After almost a full year of horrible firsts, I now face the most daunting of all.
Over these past 11 months time has held absolutely no meaning, and evinced no hold on me. I made it through holidays, birthdays, and an uncelebrated wedding anniversary. I fractured my ankle, dealt with the ravages of the flu without the “there, there” support of my beloved, and took countless solitary plane trips, landing with no greeting heralding my return. I even took my first trip back to the vet’s office where James died so unceremoniously on March 14th.
It dawned on me with almost an electric shock a few weeks ago, that it has been almost a year since he died. Where did a year go? How is that possible? It still feels so fresh, so recent. It can’t be! I say to myself. Time truly has had no meaning. It’s been one painful, foggy slog to get through the next “first” in a seemingly endless laundry list of painful milestones.
It’s like a constant rollercoaster ride with no time’s up. You don’t disembark, so no opportunity to gain firm footing. Back up the slow and steady incline – clack clack clack, all the way to the top with no view of what’s below. Then whoosh! Your stomach is left far behind as you hang on for dear life, while outwardly trying so hard not to look like you’re scared.
My favorite scene in the movie Parenthood with Steve Martin, comes near the end and is uttered by the unnoticed grandmother who often gets left behind by her large, self-absorbed family.
“You know, when I was nineteen, grampa took me on a rollercoaster ride…it was just so interesting to me that a ride could make me so frightened, so scared, so sick, so excited and so thrilled altogether! Some didn’t like it. They went on the merry-go-round. That just goes around. Nothing. I like the rollercoaster.”
James liked the steady and expected pace of the merry-go-round. I knew it wasn’t representative of real life. Shit happens. Up, down. Up, down.
We don’t have to like it, we just endure it.