The other night in reading an excerpt from Ann Dawson’s, A Season of Grief, I was smacked upside the head and I’m still seeing stars. I’ve spent the last 24 hours thinking about its message and how to apply it to my lollygagging resistance towards moving on.
I have been standing firm in my almost 18 month widowed position, claiming and retaining my former marriage as security against the unknown. I wear my wedding band. I am Mrs. Thomas. I wake in the morning and kiss Tom’s picture first thing, saying, “hello sweetie, it’s another day without you, but I’m counting on your support to get me through it” and I think about what I will see or do or hear today that brings Tom out front and center, right where I like to keep him.
My husband, my talentedlovingdearbrilliantfunnykind man who made our before days easily light and loving with little effort. Gads, just getting dressed for an evening out gave me such joy for the pleasure it gave him to watch…and stepping into the car and holding hands on our way to the restaurant guaranteed a meal that became an evening’s event…our time together was this way, he burned bright and made the ordinary extraordinary. And, I equally participated in surprising him with odd notes and spontaneous declarations of love like on the escalator at Macy’s or while looking through boxes of bananas at the farmer’s market. Simple pleasures are the best kind of loving. My favorite deed to start his day was to drop my nightie while standing in the picture window as he passed by in his car. I’d wave and blow a kiss and Tom just lit up and guffawed and threw his head back and I would throw my head back and laugh at him laughing!
I was 53 when he unexpectedly died during elective surgery. 53 going on 33, going on 13 by the time that day was over. I was a scared child going to bed alone that horrible night. Creeping over to my husband’s side of the bed to curl in the furrow his bodyprint left in an unfluffed mattress. I haven’t left that side yet and never will. I will not allow his spot to be empty. I lie there and face what was my side of the bed and wonder who, who filled that space? I don’t know her, I don’t know where she has gone.
But, I read the excerpt from A Season of Grief, and boing, realized I am hurting myself with these pretenses. My gestures have been noble, but they have been lies.
Over the course of the next few days I have planned personal ceremonies, alone, to say goodbye to each part of Tom I am keeping unfairly alive. I want to sing a goodbye song, and have a goodbye dance. I want to prepare a goodbye meal, and lay down to sleep with a goodbye prayer.
My wonderful husband deserves to have my blessings for his exciting journey into his new world and my concentration will now be on his release from my hold.
And, I am going to work hard, hard, and harder to find a parallel exciting journey right here on earth from this point on.
I am placing Tom with the stars and from this point on that’s where I will look when I want to find him. No more searching earthly confines restricting his freedom. And mine. I will carry his essence in my heart, but hear me now, Tom :::whoosh::: I am saying goodbye, you are free and now in the care of angels and universal love and I offer all my love to sweep you up to that kingdom where you now belong.
I will hear nature melodies and feel winds and look through clouds for glimpses knowing I will find you there now.
I’m whispering now, quiet and hushed … … … goodbye, love goodbye, love goodbye, love…
© July 28, 2005