Monday, February 09, 2009

Precious archives of our past…

We used to hate the clutter. And yet we were surrounded by it. Ironic isn’t it? Both David and I were artists, so we tended to keep everything because you never knew when that wire mesh could come in handy with the next art project! We kept other stuff as well, not just the wacky odds-n-ends. I used to give David hell that he was much worse than I. I blogged about it once But in reality, I think we were both culprits, but just about different things.

And to add to it...we were also nostalgic romantics. So we kept EVERYTHING! In the last few years we had begun going through stuff. Trying to weed out the crap from the important items. Just trying to rein in the chaos. Pare it down a bit. Mind you, nothing we deemed memorabilia was ever tossed. If I coughed on it, Dave kept it and vice versa. We had a long distance romance for 2 ½ years before I even moved up here and married. So we have a mountain of memories. Precious archives of our past. Hundreds upon hundreds of letters, cards, audio tapes…post it notes. Everything. Our 16-year romance.

We have copious amounts of photos too! David used to prop that camera on any flat surface he could find when we were out and about. So amazingly, we have many pictures of the two of us. Not always fabulous shots. But they captured all those beautiful little moments in time. David was playful and passionate about pretty much everything. A quirky combination but it fit him well. And those candid shots at the wackiest of times resonate now with his vitality and playfulness.

But now...all I have are these archives. A blessing. But they are pale in comparisson to him. I have not begun to even touch the surface of them. Many have not been read in years. I know they are there and I am comforted by them. But I just cannot quite bring myself to look at them yet. I came across the calendar he had the year we met. He circled the day we met and chronicled on that calendar everything we did before I went back home. We were not even dating then. But David knew. Knew the moment he saw me. This was it.

I am eternally grateful for these precious momentos of our life and love. Since we were both nostalgic, both lines of communication were kept. So, I have both the letters I sent and the ones he did as well. We also continued to write an abudant amount of letters and cards to one another throughout our 12-year marriage as well. We did not relegate them to holidays only. Some days one would just be sitting on his car seat awaiting him on his drive to work. Others would find their way into my lunch. I have them all. Beautiful…yes. But they do not hold a flame to his warm smile.

As I look around the house, I see beautiful reminders of him everywhere. They make me smile. They comfort me. And they make me cry. The pencil sketch I did of him in our bedroom. Capturing his beautiful body and peaceful way. The cards. The photos. Everything.

Days like these I try to make sense of it all. I can’t comprehend why he had to die so young. And why him? He was my love. And I miss him so. I am searching for an answer I will never find...

But these and so many other questions haunt me every day. How will I go on? How will I survive this? The pain of loosing him some days feels like it is driving me to insanity. A friend once shared with me a traumatic loss she had experienced and how 'now'…when she thinks back, she realizes how she was "totally nuts for awhile there." I can relate completely. When I think back to those first days and weeks...yeah, I was nuts. Completely driven insane. Functioning marginally…but looks are deceiving. Even now I am sure one day I will look back to this impending 6-month mark and think, "Damn…how was I functioning? And how did everyone think I was ok?" I am not, really. I am alive. I am surviving. I am not crying every day anymore. I do not feel like dying every second of every day anymore. But no. I am not really ok. My heart is torn beyond recognition. I am a shell at the moment. Someday I hope to fill this husk…but right now there is nothing to fill it with.


At February 09, 2009 11:14 PM, Blogger Satine said...

