I’ve been in a clay workshop for the past few days, and its mostly been a heck of a lotta fun. Each say we have worked with a different teacher, making sculptures, dinnerware, decorated tiles, and learning alternative techniques for firing clay (examples in the picture above!) It’s been a whirlwind of new and exciting creative ideas for me, especially since I haven’t actually worked with clay since I took a ceramics class back in college about eight years ago. Making things has been one of the most powerful ways for me to cope with my emotions since my fiance died. I was excited to start off a new year with something healing and grounding.
Of course as happens sometimes when I take the chance to insert myself back into the world of the living, I was slapped in the face rudely with my reality, and the fact that other people have a different reality… The one I wanted to have. Over lunch at the workshop, while sitting outside on the porch enjoying the beautiful warm weather we have in Texas this week, all the women around me started to talk about their husbands. And worse than talk… Brag. About how they fix things around the house, and cook dinners, and help with the wives’ businesses. Then one of the women my age, around her early 30’s, introduces her husband who happens to be dropping off these mountainous apple pies that he made from scratch and delivered to us for dinner tonight. Aaaand that did it. Cue the breakdown.
It’s quite amazing… In about three minutes they managed to reduce me from joyful and content to slinking away and finding a place to cry my eyes out. And just like that I realized – at a year and a half – I’m still not quite so good at being out in the world of the living yet.
Aside from our friends and family, I have kept to myself a lot since he died. I have felt too vulnerable, too raw, too different to really be out in the world a lot… But I have gotten much better at it in the past few months. His death is no longer the thing I have to tell everyone. Instead, it is something I feel okay with not saying right away. I suppose this means some healing has happened.
Today though, I was taken by surprise. Accidentally alienated. It’s something I’m used to… I’ve spent years learning how to pause and choose how I will feel when others my age talk about their parents in front of me. Years learning how to not let my mind go to that place where I feel alienated, alone and like I have no parents. I do, even if they are dead, I still have them. The logical part of me says that I should have been able to stop and choose today in the same way about Drew when all those wives were going on.
But my heart knows there was no graceful way out of the lunch debacle today. I am not healed enough that I can make that kind of rational choice yet… Not about him. Not when I am surrounded on all sides by happy women talking about their happy husbands.
Sometimes I just have to fall in the pit and cry my heart out as I claw my way back out. Sometimes it can’t be avoided – when people remind me so clearly of the life that I wanted to be having right now. To even have been able to call him my husband in the first place. To have begun a family. Some days, there will just need to be tears. That was today… and then I dried them, stood up tall, and walked back into the fire to finish my class.