I started this blog with the intent of writing a lot, but the reality is, I just won't. And I am not going to kick myself about it. I will write when I have something to say. Like now.
I work as a campus supervisor at a middle school, so for 3.5 hours a day, I am outside. And except during lunches when I am watching the kids, I really get to appreciate whatever the day has to offer.Yesterday was a perfect day here in So Cal. About 66, blue sky with wispy clouds, a slight breeze. All the ingredients that make my daily job fantastic.
As I wandered the campus in the afternoon after lunches, enjoying the fine day, I stopped for awhile to watch a couple of hawks circling overhead, their screeches had alerted me to their presence. Then I watched a black phoebe flitting around and making it's chipping noise at it went after bugs. Then I wandered some more. I found myself stopping in a familiar place. It's all familiar there, as I walk the campus every day. But I rarely stop there anymore. It is on one side of the campus, and there is a slight hill with eucalyptus trees, and it is usually quiet there.
For at least a year, probably longer (calendar year, not school year) after Tim's death, I sought out quiet, out of the way places to hang out (hide) while at work. Sometimes it was behind an equipment shed at one of the softball fields. A lot of the time it was at the side of the school where the small hill is. I felt so lost, hopeless, alone. Even with others I felt alone. And yes, I sought that alone-ness at times, but the alone I felt was less about the presence of others and more about the emptiness inside me. I ached, so much. The future looked pretty bleak. Looking back I thought of the dementors from the Harry Potter books. They had come and sucked everything out of me. I didn't see, I couldn't see that there was anything but this awful, aching, painful grief. It was all encompassing. Prayer was hard, sometimes my mind was just blank. And I would lean back against the wall, staring up at the trees against the sky, listen to the rustle of the leaves, maybe the birds. And ached.
Yesterday, 10 years and 65 days after his death, I found myself lingering there again. It was beautiful as always, but especially this day, with the gorgeous weather. And I found myself remembering those early days. And it was good. You can not, nor should you try, to convince any newly grieving person that things will get better, that life is still out there waiting for them. I couldn't even imagine it at that stage in my life, sometimes questioned how things continued on as if all was normal. But life is still there. Life was waiting for me, and it waited until I was ready. And a little at a time I stepped into it again. Sometimes (still) retreating, and always without being fully conscious of it. I could laugh, I could function, I could still love. I can still hurt too. I am forever changed, but I am not the shell I felt I was. My life since then has been full and beautiful, and sometimes surprising. Life is good.