Monday, January 24, 2011

Grief: Our Ghosts Need One Of Us To Stay Alive

That is a line in a poem someone read at Culture Circle.  It affected me deeply.  My life never seemed to make sense since Artie died.  When he was alive we used to joke about my throwing myself on his funeral pyre.  Crematoriums don't offer a two for one policy - especially when one of the people is still alive. :)  I have thought in darker moments that when he died I should have sent everyone away and taken pills and curled up in the hospital bed in our living room nestled next to his body.  That would have been a terribly wrong thing to do.  Yet, I haven't been able to stop thinking that I belong with him in whatever form he is now. 

Until I heard that line.  If I wasn't here who would be left to tell the stories?  Who would be left to remember?  Who would be left to keep him alive not only in my heart but in the hearts of others?  It's great fun to have people feel like they know him even when they never met the alive him - because of me.  It changed the way I think.  It emphasized my duty, my responsibility, to live the best life I can because I carry his love with me always.  It's often a heavy burden to be here on earth without him but maybe it's a burden I can make lighter by being proud that I am trying to live twice as fully - for both of us.  He is waiting for me where he is - and I am waiting for him where I am but if when I was in NY and he was in CA we were together - even more so now - wherever he is we are together. 

Doesn't mean I'm skipping happily through each day.  The longing is so strong, so painful.  I am lonely without him.  Mary Lincoln wore her wedding ring until the day she died.  It was inscribed "Love is Eternal".  Even if I don't stay single forever - who knows what is ahead of me - I think I will always be anxious for the day when we can be in the same form.  My body seems a very limited container that will not open itself up and let me escape to see what is next - to do whatever is the next form's version of curling up in my husband's arms.  But my husband ghost needs me to stay alive - as well as my daughter and my friends - and I guess - even me.  What I do with that life is up to me.  May I have the creativity and the grace not to waste it - yet not forget to leave proper space for my grief to express itself. Wishing you courage for the day and night ahead and personal global warming that melts the ice of grief.  Maybe that's where the tears come from - the melting of the frozen parts of our personalities to let us grieve and dance the dance of life instead of grieve and stay paralyzed.   xo

No comments:

Post a Comment