This morning, my cousin posted an image on Facebook of a hilarious guitar magazine parody called “Mediocre Guitar.” My husband Don loved music, especially guitars. He owned 7 or 8 of them at all times, and was always hanging out online at guitar websites and message boards, and giving free lessons to his fellow online guitar-enthusiast friends, on his YouTube channel. He would play guitar in our apartment almost daily, especially as a form of de-stressing after a long and stressful day doing EMS work. I am a singer, and we used to play and sing together all the time, learning Beatles and Natalie Merchant and Fleetwood Mac songs. He would strum his guitar and I would sing, and the way he would look at me while I gently sang a new song he was learning the chords to – it was the very definition of love and music.
We met in a music chat room online. We always connected through music. So when my cousin put up that post today, I began typing my husband’s name into the comment section of the post, because I wanted to “tag” him on the post so he could see how hilarious it was. I was halfway through typing his name into the comments, when it suddenly hit me – he is dead. He is still dead. He will always be dead. It will be 7 years this July, and yet, there are still those moments where a part of me forgets – just for a moment.
That moment of forgetting – that 2 or 3 or 17 seconds – it is total elation.
My eyes lit up at the mere thought of sharing this bit of humor with him.
I couldn’t wait until he saw the post, because I started picturing his shoulders moving up and down as he convulsed from laughter, his whole body shaking the way it used to.
I waited with anticipation, to hear the sound of his voice saying words to me, being funny together.
And then …..
As quickly as I forgot he was dead,
the remembering pounded into me like a hammer.
His death formed a migraine inside my eyeballs,
as if I was knowing it for the first time,
or the seven-hundredth time.
As many times as I have had to know it,
and then know it again,
it always feels like a hammer,
pounding and shattering and breaking apart
all the nails inside my body.
I feel like I am in a fog lately.
Where he feels nearby, but vague somehow.
He feels relevant, but different.
I miss him intensely,
but it somehow feels more sad than before.
I don’t know what that is.
I don’t know how to describe it.
The words don’t seem to come.
Maybe this is what it feels like,
when you are finally in that place,
of blending the yesterdays,
with the now,
and with the tomorrows.
I don’t know.
I know this –
he lives inside the music.
There is a special,
where I go,
inside my heart,
to be with him,
to feel his words and his laugh.
Sometimes I go to this place
Sometimes I go there,
the music brought me there,
with my cousin’s guitar post.
I went there,
to that place,
because I was there suddenly,
and I was talking to him,
and wanting to tell him about the music.
If felt so good.
And then the hammer.
Yelling at me,
HE IS DEAD!!!
And so I go back into my fog,
the one I sometimes get stuck in,
until the hammer,
with cruelty and vengeance,
comes down again.