James Taylor Made Me Cry

True Story Magazine, pulpy, always a photo on the front of a young woman on the front with a blurb about what she had done for love? True Story had a monthly feature called “My Visit from Beyond”. My high school bestie and I used to love to read those out loud to each other, complete with weird sound effects. The sound effects were used to punctuate the lameness of the stories that consisted of lonely lovelorn women seeing shadows of lovers from past lives in doorways and dead aunts telling them where they had hidden their pearls.

Circa 1985, proving that interesting things only happened to people in soft focus in the ’80s.

I have no doubt my skepticism about all things paranormal spring from this experience. Not only did these experience with the ‘other world’ seem mundane, they were obviously wish fulfillment fantasies.

Now I wonder. This morning I turned on the radio, the first song I heard was James Taylor’s Fire and Rain. I’ve never paid much attention to the 1970’s singer/songwriter types, but being of a certain age, there is no way you don’t know that song. Heck, I had never realized it was about someone dying, it was just something that played in the background a lot when I was a kid.

That song had me in tears before the first chorus. The mixture of grief, realization, self disgust, and finally laughter through tears, at my silliness was intense. Seriously how could I, Addie Pray, be breaking down will listening to James Taylor? Then I figured it out, it was ‘my visit from beyond’, David was haunting me, sending me a message.

Nothing would make him laugh more than seeing me break down over a song like that. It’s so not me, and so David to play a paranormal practical joke on me. God, I loved that man.

I really hope it was him trying to make laugh today.

I’m Fine. Considering….

I’m Fine, I really am…..considering.

I’m very close to the one year mark of the big bad. Sometimes it’s hard to believe so much time has passed, sometimes it seems like it was much longer ago that I lost David. In this last year I haven’t moved through time in the same way I did before. Some things have moved incredibly fast, others seem not to move at all. I think part of me will always be stuck in the horrifying time when I lost him.

But I’m fine. Considering. Life has gone on, the world has keep turning, and even if I haven’t been completely involved in that forward march at all times, I’ve kept my sense of the movement. As I move into the next year, one thing I fear is people will think I’m over it. I’m not, and I’m not going to be. The passage of time doesn’t change what happened. I’m changed. I may be moving forward, but I haven’t forgotten. It will always be a part of who I am.

Some folks understand I’ll not be the same. They’ve let me know they are still here for me and I can’t tell you how much that means to me. They are my true friends. They know, no matter how fine I seem, I’m still carrying this thing.

It’s been a bittersweet year, good things, wonderful things, have come my way along with the bad. They stand out starkly and beautifully, and they always will. I’ve been given gifts that opened the world back up to me, made me know living is worthwhile, let me know that my ability to love didn’t die.

I have no idea what I want to say here. Just that I’m fine. At least for now.

 

If I Could Wear Your Clothes, I’d Pretend I Was You

I came across a shirt yesterday. A man’s dress shirt, fine white cotton,athletic cut, french cuffs, beautifully made. It was David’s favorite shirt, it fit him well. It showed his wide shoulders, long body, and small waist to best advantage. He looked damn good in it. Nobody else could ever wear that shirt.

I laundered it, pressed it, and hung it my closet. His closet in now my closet, just like everything else he ever had. Most of his clothes are gone, I’ve keep a few things, most are packed away, but some things stay. The good things, the things that defined him, the things that made him unique.

When your love dies, in some ways, you become them, not just legally, but in a much deeper sense. You are the closest thing left of them, you incorporate them in ways you never thought possible. Just as you could finish their thoughts in life, you finish them in death. You have their voice. It can be so intense sometimes it’s hard to tell your voice from theirs, but there is no confusing the source of that voice.

You hold on to the irreplaceable, the core of who that person was, the preciousness of memory. To suggest they could be replaced is an impossibility, it denies both my worth and the strength of the true memory of my love. Nobody else could ever wear that shirt, and I would never pretend to dress anyone else in it. It belonged to David.

There is a strange duality to widowhood, if you haven’t been here, it’s hard to understand. Having loved doesn’t keep you from loving and sometimes the message on both sides of the unmistakable border of what was, and what it is now, is the same. Don’t let go.

In and Out of Sync

Yesterday was a rough one. David’s death has been a catalyst for lots of other things. Sometimes loss paralyzes people, sometimes it makes them frantic. Most people experience periods of both. When the folks who cared deeply about the person lost aren’t in sync in their periods of paralysis and excess activity it can be hard.

There are folks that always seem to be in sync with each other, no matter the situation, or how much time has passed since they last saw each other. It was that way with David and a friend of his. They were friends as children, extremely close as teenagers though they lived far from each other, and constant companions in young adulthood. Their lives took different directions and communication was just here and there as they got older, but when they were together, it was as if they were never apart. They were true friends.

I think he probably cared about David as much as any one in the world. His grief breaks my heart. He was my friend too and I hate to hear the pain in his voice. Grief is a strange thing, you don’t just grieve for the one that’s gone, you grieve for the loss others feel.

He’s coming to see me today. It’s going to be hard, but I hope he finds some closure, peace, or whatever he can. I hope I can help.

For some reason this song always makes me think of him. He’s a real what you give kind of guy.

I’ve Lost My Balance

In the past few weeks the world has become both smaller and larger.

My own little everyday world has shrunk by half. The demands of keeping everything running smoothly have become simpler.  I don’t have anyone to feed, I just eat when I can. I don’t have enough laundry to worry about sorting it. The clutter around the house has been frozen in time. Many of the things left out a few weeks ago, waiting to find a place, are still waiting. Some of this clutter will be acted upon, saved, filed, other things will never their intended use here. Maybe someone else will find use for these little things, maybe they won’t. I don’t know yet.

Everything outside my door has become bigger by two, maybe more.  I’ve always been independent, have taken care of my own things and my own business, but it was good to know I had some back-up when I needed it. My friends and family are there, but it’s not the same. It’s not their job to take care of me, I’m not supposed to be the person taken into account about the decisions they, or I, make.

The best definition I have ever heard of marriage was that it is an institution that makes you take another person into account in every decision. I was comfortable in that, I didn’t see it as limiting. I saw it as the opportunity to take advantage of another viewpoint, another set of skills, the wealth of another experience. David and I were very much alike, but our thought processes were very different. He was more mechanical, logical, a gatherer of all essential pieces before beginning. I tend to run a lot more on emotion, passion and anger. He kept me out of a lot of trouble and I pushed him toward things he might not have done.

I find myself asking myself what he would have done a lot lately. I usually think I know, but I can’t be sure.

I know I’m going to lose my balance and crash now when I wouldn’t before in some situations. It frightens me.

I’m Not Strong

I’m not strong, I do probably look that way, but it’s an unintentional front. I am gutted, sad, screaming inside. I want my David back. I want to punch the fucking Universe in the face. I cannot fathom that my poor sweet husband had to go through that, he deserved better.

David wasn’t done. He still had so many things he wanted to do. I cry not just for the things we would do together, but the things he would achieve, the things he would make, the stuff he would make work. I cry for the beautiful days he won’t see and the good meals he won’t eat.

Losing him seems to be much too much about me and not nearly enough about him sometimes.

Make no mistake this is about David.

My sweet, smart, curious, and ambitious David.