Sunday, May 1, 2011

Grief: Something About A Beautiful Spring Sunday

It's a beautiful spring Sunday. The sun is out.  It's not too hot.  I always think of Sundays as family days.  My husband is dead.  My daughter is delightfully (if nauseously) pregnant but in Seattle.  I am thinkng of a trek to the gym and the grocery store.  Cleaning up a little.  Working on my show.  All the tricks and techniques I've learned - and yet I can't stop thinking of the old Kris Kristofferson song lyrics:

                                                  'Cos there's something in a Sunday,
                                                   Makes a body feel alone.
                                                   And there's nothin' short of dyin',
                                                   Half as lonesome as the sound,
                                                   On the sleepin' city sidewalks:
                                                   Sunday mornin' comin' down.

Of course it's NYC so they are busy city sidewalks filled with tourists and families and I am fighting that feeling of the old self pity welling up in my chest and spilling out of my eyes.  Artie and I saw Kris Kristofferson - at 72 he was surprisingly sexy - and Artie and I were in the audience holding hands and laughing and talking and now....

I always say being in love with a dead man isn't easy.  Working on the show - Pull Me Back - because Artie said "Pull me back" the night he was dying and I say "Pull me back" to life - is difficult.  For a while there my apartment looked like an Artie explosion as I pulled out everything I have saved to see what to use in the show as a prop or part of the technical stuff - his voice - his image.  I was putting some of it back in the closet.  A dead man's address book.  What use is that?  Back in the closet.  A dead man's contract and divorce papers and notes for a book.  All the remnants of the life of the man I love that will be thrown away when I die but until then - back in the closet.  All the love letters and love notes and cards. Those are in scrapbooks and a purple box next to my bed.  I am so lucky to have them, so grateful.  Yet they - and this show - keep me anchored in the past.  How do I move forward and stay in the same place at the same time.  I am so not willing to let go.

I decided to live and I keep working on filling that life with meaning.  I go to grief sites on Facebook and I see post after post - all the pain.  Without _____________________ fill in the name I feel so ________________ fill in the word - sad, empty, tired, lonely.   I also see stories of people who have transformed that pain into joy.  I see posts from those who deeply loved someone who are in new relationships or who have remarried.  This is awful - but there was someone who remarried and who lives where Artie and I lived and I had to block her posts because I couldn't stand her happiness.  Usually that isn't true.  Usually I am happy for folks who find someone new.  And at less than two years I am a still in the beginning of grief.

Richard Bandler - the hypnotherapist I went to in London for his personal enhancement workshop - the master mind changer - the master of teaching folks how to be successful and happy - had his wife die.  He is remarried now - but was single for 6 years.  He said he thought about killing himself too.  Even though he is remarried when he talked about the woman he had been married to for 30 years who died in his arms - as Artie did in mine - he sounded as in love with her as I am with Artie.  Someone told me that when he did trance work with me about grief she heard his voice break.

That's a lesson in the fragility that grief brings to even the strongest mind.  I am proud of myself for all that I am doing,  I am having more happy moments.  When I feel like I do today - I move.  I try to spin my memories backwards to all the times Artie was here and would be holding me; laughing with me; saying:  I love you.  You're my heart. 

Yet - with all these new tools - with all my new movement - I'm a bird with one wing flying in circles; starving amid plenty.  Let's dance together today grief warriors whether it's a stomp or a waltz or - I just realized I have no idea what kind of dancing young people do!  The life space is very full - I had a lovely busy week - but the Artie space is full of a love that today is sucking me back into that black night of grief - where I look up and cannot see the stars.  When I go out - I will walk along the street and pick out the people who are walking alone.  What a silly thing it is to have my heart wish only one thing - and have that thing be impossible.  I want to open my eyes and see my husband - not in a picture - not on a recording - but standing before me laughing telling me that conspiracy theorists are right - his death was some bizarre governmental experiment and now it is over and he has been given permission to return. :)   No.  It was just one death amid so many.  But it was the death of my love.  I have to make sure that the death of my love is not the death of my hope.

I hope my Sunday gets cheerier later and you all are having cheerier Sundays than me!!  xo

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