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Once More, Years Later

It's that time of year again, though it seems to have arrived earlier than past years. Usually, by my recollection, I don't end up feeling quite so sensitive until March, or especially May. Then again, that might be simply my impression.

I've been... overly sensitive for the past week or so, even as my writerly self--the one so thrilled and willing with story and character and creation--resurfaced in this new environment of family and encouragement. It's been like having sunburned feelings: you know the person touching you doesn't mean to cause pain, but even back-pats of encouragement hurt.

Then yesterday, when my mother was doing nothing more than trying to schedule a dinner for either Sunday or Monday, I just about bit her head off for no reason. Then I tried to laundry, and ended up stuffing clothes in the washer while tears ran down my face. Then I tried to cook supper, and ended up with the same result. Then I went to apologize to my mother, but what came out of my mouth instead was, "My 40th birthday was when I knew Ron was going to die."

Until those words spilled out, I really hadn't aligned past grief with present hurt. But there it is, doncha know, because grief is an unpredictable thing. It isn't malicious (at least mine isn't). It is instead almost too polite, apologizing for popping up year after year, and trying to be so subtle it leaves me confused and seemingly unable to identify it for days or weeks.

And the words, while true in an emotional sense, weren't true in a factual sense. I mean, yes, I spent my fortieth birthday in a VA hospital, helping Ron eat the first meal he'd been permitted in a couple days and arguing with doctors who wanted to put him on blood-thinning medications when he'd almost bled to death internally a few days before. But I didn't know he was going to die so soon for a few more days. (And I am still bitter and angry that I was the one who, after reading his test results, diagnosed him and told him the diagnosis weeks before a doctor got around to it.)

But the emotions rule, this far removed from the date. And my heart will always link my birthday with losing Ron--even though another four months passed before we lost him.

And I thought I had all that under control after figuring this out last night. Then I read this from Kathryn Cramer, and lost my shit all over again.

At the time Ron was diagnosed, we'd been living separately for almost three years, but we never divorced and we did remain close. There are times I still feel as if he's simply lost, and I'll find him if I walk into the next room even though he's been lost for five years now.

So... I think we're having a family dinner on Sunday. It'll probably be okay. I'm giving myself permission to leak emotions all over the place if I feel like it. The feels aren't going away, and though the feels aren't pleasant, having them is not a bad thing.

They exist. I exist. One cannot miss what one did not love, and love is not a thing to be left behind.

Wedding 1996

Comments

( 20 comments — Leave a comment )
queenoftheskies
Jan. 21st, 2016 06:29 pm (UTC)
::HUGS:: I don't think loss ever goes away completely.

Take care of yourself and be kind to yourself, okay?
blairmacg
Jan. 22nd, 2016 12:48 am (UTC)
I'm working on it. :) Sometimes it isn't a certain thing, knowing what is care and kind, y,know?
sartorias
Jan. 21st, 2016 09:24 pm (UTC)
What a beautiful photo.

I'm so sorry you're going through this--grief and season and the profoundly sudden loss of David Hartwell coming together into a trifecta of pain.
blairmacg
Jan. 22nd, 2016 12:50 am (UTC)
That's one of my most favorite photographs from my life. It even captured Ron pressing his hand to my belly, where Dev had taken up residence not long before. :)

It has been a rough month for so many...
elenbarathi
Jan. 21st, 2016 10:14 pm (UTC)
*hugs* I'm so sorry.
blairmacg
Jan. 22nd, 2016 12:50 am (UTC)
Thank you. :)
(Deleted comment)
blairmacg
Jan. 22nd, 2016 12:51 am (UTC)
Creeping in, it came, on little cat's paws...

(Deleted comment)
blairmacg
Jan. 22nd, 2016 12:53 am (UTC)
I actually put in my calendar for next year: "If your emotions are wonky, remember the grief."

Yeah, that sound like a weird thing to do but, really, why not put down such a reminder? It's not as if the reminder will trigger things I'm not already feeling, yes?
mrissa
Jan. 22nd, 2016 03:39 am (UTC)
I don't think it sounds weird at all. I think it sounds like a very good piece of self-care, and I applaud you for it.
blairmacg
Jan. 22nd, 2016 05:00 pm (UTC)
Thank you. I've already added a note for March and May, just in case.

Oddly, the little surge of remembrance and regret that comes up around Ron's birthday in October never catches me off guard. That time of year always feels more... reflective? Comforting?

Grief is weird.
(Deleted comment)
blairmacg
Jan. 22nd, 2016 12:53 am (UTC)
I love that photo, too. It was a time of joy, and hold it close to my heart.
asakiyume
Jan. 22nd, 2016 12:29 am (UTC)
I'm so sorry for the pain. What it is to be human ;_;

(My first boyfriend died actually *on* my birthday.... many years after we had been boyfriend/girlfriend, but... yeah.)
blairmacg
Jan. 22nd, 2016 12:56 am (UTC)
The longer we live, the more grief and celebration seem to overlap.

I keep thinking there's a profound message in that notion, but it would take me a novel's worth of writing to uncover.
resonant
Jan. 22nd, 2016 02:29 am (UTC)
*hugs*
blairmacg
Jan. 22nd, 2016 04:57 pm (UTC)
Thank you. :)
jazzfish
Jan. 22nd, 2016 06:08 am (UTC)
Oh, Blair. *hug* *more hug*
blairmacg
Jan. 22nd, 2016 04:57 pm (UTC)
I can hear your voice say that. Thank you. *hugs back*
( 20 comments — Leave a comment )

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