The one year anniversary of Susan’s passing was ten days ago. It’s hard to believe it’s already been over a year. It still feels so fresh, like it was only months ago. This past year was like climbing a mountain. Now, looking back down at where I was, it’s easy to see how much progress I’ve made. It’s important to note this. To remember that there has been progress. That there will continue to be progress. The good folks at Hospice speak of the Roman deity Janus as a metaphor for living with grief. One part of you always looking back, while another part looks toward the future. One half cannot exist without the other.
I also had to take some personal inventory. As much as people may feel for my situation, the simple truth is that no one wants to be around a guy who talks about life and death all the time. I’ve kind of become that guy. Every discussion seems to lead back to a weighty thesis on the brevity of existence, how we’re all heading toward our inevitable end, yada yada. “Dude, I just wanted to know if you’ve seen anything good on Netflix lately? Now we’re talking about cancer statistics and I’m sad. Thanks a lot, Buzzkill.”
Still, there are things I need to talk about, to write about. But I will be more selective from now on about where and when. I don’t want to keep being Grief Boy. Not everyone needs to hear about how I still see Susan’s face every morning, and hear her laugh whenever I say something funny. It just makes people sad, and it makes me more of an outsider. I will save these observations for my closest friends. And the widows/widowers I’ve come to know. And for this blog. I took a much needed hiatus from this place. Now I’m ready to come back.
I will continue telling the story that is my story and is Susan’s story. It’s very important for me to do this. As painful as it was to live through, I don’t want to lose those memories. I don’t want to wake up some day and find that, like a dream, the details have faded away. I want to remember for me and for her. I want people to know what it was like. I want to get it out of my head.
I want you to know that it was a nightmare. I want you to know that it was also poignant and beautiful. There were times it was way funnier than it had any right to be. And it was real. As real as real can get. A lot more real than now.
There are some new readers. Welcome all of you. I’ve already had some very kind feedback from others who are also navigating the choppy water. Your reactions mean a great deal to me. You’ll notice that I have a flair for the dramatic. Sometimes my writing reads more like fiction than memoir. I hope that it doesn’t ever come off as explooitation, or as insincere. I’ve always expressed myself through creative mediums, so, when I write, what comes out is often on the poetic side. That’s how I think and that’s how I process. I want you to feel what I felt. I’m not sure how to do that without sometimes painting a little bit. It also feels very good to paint.