I woke up feeling sad. At breakfast I asked Ravi how he was doing and he said “You know I told you I’ve never really been sad in my life. But I’m sad now.” Ravi and I are like twins sometimes. This didn’t bode well.
I spent the whole day on the verge of tears or actually crying. There is no way, I am learning, to predict this, still less to prepare for it. Grief hits you without warning, sneaks up on you while you are folding the laundry or signing a check. Suddenly, there you are – a helpless wreck.
It started today just with seeing the calendar. November is Moy Moy’s – she’s always been the pin-up girl in the Karuna Vihar calendar. Today is December 1st and I haven’t been able to turn the page over to the new month.
As the year draws to a close, I am feeling more and more panicky. 2018 will forever be the year we lost her. Moving into 2019 feels like we are leaving Moy Moy behind, in the past. I’m actively resisting. I don’t agree with time’s passage right now. I’m staying here where I am. With her.
You may my glories and my state depose.
But not my griefs. Still I am the king of those.
I guess sometimes reality is just too sad. Sometimes you have to bend it, reshape it, force it to accommodate you because you aren’t yet ready to accommodate it.
So I solved my calendar problem by going for a long walk (ten miles today) and when I came home I removed November and just extended Moy Moy into December, into today, into the present moment:
Sad is hard. It’s exhausting. I cried so many times today I’ve lost track. I need another month and maybe another one after that and yet another after that. Those days and days, like they used to be – rolling out into the future, endless and uncounted; precious not because they were so few but because they seemed so many.
We were wrong to think we could take them for granted. I see that now. I want to hold her one more time. I want to tell her one last story, give her one last bath, one last feed. It’s crazy, this grief. A dear friend sent me this poem by Emily Dickinson:
We grow accustomed to the DarkWhen Light is put away —As when the Neighbor holds the LampTo witness her Good bye —A Moment — We Uncertain stepFor newness of the night —Then — fit our Vision to the Dark —And meet the Road — erect —And so of larger — Darknesses —Those Evenings of the Brain —When not a Moon disclose a sign —Or Star — come out — within —The Bravest — grope a little —And sometimes hit a TreeDirectly in the Forehead —But as they learn to see —Either the Darkness alters —Or something in the sightAdjusts itself to Midnight —And Life steps almost straight.