I don’t think it’s any big secret, or surprise, that I’m just now getting to the dirty business of the real grieving. The ruminating about Tom’s death. The thinking. All that BS I wrote in November about how the shock had worn off? Fugetaboutit.
I hate to break it to ya’ folks, but the shock was with me for a good long time. I am rising out from under it slowly right now. One small memory at a time. One small realization at a time.
In the last few days I have had TWO realizations that have me reeling. They are part of this process I must deal with. They are the biggest ones I must deal with (besides the actual death).
Here they are:
1) I never got to say good-bye. Nope. I had made dinner reservations earlier in the week for Friday night for one of our favorite restaurants, because we had weekend plans and Friday night dinner was just a small part of it. We were going to see each other soon. At 9-something the night he died, I had told him goodnight, but he was already gone, had been for more than four hours. That one will be with me forever.
It will not consume me forever, but it will never go away. And, it leaves me with this fear that when I don’t hear from people I reach out to (a family member, a friend), that that means something is wrong. It’s kind of unbearable. The only thing I can liken it to is when my father died. I was nearing the start of my senior year in high school and he had been sick all summer. He was lying in a hospital bed, unresponsive for the most part, and we gathered there during the day. But, the night he died, it was just my mom and her younger sister in the room. The call came at 3 a.m. From that point on, middle-of-the-night phone ringing sent me into a panic. It’s the same thing now when someone fails to respond to my texts, calls, emails.
2) And, before I type it, I must say, I know this one is less productive than anything could be. But, I wonder, had I been there, what could I have done (I know, intellectually, nothing to save him, my heart needs to catch up with my head on that one). But, I could’ve cradled his head, I could’ve made sure he knew he was loved, I could have said goodbye. Don’t get me wrong, that doesn’t mean I wish I was on the bike with him. I am very grateful I was spared death, or, at the least, pain and suffering from injuries.
If I had known the last time I was with Tom would’ve been the last time I would be with him, I can’t even contemplate what I would’ve done, or said.
So, there you have it. Those two things are huge right now for me. I cry often thinking of them, I couldn’t get through the least bit of the writing of this post without rivers of tears.
Say what you’re thinking now. Do what you’re afraid of now. Because NOW is all we have.