Thursday, November 3, 2011

Grief: Do you joke with your dead?

Someone asked me that once.  I said yes.  I wonder how many of you talk to those you love who have died.  I wonder how many of you feel like they talk back.  :)  I wouldn't have said so before Artie died but I do feel him and hear him.  I don't know if it is my imagination or reality but when it feels like him it seems to be coming from outside my head - when I am thinking about him it feels like it is coming from inside my head.  I did e-mail "Ask A Rabbi" after Artie died and the rabbi said the souls of those who love us stay near us and watch over us.  It was nice to hear it from a "professional".  I don't hear his voice (he doesn't have a voicebox any more) but sentences form in my mind that don't seem to be coming from me.

Sometimes it's a simple thing.  I'll tell him how much I miss him and he'll say, "I know."  Or the opposite.  I'll doubt that he's here and he'll say, "Oh ye of little faith."  or "I'm here."  Sometimes it's a little weirder. Once I was going to meet an artist I had bought paintings from previously.  I heard, "Maybe you can get him to give you a free painting."  I would never think that! 

Artie's niece contacted me.  She's been looking for him for 35 years.  She seems like a very sweet woman, I almost cried when I read her e-mail. I felt sad that she hadn't found him when he was still alive. I was telling my daughter about it and said, "It's too sad Artie doesn't know about it.  I think it would make him happy."  I heard him say, "I know about it.  I am happy."  I said - out loud - "I don't mean that way.  You're dead, get used to it."  He said, "YOU get used to it!!"  It was like we had a little snarky moment.  I didn't answer but kept talking to my daughter.  He's right though, or I'm right in my imagination - I can't get used to it.

It's very mysterious to me what happens to folks who die.  I want so much to still have a relationship with him and I can never figure out if that is a good or bad thing.  When I have discussed it with friends I have expected them to say the annoying, "Move on." but they say, "You love each other so much, of course your relationship hasn't ended."  My daughter says I shouldn't make him the third person in the conversation because people will think I'm nuts.  The funny thing is people don't think that.  It's not often - but when I say something and I hear him - it's like he's demanding to be included.  I've started saying he's the most alive dead person I know.

There really won't be any answer until I die and then either I won't know anything - or we will be in the same form and I will know.  It's still sad - and impossible in many ways - to accept that his face - his smile - his voice are mortal.  They are gone.  I even know where they are.  Cremated in a plastic bag in a stuffed leopard that he gave me - but also in my memories.  Yet, his being - his consciousness seems to continue on with a life of its own.  Through me but still with a life of its own.  I don't think I could bear it any other way.

My daughter found it easier to understand when she met someone who was talking about his wife who she thought was alive because of how he talked about her - and then found out his wife had died nine years ago.  Yet -I've said this before - I know people who feel like me and then 5 or 6 years later are surprised to find themselves in love again and remarried.  Some people even sooner.

I don't have any answers lately; only questions.  I'm waking up at 3 a.m. again which is midnight California time - the time he died.  I don't fight it.  Read or watch DVDs for a little while and then go back to sleep.  My ghost.  Well, if I have to have a ghost at least I have one I love who loves me.  Wishing you a lot of LIVING people to love!   xo

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