Today, I am afraid to bare myself. To take a dip in the deep blue sea before me. Is it but a metaphor for going deeper into what makes me tick, tock, tick? Is this a familiar pattern of how I have lived my life? Need I ask you to read, to validate my reason for being here? Maybe. I feel so very alone in this moment.
I stand here by the edge of the water, sandals on, purse over shoulder, can of ashes within. True confession. I am such a chicken – fearful of what is before me, represented by the breadth and depth of this huge, foreboding body of water. I see others wading into its depths. They are smiling. They are brave, or stupid, take your pick. Currently, in my state of mind, no other options are available.
Do I allow my fear to fool me into false complacency, thinking it is better to stupidly feel the nasty quiver running up and down my spine than be brave to dive headlong into the 9.9 quakes of grief, those paralyzing temblors, heaping buckets of tears, which have, in the past, now currently, threaten to drown me. They didn’t before. Can I breathe, touch, stay and feel aka dive my way into the abyss of this pain which has once again reminded me of how much Max, my partner (whom I thought was for life and actually was, only his was shorter than mine) is no longer here beside me (at least not physically so). And if he is not “here” what have I been believing/thinking/feeling anyway? Can I back up, in fact, what i have been experiencing since he’s been out of body? Why him, not me? Does he really talk to me? What have I been hearing anyway? Ad nauseum.
What could possibly hurt me more? If I dip just one toe into the big blue wetness would I then be swallowed whole? What would be so bad about that? I might not even care, except that I actually do love my life and except perhaps that teensy bit of sad which, when i feel it ain’t so small and is not the aspect of my life, I would say I love so very much. So many exceptions. I contradict myself, which is so damn confusing.
I remember when he left, the look of awe on his face as he took his last breaths. Was that merely the expression of his physical body telling his spirit, ” I give up, here’s the door, let’s use it, now!? ” His wonderful, loving spirit must’ve jumped through that heavenly opening (can’t you see the big blue sky with hints of iridescent golds, pinks and purples and those fantastic puffy clouds) with wide abandon, so very done with that useless, diseased and exhausted body, once rugged, handsome and oh so cuddly.
It happened before I could say, ” Please, wait a minute, don’t go, I haven’t said everything I needed to tell you. I didn’t feel enough of your kisses, or hugs or pats on the back. I only remember some of your stories, wise words and jokes. Tell them to me again. We’re not finished here…at least I’m not and that’s all that matters.” I sometimes feel so guilty for feeling that way, I mean wanting him to stay when it was really his time to go.
In my strange imagination, I picture Max beginning to float above us, singing as if he were Groucho Marx, ala movie Animal Crackers, but definitely being the Max I remember who sang so well, making me swoon.
“Hello, I must be going. I cannot stay, I came to say I must be going. I’m glad I came, but just the same, I must be going.”
And there I, in perfect musical fantasy style, plead:
“For my sake you must stay, for if you go away, you’ll spoil this party, I am throwing.”
Here I stand by water’s edge, selfish co-dependent bitch that I am, was, maybe I am still, one year later, with second “Can o’Max” ashes ready to be scattered, this time in the Mediterranean Sea, except, I am too much, as i said previously, a chicken. And, in reality, if any of this life as-we-think-we-know-it is actually real, I put the still-full can back into my purse. Not yet. I am not ready. The first can was easier, I think.
Then, in a moment of emotional amnesia, I begin to take off my sandals, ignore the stones, the pieces of wood and shell mixed with the red volcanic sand and just feel the water. Its awfully cool for such a warm day. I briefly wade in just above my ankles. Not bad. Dare I go further? We’ll see. I breathe deeply the sea air and regard the swimmers, sunbathers, strolling sightseers. They are neither stupid nor brave now. Did they change or did I? God, I can be so judgmental. I really ought to be more patient.
Further in I go….not too far…no need for another freak-out. Oh dear, another wave of sadness. Why is that the case when the ocean is so fucking calm? Isn’t this my metaphor, why can’t it fit the way I want it to?
And,….Why is it so tough for me to open this can and empty it’s contents? You don’t care, you’re dead, you bastard! Oh shit, now I’m angry?!? If I let go this pound of bone and burnt-up-flesh that once was you (and seems really gross if I ponder it too long), you won’t care… So why should I?
Because I remain here to put the pieces of our life in order, to make sense of what is no longer and what is now. Each day I agree to learn more about who I am. Honestly, I need not know more of who you are/were. Do I? That’s done…the past is just that, isn’t it ? My attempt at simplicity is messing with this rationale, as if time were indeed linear, but it seems not to be the case. I’ve checked, even Scientific American and countless physicists are still scratching their heads about what time is. And except for those who require time to be a straight-ass line, it isn’t. Thusly, most of my attempts at making sense of my grieving, letting go, moving on might be thwarted by this logic. Could we be meeting again on some other plane of existence? I’m not holding my breath.
Well, tomorrow is another day to let go of can #2. When I do, I will also be releasing our shared, unfulfilled hopes and dreams and begin to create new ones of my own, for and by myself..if you choose to show up in dreams or talk to me as I write, I will pay some attention..but I am so very sorry to tell you, you no longer will have a very big say. Your leaving made me look at my life in a new way. Change does that. You taught me to embrace it. Here I am following your lead.
The fear abates. I can do this. I can bear the act of baring my soul. The depth of my feelings is not as scary as first I thought. And being alone? Is anyone really alone? If you’re reading this you are proof, I’m not alone and neither are you. Surprisingly, I am quite thankful to be able to feel, to express myself, to acknowledge to myself I have so much love inside me. And now, saying that, I’m going to bed.