It is sixteen months. It is very, very quiet now. I am pretty sure I am lucky that the emails/correspondence/visits lasted for as long as they did. I remember now how the grief counselor told me to ask myself why God would be giving me this quiet time and what can I gain from it at this point on my journey.
I’m sure the more time passes, the more others breathe a sigh of relief that we’re traveling away from the horror of your death, and therefore, I must be doing better. It defies words to try to explain how little I have been able to process your death, even in all of these months so far. It is obvious to me now that it will take many, many more. I stop rushing. I stop running. I let it come over me- the pain- the reality. Any griever can tell you how the death of a loved one warps time in such strange ways. It’s almost as though the initial grief is time thrown upon you- you can envision your entire future life without that person in an instant. I have envisioned my daughter at 21 months- walking down her wedding aisle as a young woman. At the same time that you’re seeing your whole future – you’re seeing your whole past- the life review they call it in near-death experience literature. Only you’re still alive.
This compression of time happens in the early days and then, I think, the grieving process means you are slowly unraveling time back to its proper place- past and future. You cannot possibly continue living with it all at once this way.
I have already had a few days where I have thought- wow- in another eight months it will be two years. And that sounds ludicrous. I am still waiting to hear from you. Still waiting on your return.
While Audrey is at preschool today I go to the Dr. for my yearly gynecological visit- the first time since you’ve died. Pregnant women everywhere. A crazy old lady crocheting a cream colored blanket “for my king sized bed” in the waiting room asking everyone if it was their first and if they’re finding out what they’re having. Then all the questions from the nurse and the doctor. I have to tell them. The nurse, probably feeling she’s found just the right words, “Have a beautiful year OK?,” as she exits and I go to put on the gown behind the little curtain.
It’s another task done. Taking care of myself. Another long day.
A good friend put it this way: The days are long, but the years are short. In some ways, I’m kind of counting on that.