Monday, October 18, 2010

The Finality of Rock

Craig's tombstone is finally in place.

Technically it is a monument, out of rock. I suppose this makes it fitting since Craig's name originates from 'crag', which actually means 'rock'. I always used to tell him that he was my rock, my Craig.

Only this rock is not my Craig.

It is not the one I would have chosen for him.

And it breaks my heart.

He does not belong inscribed on some piece of marble, his photograph and two sets of dates all that is left to tell the world who he is.

If I could, I would have created one for the two of us, not just for him and his parents, so that he and I could be together for eternity just as he promised. I would have used it to tell the world who he really was.

"Here lies Craig Garvin, my beloved, the lover of my soul.
He was taken from us far too soon but even if we had grown old together, as promised, I would still have begged the heavens for just one more day.

He was loved by many, his smile lit up every room he entered, and he meant the world to those that mattered.

Forever and always, my love, I am your beloved and you are mine.
The spaces between my fingers are right where yours fit perfectly."

I hate the finality of this piece of rock.

I hate that there is a marker locked away in a cemetary for him.

It just isn't right.

None of this is.

Craig, my love, where did you go?

Come back to me.

Come back.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Glass Wall

So I was chatting away with (okay, kind of babbling to) our pastor this morning and we were talking about how isolating it can be going through something this difficult in your life (grief, loss, illness, etc).

As a general rule, humans avoid pain at all costs. And often times, the people closest to you will avoid you because of it (FYI you can't catch widow).

He asked me if I've felt isolated because of it. Separate from other people in my life.

And then this image pops into my head.

It's like being one one side of a glass wall and everyone else you know is on the other side. And the glass is half-frosted and smudgy and you can't quite see through it. It's all hazy on your side and you can just see the shapes of the people on the other side, their outlines, that they are milling about in a large crowd.

And you are shouting as loudly as you can for them to look at you, to see you, to understand you. You are trying to make them notice you and hear what you are saying, to understand what it is you are going through and how profound and life changing it is. You can't help but wonder to yourself, why can't they hear me? Why aren't they looking up? I have had this enormous thing happend in my life, that is all-consuming, and now see the entire world in a whole new light. How can they not as well?

But the glass is soundproof.

And difficult to see through.

And they haven't even noticed you shouting, all this time.

So they don't even look up.

And then you realize, there is no way to make them understand. No matter how eloquent your words, how clever your analogies, how carefully you explain it... they simply cannot cross over to your side and understand until they have experienced this kind of pain and loss firsthand.

It is very lonely on the other side of that wall.

It's just you, alone in your thoughts. Your life is changed forever and you want desperately to bring everyone with you but it is a journey you must make alone.

And then out of the nowhere, someone else pops onto your side of the glass. Sometimes for just a few minutes, sometimes someone you don't even know. But they are there. And for just that little blessed while, they get it. They understand the hurt. They are hurting too.

I have been very fortunate to have a few people on my side of the wall. A friend from 8 years ago who lost his son and mother, who understood what hurt really is. He was only here for a couple months, but having someone who finally got it made all the difference in the world.

And today my pastor, going through his own heartache, truly understood and stood on my side of the glass with me.

I hate that they have to hurt so much to understand.

But I am just so grateful to have that person there with me, even if it's only for a short while.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The World of Dreams

It's 3:00 a.m. and I can't sleep.


Something Craig did once, some repressed memory, just popped into my head in the middle of a dream and woke me up. You know those incredibly lucid dreams where you actually acknowledge that it's just a dream while you are still in it? One of those.

Reminds me of that movie, Inception (not a good one for the newly widowed by the way). If you haven't seen it, I'm totally giving away the ending here so avert your eyes if you don't want to know.

Basically they have a way of creating a world that someone else can dream in so they can talk to that person (or essentially their subconscious) to find out all kinds of things. I am probably butchering this a little but the main character is so distraught over the death of his wife that his subconscious keeps pulling her into every dream world he enters, trying to find a way to be with her as long as possible. Only it's not really her, just a manifestation of his memories and feelings about her.

Needless to say, the concept is one I can relate to. Who wouldn't want to find a way to bring their loved one back to life, even if it was just the shadow of them?

Yes, I was that loud and annoying movie-goer who sobbed through this entire movie in the theatre.

I'm sure I've mentioned this before but I have been unable to really dream about Craig since the accident. I hear from other widows all the time that they have amazing dreams about their spouses, sometimes every night. That they see them, touch them, talk to them every night when they sleep. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't hit with a little stab of jealousy every time I hear this. I've only had 2 dreams with Craig in them and they were quite early on and not particularly comforting.

In one he came back to me as a corpse after I had frantically been looking for him and he wouldn't react or move or even speak to me except to tell me that he really was dead. All the while I frantically tried to get the attention of the police officers to show them they were wrong. I kept shouting, 'Look! He's really here! He really is alive! I told you that you had the wrong body.'

In another, I saw him at the scene of the accident and he was battered and bloodied and reaching for me and all I could do was scream and try to get the blood and broken glass off my arms.

Yes, I have issues.


Anyway, even in the dream that woke me up tonight I did not see Craig. Merely remembered something from years and years ago. My subconscious clearly at work, trying to piece something together.

Even in our dreams we are haunted, I guess.