It’s cold today. Snow starting to fall. I pulled out some gloves to go out … gloves I haven’t worn in a while. They are those “glittens” … you know, the gloves are cut off on the finger and then the top comes over onto your fingers for the mitten part.
These glittens are old. I remember buying them for figure skating events, so I could type when needed by the rink and then cover up for warmth. I specifically remember having them rinkside at some sectional championship, pre-Ice Network, when we were creating a fledgling live stream network. It might have been one of my last years at skating, and I traveled a lot due to our video plans. I remember that rink, where I sat, how cold it was, these gloves … and the times I called Adam so frustrated with how things weren’t working correctly. He would listen, offer technical advice, soothe me.
I don’t know why I thought of this. Maybe it was because today I couldn’t get our printer online at home. Or maybe because the microwave went totally on the fritz. He’s no longer here to solve those problems. I need a new microwave I think. He would have been on Amazon buying one already (gleeful for the excuse to buy a new gadget). The driveway will never be shoveled again. I’ll just park on the sidewalk until it melts. It’s not that I can’t solve these problems by myself. It’s that I don’t want to. That’s what a partnership was about.
It’s been a disastrous 24 hours. Once again, my small step forward resulted in a huge setback I am trying to remember that I did the right thing by reaching out to friends, who just gave me tea and hugs, and a place for Bixby to play.
Sometimes I feel as if I’m failing. Writing this blog with a subtitle that says “Fighting Through Grief,” yet I feel completely crushed. I’m on a couple of forums for widows, and I realize that every day a new member comes on board. I want to help them deal with those first days, but then I feel like a fraud because I’m a mess, too.
The hatred of seeing happy people can be overwhelming at times. The fact that there are horrid people living and smiling. The self-pity of “Why me?” The belief that this was karma hitting me because I was the golden girl … I always won. I got the award, I got into the right college, I got the job. I got the man, the sweet, sweet man. So there you go, life says … fuck you, you are done now. It’s over. No more wins for you. You ultimately failed to save the man you loved.
Bixby and I took a walk last night. I thought about what Adam was missing.
The night sky is the same. The sunsets are the same. The trees, the snow, it’s all the same, you aren’t missing that, my love. The TV shows are the same, the books are the same, work is the same, politics are the same.
But you are missing everything nonetheless. While walking, I thought of one my favorite passages from Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead by Tom Stoppard. Read it or just watch Gary Oldman: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9LYDKs480UA (first three minutes)
“Do you ever think of yourself as actually dead, lying in a box with the lid on it? Nor do I really. Silly to be depressed by it. I mean, one thinks of it like being alive in a box. One keeps forgetting to take into account that one is dead. Which should make all the difference. Shouldn’t it? I mean, you’d never know you were in a box would you? It would be just like you were asleep in a box. Not that I’d like to sleep in a box, mind you. Not without any air. You’d wake up dead for a start and then where would you be? In a box. That’s the bit I don’t like, frankly. That’s why I don’t think of it. Because you’d be helpless wouldn’t you? Stuffed in a box like that. I mean, you’d be in there forever. Even taking into account the fact that you’re dead. It isn’t a pleasant thought. Especially if you’re dead, really. Ask yourself: if I asked you straight off I’m going to stuff you in this box now – would you rather to be alive or dead? Naturally you’d prefer to be alive. Life in a box is better than no life at all. I expect. You’d have a chance at least. You could lie there thinking, well, at least I’m not dead. In a minute, somebody’s going to bang on the lid and tell me to come out. (knocks) “Hey you! What’s your name? Come out of there!”
Because Adam is not out there missing anything. He’s not alive in a box waiting to get out. It is us missing him, us sad that he is missing this. He’s missing my ability to love him … even though he hid so much, he wasn’t perfect, he struggled, he hid pain. I kept loving him regardless. That love is now an ocean of grief, just like all those cliches say it is.
You are missing this, Adam. You never get to laugh when Arthur says “Here’s Excalibur for you” in a goofball voice; when Samuel Jackson gets eaten by a shark in the middle of a speech; when Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson keep saying “on the line;” when Marshall Bell says “We’re all gonna die!” when Padme says “Hold me like you did on Naboo;” when I make up songs about housework; when I create new nicknames for the pets. I’ll never give in and watch Johnny Dangerously with you again.
I leave all my readers these words of warning: If there is something you haven’t said to your loved one, do it now. If there is something you guys have been meaning to do, do it now. Don’t leave the house angry. Always say I love you. I realize they are things you have been told a million times, but maybe you will listen because it’s coming from me. You are a fool to worry about “things.” None of it matters a goddamn bit. It’s only just people you love.
The last thousand words Adam and I said to each other were almost all “I love you.” This is what I hang on to. We knew.