No one grieves the same, either.
In waking dreams I have relived every day of Asa's last months over and over. All of it. The joy, the horror, the humor, the sorrow. I haven't had a real sleeping dream of him yet. I think he's too busy rocketing around the cosmos to come visit my slumber.
I feel like someone scooped my insides out. I'm walking around hollow. I think I must be rattling when I walk.
Every day when I come home from work I miss him so much my knees buckle and I have to sit or lie down until I get my breathing back. Sometimes that takes until morning.
I don't want to accept he's dead. I want to say he's in Tucson. He'll be back. Soon. Then I think, he's going to be so pissed when he finds I gave away his clothes.
I know he's gone. I have all this paperwork that says so. I have a social security payment that says so. I have a certificate that says so, and a box of ashes that say so. My head knows it's true. And fuck that.
He just went back to where he was before he was born. Just like we all do. And there's nothing to fear.
When the very, very worst thing you can imagine happens to you, you become free. You don't have one single thing left to be afraid of. If I die now, I'll just be with Asa and I don't see the downside there at all. I'm not looking to die any time soon - I'm just saying I'm not afraid of it now.
I don't have my focus for living yet, either. I think some afternoon I'll just look up from the table and see I've been making art again and surprise myself.
Asa took a (blurred) selfie in August '13. I could look at that crooked smile forever.
One of my thoughts was on perspective. The first time I lived alone I was 40 years old, and fresh out of my first, worst, marriage. I was so happy to be free - I lost 20 pounds the first month, danced every night in my apartment from sheer joy, and felt like the world was created just for me to admire. And this was in freakin' OMAHA, of all places. Freedom meant endless possibilities and delight in every tiny facet of daily life itself. The second time I lived alone was a few years later, a little more subdued, and much more feet-on-the-ground, but still a sense of possibilities waiting. This time it feels so much less like freedom and so much more like a gaping abyss; you realize you can do anything you want, and there's absolutely nothing you want to do.
I don't want advice, I don't need direction. I will find my way, I'm sure of it.
I just want to grow into my widow's skin on my own in my own good time.
I stay in touch with friends and loved ones. I take care of my cats and myself. I go to work each day at a job I love and one that I shared for so many years with my best and dearest friend. The hollow feeling might never go away, and I may never get used to it, but I know I'll stop talking about it.
And here's a funny thing: I know I'm hungry, and I can have anything I want - but nothing sounds good. Isn't that odd now?