|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.