Saturday, April 2, 2011

Missing in March

Well, the month of March is finally over and I have to say, I am more relieved than I would have thought to have it behind me. I knew this would be a tough time of year but the fluctuations in my mood caught even me off-guard.

I would have days of total elation and joy and days of all-out misery and overwhelming sadness. With the time that has passed, the constant sharp onslaught of grief has passed, but that isn't to say it doesn't still reappear whenever it feels like it. I often will go for several days at a time with this overwhelming feeling of misery and grief and it takes just that long to process it, experience it, and wait for it to be over.

One of the things I do is try to pinpoint exactly what it is that I am missing most that day. Do I miss Craig's laughter that day? Is it the sound of his voice? His physical presence? I try to find the thing that is biggest and focus on it, remember it, invest in it. I find this way of bringing it out of my peripheral and into my line of sight might be more painful at first but in the long run helps me get through these periods of sadness a lot quicker. Sometimes you just need to lean into your grief.

I have felt very beat up by the world this last year and particularly the last few months. Seems every time I turn around somebody is upset with me for something (sounds melodramatic, I know). I've had more disagreements with friends and family than is necessary over the course of a lifetime and I think that is what has been getting to me. Not so much that I feel like I'm constantly in the doghouse, but because I miss having someone on my side. I have truly missed the way Craig was always in my corner, no matter what. Even when he thought I was being ridiculous. He had this way of letting me vent and cry and get upset and being totally supportive but still making me laugh and see if I was the one in the wrong.

I don't remember ever feeling like he was ganging up on me along with everyone else. I used to love how I would vent and get louder and more pissed off and he would jump in enthusiastically and sort of egg me on. At first it would be stuff like, 'yeah, she is so rude!' and then he'd get louder and even more exuberant and it would escalate into, 'yeah, and she has fat ankles!' until I started to realize how ridiculous it was and would start laughing. God, I miss that so much.

I often wondered with Craig and I if we were really all that good for each other. We were such opposites. SUCH opposites. He was athletic with this quiet, dry sense of humour. I'm a couch potato who likes to be loud and make everyone laugh. he was usually slow to anger but, man oh man, when he exploded, look out. Whereas I am quick to take offense, explode, and then simmer and be over it by morning. He would analyze and analzye before making any kind of a decision while I would barrel ahead and refuse to look back, usually with him hanging on for dear life as I plowed forward. These differences often drove me crazy and would frustrate me into wondering how on earth we had ever ended up together.

Now when I look back, and I hope it's not just the distance clouding my vision, I think maybe that was what made us work so well. We were such a balance for each other. I changed so much while I was with him, as he did too. We sort of adopted many of each other's personality traits- something I didn't really notice until after his death. While often we seemed to bring out the crazy in one another, we did keep each other in check as well.

I have come to learn that a relationship like that takes years to form. That type of familiarity where you sort of meld into one another. There is a level of comfort and and trust that stays with you for a lifetime.

So this last month I have missed that ying to my yang, that wonderful listener, and, of course, our little Team Garvin ('It's us versus the world!' as Craig liked to say).


  1. I think that opposites do the best in the long run. You do have to have some common goals and life can be stressful if you are too different but I think that you need a little fire in a relationship for it to last. That's how it works for Tim and me. We balance each other and learn from each other. When I see folks who are married and are too much alike, they usually wind up being roommates and having little or no "spark" in their relationship. Just my 2 cents. Living with cancer follows a similar trail to what you describe. You're going along good and then whammo,
    you get hit between the eyes with the reality of what is really happening and may happen and it can bring you to your knees and you wonder how you can really be happy again. It's a neverending rollercoaster.

  2. Oh, I heard the best sermon yesterday from one of our church leaders. His wife has been gone for a while, but he spoke of her oh so tenderly and of how wonderful marriage is. And how you end up growing into one another.
    Although that part of your life with Craig is over now, it was still wonderful part of your life. Once the sermon is published, I'll send you the link.