“He’s wrapped around you. When you leave, I am keeping him here with me. It’s your job to grow.”
A strong message from a strong woman, that I heeded. And well I did, for I shook a lot of things that were not meant for me these past two years.
Lately I feel content in what might be described as isolation. I am alone and it is ok. That is a message into which I needed to grow.
Everything in threes . . .
One. I heard his voice: “Hey Jana.” There was a man talking in the hallway, and his muffled tone came through more clearly as my husband’s, calling me in need.
Two. I remembered a time we shared and tended to parallel fear, cocooned together on a hot September night just short of a year before we would cocoon again so that he could move without flesh.
Three. I went back to why I chose to write about Joy, wondering if perhaps something new might fit within: My husband was on the edge of bringing his true joy into this world, far beyond the joy he had already offered. As his wife and caregiver, I carried the discontent that balanced this joy. And so now I want to tell his story. Our story. I want to write the discontent – his and my own – so that I can bring that joy.
Growth means not being held back, but it also means being supported. And support looks different in every context. Before my husband’s death, the idea of being supported by energy – by love – would have wafted right past me. Now it makes total sense.
What if – just what if – some of his anger in death was because we had been leaning on each other in just the RIGHT ways – not the codependence we both feared – and that had to stop when disease required I take the reins in caregiving and keep going in this bodily form. What if . . .
Because you see I have tried dating. I am not one to stand on ceremony nor timeframes. But they were all just soldiers, and the war is over (now). None of them were him and yet I am not hanging on. Not held back. Not struggling under the weight (of him). Either that’s it or that’s just right now, but I am learning not to question.
We think death is an ending and for some it feels as such. I understand why I look foreign, why I raise suspicion. As time passes new layers are added that affirm there is growth. But I still have a partner in that. He’s shed his fear and discontent. And sometimes his message is so subtle I miss it. His voice sounds different when it emerges from my lungs.
What if . . . we hadn’t yet learned to trust movement. And now here we are.