Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Grief You Can't Go Home Again
I returned recently from a trip to the house in Carmel, CA that my husband and I used to live in. Selling a house in Carmel is like standing on a beach trying to sell sand so it is still empty. A lot of my purple and blue paint has been covered over with a kind of cream or beige - like my life. I felt I needed to say good bye because when I left the first time I just ran away. I know Artie's dead - but I had to look for him anyway - in all the closets - under the sinks. When I left I looked in the mirror he used every morning when he was getting ready to go out. I wanted to see his reflection next to mine but of course I didn't. I saw my face all ready to go out - with the tears running down my cheeks. The first night I took four vanilla candles and placed them on the floor of the living room where his hospital bed had been and then placed cinammon tea lights in the middle. When they were lit the flickering lights looked beautiful and some people came over and we sat around the lights and talked about Artie. I recreated the scene so a friend who makes documentaries could film it. Then I threw the candles away. Sacred space? Just a floor? Same with the bed. Sleeping in the bed Artie and I shared - sleeping for the last time on his side of the bed. It's a bed. It makes my back hurt. It's very difficult being in love with a dead man. I know his spirit is alive but still. Grief doesn't have a time line for me. I was going to take our wedding rings off on the first anniversary of his death but it is more comforting to wear them. I am going back to a bereavement group. I auditioned for a one woman show - about Artie and me - and love and life and grief - and will be performing it in October as part of a series of solo shows at a small theater. Me - performing in NY. Amazing - yet it is hard to get rid of the empty feeling - the feeling that comes knowing that even though I am lucky to have many understadning friends - Artie isn't here to cheer me on - or to comfort me when I am scared. I think moving forward is moving - any kind of motion. As far as letting go....haven't figured that one out yet. Also haven't figured out what being positive means. Sadness is sadness. Loneliness for a specific person is loneliness for a specific person. Even though I have fun times - when I was in Carmel I very much enjoyed seeing my friends - I don't know how to turn grief into anything but grief. Maybe I don't have to try. Maybe I can let it be.