Saturday, March 29, 2014

I'm Not Back There, I'm Here

Such a lovely thing to do, to start each day: to sit outside in my tree-framed, enclosed back yard, meditate, journal, and do a short piece of "mindful writing". But last time I did that daily, my husband was dying. He left home for hospital and never came back. So I am reluctant now, for fear of reviving those memories.

In this place, where we lived for almost the last three years of his life, the memories are all of his decline — increasing age and frailty, illnesses harder and harder to counteract. There is sweetness too, among those memories, but even so I have reached a point where I don't want to keep reviving them.

Time is my ally. I noticed recently that I have become alone in my head. That is to say, my consciousness now is of myself, singular, whereas before — and for a long time after his death — my inner consciousness was of being coupled, always taking into account his presence, his ideas, his preferences. This was not in a dutiful or compulsive way; our shared life was a joy. It was more just the natural state of things, which I wasn't even particularly aware of until later. Now, though, I am just me, unentwined from my dear Other. I'm back to how it was before Andrew, so this state is not exactly unfamiliar — it's just been a long time. But I am getting used to it again, now that it's here.

Yesterday I noticed that I have also, finally, adjusted to being physically alone in this home (well, except for the cats and various visiting spirits). It finally feels natural that I walk around it all by myself. In fact I now fill it all by myself. 

Sometimes I have a slight reluctance to enter what used to be his office. But it's only momentary. That space is very changed, and last winter I happily used it as my sitting room, my sunroom. I expect to do that again this year.

This is a good home and it suits me — as it suited both of us. The only trouble is that this was the scene of his decline and so those are the memories it arouses. I miss him, but I'm sick of remembering him like that. Earlier memories creep in, but they have different contexts.

To arrive at a date 18 months since his death seemed a significant milestone. The first year is still in some ways a blur. I think I was so much, still, connected to the past (of course).  Entering the second year, I'm clearer; I am more distinctly my self, and have learned that I can go on — even if the thought of going on without him does still fill me with tears at times. 

Time of course did not stop at the 18-month mark, and now it's nearly 19 months already. How can it be? The days and weeks go inexorably on, adding up. Time passes. When all's said and done, I'm glad of that. I begin to look forward, to become curious about what my life will be. I'm not just marking time any more, as I was for so long (though I think I put on a good show on the outside). I'm not exactly striding forward either, but at least I'm looking down the path ahead.

I see a time, though I don’t know when, that I’ll begin my days with a meditate in my back yard, and a bit of journalling….

10 comments:

  1. This is lovely. Thank you for sharing. I hope that you continue to heal.

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    1. Thank you; I believe I shall. I just have to go through it, step by step.

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  2. I'm Glad you are thinking of being there. I know it is pretty and should be very inspiring. You aren't alone though, Rosemary. A lot of us, me for sure, don't utilize the good things we have with not nearly as good a reason as you have.

    One more thing, I remember back this nineteen, it doesn't seem that long. Best wishes, Rosemary. I think your writing and sharing helps you. Now, just pick a time, you'll be glad.
    ..

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    1. Dear Jim, your unfailing kindness and understanding always helps, and I think you are often quite right in what you say, as you are this time too. :)

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    2. Rosemary, you are the greatest! Thank you. :)

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  3. Beautiful…
    time is an amazing but scary thing...

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  4. I can feel the pain through your words, Rosemary, I'm so sorry. But also your strength, your will to live your life in the here and now. A beautiful post. Thank you.
    ~Marion

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    1. Thank you. It is strange to me that people say these posts are beautiful. I am always afraid they will sound whiny and repetitive, but I need to write them anyway. I'm glad to know they don't come across as I fear.

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