If I’m not laughing, I’m not writing. The past three weeks, I have not had a lot to laugh about. Yes, I got through the year anniversary of my husband’s death. I find the urge to keep writing the word, “passing”. I’m going to work on wrestling the truth out of myself. The word is “DEAD”. Dead is permanent. I was at a another funeral for a another dear neighbor, yesterday. I noticed the priest said the phrase, “He is dead.” Shocking, yes. But with a purpose. Like we need to be constantly reminded that the person we love is not coming back. I need that. I do not have closure. I decided not to have a burial. I kept telling myself, “We are not from here, so I’m sure Scott would not like to be buried here.” How would I know where and if Scott would mind that? Truth be told, in reality, I would mind it. It would be so final. Final is the new word I’m having a hard time with. I’m having a hard time letting go. Would it make me feel settled? Maybe. There is a lot to be said for ritual and meanings. When Scott and I discussed how it should be afterwards, he used to joke and say, “I want to be in an urn on top of your bureau, that way, I can keep an eye on you!”, followed by a sly smile and a touch to my chin. How he still makes me smile, just remembering his flirtations, even when joking about something as serious as his death. He also knew, he had me at, “Hello,beautiful!” My equally funny response was to tell him, “Don’t you worry, I’m going to pick out a really pretty Laura Ashley style urn to put you in! It will be so beautiful, you’ll love it!” He would laugh and grab me, and then a shared look and a kiss to quiet our raging fear.
The image I’ve kept in my head for the last three weeks have been, as follows:
1. My neighbor, Rev. Al, his memorial service in a Gothic, Oak filled church from the 1800’s, no air conditioning on a 100 degree day. It was high noon, the church was filled with people who loved Al. What was wonderful was the fact that his partner, Daniel, fully administered to, like any grieving spouse. It was a moment in time to not forget. Love is love. The heavy smell of funeral incense. I didn’t mind the heat, thinking about how many funerals had been performed in that space on days like this, a hundred years ago. Beautiful.
2 Our back yard, on the year anniversary of my husband’s death. Peaceful, renewed. A flowing (solar!) water fountain keeps it fresh and bird filled, and we’ve now moved back outside to “Daddy’s Yard”. My children and I have togetherness and laughter in a space we had abandoned. Even Scott’s best friend has joined us from Brooklyn Heights, and there is much laughter and stories told.
3 My sleep is filled with things that have not happened, or would have happened. My husband comes to me in my dreams. We have conversations and leisure time. No pressure, no hurries. Last week, we were in Spain, playing with a puppy that I was house sitting for, while we spoke about how to do some legal paperwork for our son, James. I also must disclose, I have never been to Spain. Neither has Scott. Until now.