Thursday, October 30, 2014

Misc updatery

A couple of unrelated things make a post:
  • We had a big rain last weekend, and there was some minor flooding in my garage and downstairs bathroom., as well as major flooding in the other side of the duplex. This has led to major cleanup projects, which in turn will lead to waterproofing and other recovery. As I said on Facebook, this makes me very glad I'm a renter. And it also has the effect of filling my guest room downstairs with every single thing that used to be in the bathroom, except the toilet.  Just when I thought I might have a handle on getting that guest room cleaned out and usable - ah well. At least now I'm going to be forced to deal with all the stuff that was in the bathroom - this is a good thing.
  • I'm back to doing some heavy emotional processing, as evidenced by my constant exhaustion and hunger. It's not surprising, given that we're coming up on the first of the month again. But it's disconcerting to be back in that place of emotional upheaval after a couple of weeks of relative calm. But I know that this will pass, so I'm just riding the waves and trying to get some extra rest and calories.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Catching up

I know I've been quiet here lately. I've been doing a lot of thinking and a lot of processing, and haven't really come to any conclusions, hence my not being here talking about it all.

There are so many things that have changed for me in the wake of Jay's death, and so many of them are things I had given absolutely no thought to before he died. A lot of them are related to whatever relationships I'm going to have as time passes. Another lot of them are related to what I want my life to look like, whether I'm single or in the middle of a passel of lovers. A surprising number of them are about where I want to physically be in Portland.

I'm trying to remind myself that this is an unprecedented opportunity to remake my life pretty much how ever I want to, within my financial and emotional limits, although those latter may be able to be challenged and stretched a bit.

It's all still a jumble in my head, as you can tell from the ramble I'm having here.

But just know that I'm still around, still thinking, still grieving, but still also moving on into whatever the next phase of my life will be.

I'm still moving step by step, but it's less "one foot in front of the other" and more "slowly learning this new dance step". That's a vast improvement.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Knowing the name of the portal

I finally figured out which portal I walked through recently.

I'm starting to move on.

It feels profoundly wrong to be doing this so soon after Jay's death. I apologize every day to the pictures of him on my dresser. Even though I know it's what he would have wanted for me, I feel guilty.

But the process has begun. I set my relationship status to single on OKCupid (and then went on a fantastic first date). I haven't quite yet felt the need to change my relationship status on Facebook, but then all my friends there know me and know what I'm going through, and the truth is I am still in a complicated relationship with Jay.

As I said to a friend at lunch yesterday, in my heart of hearts, I'm still waiting for Jay to come back. But knowing how my life works, as long as I'm waiting for him to come back, he won't - but the moment I stop waiting, he will.

I know that sounds crazy, but that's how my bargaining/denial/disbelief is expressing itself these days.

All the usual disclaimers apply, especially the one that watches for the changing of the month.

But I've taken that first big step into the rest of my life.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Leveling up? Achievement unlocked? Something like that ...

Passed through another portal since the Crater Lake trip.  I'm not quite sure what happened, but something surely has.

I'm back to a place of relative acceptance, with relatively little emotional overwhelm. I'm still sad and still grieving, but everything is less painful than it has been.

I feel stable for the first time in a long time.

I also have no illusions that this will last, but for the moment, I'm coping well.

We'll see what the next little while brings, especially as we approach the start of November.

But for now, doing pretty darn well.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Anniversary trip

This past weekend, I drove down to Klamath Falls so I could reprise Jay's & my unsuccessful trip from last year, to actually successfully see Crater Lake and celebrate my second anniversary of moving to Portland.

Friday, I ended up taking the route that went right past Timberline Lodge, so since the last time I'd been there it was so foggy I couldn't see Mount Hood, I stopped in to see my old friend. He was looking fine:
View of Mount Hood from the amphitheater behind
Timberline Lodge

I spent Friday night in Klamath Falls, and drove out Saturday to see Crater Lake.  It was nothing short of spectacular.

It's impossible for pictures to do the lake justice. It's so enormous that all sense of scale is lost. Just remember - this lake started out as a 12,000 foot high volcano that exploded and left this hole in the ground.  My brain just can't cope with that.

And my heart had a tough time, as well. As gorgeous as the lake was, and as glad as I was to finally get to see it, Saturday was still a time of sadness and anger. All the usual grief stuff was there with me. I wanted nothing more than to turn to Jay and share all those moments with him. His death blew a huge hole in my heart that is certainly not a pretty thing surrounded by hills and pines.

Ah, well. Happy anniversary to me, anyway.

More shots of Mount Hood and Crater Lake at the Flickr sets.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

It's a far cry from the world we thought we'd inherit

This weekend is tough. Bad enough that this week brought the four-month anniversary of Jay's death. But today is my two-year anniversary of moving to Portland, and I'm celebrating it alone.

That's not meant to be a sweeping dramatic statement, just a statement of fact and emotional truth.

This weekend I'm reprising the trip we took together last year to celebrate this anniversary, driving down to stay in Klamath Falls and visit Crater Lake. We were thwarted last year in actually seeing Crater Lake by the government shutdown.

So here I am this year, on my own, going to see the sights we didn't see together last year.

So much changed over the last year, and looking back over it all, I can't even begin to think where I'll be this time next year. While Jay was alive, we were living in the two-month box - the time between his scans. Right now, I'm living in the one-month box - the time between the start of months, every turning of the calendar page another stab to the heart.

But I'm starting to feel the stirring of an emotion I consciously shut down while Jay was alive and ill - I'm beginning to feel hope for the first time in a long time. I don't know hope for what yet, maybe just hope for a new life. But I can feel it beginning in tiny excited flutters, from time to time, in and around the grief.

So I mark this anniversary, knowing that this time next year, I'll be in a different place, and looking forward to seeing where I might be.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

If you don’t bring up those lonely parts this could be a good time

4 months on - a ramble about where I am

I'm still struggling daily, but I seem to have processed something large in the past month, setting down some big burden.

I'm still sad, sometimes unbearably so. I'm still lonely, sometimes unbearably so.

But I'm also feeling energized by the change to autumn. This is always the time of year my energy starts rising again. It's that old feeling of excitement about school starting. It's hard to feel the season change and know that I'm just that much further away from the life I had with Jay. But it's good, too.

I'm working hard to make this life into something I want to live. I'm learning more about my own fears and what they make me do and what they keep me from doing. I'm learning how to harness my creative drives to express things I could never have expressed before.

I'm doing my best to get back to being able to remember what I was like when Jay was alive and we were happy. I can't stay that person forever, have already moved away from being her, but I don't want to lose her entirely.

A month ago, I said this:
Harder for me is the psychological reality that I'm still waiting for Jay to come home from whatever trip he's on. The disbelief that he's truly gone is pervasive and deep, and I think this, too, is just part of my normal-for-now.
 This is still true.

Jay's been appearing my dreams a lot lately, which is unusual. Even when he was alive, he almost never appeared directly in my dreams, but appeared as other people who I knew to be him. Now he mostly shows up as himself. I don't always remember the dreams, but I know when I've dreamed about him.

I still miss him terribly, and am still angry at the universe for cutting his life short. I doubt those things will ever change, and I'm sure I say them every time I write one of these posts.