It feels like yesterday. And also like a different lifetime.
I still remember the way the light looked on the morning that I kissed him goodbye, not knowing it was our last kiss. The sun had that beautiful butterscotch hue to it as it flooded the kitchen of our little condo, the rich color that only August sun has. I had on a too-big green give-away t-shirt and still had my TMJ mouth guard in. He scolded me for being out of bed early on my day off, but I wanted to make him coffee before he left for school. It was so--ordinary.
I would be widowed by the time that lovely sun set.
I find myself reflecting on the last eight years. What lessons have these years taught me? Among other things, this:
I learned how to grieve. Well, I know I’m still learning, but I learned early on that grief is a relentless teacher that never really takes a break, only changes, but can apparate back to it’s original form and back again in the same moment. I learned to give myself grace about timelines and linear “progress” and anything else that felt like expectation. I learned to give grace to others; too, even if they had expectations for my grieving that I could not meet. Some of the support I got was tremendous (saints, I tell you!). But, it’s also amazing to me how few of the people in my current “inner circle” even knew me eight years ago. It’s hard for me sometimes that they never even knew Sawan, this man that changed me so fully and completely by his presence and then by his absence.
I learned that there are no guarantees. I was not promised a husband that would live until we were old. I was not promised children. I was not promised an easy life. (I was also not promised other marriage benefits-- like orgasms, or someone to do the “dude” things like changing the furnace filters and taking out the trash and opening all the jars.) I was only promised sufficient grace. You know, just enough grace to get by. Over the years I recognized that so much of the time I enjoy not merely sufficient grace, but rather an extravagance of grace.
I learned that life isn’t going to look like I thought it would. It isn’t even going to look like I thought it would once I realized I had to re-think life. I’m still learning to get over that and just live. I’m learning to live like this is my one wild and precious life, and I won’t squander it by merely surviving.
And where was I before the day
That I first saw your lovely face?
Now I see it every day.
And I know that I am the luckiest.
-Ben Folds from The Luckiest (which was “our song”)
It was pretty great while the luck held, Baby. I miss you every day.