As I move toward the realization that time is running out and soon, I will move from being pregnant to being responsible for another human being,
I have also been realizing that a lot of grief is coming up.
This is not about how lucky I am to be pregnant, believe me, I know I am with every astonished fiber of my being. It is miraculous beyond imagining.
This is not about grieving my "single" days, my days of grabbing my tiny wallet and taking impulsive trips to the store or to vermont or to my sister.
This is old grief. This is the stuff that lies there, buried sometimes under just a dusting of good fortune and amazement and luck. And now, with all of these huge emotions beginning to stir, I am stirring up the old grief too.
I did not expect this, and it is hard to feel so happy and yet so haunted.
Jeff's things, what are left of them in my life, are in the closet in the mud room. They are in a pile in the corner so I know where they are, and what they are, a self protective move I made long ago to keep myself from stumbling across a book, a tape measure, a photo...
A few weeks ago, my beloved sister was visiting with her family and she helped me clean and sort some places where detritus seemed to accumulate naturally-- the baby room I was never sure I would use, the mudroom, the mudroom closet. And I stumbled across a box I had not labeled well, opened it with innocence, and found photos. It was simply in the wrong corner of the closet.
As part of our sorting, we took the closet doors off, and, as a consequence of the doors being off, as I walk in each night, I see the boxes. My eyes go there. Touchstone. I know what they are. I know what they hold. And I am feeling the grief pulling at me, the questions coming as they have always (quietly mostly)-- asking what right I have to be happy in the face of such a loss that I have never truly reconciled.
And I feel something akin to shame.
How do I even talk about this? It sounds crazy. But I am serious here, this sadness, this feeling somehow connected backwards to the loss of Jeff, is feeling so current.
Is it the open doorway? The accidental stumble on the photos? Or is it just LIFE CHANGING and that unsteady reassessment of everything, knowing only that I am stepping into the unknown.
My dear friend Will lost his wife two years ago to suicide--and I wonder if that is part of this too? If the season is pulling at me. My other blogger blog is about my response to Will's loss and to losing Jeff and a place to let grief come, and I have tried to not let it slob over into this realm very often since it feels, in many ways at least, like a different life.
But it isn't. It wasn't.
I need to be gentle with myself right now (always), be protective, move the boxes to the basement maybe, a not-everyday-place. I am someone who cries when something is beautiful, my heart just opens like that. And this openness is such a gift, except when it isn't.