Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Hope, and hope

I'm feeling like I should write one of those year-in-summary posts. Don't ask me why - I'm not completely sure.

But I think this year can be summed up like this:
fear fear fear
letting go
pain grief pain grief pain pain pain

A friend said last night in chat that he wants to kick 2015's ass. I agreed. 2014 so thoroughly kicked my ass that I'd really like to be on the giving end of a year-long ass-kicking instead.

Onwards ...

Sunday, December 28, 2014

I never thought that life would find me laughing with the pale moon

I know I've been quiet here.  So here's a little catch-up catch-all ramble of a post, a little bit of everything.

I stopped doing my tracker posts because I was bored with them, and have been keeping track of those things privately.

My exercise program has gone to hell, but that's mostly because I've been spending very little time at home, and haven't yet quite figured out how to keep up with it where I've been staying.

Jay didn't have cable, and I don't either, so in all the time I've been in Portland up til now, I've spent almost zero time watching local news. I've seen so little local news that now that I'm getting to see it once in a while, I realize that my brain still expects to see Baltimore-related news. It was a profoundly surreal moment when that finally sunk in.

And Portland weather reports? Let's just say I've never seen anything as complicated as the weather we have here. There are so many zones and areas and whatnot. I wonder if the local meteorologists have to go through special training just to be able to talk sensibly about our weather.

I'm in the new- to early-settling-in stages of a relationship. I've been reluctant to talk about it, because the last time I talked about love, it fell apart in my hands. So here's fair warning that you may never hear about it again, and you probably won't know if that's because I'm being cautious or if it's over.

I feel like I've lost something of myself in losing Jay. I listen to recordings of conversations between me and Jay and friends, and wonder who that clever, funny woman with my voice is. I miss her, I miss being her.

I've been starting to think more seriously about where I want to move in Portland when my lease is up at the beginning of June. As much as I really really don't want to pack and move again, I know that living in Jay's house is not a viable long-term solution. I'm glad for the year I will have had here; it will have been a good transition for me from being with Jay to being here on my own.  But I need to move on, to shake things up again, so I don't root here where I'm not entirely comfortable being.

Recent events have taught me how easily I get hung up on not-knowing. This discovery is driving me a little bit crazy, as is the realization that I can't quite close the door completely.

The upcoming New Year has got me thinking about grief again. This will be my first New Year's Day since Jay died. That feels like it ought to be profound, but I'm not sure it is. We'll see how I feel on the day, especially since it will also be the 7 month anniversary of his death.

Life goes on.

Monday, December 1, 2014

I'm not looking back, but I want to look around me now

Jay has been gone six months today. It seems like he’s been gone forever, but there are still times when the grief is fresh and strong enough that it seems like only yesterday.

The grief still catches me off-guard from time to time, a punch in the gut that leaves me sobbing. Any sight of his life mask will do that, a song lyric, a picture on the digital frame. It happens infrequently, and generally passes quickly, but the grief is always there, like a pool just under the surface of my life, sometimes quiet, sometimes stormy.

I realized sometime recently that I’m in the ultimate long-distance relationship with Jay, albeit with somewhat less communication than might be desired.

I also realized that he’s been gone a quarter as long as we knew each other. That is sobering.

On the positive side, the universe has surprised me by showing me the face of love again. I honestly didn’t know whether I would ever be able to open my heart to love after Jay died. He and I talked about that a lot, with him worrying that I would purposely close myself off, which he surely didn’t want. And I wasn't so much afraid of closing myself off, but of having a heart that wouldn't open again.

So to find love again so soon and so strongly - what a gift.

And to realize that I have a life I love, full of laughter and friends and fun - this is what I wanted for myself when my husband left me almost four years ago, but that I couldn’t find either where I was living or because of who I was there. Now I have it, and what a blessing it is. It’s not without its challenges, but I’m learning and adjusting and figuring out how to make it all work.

This will likely be the last of my monthly updates on my grief process, unless something significant happens. No doubt I will post on the year anniversary of Jay’s death - that will be a hard day.

But for now, life goes on, and the dance is lively and lovely.