I went into the dreaded drugstore again - filled with Valentine's gifts. I stopped for a moment and said (to myself) "Wait a minute." I decided instead of running away to look at all the cute stuffed animals with big hearts and instead of thinking how sad I was Artie is dead, I remembered all the presents he had given me over the years. I thought about what he would pick out this year and how he would worry about it so as not to disappoint me. One Valentine's Day he had a friend help him and decorated the whole room where I worked - I kept the decorations up for months. (The truth is I took them down when I got angry with him about something. Silly me. If he could come back I might still get angry about some things - but not stupid little things.) I remembered the cards he had written with the poems on them. I have the last one framed now - didn't know it would be the last one. "For 23 years you've been all mine. I know you'll be my Valentine." I felt happy. The memories made me happy.
I'm writing this at almost 5 am. The other side is I can't sleep. I'm doing these weird mood swings where I am honestly having a good time going out and feeling like a person - alive and excited - and then waking up in the morning (if I sleep at all) and just lying there not being able to get out of bed.
It's good taking the risk and speaking about grief. I was very honored Friday night at a meet up group called Culture Circle where you bring any kind of art you like or do - poetry, short stories, musical instruments, songs, paintings, food - anything. I often read poems about Artie and his death. One woman sang a song she said she was inspired to write when her father died because of the things I had read and talked about.
It's all good and all bad and all in between. Hoping one of these days to sleep again - didn't have any problem at all for a while. It's like you pat the grief down in one area and it pops up in another! Hello, I'm feeling fine then a burst of tears. Rainy with a chance of sunshine. Sunny with a chance of tears. I never know.
Keep showing up when I can and keep trying to turn things around. That Valentine's thing really surprised me. I hope you get some sunny surprises instead of the rainy ones. xo
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