Loved ones don't vanish with death; they become invisible, but their
shadows go on falling upon the living, waiting to continue the dialogue.
~ Alain Draeger
"Eyes of a Child"
TIS THE SEASON
4 April 2004
I always forget. Youd think by now Id remember, but it always sneaks up on me.
I find that I start getting antsy. Restless. Unfocused.
Then I find that thoughts about Paul and/or David (depending on the day) start sneaking in.
There may be some "pissy moments," when there are brief tears.
Then I look at the calendar and realize that we are entering Anniversary Season once again.
It gets much better each year. Initially, "the season" lasted from Thanksgiving to mid-May. May was the worst because it was another year without David.
The days leading up to May 18 were more difficult than the day itself. Something about anticipating that "THE" day was going to be so unbearably painful that there was a sort of approach-avoidance type of anticipation and when "THE" day arrived, it was rather anticlimactic. Easier than the previous week, because I had crested the hill and it was all downhill from there to Thanksgiving.
Of course when Paul died, that left two "THE" days to get through, but I was also building on the knowledge that when I started having those "omigawd...its another year" feelings, that "THE" day was going to be more of a relief than anything else.
But it doesnt stop the feelings from coming...its another year...another year....another year.
On April 20, it will be four years without Paul and a month later, on May 18 it will be--unbelievably--eight years without David.
The sad thing is when you realize they are starting to slip away.
Hard to remember exactly the sound of Daves voice, the feel of his hug, the depth of his laughter. Hard to look at the adult face of Ned, who will be 37 this year, and picture David at 32, which he should be now, instead of permanently frozen at 24.
Its easier with Paul because we have Lawsuit recordings all over the place. And actually, the parts of Paul which are slipping away are the bad parts. Hard to remember--nor do I want to--the gut wrenching pain of his depressive moods and the fear that something would happen to him. But Paul, too, should be dealing with being 34, rather than permanently frozen at 30.
We ritualize the "anniversaries" -- sushi on April 20, Kraft dinner on May 18 (lol...it makes me think of yesterdays entry, when I talked about how this is a family that makes food central to everything--even death anniversaries, I guess). It feels weird. Like we should do something, but you ritualize happy events; you dont ritualize tragedies (though a group of us has been getting together for nearly 20 years on the anniversary of Gilberts death, so maybe its not quite that weird).
So I expect to be in an intermittently surreal state from now until mid-May, when we can all take a deep breath and get back to the business of living once again.
At this time of year, I just wish I could jump over a couple of months with the ease that I used to be able to jump over squares on a hopscotch. But you cant do that. So you just put your head down and plunge headfirst into the season and know that, thank God, it will soon be over.
Weight Lost to date: