After Every Milestone

by | Nov 28, 2011 | 0 comments

Another holiday down.

Up next- your birthday.  Usually the time when you’re catching up to me- but not this time.

If you had lived, I would’ve bought you an old-fashioned metronome for your birthday or Christmas.  This was already written down on a list of random ideas when you died.  You told me you liked the way they looked.  I had already been looking around on ebay and etsy for one.  I miss buying you things.  I miss having new ideas to write down.  I have no new ideas.

I have a few more entries to write here and then, I am done.  It’s not because I am done grieving but because I realize I never will be.   It is not because I am done puzzling over your death, but because I accept I will forever be puzzling over your death.  I will never make any sense of it…any progress in understanding what happened on July 6, 2010.

“That is truly, truly tragic,” the mother of the girl in Audrey’s class says on Thanksgiving as she cuts the remaining turkey meat off the bird.  In the kitchen, before dessert- she has sensitively asked me how my husband died.  We’ve had a few playdates, but I honestly didn’t even remember whether I’d told her or not.  After I tell her, this is all she can keep saying.  And I think the last few days- yes, that is what this is: tragic.  I can’t find any definition that really captures what the word means to me – it’s so much more than sorrowful.  The word tragic is more about the fact that it could have been prevented and yet this sense that there was nothing one could do to stop the dreadful path from unraveling.  In that way it is so different from an aged person passing away, or even a death by disease.  Tragic.  Accidental.  Never supposed to happen, but somehow ingrained and foreshadowed in the characters and setting.

But now what- what comes after every milestone?  Alternations of rawness and numbness?  Your clothes are packed, but I still see them in the closet instead of mine, and the sense of relief I got when I first put them away- is over.  I want to see them back there where they belong- next to mine.  The wedding ring is back on- but with the promise ring instead of the engagement ring which just felt too sparkly. The tiredness and difficulty in smiling that I have by late afternoon reminds me of how I felt when you were just away on the tours.  I just had a really hard time smiling- even with Audrey.  The sadness of knowing you were on another continent sat with me all day, while I played with our baby.  For she was a baby, back then.  Lately I contemplate lying to myself that this is where you are- just a continent or two away- so that I can go on living- the way I did while you were away- with at least the expectation that you were happy, doing what you loved- and would come back to us.  I just had to be patient.

After every milestone, the tragic loss isn’t any less raw.  It is just further away.  I am more different than the woman you (or I) knew each day.  I have a harder time imagining what you are like at almost 35 years old.  A harder time imagining you interacting with a daughter as you never knew her.  I keep losing you.


November 28, 2011


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