A Day for Dozing

I keep opening my laptop to write today’s blog, but then I play a game of solitaire, close the lid and go read a bit and end up taking a nap. I don’t know why I can’t stay awake. The heat perhaps, though it’s not all that hot in the house. It could be something to do with the falling barometric pressure and the storm that is on the way bringing rain and hail.

This area is notorious for hail, so much so that some insurance companies don’t include hail damage in house or car insurance policies, and the ones that do include some coverage, have a huge deductible. (The insurance companies say it’s the law in Colorado, but they aren’t fooling anyone — they want the law, policy holders don’t.) One good thing, my car is finally under cover, so I don’t have to worry about the poor things being pummeled by golf ball-size hail.

Although I don’t think it has anything to do with today’s sleepiness, today is Jeff’s birthday. That milestone doesn’t seem to have anything to do with me anymore — it just seems like another number and a reason to remember him as well as indulge in a bit of nostalgia.

Even though I feel good about my life now, I still miss him, still find myself confused at times about his being gone. I know it’s the way it is, and I have become used to it, but it still seems . . . off. As if maybe our being together was a dream. As if I dreamed him and none of that was real. Or maybe it’s this particular phase of my life that’s not particularly real. Either way, it doesn’t seem as if his life has anything to do with mine. Or mine with him.

It was a long time ago — our life together. His death.

I wrote a post seven years ago about how, in the movie Heaven Must Wait, Andrew McCarthy tells Louise Lombard that his mother died. She told him she was sorry. He said, “It was a long time ago.” At the time, the line struck me as particularly poignant, and I realized that someday, I too would say, “It was a long time ago.”

It is odd, and perhaps typical of such a loss as mine, that although time passes and other things in life supplant at least some of his influence, and although I don’t think of him all the time, I do always miss him. The void he left behind that I filled with tears is still there, but when I happen to brush against that void, I tend to shy away from it. I don’t need the tears as I once did, and there’s no real benefit to indulging in sadness anymore. It really was a long time ago.

And yet . . .

Maybe that’s reason enough for sadness — that he’s so far away the tears no longer come.

Considering body memory, I suppose it’s possible that the effects of this day are draining my energy enough to make me doze off. But whatever the reason, the truth — the still hurtful truth — is that I am here and he is not.

***

Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator

Grief: “It was a long time ago.”

Last night I watched the 2002 movie Heaven Must Wait. In one scene, Andrew McCarthy tells Louise Lombard that his mother died. She told him she was sorry. He said, “It was a long time ago.”

And I started crying.

I don’t know why that line struck me as being so poignant since I’ve heard the same sentiment in dozens of movies during the past few years. Maybe it was the sadly resigned way McCarthy delivered the line. Perhaps it was the underlying truth of the words — that time passes. Probably it was the reminder that my life mate/soul mate is moving further and further away from me. Or am I moving away from him? Either way, time is separating us.

Certain parts of our shared life are still very fresh in my mind: the day we met, the last time I held him in my arms, the moment of his death. It sometimes seems we parted such a short time ago that he could still be at home, waiting for me. But the years are passing. That first year crept by slowly, as if time itself were reluctant to let him go, but the years are beginning to pass swiftly now. It’s been more than three years since he died. Soon it will be four years, then five. And some day, I too will say, “It was a long time ago.”

Who will I be then? What will I have done? Will I still miss him? Of course I will miss him. I will always miss him. He was a major part of my life for thirty-four years, but with the passing years, his influence on my life might wane. Other experiences will have an impact on me. Other thoughts will change the way I view life. And he will have no part in any of it.

I don’t cry much for him any more. Days, weeks go by dry-eyed, though I have occasional upsurges of sadness. “Long time ago” is still a long way away, and yet last night I had the first inkling that such a time is approaching. And so, I cried for the coming years when he will be so very far from me that the tears will no longer come.

***

Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels Light Bringer, More Deaths Than One, A Spark of Heavenly Fire, and Daughter Am I. Bertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.” Follow Pat on Google+. Like Pat on Facebook.