I wrote this on November 28, 2012. Six months to the day of Ron's death. Six months is so hard. (of course it is all so hard at every month but six months seems to loom heavily.) Half of a year is a large chunk of time. How could Ron be gone? I still can't believe any of this is real. I still think everyday, I need Ron to come back. Enough of this already.
Here is what I wrote and a few things that have happened since.
Today marks six months.
One half of a year of life that Ron has not lived.
No, I did not calculate this myself. I found a handy-dandy website to do it for me.
I don't feel like grieving quietly and politely today. I feel like screaming. Just standing in the street and screaming. Pity the fool that asks me, "how are you"? I suppose it is good that I am working home alone for the day.
Six months. I suppose acquaintances figure oh, a lot of time has gone by, she must be moving on, doing better. The crisis part is over so people fade away and go back to their lives. So many people dropped everything for us and I know that they must attend to their own needs now. They don't call or write as much. I am not angry or hurt by that. Even though, I need them now just as much and I do wish they realized that. I have a small group of solid friends and family to keep me above water and I am grateful for them. One good friend thinks that I am not doing that great. Funny thing is that I think I am doing just fine-- for this crap-ass, FUBAR situation. All these military terms are coming in so handy. SNAFU. Jon Stewart used one of Ron's favorites in a most creative way to describe the republican primaries: "clusterfuckerie". Love that. Ron would have loved that too. We used to say "clufu" to be able to use clusterfuck in front of the kids. Among Ron's dream jobs would have been to be Nate Silver--baseball statistician, turned NY Times writer and presidential election predictor.
But I digress. I am doing fine in that I function from day to day and am not curled up in a ball flinging my poop like a chimpanzee in a cage. I remember before we even left Jakarta that I had that image come to mind and joked darkly with my brother that maybe none of this was happening and I was in an institution and didn't know it. I knew that this would get a whole lot harder before it got easier and six months is NOT long time to learn to tolerate Ron's absence. No, it is just enough to tap lightly into the surface of the fact that Ron is gone at all. He will never be at another Thanksgiving and he will never be at Christmas and he will never see Sophie play the cello or be the soccer rock-star that she is and he will never curl up with me under our down comforter that we loved so much. I washed it and put it on the bed this week after one too many nights of being cold under an insufficient blanket. He will never know that Samantha can bake pies by herself and that she, the velcro-monkey, becomes more independent every day. She finally has her own small group of friends and is well-liked in the classroom and on the playground.
One of the things that gets me about grief is the physical aspect. Sometimes we can control our feelings. Push them aside for later so that we can concentrate on the present activity. On an especially hard day or moment my body is in charge and the grief is a physical entity pushing on my chest or throat or seizing my back , making my head pound, and I am no longer the CEO of my body. What is also strange is that this is considered normal. I see a counselor and she quizzes me each week for signs of complicated grief and nope--this shit is normal. I am not a mess. I am just grieiving and it hurts so badly.
So I wrote this and posted it on my personal blog. A very dear friend read it and contacted me because she was worried that she was the friend who said that I was not doing so great. Here is the thing. She was trying very hard to be sensitive to my feelings and she told me that while she thought I was coping extremely well she thought it would have been insensitive to say that I was doing great when the love of my life had died and she knew I was grieving fiercely. So here is the thing. She was exactly right. If she 'd said I was doing great, I would have thought how could she have said that, Ron is dead, How could I possibly doing great?! So she said I wasn't doing great (to another widowed friend of her's that I do not know--yet). That left her in a pickle. Damned if you do, damned if you don't. No wonder why people avoid the bereaved. Who knows what the hell to say. Now I am not in any way pardoning the friends or family that have abandoned any of us. I think that is horrible and cowardly. I am just recognizing that I am so overly reactive to anything that anyone says and the problem is that other than just saying to me, " I am so sorry and this is so horrible and giving me a hug", there isn't much anyone can say or do.
I went back to dance class this weekend. My niece has been staying with me for this week and could babysit the girls. It is the first time I have danced in over a year, closer to 18 months. After Ron died everyone said, when are you going to dance again--you need to dance. And yes, I need to dance. It used to be the only thing that kept me tethered to the earth--besides Ron. I couldn't go back after he died. It felt to wrapped up in my love for him. I felt too fragile and that I would fall apart, disintegrate if I took a class again. I felt that I didn't have one speck more energy to dance--that I was using every speck of my energy to keep myself in control. To not be curled up in a ball. That I couldn't risk letting go enough to dance. I also did not exercise during the time that I cared for him and my body is out of shape. I could come up with a million reasons why I couldn't go back. But this week, I thought, well maybe I should go. I will take a class where I probably won't run into anyone I know and maybe it will be okay. I took a class on Friday and it turned out that two people I know were there and they just hugged me and welcomed me back and it was okay. I didn't fall apart and I made it though class. Muscles in my body that I didn't know could be sore are screaming at me now. Then I learned that today one of my favorite teachers with whom I studied before we moved to Jakarta was substituting for a class. I thought: perfect. I can go to her class and I won't know anyone and maybe it will help work out my sore-ness. Half way through the class, my heart and my body started to feel so heavy and tired. My hips hurt too much to lift my legs. I made it most of the way through and then it hurt too much and I needed to sit down. I watched the last 10 minutes of class. Afterwards the teacher gave me tips on stretching and strenghtening and I changed my clothes and walked out. By the time I got to the car I was in tears. I just sat in the car and cried. Dance=Joy. Ron=Joy. In the past, I danced to feel light and joyful and to forget the world and any stress and just concentrate on the movement and the moment and now the movement is there but the light is gone and how could I possibly to let go now. Ron wanted me to dance. He knew how much it meant to me, what it gave to me. It is just that dance used to be about happiness and wrapped up in everything that is good and now the part of my life that was the best part is gone. I know I have to keep trying. I have to keep dancing. I will dance for Ron.