The Friday before Labor Day Weekend. It must be an exciting weekend for those in the world. They must have plans and feel the relief of an extra day off from work. Maybe they’ll travel or see friends…try to make the most out of this last weekend of summer.
I still can’t believe it’s September. You’re still not home. I will not get used to this for many Septembers. The concept of death in its finality still alludes me now greatly. I wish to have the understanding but not the pain. I brace myself for both because it’s been a fairly functioning afternoon.
After Audrey’s nap, my parents took her outside to blow bubbles by the lobby for a bit. I began to straighten up, not quite sure where to start. I found myself starting with Audrey’s little bookshelf- rotating out a few books in there, going into my closet where I keep the rest. Making it look pretty. I saw the little board book you used to sing to her all the time to the nursery rhyme: There was a Crooked Man- it’s broken in half from so much use. Even though you said the nursery rhymes made no sense, you made up songs for all of those books and sang them to her. Peter Piper was another one you did and I think you took great pride in getting that tongue twister down.
I pushed all of the photo albums around our bed into one corner and made the bed.
I went through the week’s papers/mails and recycled some and put the rest in my “to do” basket next to the bed. I added a few sympathy cards to the other overflowing basket next to my bed.
I felt like taking a little break from the albums and photos and the counselor had suggested that as well…but then I found a few things that I’ve now read and set by my bed for later. Things that punctured the wound- many important words mostly. I will spend more time with those words once Audrey’s asleep.
A light bulb in the little hallway between our bedroom and our bathroom blew out. I found a new one and climbed up on a stool to replace it. Grief heightens the senses so that every move you make is slow and filled with sound and endowed with meaning. The screwing of the bulb into place reminded me of the sound of your casket closing for the last time. I saw the reflection of my head and face on the milky bulb- peering in, balancing on the stool.
Later, I put something in the closet by the entryway. I found myself going through the pockets of your winter and fall coats, hoping to find something. Nothing. You were pretty good about that kind of thing. I was the one always letting my pockets pile up with tissues and change, receipts and garbage.
But in your black winter coat- the wool Calvin Klein one I bought for you a few years ago in Bay Ridge when the other down one I’d bought for you started losing its feathers, in that pocket I found your brown fleece gloves and one used and crumpled tissue. I took out the gloves and put them on. I loved your hands in these gloves. Then I stopped myself as I headed towards the trash can to throw out the tissue. This was a tissue with your body on it. I opened it up slowly…it was dried out and dusty. I touched it to my face and spread it out in my fingers- tearing it open little by little- searching it for a long time before throwing it out.