Friday, May 22, 2015

Celebration, grief and paradox

My life goes on. Even when I want desperately for time to stand still, it doesn't stop. I resent each second that takes me further away from Kevin's life and yet I embrace them. Healing is a looping, wandering path.

Because life goes on and (I suppose) because it is my nature, I keep forging ahead as best I can. Things are happening. I've moved, I'm working more, I'm getting good gigs and so on. Each time one of these things happens I want nothing more than to tell Kevin. To see him grin and say, "That's great!" all the while looking as though he expected nothing less and knows more great stuff is on its way.

I still tell him, but the delight I hear in his voice is in my head. I feel the warmth of his grin as a beloved memory, still alive in my heart, and maybe, hopefully, a bit of connection to the beyond.

The person I most want to celebrate these small victories with is gone, and this is the reason the smallest of victories requires celebration. I got out of bed today, hurrah! I secured a great gig, yippee! Were Kevin here I would still tell him, still be thrilled with his joy, but the need to tell him and the the need to feel his pleasure is so much greater with him gone.

This is so much of my experience of grief. It is a paradox. The thing and person I need most in the world is the thing and person I most cannot have. The person who would understand the best were I to tell him, "Hey, I got up today! I didn't cry for you today. I even laughed a little," is the person who cannot respond in ways I understand.

I find myself celebrating these small victories for us both. I tell him anyway, even if I cannot hear his response. I toast the air with my glass of wine and "clink" for us both. I hold onto the paradox because is better than only pain. Because in this confusion and uncertainty I can at least remind myself that there are glimpses of light in the dark. That the sound of his laughter is still in the universe, that the photons that touched his face are still touching mine. That even in the cold and dark the memory of his warmth and light and life is better than never having had it to lose in the first place.

(c)2015 Laura S. Packer Creative Commons License

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True Stories, Honest Lies by Laura S. Packer is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
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