I still talk to TJ. I stared at his photo last night and thanked him over and over for all of the gifts he has given me. I told him that I learned so much from him during our time together and that I continue to learn from him even in death. The tears were pouring down my face. Huge, fat, hot tears. And I had a smile on my face. I told him about the sign we use in school to show "gift received". Over and over I thumped my chest and then laid a flat palm over my heart. As I cried and stared into his eyes I felt my heart pounding under my hand. Through the entire exchange I kept having to remind my body to breathe.
The changes I have observed in myself over the past few months are astonishing. I read my old blog entries from a year ago and the pain is palpable. I am so thankful for that experience of pain. I am so thankful that I allowed myself to sit with my grief. I can't imagine where I'd be now, or the person I might be, if I had held on to that pain in an unhealthy way. I cringe wondering what bitterness might live inside my heart if I had forced myself to carry on, business as usual, when my body needed to be in grief. In school we hear often that the power to heal is already inside of us. All of the knowledge of the universe we already know. I am so proud that I trusted myself to do things my way, to take care of myself how I saw fit. And I continue to do so. My body knows that I must allow the grief to move through me. My loss is still raw. My grief is still very strong. And allowing myself to feel all of those things and also joy and possibility is liberating.
I miss my husband intensely. Not a day goes by that I don't say his name out loud. His pictures are on every surface of my room and my kitchen. I am living in grief and in possibility simultaneously. I never knew it could be so seamless. I am grateful to be able to experience both of those emotions. It means that I am human. It means that I can feel. It means that I am alive. To be alive and feeling is a precious gift.