Friday, June 5, 2009

Nearing twelve.

ELEVEN months for me today and it's as grey outside as I feel within. It scares me to think how I might be doing if I didn't have Lily. And then that thought makes me wonder how I am really doing. Because I read posts on a widows board that are loaded with anger and rage and while I get it, I don't generally feel it. Generally. The anger I've experienced is not directed toward Alan, or even my circumstances. My anger has always stemmed from the insensitivities that surround the circumstances. People who couldn't understand my need for distance shortly after Alan passed away, people to whom I'd explain my situation and they'd hardly bat an eye (perhaps they didn't hear correctly?), and most commonly, people that are just sour on life who are rude to you for no reason and don't realize how good they've got it. But perhaps they've been through something awful as well. Thankfully Lily has given me new love and smiles and a reason for living. She is a wondrous distraction for which I am eternally grateful.
But at night when she's down, the silence creeps in and my mind begins to spin. Memories of the darkest moments, when things were terrifying, replay in my mind - and they're difficult to shake. They are memories with a perpetual echo. Voices, faces, sounds - torturous. My heart aches for those who do not have a child or a pet to cling to because the trauma feels like it was yesterday and the loneliness is shattering. What I feel is profound, deep, sadness. But the anger at him "leaving"? Not at all. Alan didn't leave, he was carried away by something well beyond his control, and I still bask in the love that we shared for one-another. In fact, despite the tragedy, I feel incredibly fortunate to have found such love. A few of the notes I received when Alan passed away mentioned that some spend a lifetime never finding the love that we had. And I do feel lucky to have found Alan. A couple of times, when people heard of Alan's passing, they'd casually asked if I knew he was ill when we met. Ugh. Not sure what they were getting at- or actually, I do. It felt like an underhanded jab, maybe unintentional, but I think it was their way of saying "you knew this was a possibility" or "why would you ever?..."
I did know Alan had had a brush with tumors. They were under control, in a form of 'remission' - and they were not cancerous at the time. But regardless of knowing or not knowing, I fell in love with Alan, period. True love is unconditional. I have no regrets. Maybe that is why the anger isn't raging. I took a chance, embraced it and lived on the edge with a beautiful human being. We suffered immeasurable loss but it was worth every minute. Both of our lives were richer and truer because of each other. And to this day I think "Yes! I had it. Maybe for a heartbeat, but I had IT. And that IT, gave us Lily."
So now my life has a huge void and a new joy. A turbulent and blissful combination. But Lily smiles and laughs and raises her shoulders to her ears with glee - so I remain hopeful that the grey I experience within won't permeate her wonderful world. And when the torment sets in at night, I have only to peek at her sleeping peacefully, her little chest puffing up and down to remember that there is light and hope. She's already proven herself a risk taker; she insisted on enduring a pregnancy fraught with grief. So I think - like her dad, and her mom - she is resilient and one who embraces life.

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