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There's nothing left here to meet me
But the velvet moon
All my loneliness I have felt today
It's like a little, more than enough
To make a man, throw himself away
As I continue, to burn the Midnight Lamp, Alone
'Mindnight Lamp' From 'Electric LadyLand' album,1967 by Jimi Hendrix
In a previous post I mentioned that I felt as if there some type of ''shift'' or movement occurring in this process for me, this grieving...it is difficult to describe, but I am aware of it, I want to believe it is real. This is not to say that the pain has ended or that the waves of grief have subsided, it, and they, have not, and the background sadness remains, spiking occasionally. But they have become more tolerable, more...expected. All this does not take away from my hope in the realness of the shift which I feel has occurred, that, I am finding it is a fact. At first I was leery that my outlook had actually improved; grief had done a fine job of almost convincing me that I was to be at the mercy of it's retinue, which includes despair, and hopelessness; present also was a sense of desperation that can be crippling and always now, that special loneliness which only someone in a like situation can truly understand, for the duration. In the aftermath of DJ's death I was taken to that place Jimi so eloquently speaks of in the opening lines, a place which holds the constant reminders that in regards to knowing and having the security and fulfillment that being with our special ones gives, are no longer a part of our lives, taken there to ponder. At that time I really felt that ''throwing myself away'' was a viable option...
Having been fortunate enough to avoid the attraction of the abyss then, I'm finding life does continue and due to many factors, I was able to come to believe that surviving Dj's death was possible. As the feeling of the possible grew, I came to understand that merely surviving would not be enough...a way to really live again would have to be made, a different approach to planning and dealing with the future was in order to really say that I was living through the being ''alone'' and the other things grief introduces to us. Although very skeptical at first about this feeling of optimism, I was helped in accepting it by a surprisingly simply exchange; my granddaughter Ms. McKoKo, and I were watching one of her favorite programs which airs on a national children's channel and the child star of the show was holding Ms. McKoKo's attention...I watched as she stopped in mid sip of her fruit juice to give her total attention to the sketch being played out. When the scene ended and I could tell she was back from assisting the star I asked ''...so, you think you want to be an actress?...'', she turned in her small chair and looked at me, her expression not betraying what she would say next, finally she said, ''...no, I want to be a 'realtress', I want to do real things, I don't want to act anyhing...'' Being taken totally aback, I just sat there for moment, digesting what she had just said...perhaps I give Ms. McKoKo too much credit, or maybe it's my literal nature, but that statement got me to thinking about the change I had detected in my own feelings at this point and in the grieving process in total; I think I truly understood her ''realtress'' remark; being that she is five, that may or may not say something about me, but I am willing to take help anywhere I can find it these days.
Understanding my own proclivity for faking it in the best of times, and the innate ability of human beings to do that in times of great stress, I began to wonder if I had not fallen into some type of 'role' during all of this...perhaps it is inevitable that should happen, this role playing but I had not thought about it in those terms...I questioned whether or not many of the things I had said I felt...I really did feel. All that lasted about three seconds, I quickly purged those thoughts and returned to what Ms. McKoKo had said about doing ''real things''; what has happened was real alright and I have the loneliness to prove it. I think her expression describes for me what I want to become of this different life, to do real things...to have real hope of the possible and to know some real contentment in my life; not that the things before and with DJ were not real, but since her death, everything has been open to examination and the veneer of many long held beliefs has been peeled away and they are being challenged with some even being altered, causing much self doubt and blows to one's self esteem; I'm finding that grief can do that to us. I'm craving for this different feeling of hope to be real, that the things I am thinking which may be possible are truly not just wishful thinking. After such a traumatic blow such as we have taken, it is easy to become even more cynical and pessimistic regarding the future. Recognizing who I really am today is my first mission , defining what these real things I feel and want is next, but how does one go about the task? For me, maybe it starts with being totally honest about myself and my feeling concerning DJ's loss...I'm not talking about accepting that she is gone and won't be returning, that is a physical fact which cannot be denied, what I'm trying to get at here is narrowed down even further, down to the 'self' in me. As much as I tried to avoid it, I am finding that I do feel the unfairness of it all; this, after months of trying to convince myself that it is all just a part of life...I do find myself presented with situations which, tho are of the most benign of designs, cause resentment and ill feelings; my urge to say ''why me'', having been suppressed for so long, rears it's head now that I have decided to deal with the possible; I do not want to be like this, but if I am to be honest in the movement, if I am to be ''real'', I have to admit to these things.
This is very difficult, over the years I have developed a pattern of thinking in the ''we'', and have always had another to consider; bringing these types of things up would normally evoke a counter to them, but there is no one here to do that today, I am left to the mercies of my own mind...a potentially dangerous exercise at best. I am not really sure how to approach dealing with just ''me'', with just Fred. Understanding that I cannot let uncertainty dictate to me, I am trying to learn, or relearn about this person in order to understand just what can and must be done to encourage my belief in the possible for the future. Some things I desire are obvious and shared by us all, to have the everyday security of home and health, to have our basics taken care of...but beyond that, the peace of mind with myself and my life is something which I realize must be rebuilt and nurtured. Having the ability to enjoy the company of others, to avoid the isolation which appears to be so appealing at this time; the urge to heap disdain on the happiness of those around me and most importantly to not fear that I will continue to experience the terror and pain that being alone can cause...these are the ''real'' things i want to achieve and will be working on for the foreseeable future.
In a way it is odd that the inspiration for all of this should come from Ms. McKoKo, for when I was visiting the abyss and the thoughts of how my going over the edge would affect my family, I thought about how it might affect my own children, but they were adults and I could rationalize their feelings away...it wasn't fair, but I did it that way. I even considered how some might say that I had taken away from the significance of DJ's death, but I was able to assuage any concerns about that through pure selfishness and thoughts that I would be with her...one of my considerations was the thought of Ms. McKoKo having to deal with such an event which some might consider a tragedy, throughout her life, and as much as I love her, I cannot honestly say it really made a difference to me, I brushed it aside...at least I think i did. So it is quite a turn for me, that she, with the simple reply to my question should give me some direction in how to proceed into the future, how to go forward, being ''real'', truly from the mouths of babes...
Success in all of this realing may only be temporary or fleeting, or, not at all, I may crash and burn...I do not know, but I do feel that I have to make the honest effort to deal in the ''real''. So I start with the feeling that the movement is real and that I really want that movement; that I can honestly approach the different life with real hope and a belief in the promise of the future. Further I believe I can and want to make the real effort to embrace that future and all it may hold, good, bad, or indifferent, with the same openness and desire, possibly forever alone, which I shared with DJ...for now that's a start I can live with. Perhaps I can do that, and find that the ''velvet moon'' has some real possibilities...now, just H O W to do it...