The rugged, rocky landscape of Maine suits my grief, but then it hits me that this is really the first trip I’ve taken alone with Audrey. And that this is how it will be.
For the most part I’m busy during the day caring for Audrey while we’re here- we visit a light house and I try a lobster roll. You know, doing the things you’re supposed to do in life when you visit a new place.
I miss you dearly when we tour their cute little town and I imagine how we would have strolled the streets together, popping in and out of antique stores. You would have bought me something. We would’ve gotten coffee at the cafe and eaten dinner in a nice restaurant. Realistically, we also would’ve gotten lost, fought about where to park, I might’ve made it difficult deciding where we should eat- but this is all part of what I miss as well now. Strangely, like those who lose a limb and claim to still feel an itch or a pain there, I still see you with us many times. I gaze into the hallway of their home and see you coming down the stairs, giving a nod to our hostess. I see you with me taking photos at the lighthouse, and I even imagine you in bed next to me before I go to sleep staring at the empty white pillow.
At night, I put her to bed early- she is also very tired. Then I sit on the top step of the attic of this old house my friends have purchased and fixed up. The steps are painted a blue- grey floor paint and my friend’s husband has placed a tiny manger and baby Jesus on the small ledge in front of me above the raised doorway to the stairs. I sit there to make sure Audrey is asleep and also to weep alone for a few moments. The crying, I recognize, is much more cathartic lately. I don’t necessarily have to be processing or thinking about your death while I do it. It is just plain crying. This feels like I’m maybe getting somewhere.
And even so, the depth of it has not changed.
The other night I google, “overwhelmed with sorrow.” Do you ever do that? Just google some phrase out into the universe as if Google is one of those old-fashioned pneumatic tube mail systems that might bring you back some answers.
What I get is a quote from Jesus himself before his crucifixion,
“My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death.”