It has been raining. There is a lull now, and the raindrops glisten on the leaves like points of light.
They remind me of tears. How they gather there in your eyes where they pause and then fall.
My own tears are fading a bit. I think this past Friday was a day where I understood that life might be moving to another phase.
Of course I knew it would. But there is a secret furtive thought those of us facing loss feel, I think. We fear that we are broken to such an extent that we cannot possibly be repaired.
Never made to feel truly alive again.
When I woke up this past Friday, I wasn’t even sure if it was Thursday or Friday.
Sometimes the days just blend one into another. I had to actually get online to know for certain that it was really Friday.
Then, later in the day, it finally occurred to me that it was actually Friday the 13th.
The last Friday the 13th I recall with any prominence was when I had my first ankle surgery. I had broken it on a Sunday, but had to wait until Friday for surgery.
That was Friday the 13th of 2012. I remember thinking about that as the anesthetic worked its way into my system and I faded into oblivion.
On this past Friday, I woke up and my heart was not quite as heavy. I actually felt a bit of lightness, something that has been in very short supply since Abi died.
Then immediately afterward I felt a jolt of dread and sadness.
I don’t want my sweet Abi to slip away into the past. I don’t want to have days when I don’t think of her.
That seems like losing her all over again. Or that she was never there to brighten my days to begin with.
I know my grief is playing tricks on my mind. That it is thwarting what is natural and misrepresenting what is real.
It is the sort of delusion, I suppose, that comes with the many phases of grief. The fear of not grieving them any longer. The fear of the pain going away.
Does that happen?
Do we just slip our memories of them between the clear pages of an album, gently close it and file it away? Surely not.
I can’t bear the thought of that. I just can’t.
Just as I can’t think of her or see a photo of her without my eyes brimming with tears.
I miss her.
The days have a token emptiness in them because she is not here acting silly and making me laugh.
Grief is such a powerful emotion. Sometimes it feels like everything inside me is all twisted up. Mixed up. Turned upside down. Inside out.
Because losing my baby left a space that cannot be filled.
Grief, for a time, means there are no periods at the end of a sentence. Just commas where you find some respite from the pain.
But two days ago, on Friday, I remember somehow, inexplicably, feeling just a bit lighter. Like the world wasn’t pressing me down with such heavy handedness.
I guess a crack somewhere opened up and a trickle of happiness found its way in.
Charlie is doing well, becoming quite spoiled in fact. I wonder if he remembers Abi? If there is an empty hole where she once was and is no longer?
We have our routines. I still turn the lamp off at night, lay my head down next to him and pet him while I sing my little song to him about how much I love him. Over and over in the darkness I sing the six verses.
Life goes on. Sometimes it moves in tiny steps and sometimes it runs like the wind.
Sometimes the rain gathers its droplets on the tree leaves and hesitates before it falls. Like a swimmer ready to dive. Who pivots, pauses there for emphasis and then continues to scissor on into the pool of water below.
As the sun begins to push through the clouds, I feel a glimmer of hope for the future. I know that my heart will be heavy at times. Like right now.
That sometimes the grief will pin me to the past with laser focus and I will feel the sharpness of loss in ways that often will still take my breath away.
But I also know that I will be happy again. I’m almost certain of it. Contentment will slowly and inexorably find its way into my days.
It is around the corner. I feel it waiting for me there.
Behind the heavy curtain that swishes open to a future version of my life.
Just not quite yet.
I hear a bird warbling its song in a distant tree. The sun is now shining and the rain is gone. Life goes on.