Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Nostalgia

I'm pretty tired of writing here.

I've never had an end date in mind, but I think I'll know it when it's here and I feel like I'm rounding the bend.  Not because there's nothing more to say or write, but because there is no end to all there is to say and write.  And it's painful.

Audrey's imaginary friend Sarah has been missing her appa.  She's been sad.  This makes me sad to hear.

I really wish people wouldn't refer to their husband as "hubs" or "the hubs" on Facebook- it's annoying.  

Acceptance is not about accepting the death, or even death itself, but about accepting sorrow.  That there is no quick fix, that not even time will "heal," as so many tell you in the beginning.  Time deepens.  The sadness doesn't dissipate, it soaks in.

Grief is a kind of intense nostalgia.  Nostalgia- that malaise that you feel when you realize you didn't value something or some time or some one enough until you didn't have it anymore.  If nostalgia is a cotton muslin blanket you wrap around your infant in the summertime, grief is the lead vest they put on you before X-rays.

Today when we come back from Audrey's dance class at the library, I slowly put the key in the door, remembering just for a moment what it was like to know someone - you- was inside.  Waiting for us.  What it was like when I knocked at the door and hear your footsteps and saw the knob turning.  It's hard to remember what that felt like.  How taken for granted that simple knowledge that the one you love is inside your home waiting to open the door for you.

And just as it is with that one simple action of placing the key in the lock of our door, every action throughout the day is laced with you.  There is nothing that I touch or do that doesn't make me categorize "before" or "after."  Audrey tries on all of the shoes in her shoe basket by the door and I gently hold the little flip flops with bows that you got her in Korea that are now much too small.  I envision you picking those out in some store and handling them just the way I am now.  It seems I can get back there- to that place where you're buying them.

In cooking each meal, every thought is of you- how much to make now, when I first made this pesto dish in a walk-up apartment on the Upper West side while we were still dating.  In my recipe book I find meal plans for us with little notes saying, "Leftovers for Dan's lunch."  I learned to cook while cooking for you and eating is the most basic of functions- three times a day.  It's kind of like someone with an eating disorder who can not give up eating the same way an alcoholic must and can quit alcohol cold-turkey.  No, the person with the eating disorder must rearrange their relationship with the food because they can't get away from it that entirely.  And so it is for me, the way each meal and moment means partaking of you and our life together.   For an anorexic it is eating only that must be relearned.  For the grieving, it is breathing.

3 comments:

  1. You are an amazing writer.....you are able to put into words things that I have felt since I lost my husband 6 1/2 months ago. I hope you don't stop writing.

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  2. Julia,

    If writing here is too painful, then of course you have to stop. But I hope you will continue to write somewhere, somehow because you express yourself beautifully. And if that somewhere happens to be on a blog, please send me the link.

    Kathy Zucker

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  3. Julia,
    The two paragraphs about acceptance and grief were very meaningful to me. This is the very day, July 27th, of the first year anniversary since our son's death.
    Thank you.

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