Monday, June 30, 2014

It seems like only yesterday I gazed through the glass

Denial - or in my case, disbelief - is a very powerful thing.

It's been a month since Jay died, but it was only yesterday, on that anniversary, that I broke through the disbelief.  I don't even remember what triggered it, but the realization that he's gone and he's never coming back was like a bodyblow.  No matter what else I do in this life, whether I have a string of lovers spanning the country or go on one date and meet the next One, or both or neither, all the things I do in my life will be without Jay.

I can see all of you who have never been through this rolling your eyes. It seems so obvious, doesn't it? But the mind is a tricky thing. It protects itself from things that are too painful, and this is one of the ways.

So I rode that wave of grief last night, right into another lousy night's sleep.

On the upside, my creative brain and my inquisitive brain seem to be waking up. I've started reading non-fiction almost exclusively, and am enjoying both the vocabulary increase I'm gaining and the list of things I want to research further.  I've had more story ideas in the past week than in the past ten years.  Odd things are sparking ideas, and connecting with ideas I've had in storage for ages.

I have only three regrets about my relationship with Jay, two of which are creative-related and one of which is food-related.  The food one is almost trivial: I'm so deeply sorry I never got to make him my cornbread. He loved cornbread, and I make it really well.

The creative ones are less trivial and more emotionally charged. I truly regret not reading more of his writing while he was around to discuss it with. I'll never know the deeper motivations for writing that particular story, that particular line.

The other one is harder. I deeply regret not starting to write while he was still alive to help me. But that part of my brain started to come online after he was no longer able to write, and the guilt I felt at trying to create when he couldn't was huge.

So now I'm left to piece my life together, to find a New Normal, when the biggest piece of my life is missing.  What does the picture look like now, when the puzzle is missing its center?

I've been reading back in Jay's blog, to the days before he was a professional cancer patient. I realize now just how much of his over-the-top energy was gone before I ever met him.  We essentially had 3 weeks of something resembling that energy together before it was gone. I never knew til now just how much I miss it, and how much I would have loved to have known him when it was at its peak.

I said to a friend in email that my time with Jay was the only time in my life I've ever felt truly alive.  How do I recapture that feeling without his energy around to feed it?


  1. It's one of those things that you just can't truly understand unless you've been there. I can really relate to a lot of this. In a way it's as if Jay passed his gift of writing onto you, and that it's one thing of his that no one else has and provides a deep connection to him and everything he was.

    1. Heh, if I start writing in baroque sentences, we'll know for sure he passed his gift on to me. That would make me happy, but I don't think I have the vocabulary to support it ...

  2. lisa,
    this is all just so fucked up, isn't it? cancer is such an ass hole. when i lost a loved one, i read the book " The Year of Magical Thinking"

    1. I love that book - it was one of my go-to titles while we were in Maryland and I was going through a spate of grief book reading.

  3. Loss is a terrible thing.

    My son was taken from me at birth because I was under age and my parents (or parent - who know) decided to make that decision for me. Took years to get over that.

    Years later my Mum was diagnosed with terminal breast cancer, The parent that gave away my child I went back to and took care of until she died when I was 23.

    Never thought I would make it through any of it, but time does heal. You don't forget, you remember what makes you happy. And life, and love, does go on.

    Just know Lisa that what you are going through is what you have to. You will come out to see the light as long as you look for the light, I pray you will.

  4. Jay helped me with my writing, I can help you as a way of passing that spirit of loving on? Also: not just across America! You have international love :P