Feeling savage and angry that Dave is gone. It’s Easter Sunday and I am not comforted. A year ago, in the spring, we sat together in the garden, clowning around, about to have our coffee and Boston Cream donuts. He was thin but we hoped and prayed we could beat the Stage 4 pancreatic cancer he had, against the odds.The second picture is our two rings, his on the outside which I took off his finger after he died in my arms on September 10, 2016 at 10:10 in the morning, mine on the inside, which fall together just like this. I never knew until I hung them around my neck.
This morning I will go to church. My dear friend, Janet, is saving me a seat. I will bring tissues. It will be the first time I have been in any church, except for the rummage sale in Marblehead, since David’s memorial service. I went the day after he died, the day of his service and today. Why? I haven’t been able to bear it. I don’t want just his spirit, although it’s nice (and aggravating) to feel him around me in music and signs. I want him to have and to hold from October 5, 1996, the way I was promised, that long life together we dreamed of. In that moment of joyful expectancy, “till death do us part, ” was not real for us.
I have prayed and it’s cold comfort. Today, I go to church for Easter Sunday. It’s the beginning of the seventh month since David died.
Five Things NOT to say to me or do today, if you see me in church
- You know David is with you in spirit. Yes, but it’s not much comfort. He turns on and off lights, candles, TV and musical messages.
- Trust that God is with you and will sustain you. Yes, but not in our home or our bed. Those are empty of all but David’s presence and my memories of our twenty-five years together.
- I am sure your grief will get better as time passes, day-by-day. I know that with my head but not my heart. So far, I see only an endless landscape of grieving, always there, in the background or foreground.
- Don’t hug me, pet me or touch me without permission, especially if you are uncomfortable with loss yourself. Just stay away. You handle your own feelings. Mine are drowning me and I can’t deal with anyone else’s. The day after David died, a woman I knew patted and patted my arm until I thought about biting her or screaming at her. She meant well, was being a good person. Just don’t.
- If I cry, I am not broken, just unbearably sad. You don’t need to leave to make me feel more comfortable. I don’t need to leave to ‘compose’ myself and return when I am better. I am as OK as I can be and actively pursuing my own wellbeing, which includes allowing myself to grieve for as long as necessary, at the same time as I go on with my life. It could be a long wait.
I am grateful for my connection with my family, friends, colleagues, mentors and clients, so glad and grateful. Be patient. I am well and thriving, as best I can, submitting my first poem to be published, launching my first mini-series, singing open mic every week. Thank you and I love you for loving me as I am, where I am.