Jilly D.

Eighteen

In Anniversary and memorials, Grief, Health, Mourning, Pictures and memories, Signs from beyond, The Farm, Time and seasons on March 15, 2011 at 1:27 pm

Eighteen months since Sam died and I find myself feeling like I’m 18 years old again: searching for my identity and wondering how to make it on my own. 

The sun woke me this morning. A night full of dreams I can’t remember, my preconscious state is sedate. No tears well up, no furrow creeps onto my brow, no sobbing steals my rib cage. I am still.

The dogs stretch and yawn. They let me get up and dress without moving from their slumber spots. They seem to know more than I. They sense I have stopped my relentless and urgent searching for Sam’s return.

I am in no hurry. The rush is over.

This sensibility is something new. I am not running away from the awful truth of what has happened anymore. What is, is.

For months and months I experienced nothing less than post-traumatic stress. The magical realism of staying put in our place together on the farm got me through the first year of shock. I survived; and my focus was on survival. Making sure I had enough dry firewood and not a chimney fire; keeping the pipes from freezing; planting, weeding and harvesting produce and seeds; clearing  snow off solar panels on the roof; paying the taxes; and grieving.  Somehow I got through all that and set up my own business as a book development editor, kept the business of On Warren Pond Farm and made it into a small seed company, and began to write again.

Grieving is a struggle to survive. I survived. Now what? Getting those answers seems to me to provide the clues to what next.

After experiencing tremendous physical pain, a broken wrist, my grief and health fused into an understanding of Sam’s death.

I couldn’t stay and survive all by myself on the farm. I needed more help than I had resources. It was more than a two person full time operation.  The efforts to survive would be my own death: hard work and financial doom. I had not chosen to die.

The opposite of fate is free will. Chance, circumstance, coincidence, serendipity, destiny, pre-ordained events, luck, and randomness are ghosts that haunt the living. If I had chosen not to die, then I had decided to live. This morning I began to make decisions about how to live.

There were many moments when I thought I’d rather be dead and magically reunited with Sam. But I can not tolerate pain. Self-inflicted pain is the worst. I have no tattoos and when I tried to have my ears pierced when I was 18, I passed out. With my luck, I would botch any suicide attempt and make my life worse, not over. And I’m pretty sure this is the only life I get and not so sure there’s anything after death.

Yet coming out of the anesthesia from my wrist surgery I somehow feel as though I crossed over and made my peace; I just am not allowed to remember my spirit visit with Sam. No longer terrified by reality,  I remain melancholy but open to the sweetness of spring this year.

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