When I got home from work on Monday I was tired from a busy day and a fun weekend. So I dozed on the couch after dinner while watching TV. It was one of those twilight sleeps where I where I felt sort of awake–but couldn’t stop it if I tried. Ken came and sat down on the couch sort of in front of me, propping himself up on his arm as leaned in toward me, looking at me with a knowing smile. I reached over and rubbed up and down his arm, my hand finally resting upon his enormous hand. It was real. I could see the hair pattern on his arm, the crinkle of his grin, and the lipstick-smudge-of-a-birthmark on his cheek.
Then I woke up. Aching and forlorn. And pissed at myself because I should have known better. I knew this would happen, I thought as I berated myself for falling so hard and so deep into an instantly beautiful, but false and fragile “reality.”
It had occurred to me something like this would happen. Usually periods of great fun (my visit with Denise last weekend) are followed by some emotional trap and a “griefburst” or two. Add in some sadness and emotional cutting as I looked longingly through photos, videos, Facebook posts and cards, effortlessly assisting me lower and lower into my den of grief.
I was mired in sadness for a couple of days, but somehow this time I had some understanding why it was happening and where I was within it–which felt slightly empowering and helped me move through it. Then my friend Mindy published this blog. She emailed me to give me a heads up–because part of it was about Ken. I immediately stopped what I was doing and pulled up her blog “Never as the Crow Flies.” It was about how she felt she was losing her passion for writing, and that perhaps, it was something she should give up. (I would have done everything I could to keep her from making such a disastrous decision.) But as you read her blog (and urge you to), you’ll see I didn’t have to take any action at all. Ken took care of it–or part of it.
He spoke to her a similar fashion that he speaks to me–and with a similar message. As I considered taking a sabbatical from work, I heard him loud and clear: to go for it and take the time to focus on my passion for writing. (More to come on that later.)
As I’ve become more familiar with grief, I liken her to a guest who has full access to come into my house and sit down–whether invited or not. And she won’t even entertain the notion of leaving until you’ve acknowledged her presence–and even then she isn’t always quick to make her exit. I can’t say she’s unwelcome because I know her visits are an important part of my journey, but I can say when I see her coming my way I groan, “I hope to hell she’s going to someone else’s house.”
I’d like to think her visits are less frequent and she doesn’t get as comfortable as she used to. But what I do know for a fact about her is that she’s unpredictable.