A year can go by slowly. The seasons can drag like the slow and steady procession of a rickety cart swaying down a rutty country road. They can feel drawn-out and fettered despite every ditch effort to bring a new level of excitement to their timely and expected places in a year. But a year can go by unchecked. It can filter through the sieve of thought like water flowing through a whicker basket. Time – as much as it obeys the simple perspective of a thinker, it is both the jailer and the judge of this existence.
This past year was blurry at best. It started with a tremendous shock to my system – a reality-check to beat all reality-checks. A continuous loop comprising of waves of sadness and moments of convinced clarity followed. Good. Bad. Mad. Good. Bad. Sad. At some point I noticed sensations of now began to interrupt the loop. They were indications that I was getting better. But my familiarity with the loop would quickly cause my brain to lose focus on the now and nestle back into the nook I found in the repetition of blurry pain and resolve to find happiness. Happiness, it appears, is not so elusive. But it is difficult to persuade myself to come back to life when I know it will hurt like hell.
But the months kept moving by, slowly. It is only when I look back they appear to have sped by. I think about it longer than I should, but the honest truth comes back into my head and I frown. No. They dragged by slowly. Many of them were horrible.
This last month though contained so many steps and so many changes. Even before the anniversary (I hate this word for it) of Dave’s death, my determination to heal, or at least function better, was noticeably producing a happier me. I still cried. I still cry, but I can accept now that will always be a part of me. And even as I went home and the anniversary passed and we took Dave for his last skydive – I felt lighter. All month I was feeling lighter. I had something to look forward to. I was finally going to grant Dave one of his final wishes. Perhaps there is some significance in surviving a year, though. Perhaps, as I recall so many deals I made with myself in that first month last June, that was the task I gave myself all along – to get through the year.
Still, so much has happened in just the past week. Time is still moving so slowly. It was only seven days and a year ago that Dave died and left my life – left everyone’s life. And it’s still surreal in so many ways that I had such a wonderful life once upon a time, that I was the happiest person in the world once upon a time, that I was loved more deeply than anyone could ever love a person once upon a time, that I loved someone with every ounce of my being once upon a time. It’s all so surreal, but there’s something else growing in my life now. A seed of acceptance took root and now it’s woven itself into most of my perspective. I have accepted that this is the next part of my life. Until whatever happens next. Until whatever catastrophe or magnificence finds me next. Until I can’t wait to live the rest of my life once again. Until then, this is me and this is my life. This is now.