Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The day I found out

6 years ago this morning, I called the cops in California to confirm the worst.  I had left only the hope of ignorance; I was pretty sure he was gone, but somehow, having it confirmed was a zillion times worse.

This morning, the first thing I thought about when I woke up was my leaky roof and what we were going to do about it.  The above was the second thing I thought about. 

So, you know, progress. 

Friday, July 13, 2012

Photographs & Memories

Every July 15th for the last 6 years, I've put up a memorial of sorts on my blog, a picture of A and a few comments, or perhaps a link to a song.  Every year, my regular readers tend to ignore it entirely and say a very loud nothing to me about it, and my widow friends generally don't need a reminder, and have usually already sent me supportive messages, because they're understanding and cool like that.  We are there for each other, and I am grateful again and again that that's the case.

In anticipation of Sunday, then, in search of a photo to use this year that I haven't already used, I was looking through pictures.  I have a hundred and some; I wish there were more.  I intended to have more--I intended to have years' worth of new ones added to the collection.  It's been awhile since I took the time to look at each of them, carefully.  It didn't take long before there were tears in my eyes and a lump in my throat.

He was real.  He was really here.  I have the photographic evidence:  the freckles that covered every bit of my beautiful Black Irish man that ever saw the sun, the wrinkles on his neck, the abundant salt with just a dash of pepper yet in his hair, his sweet smile, and the frown when he was concentrating. 

Sometimes he seems so out of reach, so long gone, more dream than memory.  Sometimes the gap of 6 years and whatever self-protective mechanisms are in play just isn't something I can bridge.  And then I see him in photos as he really was, not the vague ghost in my head, and he's right here, and I fall in love with him at 15 millionth sight.  It happens every time.

He was here, and he was beautiful, and we loved each other so much, and so well.  I miss him beyond the telling.

Sunday, July 8, 2012


I've been irritable the last week or so, getting into it over tiny stupid things with E, and feeling even more like a heel because he's been recovering from surgery.  Arguing with someone who's in pain, can't eat, and was hopped up on Percocet is asshole behavior, and I'm guilty of it.  I'd been chalking it up to hormones, but I'm no longer PMSing, and that feeling is still there:  the hair trigger, the feeling of restlessness, the impatience, the inability to just settle down and do something I actually enjoy; I'm adrift and spoiling for a fight. 

I started the morning with a spell in the hot tub, and as I was lying there in the bubbles, it finally came to me:  it's the week before the sadiversary.  That's what this is about.

For some time now, this is how grief has manifested for me.  Not in tears--those come at random, poignant moments that make me misty-eyed; I just get irritable, as if there's a part of me that feels and knows that something is wrong, and it doesn't like it one bit, and dammit, everyone who has the misfortune to come in contact with me and rub me just the slightest bit wrong is going to feel it, too.  Maybe it's vestigial rage from the cosmic wrong.  I felt plenty of rage in the early days.  Not so much now, but I'm generally a content and easygoing person.  There are 2 things that consistently get me to feeling this way.  If it's not hormones, it's probably A being dead that's riled me up.  The bastard keeps doing it; he knows I don't like it, but evidently he's unwilling to resurrect himself for my benefit.

Candice has talked a lot about how, when you're no longer actively grieving, and no longer sad all the time, it's harder to remember that grief is still on your list of things that could be bringing you down.  What was once your "well, duh!" explanation for any bad mood is no longer the first thing you think of, and while that's all to the good, it does mean that it often requires a little more excavation to figure out what's eating you now.  It's July 8th.  I've got just 7 more days to say and think that A's been gone 5 years before it turns to 6.  As soon as it occurred to me this morning, I knew that was it.  So I gave myself permission to sit with it for the next week and not worry overmuch about my mood, because there's really nothing else I can do anyway.  Feel what you feel when you feel it; that's my motto.  It's somewhat easier to do when you've figured out WHY you feel what you feel.

I ran some errands this afternoon, just needing milk and to get out of the house.  As I was driving home from the grocery store, I saw a sign for an estate sale.  I will never go to another estate sale, as I've mentioned previously.  But the sign got me thinking about A's family, and how they got rid of all his stuff, and my stuff, without a thought for me.  And then I thought about his sister.  And then I thought about talking to his sister the day we found him.  And then I thought I was about to throw up. 

Even now, 6 years later, remembering that day provokes a terrible physical response that is only diminished in the avoidance of thinking about it.  When I dare otherwise, it's right there, the aching hollow feeling in my gut.

I don't know what the next week will bring, or whether there'll be a hangover following.  What I do know is that I'll get through it; and that I'm still pissed off I have to.