Sunday, January 6, 2013

By a Mile

Out of the corner of my eye, seeing him hang his jacket by the back door.   Laughing almost out loud at that ringtone I finally learned how to set up.  Almost too late.  Reaching to call him about a day's something or nothing.  The sound of his saying my name.

People who say it's time to "get over" a loss have never missed anyone.  Or have never permitted themselves to feel it.  That missing.  This missing.  That utter gone-ness.   In the beginning, it's not so much a hole, a gap - it's that your entire day just became a hole -  a "something that should be here is not here".  The entire day.  All 24 hours.

Days inch by and you cannot believe that after weeks and months, it is still the same.  The same absence is always present.  All 24 hours.
Then months and then a year and finally, some relief.  First it's only 23 hours, then maybe sleep returns to normal and its 16.  Then, then, then, you realize one day that there is more time in today without that absence than there is with it.

That alone brings enormous relief; you grasp wildly and strongly at the thought that your life may one day not be entirely about this absence.

Time moves more normally.  But still, there is no 'getting over it'.  It still slides back in some days, and when it does - sometimes the memory is sweet, almost pleasant.  And other times, it' not a memory - it is a present, again agonizing absence.  People who say "oh, he's still with you" are insane.  He is not here; his gone-ness is what is here.  His gone-ness keeps coming over for dinner, stopping by for coffee.  Overstays its welcome.

The word "miss" has probably 20 definitions and synonyms - from ladies to being off-target, escaping or avoiding, not getting it.  We are young misses, we miss the point, we miss hitting a car, we missed an appointment, engines misfire,  we miss beats, we miss the boat,  we miss out on any number of wonderful things,  we swing and miss, we miss chances, we miss payments.  We have near-misses, we mis-understand, misconstrue, misread and we make mistakes.

Today when we miss, we "feel the absence of".  So much of an understatement, it approaches misstatement   There are still these days, but tomorrow probably won't be another one.