Wednesday, March 23, 2016

#SOL16: All the King's Horses



Crow Flying (M.A. Reilly, 2015)



You cannot find peace by avoiding life. - Michael Cunningham, The Hours 

I've been brave. I have avoided filling my life with stuff to do in order to not feel. Right now that is the bravest thing I've done in a while--save holding Rob's hand while he died. And in honesty that wasn't so much an act of bravery as it was an act of necessity, like breathing. My husband was not going to his death without knowing on a physical level that I was there with him, caring for him through his last breath.

Feeling is frightening in this time when my sense of self is so partial, my confidence a mere fraction of what it once was. Sometimes I think that if I feel too much, I will crack just like a frail Humpty Dumpty in a skirt. And I know on some fundamental level that all the king's horses and all his men will not be up for the job of putting me back together again. That's the dominant fear. If I allow my self to feel with out constraints--I will tumble over some metaphorical cliff, tumble from some high wall and not be able to find a way to reassemble and find my home again. I'll once again be an orphan.

In one book I was reading, Widow to Widow, the author, Genevieve Davis Ginsburg, advises strongly that a plan be made for every day so as to avoid that space of indecision and uncertainty. Ginsburg writes, "Tape this sign to your bathroom mirror where you can’t fail to see it every night: DO NOT GO TO SLEEP WITHOUT A PLAN IN YOUR HEAD FOR THE DAY AHEAD."

I understand the sentiment and have taken solace in the knowledge of a plan for a given day when I have one. In truth I am far more settled than on the days that stretch ahead and are largely undefined. Nonetheless,  I wonder how wise her advice actually is--especially if having a plan becomes a daily matter. What gets surpressed in all that business, certainty? Perhaps it is better to trust e.e. cummings who wrote, "Since feeling is first..."

Tuesdays are difficult, especially as the afternoon wears on. And I wonder how many Tuesday afternoons will need to pass before I forget to mark the day and time as x number of weeks or months or years since Rob's death.

7 comments:

  1. There will never come a Tuesday, or any other day, when you forget to mark that time. If such a day were to come, Rob would truly cease to exist, and you will never allow that to happen. Love really is forever; it is the only thing that holds this universe together.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Bill for seeing what I simply cannot see.

      Delete
  2. You have been brave, strong, supportive, honest, and so loving. Truly an inspiration to many. I remember at 16 fearing if I allowed myself to feel the pain of my grandmother Clara's death it would consume me. Once surgery revealed she'd soon die of cancer, I got it in my head I had to hold it together for my family. As a volunteer at the hospital where my grandmother stayed until she died, I was able to be with her a lot. After she died, I did everything I could to stay busy and not feel. Months later I woke up in the middle of night and ended up sobbing in my mother's arms. It was the first step of many towards dealing with my grief. I dearly loved my grandmother. I still miss her and at times still get teary when I think of her, but what once was intense pain associated with the tears is long gone. Now more often than not those tears reflect fond memories I'll always treasure.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Deborah, my grandmother died 25 years ago. I cry every time I visit her grave, yet they are tears bubbling over with joy at the relationship she and I had. She was the love of my life, and not even tears can stop a smile when she comes into my mind for a visit.

      Delete
    2. Thank Deb. Holding it in hurts more. Glad you could release the initial feelings.

      Delete
    3. Thanks for sharing, Bill. I so relate to your feelings. My grandmother died 47 years ago and I still experience the feelings you do over your grandmother. Yep, Mary Ann, holding in those feelings do hurt more.

      Delete
    4. It's hard. I'm so very lonely without Rob. The tears spill out along with the wails.

      Delete