Not sure where to begin.
It’s definitely a time of reflection. Tomorrow, Tuesday, will be two years. What is appropriate for a two year anniversary?
The first year is paper. Last year at this time I was …wait a minute. Don’t you usually ‘celebrate’ anniversaries? Seems like the two words, anniversary and celebration, go hand in hand.
Yesterday for some odd reason I was thinking about my Widow’s Voice day, and realized it was going to land of the eve of the second anniversary. It had me thinking about all the eves, such as Christmas Eve, and New Year’s Eve, and The Three Faces of Eve. Okay, if you are young you won’t know what the hell I’m talking about. Can you tell that I’m in an odd mood? Anyway, I was thinking about the excited anticipation that the eves entail. There is always so much planning and preparation. Sometimes there are gatherings and rituals.
This time last year I wasn’t working, so I had lots of time on my hands. I was planning a contemplative day to myself on the first year anniversary of Michael’s death. I had decided that I would get up early, and just drive around my newly adopted city, and spend time walking, and sitting, in silence. I carried with me a pocket full of Michael’s ashes, and where ever I went, well, so did he. I would talk to him, and sprinkle a bit of ash where ever I went. Eventually I ended up at the beach, and spent a lot of time walking through the water, and crying.
This year I have no plans, other than to work. I forgot to request the day off, and by the time I thought about it I had a full calendar of appointments. I decided it might be good to just go with the flow, and not try too hard with this anniversary.
You know, when Michael died, it was just one month shy of our first wedding anniversary. We had been together longer than that, and previously celebrated the day we met as our anniversary, yet who knew that for a brief moment the state of California would see fit to allow our love to be sanctioned, and blessed, by way of a wedding. Yet for us it came a bit late. I knew when we took our vows that there was a good chance I would lose him by the time our first wedding anniversary arrived. So by the time that day did arrive, October 19th, I was alone. There was no romantic dinner. There was no champagne. There was no intimate expression of our love that night. Instead, I received a simple, yet traditional gift of paper. A death certificate.
As I sit here, I am wearing what I’ll consider the proper second year anniversary of Michael’s death gift. Cotton. An old cotton t-shirt of his. It says Maui. It was from an early vacation we took. Earlier today I was looking at a picture taken of us on that trip. In the photo we are both so naively smiling. Who would have believed that this would be where I am today; Sitting here, on our bed, pathetically wearing an old beat up t-shirt that used to belong to my now dead husband.
Alright. I supposed it is time for me to stop with all this nonsense, and apologize for the ridiculous way I have been carrying on here. The reality is that I have been in complete agony these past couple of days. Two nights ago it all hit me, and I spent the whole night wailing out of control. I haven’t been in that much pain for such a long time. I don’t really know why it all came down on my like that. Well, maybe I do. I have been providing online support to another recent gay widower, who lost his husband just a few months ago. We have been trading our thoughts on the support network I provide for other gay widowers. It hit me that night, as I read his very raw emotional words, that he was talking about the man he loved and lost. Reading his words must have put me squarely into a place of remembrance, for his husband’s name was also Michael. Here I was, reading those painful words as if they were my own.
I felt so lost that night. I had no one to call, or no one to know that I would be here in my room, crying my eyes out. Of course, I suppose there were people I could call, yet I didn’t. And, there were people in the house, my son and daughter, yet I did not seek their support either. I was alone, and I knew that no matter who came to my side, it would not be the one that I desired. I know it’s where I’ll be again tonight. I know it’s where I will be again tomorrow. And, I know that when I get through all of this, I will be okay.
I tell you. I can only say I will be okay because of all of you. It’s because no matter how alone I feel, or how alone I actually am in the middle of the night, I know that each and every one of you know what I am going through. Each of you have had those nights. Each of you may still be having those nights. And, each of you will make it through them. I know, because I have, over and over again.