It is raining. I hope it goes on and on, for a long time, while I sit here in semi-darkness and listen to it and to my big bruised heart.
I am reading a book. A funny, witty, wonderful book called "Good Grief" by Lolly Winston. A novel, actually. Found on the dollar rack at Half Price Books. I adore the dollar rack at Half Price Books. I can think of only a few things that give me more pleasure than buying books for a buck. Good books in good shape, that I can then sell back to Half Price Books for more than what I paid for them (a dollar) after I finish reading them. My giddy little criminally minded secret. Half Price Books pays me a profit to read. Now don't you go doing it too or they are going to wise up and ruin it for me.
The book is about a woman whose husband died from Hodgkins quite young. I am both gratified and burning with anger at how she is grieving. So. like. me. It is as if the author has been inside my head, particularly with the way she writes about the insane urge to eat and the crazy need to sleep. I feel like I need to write to her, like she is a long missing sibling or soul mate. Surely she has had a great loss herself. There is just no way she could know this otherwise. But I feel angry too. The heroine in the story gets to grieve the way I want to but can't. The whole not showering, driving the car through the garage door, forgetting to go to work, unable to get dressed, run sobbing from stores advertising the holidays kind of grieving that would feel so damn good..and that I just won't and can't give in to. I love her descriptions of her grief support group and how she counted all their legs to determine how many people were there, and the strange feeling of being overwhelmed and out of body listening to the tearful words from others. So very like me. I wish I had that kind of luxury. I guess that is why they call it "fiction". I don't know if anyone does.
That all being said, I am doing okay. I took a walk on Saturday. I just get pissed sometimes (not often enough I think) at my own desire to sit and just be within my loss. I get frustrated at myself for this constant drive to hurry up and finish everything I have to get done so that I can do nothing without any sense of needing to do something. as if I am in a place now where I am constantly taking inventory and keeping watch over what is left of my battered psyche. So, fed up, I put on my shoes and broke out my Zune and decided to just walk. I had no plan to keep any particular pace, nor any intention of walking any particular distance. The important thing seemed to just be to move. So I did, and I went a different way than I have gone before. And slowly, shyly, the world seemed to come to life for me. It was the day before Mother's Day and I had been weeping on and off for three days it seemed. But on this walk I found a pathway that curves through a boggy area of utter charm, a creek and ponds that hide the suburban landscape and allowed me to step along a magical land. And suddenly Joseph was just everywhere, talking to me, showing me his presence. It started with a group of white wildflowers dancing on the breeze, then the heady drunking tendrils of wild honeysuckle on the air. The earthy scent of things growing and dying, the elegant frame of a crane across the pond, so still its reflection echoed back to me in the glass surface of the pond. The turtles that in that moment came up for air. The bench someone put facing the water, where I could sit and enjoy these things. The mother duck with 12 ducklings that waddled across my path, their small bodies dancing in the tall grass looking for bugs, the mother staring at me more in pleading than in warning, all her brood together and her own exhausted self relieved to have them occupied and safe for a moment. The gathering of boy scouts beginning to arrive to fish at the pond, thier laughter and upturned faces reflecting a joy I don't know that I have felt for a very long time. The puppies just behind the fence on the way home that wanted me to race with them. The multitude of colorful birds that showed themselves to me. The bunny rabbits along the path that would not hop out of the way even as I approached them, so tame and fearless that I wonder still if I could have pet one. He was everywhere, and Jimmy Buffett's song "One Particular Harbor came on in the shuffle of my Zune music and I felt my spirit lift and lift until I was laughing with the wonderful feeling of having been given the best Mother's Day gift he could have sent me - all these things that brought his spirit to me. And oddly I felt, in those moments, blessed beyond measure, peaceful, happy.
So things are both better and worse. I am feeling him more. I am feeling his absence more than ever before. I am struggling to make myself actually work when I am at work. I can't seem to stop eating even when my body is crying out because it is too full. And in the mirror, I see how a women covered over in the physical manifestation of her emotional pain. So I am stepping carefully. I am trying to be more gentle and nurturing to myself. Joe and I had a long talk this weekend, and he told me so tenderly how he is worried about the way I have been seeing and talking to myself. It helped.
So this is how it is right now.
And on a lighter note...
Alex was so funny tonight. He had baseball practice and one of the requirements for the league is that he wear a protective cup. Which he thinks is just so strange. Tonight, as I drove im to practice, he looked at me, grinned and rapped his knuckles against his groin as if he wanted a door to open, then stated "I got pro. tec..shun* and rapping his knuckles hard against the cup in his paints to punctuate each syllable.
Ah yes. I do so love little boys.
I love you Joe-Gi. God, I miss you so badly.