Tuesday, April 19, 2016

#SOL16: Grieving, Loving

Am I Blue? (Self portrait)


I.

Yesterday afternoon a massage therapist gave me Neem oil. "Use it right after a shower. Rub it into your skin." And so I did.

Several hours later I was itchy. By 5 a.m. I was awake and back in the shower getting any trace of the oil off of my skin. By noon I was taking Benadryl as I was having a significant skin reaction to wherever the oil had touched. By 4 p.m. I was home, had taken another shower, changed the sheets on the bed, and taken another dose of Benadryl. Nothing seemed to work.

I I.

But this isn't just a story about a mishap with oil. This is a story about loss. You see it is the first time I have been sick and somewhat scared about my own health since Rob was diagnosed with lung cancer last September and since his death in early March. And though I can and do take care of myself, I haven't had to do so alone for decades. I have always had Rob. And I know that if Rob were here he would have made me tea. He might have sternly ordered me to go see our doctor. I realize now that I felt safer with him around even though I don't think I actually acknowledged that feeling prior. Perhaps that is the essence of love. It is mostly tacit.

III.

And this story I am telling is incomplete. Well, what stories are ever complete? But after a good cry that coincided with remembering that six weeks ago at the very moment I was feeling so paralyzed, Rob died, my son appeared at the bedroom door and asked, "Why don't you go to the doctor. I can drive you."

And so after a moment of hesitation, I nodded yes and phoned. We went and our doctor prescribed a cure, along with a shot and now I am healing.

Tonight I am a bit of a mess. It was not lost to me how my son channelled his dad and how vulnerable I felt at that moment. And this too was bittersweet, though more sweet than bitter.

Each turn of the day reveals both loss and love, over and over again.


4 comments:

  1. Evening Mary Ann,
    I tried leaving a comment a few days ago and it looks like it didn't take but I'm back again, reading and writing to you. You might know that I lost my husband, almost 8 months ago now... I've been writing letters to him most days and it's been very therapeutic for me to write and get responses on my blog. As I read your posts I'm remembering how I felt in the earlier months of my mourning and how much it mattered to me when I got responses from women that actually went through what I was going through. So, I'm responding with no advice but to say it's powerful to read your posts and I'm feeling for you because for me, the last 8 months have been the hardest 8 months of my life and I am starting to get back to myself now but I'm very fragmented- on leg is moving forward, the other is resistant, hesitant... I can recommend one wonderful book to you if you would like to read something very powerfully written about a mother with two boys who has to deal with the untimely death of her husband... The Light of The World, by Elizabeth Alexander. I will keep reading your posts and commenting when I can... I'm walking along side you.
    Bonnie

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    Replies
    1. Dear Bonnie,

      Thank you. It is women and men who know this very fractured existence that help me the most. I bought Elizabeth Alexander's books. Thank you so much for the recommendation. Opened it and read: "Perhaps tragedies are only tragedies in the presence of love, which confers meaning to loss. Loss is not felt in the absence of love" (p. 3).

      I can't wait to read more.
      Thank you for walking with me.

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