It’s been a long time eh? Days, weeks, months have folded back and peeled away since you went away. Seasons bloomed, blossomed then dried on the branch and fallen off forgotten.
It has now been fifteen months since you died. The number written down seems too insubstantial, too light, to hold all the moments that time has carried. I had to double check the dates to believe that so little time felt like so much, so many lifetimes tamping down the path.
And its not as if you weren’t with me. When I decide to walk the dark street instead of taking a cab, I know you are scowling at me. Once in a while I let you by me lunch instead of settling for the hastily grabbed snack which I know is not really what I need. I see things you would love, crystals, rocks, shells forgotten on quiet beaches, and I touch them with your fingers, let them light up your eyes.
I talk of you often, wonder if it is too often, and then ask myself why not?
When strangers unpack their sadnesses to me, I know it because you gifted me old eyes and ears that are always ready to listen.
At odd moments you speak to me. But I wish you had more words to tell me new stories, or that just once in a while I could hold your hand and let the tears run as I listen.
I am coming home Bab and again there is an ache. I have to remember to remind myself that you will not be there, that time has not rewound since I looked away. Your chair will still be empty.
That makes me feel like an angry little kid. It is slightly ridiculous. I want my way and I feel a little bit like throwing my teddy bears in the corner because I am not going to get it. In the last days tears came back at unexpected moments though they haven’t visited me in months.
I am trying for the better half of you. I’ve tried for your patience, tried to sit with that angry child, let her pout the rage out and then wait for her tell me what’s really wrong. When I do that I see that I have other angers that are harder to name or define. They metal out the sliver that is missing you and let it become a hook to hang all my shadows on. A names that speaks of nothing.
I also don’t miss you, because in many ways you didn’t go anywhere.
I see your face when I look in the mirror, unroll your stories like you used to, reach out with your hands.
I know you wouldn’t want grief to be a spin that deceives me and leaves me turned around, the cover story that stops me delving into the dim lit, muddy mess of truth.
So I won’t let it.
I will let myself have moments of missing you, mourning you, let them drift by and see what else might be blowing in the wind. I will try to ask, ‘what is this I am really feeling’ and sit with your memory, with your loving stillness but also your bloody minded determination not to have bullshit at the table, as my emotions take a little time to find something to say for themselves.
I am always digging but you I will let rest as much as you need to.
And I will love you and in that love remember how to love myself, entirely, accepting of all I am and all I might come to be.
I love that I can look back and still clearly see that we didn’t always like each other, didn’t necessarily understand, but we really always love each other.
Love is quite the lesson Bab.