Stacked Up High

Stacked up high to my neck are these blocks of moments; where my brain storming the day she departed is torment. So instead I forego it.

And in reality, I’m just learning how to be happy again. Learning how to forget certain things and as for others…to start remembering.

Learning daily to resist the urge to throw all of my cards in. Instead of folding, I unfold. And find myself gaining new ground because this here life is a hustle.

An unfair one at that.

The premise is not too exact …death does not forecast despair, it is the main reason to keep living. But not in fear. Not because of the unknown of what awaits but because we won’t know it until the day. The end, game over, as the shock carries us away.

Life and death are not to be taken in stride. It does not depend on us truly knowing what awaits us – on the other side.

I do know this: watching the light slip from her eyes, silently into the night – was the deepest pain I have ever experienced in my life.

I still haven’t fully fathomed it’s impact, nor do I want to go through all of the stages of grief yet. Just the important ones, which they’re all that. You see the conundrum, I feel it’s impact.

I witnessed two good friends experience loss on a grand scale a few years ago. Losing both of their mothers was excruciating, coupled with the loss of my two uncles. With every loss a new perspective gained because priceless memories are retained, so that the after life…meaning how one chooses to continue living after loss, is not rife with lost cause and misguided anger; left distraught but fighting to stay here. Because hope always stays afloat.

Endings always bring about new beginnings. Like getting back up after falling down again and again. Some falls are easier than others to overcome based on how many steps we’re trying to get ahead. For the most part, I’ve been carefully tip towing one by one.

When Kelly was alive, we did everything together. Our home was always filled with noise and excitement and our conversations would often take on lives of their own. We were far too intelligent and we’d let each other know. We talked about absolutely everything, no topic too taboo. I sometimes thought all I wanted was a moment of silence when in the heat of discussion about politics or some other current event. Now the silence is definite and deafening. I miss hearing her opinion on nearly everything.

Some people think grief has an expiration date. Mine is not up yet; that deep, foggy haze. In a way always existing in the aftermath. If you didn’t already know, it goes nowhere fast.

The far too logical emotion I felt and subsequently suppressed following her death had revealed itself to be intense emotion, and sometimes regret. For the most part, I’m just glad to be relinquishing the bulk of it.

I recognized the mask for what was once loneliness – really an intense need to love and to trust again. In weeks and months following her death, I can’t tell you how many times I was told, “it will get easier with time.” Maybe a year, but not less.

The gnawing agony that plagued in times of stress or anxiety, because she could always say the right words to reassure and calm me… is now much less.

There were days when my head spinned and triggered that one moment. There were days when I was angry that she had to die. I’m certain I showed it. I no longer share those facets of life with family and friends. I realized at a certain point that they were in their own stages of grief and recovery. I worried because the load I carried from my loss was not light. The isolation that caused was enough to stifle. 

I do know that there was nothing she wanted more when she was sick than to live another day.

That carries me everywhere I go. No matter what, I am grateful to have made more than her acquaintance. Grateful to carry on in her overwhelming absence. Grateful to be alive, and to see our daughter enjoy the beginnings of her relatively new life. Adoring the fact that our daughter remembers her other mommy and often speaks of her in stride.

The chance to love again has not escaped me. The longing for love and affection, at times it rages. Like a hurricane in the midst of a bright and sunny day. Conflicting, complex emotions give way to fulfilling the most basic of needs. Love and understanding. In any order, in that respect, I’ve been undeniably lucky to be a recipient.

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