I knew it would be hard, just didn’t realize this hard. This week. Sunday is five years since Mikey died, to the day. I’ve been walking in the same steps as I did five years ago, except I know the ending.
I used to refer to it as passed away—died felt so permanent. But that’s really what death is no matter what anyone tries to tell you. Yes, he is in my heart, every single day. But death, make no mistake—it’s an ending of the physical part of your connection to someone. I don’t mean physical in the way you might be thinking, either. I’m talking about the smaller moments that make up a life together.
The glance back when you part ways on a street corner, turning to see if the other person is looking back for one last peek to keep the moment going. Have you ever noticed these kinds of exchanges between people in love? I watch for it all the time, both in my own relationships, and in the ones I’m in.
Life, or rather, my time with C was a crazy one because we never actually lived on the same continent, he being in Morocco and France, and me in Brooklyn. He always looked back. The problem is he just couldn’t see into the future enough to get over the fear of the present. I’ve never really talked about him here, but for some reason that just popped into my mind while writing, and today truth serum seems to be on the menu.
I miss M’s laughter, and the way he used to rub my feet every night after a long day of standing on them in the kitchen. I miss the way he’d roll his eyes at my hair brain DIY kitchen ideas. I miss the way he used to play dress up with our daughters.
Why do we deny this fact? Why do we try to gloss over it with “he’s always with you” sentiments? Perhaps this is why grief is such a mind fuck. To deny the disconnect that happens when the human connection is severed is unfathomable, and yet that is what our culture does.
I don’t know where my mind is this morning, as my thoughts are neither here nor there. They’re somewhere in between, I suppose. I woke up with the idea of making hasselback fingerling potatoes, because you know, that makes all the sense in the world when you have a mile-long To Do list staring at you (recipe coming soon, good gravy they were SO good).
The repetitive slicing motion provided an escape from my thoughts—slice, repeat, slice, repeat. I was so in the moment at one point that everything ceased to exist; it was just me, my fingerlings, and the task at hand. This is what preserves my sanity. The moments I can control. While many retreat from the kitchen, it’s my safety net.
And so here I am now, feeling a little more refreshed and ready to tackle my day. I may spend a lot of time reflecting on the past, but I’m always looking forward, regardless of what other people think. Emotions are the gears of our soul, constantly shifting to get us where we need to be. Sometimes we get stuck in neutral, other times we accidently go in reverse. But eventually, we find drive. It’s just a matter of how many passengers have the patience to keep their seatbelts buckled for the ride.