Thursday, January 5, 2012

Strange Days

Today has been very interesting.  It started with waking from a dream; a dream I can barely remember.  This is rare.  The last thing I remember is rescuing another girl from danger.  We were in a neighborhood of glass houses.  As we ran from the house, hand in hand, I pulled her behind me.  One by one the houses began to explode.  We screamed in terror and continued to run, but because I was screaming, glass shrapnel got into my mouth and I swallowed the little shards.  I remember feeling them scratch their way down my throat, pulling a hunk out of the roof of my mouth.  But there was still a piece lodged way back to the left.  I couldn't reach it.  Couldn't pull it out.  Couldn't cough it out.  And so I woke up, feeling a stab of pain in that very place.  The sensation of glass in my throat has been with me all day.

TJ is always on my mind.  That goes without saying.  Even if I am not conscious of it every second, he is there.  And reminders that he is always there come up constantly.  For some reason today, he was in the forefront.  A barrage of moments with him.  One minute, in the car, I lifted my hand to my face and for an instant I smelled his skin instead of mine.  I lifted my hand back to my face as soon as the recognition dawned, but as quickly as the scent had come, it had gone.  I smelled my hand a third time just to be sure, but it was only me.  Returning from my errands, I don't know how I made it home.  My mind was so far away.  It must be muscle memory; it's the only explanation I have for driving myself to my front door.  All I could think about was how sad it was that TJ had died.  How he had asked the EMT's not to let him die, and then, that he really did die.  How much faith I placed into those words that he'd uttered.  I thought surely, now that they were formed, that it would be so.  That because he expressed his will to live that he would.  I thought about how sad it was that I thought those things.  That he could survive by his will and my will alone.  It's so tragically sad to have thought that was possible; that the universe would keep him alive just because he had proclaimed his desires.  Deep, deep sadness is all I could feel while I was driving.  I wasn't angry, I wasn't hysterical... I didn't even cry.  I just felt astonishingly sad.

Later in the day, I thought about our intimacy.  How I can't recall the feeling of his skin, of his lips.  For what seemed like hours, I could only imagine one simple act.  The tipping of his head towards my breast.  It played in a loop over and over again in my mind.  Oh, how I loved holding him to my chest!  Such a pure act of love.  To be able to nurture him.  Feeling complete satisfaction when with one simple act I could make him feel safe, make him feel loved.  Physical love is such a remarkable thing.  What a gift to be able to bestow every powerful stirring you have inside of you with a perfectly effortless touch.  When you're so desperately in love that words become meaningless; causing you to want to absorb your partner absolutely.  When closeness is never close enough.  I always wanted to be as close to him as humanly possible.  It was never enough.  I wanted to melt into him and never leave the warmth of his spirit, his touch, his scent.  His breath always smelled so sweet to me.  Almost a sicky sweet, it was that intoxicating.  I could get lost in it instantly.  I'm sure that if I ever smell anything like it again, I will recognize it.  But I can't conjure it, no matter how much I want to.  I know the power of those sensations.  If I am ever lucky enough to experience them again some day in nature, I will be a slave to them.  I will stop, I will savor.  I was so upset when the scent of his skin that came to me so suddenly was gone.  I tried to reproduce it.  Make my mind think that I was smelling him again.  But I just couldn't do it.

The loneliness is overwhelming me.  And the fact that my experiences are evolving scares the living shit out of me.  I don't miss him any less.  I don't feel any less pain.  The pain is changing.  I can't believe that I am starting to see things in a way in which he is no longer a part of my daily life.  Sometimes now, when I go places we went together, I don't immediately think "TJ should be here".  Because he won't ever be there with me again.  It's starting to sink in.  But it's a whole other kind of trepidation.  I'm not ready.  The best way I can think to describe it is the family photo in Back to the Future.  When Marty starts to fade away the more the past changes.  Instead, for me, TJ fades the more my future changes.  Every day that I spend without him changes my perspective.  I am powerless against it.  I know this is what is supposed to happen to me.  I am supposed to evolve.  But what I didn't realize was how much that evolution was going to hurt.  I thought it would be a natural progression to new life.  I didn't expect to want to hang on, kicking and screaming, trying to keep the pain from altering its course.

The way that I grieve the death of my husband is changing.  A new, unknown path is beginning to emerge.  A path still wrought with sadness and pain, yet these emotions are transforming against my will into something totally alien.  I don't know how to approach such a thing.  All that I have to go on is what I've experienced up to this point.  It was my only comfort; the only thing I was completely sure about was the pain I was feeling.  The loss I was feeling.  Now the pain, the sadness, the loss... they're still there.  A different kind of emotional future has me digging my heals into the dirt.  I'm not ready to go there.  I am at a precipice, anxiously awaiting the moment that I will be yanked completely out of my element.  There is nothing else that I can do.  How does one prepare for the unknown?  I can only brace myself for what is sure to come.

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