I didn’t expect to go nearly three months without blogging. I’ve been very aware of the weeks slipping by but unable to make myself sit down and write. Meanwhile, the busy-ness of daily life erodes my time and distracts my attention.
I continue to grieve, some days more intensely — and more intentionally — than others. David’s absence has been enormous, touching every aspect of our lives. When he died, he left a huge, huge hole. The hole was so big, for months we tripped and fell into it every day, many times a day. Everywhere we looked, David was missing.
The hole is still there — and will always be there — but Life has a way of filling the empty places. I’m reminded of beach vacations and how our boys would dig holes in the sand just to see how deep they could go. No matter how big the hole, it didn’t last. Once the tide inched in at day’s end, wave after searching wave filled the hole with seawater. The packed sides, suddenly soggy, caved in, while the ocean eagerly laid in sand it had carried from other parts of the beach.
Before long, only a slight depression remained at the water’s edge, maybe only an impression of the hole that was there before.
Like the ocean, Life has come streaming back, first in tentative trickles and finally with high-tide force. Some of it is my doing; some of it is just the way Life is. Left alone, Life moves forward all by itself and carries us with it.
First there were several days of rest in Key West for Gene and me at the end of February. He then drove to Michigan in March to see his father, and soon after I came down with a nasty bug and was sick for two weeks. In April big changes introduced at the newspaper where I work kept my focus elsewhere. Then it was my birthday weekend, then Easter weekend, and here we are. May.
I’ve thought often of this blog, even as my days scattered like tiny cockroaches in a New York apartment when the light flicks on. Always there was hesitation: Even if I had time to write, what would I say? What could I say?
I was reluctant to write about the thing that most intrigued me, that most occupied my mind when I thought about David. It’s taken me 11 weeks to get up the nerve to write about the thing that’s taken me months to begin to believe: David is still here.
The summer morning David died, our family finally hit the choppy waters at the foot of that metaphorical waterfall. We’d been in free-fall for 27 months. Our tiny boat capsized, and we were flung helter-skelter across the river. Swift currents of grief threatened to pull us apart and drag us under, each of us to our own emotional death.
Somehow we managed to find one another and, together, keep ourselves afloat. For a long time, we didn’t do anything but hang onto each other and let the current carry us. Being physically together kept each of us from dissolving when the pain washed over us.
Then I began to notice that when my pain was the worst, when grief immobilized me, somehow David was there. Some strange coincidence, some synchronistic event we could only describe as “David” would occur. It would catch me off-guard and startle me out of my despair. I would feel comforted. The same thing was happening to Gene.
Over the months, the “coincidences” have become more compelling. David has begun to appear in dreams and give us messages. He’s appeared to others, sometimes with a message to give us — one that means nothing to them but makes sense to us.
Now I find myself at a tipping point: the culmination of a build-up of small changes that effects a big change. The culmination of a build-up of small head-scratching awarenesses that effects a big change in what I believe about Life, Death and the nature of the Universe.
As I said, I’ve been reluctant to share these stories. I’ve wrestled with the idea that I might be crazy, that my mind is playing tricks on me. But because I’ve come to believe the events are real, I need a place to record them. This blog will be that place.
© 2011 by Lorin D. Buck