I have no wisdom on loss itself... I lost my grandfather at 9 to cancer, grandmother at 11 to cancer, a friend & boyfriend and 3 more relatives when I was 17... I've lost one to suicide... and in conclusion, my point is, I still can't cope with loss--I can't look at old photos and be "ok" with it or not sob on and on while remembering good or bad feelings and memories--I feel more than nostalgic, but a little crazy sometimes during those moments. In fact, I had a crazy moment just last week and it has to do with my sister and I'm not supposed to disclose information based on her wishes at this time, but believe me, until we know more I've been not so okay... and in fact, the day I heard the first about her new situation I was up all night and couldn't just push it away... but then the next day came... and here's my point:

What I do have is a little wisdom on life. I'm not better than anyone, and I cry like everyone, but once you are able to separate the cold death that haunts you, from a life that is still warm with growth and beauty, it can really fill you up. Although I can't always control it, I do know that I can choose what to look at when, and what to listen to or turn off, etc., who to bring closer to me and where I should distance myself... in the end, if something is right in front of me and it's going to mess with me, I can make a conscious choice, like an inner-mother or teacher, and just move from it. It's not an emotional choice--it's the opposite and feels quite alien, but it saves you from chaotic moments until you can confront it in a better state down-the-road.

We have moments in our lives when we can cope with the difficult, and we have moments when the difficult is more impossible than ever and more tragic than anything else. I can't consciously alter the seasons of my heart, but I've seen sprouts when there shouldn't be anything growing... and I've seen a close friend sing and smile although their very beloved father died in their arms, while I cried on end just watching her do it--because it was so beautiful and amazing--I mean, HOW was she able to perform on stage at her dad's funeral and keep a genuine smile on and sing such heart-felt songs and dance so beautifully too??? She was SOooo incredibly close to him... but she has taught me so much through her Hawaiian culture, without so many words... often I put a flower in my hair, because it's a symbol of inner strength to me and of being very real, very open, and very raw yet so beautiful. She taught me grace.

Death is horrid, but the love you and Dave shared was beautiful, and you carry it with you and with all of your letters and memories, art, etc. You can carry it with you or face it later. I know that one of those memories one day might move you so greatly you'll be at a crossroads: you could feel insane, or feel surrender. And if you surrender, I pray that grace carries you to a love and a beautiful moment... that even if you cry, that it's not with the horror of the cancer, but for the beauty of what happiness you both carried together--and that you envelope that moment and that it gives back to you...

...the only way I can explain the miracle of grace is by the will to live, the sun that shines, the flowers that grow... the love we have for ourselves and for the gift of all our senses, family and one-another, and with the knowledge that we are interconnected with everything and we are NOT alone. We were never meant to be alone--I think we are here to learn from one another, to share with each other, and to become a greater individual because we open our hearts to the vastness of life itself.

I wish you heartfelt love and grace and rest. I wish you hope for tomorrow and more reminders of happiness than sorrow... I am often afraid myself too, but if you can help it, don't let the fear you have of sorting through those old memories drive you to the edge... choose one here and there when you can but only for its everlasting memory of the beautiful lives you had together and separate. You are still whole--it's just hard to always believe it when you miss him so much. My heart aches for you but I wish that what strength I have left I could give to you now.

At February 10, 2009 10:23 AM, Blogger Al said...

Treasure the artifacts left behind, for they will comfort you for years to come. The quantity of items you have saved will allow you to re-discover something new - both for you and Alec - for years to come.

Far too many people leave us and only then - when its too late - do we recognize how little "evidence" is left behind. Don't rush to rediscover it all too soon. Savor the journey over again.

BTW, I lost my wedding ring twice within my first 6 months of being married. After the second time, I was told to go get "Fisher's bumps" added to the inside of my ring to make it snug. My ring has two 1/8" diameter x 1/32 high circles on the inside...haven't lost my ring since.

At February 10, 2009 4:29 PM, Blogger Star said...

I know what you mean about the shell. I feel so insane most days. I am at the six month mark too this month and I feel like I can never truly keep myself together like I used to. I am scared of everything, unlike the old me that did anything. I hate feeling so un-me. Its really disturbing...

At March 27, 2009 11:28 AM, Blogger Supa Dupa Fresh said...

Ah, we are quite alike. Gavin and I both created and hoarded things, though he was a professional artist. So I have many of the same feelings about "stuff" and memories. Sadly we do not have tons of photos, especially of us three; but those will provide rich memories nonetheless.


Post a Comment

<< Home