An Infinite Series Of Leave Takings

My life often seems like an infinite series of leave takings. First I said goodbye, when I found her, and realized that she was gone. Even on that first day, I knew that I did not want to inhabit grief.

Each moment that was different from the moments I had with her, was a shock. Sleeping alone in our bed. Having breakfast by myself. Coming home to the house and the dogs and knowing no-one else would be coming home. Going to the grocery and buying a pitiful handful of items - beverages and cleaning products. Not cooking because there was no reason to. The pain of that contrast between the past and the present was enormous, and permeated my waking hours.

On NCIS, there is an episode in which the Israeli officer says "It is my life. I do not dwell on it." in answer, I believe, to a question about how she feels about having killed people. And after some weeks of playing over memories and living in the pain and chagrin that that created, it occurred to me, I do dwell on it. And I resolved to stop. Because gone is gone. My life is what it is now. And if I want to live, then I must continue on the grief journey, and walk away from my life as it was.

Each change in my life has been a goodbye. When I paid off my car loan, from her death benefits. We could never have afforded to do that when she was alive. When I moved her clothes out of our walk-in closet, and put them in the spare bedroom. When I put away the plans and working papers for the house we had planned to build this year. When I talked about our life together, to the person who knew her, but as a much younger friend. Each memory was brought out, displayed and then put away. Often, I would realize things about our life that were new to me. I had been too busy living it, to think about it.

The new landscape of my life is a goodbye. That I will sometimes go to the wine bar during the week, to have dinner and a glass of wine. That my whole life is a shoestring arrangement - doing things on the spur of the moment, instead of planning outings days in advance. That I spend vast tracts of time alone, writing in my journal, or just staring at the ceiling.

There are still many goodbyes in the future.
sdbear sdbear
Jul 24, 2010