things in my life but never my own death.
The impending death of my beloved honey terrified me...it was beyond my ability to control or influence. I could only react to each new affront on her body...each day was like walking blindly through a minefield. You pray for the miraculous, dreading the eventual explosion. Anyone who has been a caregiver knows this state of extended anxiety and dread. Then there's the guilt...could I have done some things sooner? Was I present enough...real or imagined failings, the intensity is the same.
These past months have been the most difficult in my life...before now, I've never felt lost. She grounded me and gave me purpose...for those that know me well, the thing I fear most some days is simple. Another day in this new reality. I'm not suicidal...I'm not wired that way but it's difficult to paste on a smile and pretend everything is ok. It's not.
I often use humor and goal setting as a coping mechanism. I also write things out... it's my process. I've made some long range plans...I set into to motion the goal of replacing my knees. A promise to my honey...things happen. An infected finger has put those scheduled procedures back weeks now...maybe a month or more. Ordinarily, I adapt and roll with it but I'm just...weary and uncommonly blue.
For those unfamiliar with type A personalities, let's just say that accepting anything as unchangeable through force of will and just plain stubbornness is challenging. My sweet girl used to tell me,
“You can't change the universe to meet your demands.” I'd typically grin, replying. “Wanna bet?!”
She'd roll her eyes and shake her head but it usually worked out. I don't like losing...or failing...and this somehow feels like both. I feel like I let her down...irrational as that may sound, it's what my heart tells me. Dammit. All. To. Hell.
Ok...so, I've vented, had my pity pot day...actually two. I can almost feel the head smack...the rule is ONE! Today, I'll dust myself off and get up...life doesn't wait for anyone. It just continues, with or without you. I guess it's a lot like jumping into the middle of a pair of blurring jump ropes...you can participate or watch. Jumping in you risk being tripped up and maybe even falling...but watching isn't living...it's existing.
I'd promised...live my life...yes dear. Even when I suck at skipping...and have no rhythm. Bring on the whelps and bruises!