Jilly D.

Simple message: I miss you, Sam

In Grief, Mourning, Time and seasons, Uncategorized on May 14, 2012 at 1:05 am

How could almost three years have passed already since your spirit left your body?

Last night, rather early this morning, grief crept up and knocked me out again. Punched me between the eyes.

You’re gone. Your absence continues to pain me like the sensation of a phantom limb in a patch of nettles.

I knew my meltdown was on its way when I saw the blue heron fly over at dusk yesterday.

I’ve missed you, fisherman. Please come home to stay.

Tears cloud my vision. My throat constricts and my neck and shoulder muscles tense up. Why do I still wish he’d walk through that door, waken me and tell me it was all a bad mistake or a dream?

Please come to me in my dreams. I miss you.

Sleep eludes me. I yank the cord out of the alarm clock at 2 a.m. So I read. The Geography of the Heart is a memoir by Fenton Johnson. His sister, a widow, wrote him a letter when his partner died. He quotes her letter: “Grief is never over. The time will come when you control your grief rather than the other way around. You’ll draw upon those memories when you need and want them, rather than having them show up uninvited. But your grief will never go away, which is the way it should be.”

Your love haunts me. I didn’t leave you. I didn’t get to make a decision. It was decided. So I had to invite the feelings in, even those old enemies, and welcome them to your wake. I awake.

I’m still waiting for more days when grief doesn’t hold its grip on my throat, silence my voice, and flood my eyes with tears. I’m still alive. I can’t stop thinking about Sam. And when I do, I feel those blues.

I’ve got cloudy skies on a sunshine-y day. Spent hours this afternoon soaking up some unharnessed solar power, and planting more seeds — peas, beans, cukes, dill, basil –and transplanting tomato, and butternut squash seedlings; gifts from neighbors. Getting into the dirt, planting, and watering my sprouted lettuce bed made me yearn for the life Sam and I built together. From sunup to sundown we spent every possible moment outside working the land. Now it’s a few hours a week and I spend all my time on my butt in front of a computer screen.

Sam, I know you would not approve of all my choices. But you are not here to bitch about it, though I hear you, and disagree.

I miss Sam.

I miss arguing with you. He’s gone and not coming back to me. So I’ve had to make my own arrangements. For 18 months I’ve rented a cottage and kept up the pretense that people might come visit me with the way I arranged furniture. Now I shoved the table Sam made against the window where I best like the view: horse farm and white fence with pastures, rolling hills, barns, and woods. I put the red velvet box chair in front of the table facing the window. Big new desk space. My sofa is situated for best napping position mid-afternoon. It’s my space now. This ain’t the farm. I miss loving you.

But in the darkest hours alone in bed now I remember how we laid together for so many years in our cubbyhole bed in the cabin. How many nights I put healing lotion on his back, neck, shoulders, arms? Massaging in the creme made of arnica and ivy extract, I imagined adding love and the intoxicating glide of good intentions would heal Sam. If I asked him if he wanted his feet massaged, he’d always say no. If I didn’t ask, he’d involuntarily moan in pleasure with my gentle touches of his sole with silky cream. We’d fall into our synchronized breathing in a mess of pillows, dogs, and comforters, until birds awakened us with first light.

Morning is the hardest. It’s when I feel Sam’s absence the most; that preconscious state of liminality, betwixt and between consciousness and dream state. He is with me there. I’d often awaken as he’d laid his arm over my shoulder and wrapped his forearm under my right wrist and entwined his fingers in mine. His bicep would brush my breast and he’d pull tight into a spooning position.

Grief isn’t something you get over. It gets over you. No matter how long it’s been. Sneaks up on you occasionally. Took me by surprise and took me down again.

I miss you so much, Sam.I loved you truly, madly, deeply.

  1. Thank you, Jill. I identify with your moving forward in life while grappling with the storm that lies just under the surface. You remind me how I miss close coupled intimacy the most—the spooning, planning, arguments, working together, and sipping from a shared pool of memory. You remind me that gardening is not wasting time since plants, seeds, and the cycles of the earth soothe and make sorrow bearable. You are very much alive and so is your human grief. I sigh with sorrow and relief…

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