Last night I shared my latest video creation with Jeff for his 65th birthday. I was two weeks late but given that I was in Berkeley on his birthday for the tech workshop in VR360, and we were pretty sure he had no idea that I was working on it, my window of opportunity expanded. I finished the first full draft on Monday morning at 4:30AM. Maybe that was my very first all-nighter.
I thought about late nights at your kitchen table when I was in that finishing stage with a project and at 11, as you went off to bed, I promised I would join you soon. But by 1, I would look up from my computer screen and see you staying there, sleepy-eyed,demanding I shut it all down and join you. Torn, wanting to see the finished product, but I shut the lid, the lights, and took your hand for the walk down the narrow hallway to our bedroom.
You weren’t there this time to interrupt the process and remind me that I was needed. I filled the silence of my space. 11:30, 1:00, 4:00.Done! A shower, a cup of coffee, half an English muffin and with pillow and blanket Morning Joe at 6 moved me to a nap as Trump began his first full day as president. But I was fortified with my first full draft already listing places for revision. In a few hours Jon would be walking up my staircase for my first lesson in two weeks and I was totally unprepared, but I was smiling.
And that’s what I’ve come to learn from this grieving process. The most difficult thing to accept is”permanent absence”. I remember, when kind friends would say in the early weeks, after you left , after the funeral, as I fought the constant dismantling of daily life without you, “the memories of your 20 years together will be without always.”
What? What do I want with memories?
It’s just now that I can scan through pictures, I can watch videos and begin to embrace our life together without pain. You’ve been gone a year and 1/2 and I’m understanding and accepting the permanence of loss. You aren’t coming back. Our life together is over. For most of year 1 I fought the passing of time. I walked through days, weeks, months trying not to waste life but it was almost impossible to enjoy anything without you.
But I can feel myself coming out of the fog as I hold you tight, grateful for who I am now because of the us we created. I move up and off the couch as much as I can to play guitar, exercise, just stroll through the rooms of my apartment filled with pieces of us and with a new string of lights hung from the windows in each room, healing.
You were spectacular. We were spectacular.