So today it’s been eleven months since Jay died.
On the one hand, I’m far enough past the worst of the first of the grief that my life is mostly my own again. I’m deeply in love with a wonderful man. I’m taking a little time off before looking for a new job. I’m spending this weekend getting my addiction recovery program back on track, being re-inspired and renewed.
On the other hand, not a single day goes by that I don’t miss Jay. The grief isn’t sharp and new anymore, but it’s still present in my body, like a dull ache that simply will not go away. Every night in my dreams, I’m reliving the days of the clinical trial and the days after we brought him home. Needless to say, this means I’m not sleeping well.
The most concrete expression of this endless grief is that I’m consciously going through the house and removing the remaining bits of Jay’s life.
Sometimes this activity ends in amusement and bemusement. I was cleaning out the bathroom a couple of weeks ago, and discovered that when I did the bathroom clean-out right after he died, I was apparently completely convinced that he was coming back. I saved his toothbrush and his shaver, along with a bunch of other things he would need when he came back. That was something of a shock, to realize just how disconnected my thinking was from reality, in that time of strong grief.
Sometimes this activity ends in a room that simply works better than it did. I moved Jay’s work desk out of the boundary between the living and dining rooms and into what is now my creative space. That took the last ghost of Jay out of those rooms and made them into much more livable space.
It’s a relief to be living in a physical expression of my emotionally moving on. The more it becomes my house, the less it hurts to live there. It’s still not a good place for me to be - nothing will change the fact that he died in my living room - but every change makes it more livable.
Now to get through the year anniversary. I have no expectations of that day - it may be exquisitely painful, or anticlimactic. Won’t know til we get there, like all the rest of life.