Saturday, September 14, 2013

Homework

after skydiving
Forgiveness is the topic of our assignment.   The prompt says "We all make mistakes in our relationships, it's human nature.  Somehow, they all seem larger when the other person dies.  List below the things you need to forgive yourself for as well as your spouse"

I don't know.  The only thing I can think of is that I need to forgive myself my need to move forward.  To move on from the place where I was his.  It is a confusing feeling because I know that if I was given the choice, even if I found someone "better" than him, whatever that means, I would still want him.  He was best, for me.  He understood my crazy and wanted to learn the patience necessary to manage it.  He always did and he always got better.  If I really had to say, maybe I forgive myself for not embracing diving and trampoline more.  It was his everything.  Perhaps, more likely, what I need to forgive us both for, was not being able to bridge that very gap.  By which I mean I always felt that he loved his sports more than me.  And he never understood why I felt that way, or how to help me understand the depth of his feeling for me.

I think I am incredibly lucky for this...I wonder if that is a gift that a death like cancer brings.  It carries with it the knowledge of the end, and often the time to deal with lasting old issues.  There are two sides to every coin.  Watching him dwindle...he didn't really suffer in the classic sense...GBM's don't do that.  He got more and more tired, to the point where all he could manage was a thumbs up.  But watching him dwindle was heart breaking...he was so alive and strong and stubborn, so active and playful and always in motion.  So to see what it did to him at the end...I had to help him stand, help him the one foot to the bedside commode, help him care for himself...I would have had it no different at that point, except it was so hard...I was so afraid I would drop him.  He fell when he tried to do it alone and had to sit all twisted till I got back with the dogs.  So there was suffering like that.  But we were able to have that moment when Neil, two years old, sat beside him on the bed at hospice and sang a silly sweet little two year old song about how he loved his dad.  We were able to have the night before he died, when I curled up beside him crying and promising him that while this wasn't easy and I didn't want him to leave, I would be okay and I would be an amazing mom for our babies and that it sucked beyond belief, but it was ok.  It was ok.

Oh I wish there was a manual to grieving...to MY grief.  I am feeling that I need strange and messed up things to help me get through.  And I read things that help me understand that what I need is not so strange, not so unique, not so messed up.  But it still kinda feels that way.  I was supposed to have John forever.  There have been so many people in my life I thought would be there in deep ways forever.  My brother, Molly, Jess, my mother....and where are they now?  Some are dead, some are not what I expected, some are distant shadows of what I wished for.

When everything is said and done, you are and always will be the only best friend that you have who will last through the end.  And the only gift you are given that you get to keep forever no matter what, is your own body.  Love yourself.  That is the best gift.  The only one that matters.  That should include joy, spontaneity, care, planning, more health food than junk food but a healthy serving of both, good movies, sun, wind, actual rain on your skin, tears, hugs, more kisses than you can count, pancakes, bare feet on grass, stars, pets and pet messes....It should include confusion and love and hurt and growth....

I need to forgive him for leaving but it isn't his fault.  I am angry that I have to do everything alone.  But that isn't his fault.  He would have done ANYTHING to stay and help.  He wanted little beyond the chance to coach an Olympian and to be there for me and the kids...I just want love.  And fun.  And real things, even the messy ones, the ones that hurt.  And I have that.  Perhaps not in the balance I wish for, but I have that.