Friday, August 2, 2013

Celebrating Sawan's Birthday

No matter how much I brace myself for days like today, they still take me by surprise.  It’s often so much harder than I expect it to be, even though I’ve been dreading it.  Even though it’s still hard, it’s also easier than it used to be in some ways, which is it’s own brand of hard.  It’s like I feel guilty that it’s easier or something.

I woke up this morning with him on my mind.  Today would have been his 44th birthday (I did the math wrong and thought that he was 44 last year, but he was born in 1969, that makes this year the 44th).  I wondered, as I sometimes do, what we would be doing today if he were alive.  I can no longer say.  This is helpful in some ways, and hard in others.  The details of our life before are fuzzily slipping away, I can’t quite grab them, like when you wake from a sweet dream but can no longer remember exactly why it was so sweet.  That’s super hard.  It’s good, though; that I can’t obsess about what life would be like, and grieve that it’s not the same.  I’m doing less inventing things to grieve; I grieve less about what would have been.

I mostly just miss him.   There are so many things I want to tell him about.  It still happens, about once a month, that I see something and I think, “I have to call Sawan and tell him!”  The most recent was when the little bistro closed on Pearl St, where the salon is. We always speculated that it was a front for the mafia; it never had customers but remained open.  But there’s more.  I want to tell him that I’m going to school, want to share that decision with him.  I want him to know that I’m so healthy and skinny these days.  He’d love my body.  I want to tell him all about Arthur and how he’s doing.  I want to have him help me make the decisions about the house, and yet, I know that the decisions I’ve made would not necessarily have been possible with him alive (I just repainted the exterior pink, he never would have gone for that!).

Some people use the anniversary of the death to celebrate the life of their loved one, but for me, I always feel that that’s the day that took him away from me.  I choose his birthday to celebrate him and his life.  Today is the day that gave him to me.  I am sad today, but I’m focusing on the amazing man that he was, on the wonderful things that I learned from him, on the beautiful life that we had together.  I choose to celebrate him today and focus on the happiness that he brought me as much as I possibly can.

I miss him daily, still, but cry about it less frequently than I used to.  Still, on days like today, my face just leaks all day.

Happy Birthday, my sweet love.  I wish you were here.  


  1. I have spent my entire Saturday reading your blog from start to finish. There is so much that I could say, but it all comes down to the fact that you are an incredibly strong woman, even if you don't realize it.

  2. @Melissa, Thank you, this made my day. You have no idea. -N

  3. I've just happened upon your blog and have been jumping around reading various posts at random... it is beautiful. I lost someone recently -- not a spouse, but many of the experiences are the same. You're right about how our society doesn't have any structure for grief. We just have to seek out other people who can relate and share the pain. Thanks! (P.S. Arthur is awesome!)