The push and pull of all these days blurs into a gravity that begs to be let go of. Time is relative. Emotions are relative. Thoughts are relative. The next thing can only be measured against the last and the moment in time that lingers longer than it should, repeating itself in the mind, becomes greater as time passes. It’s natural.
Funny how the more you want to let it go, the harder it holds on and the harder you want to hold onto it, the faster it slips away. Why? I often think that I’m not ready to work on answers to the questions yet, because I’m still working on the questions. Maybe in my last minutes wandering this waking world I’ll come to understand the questions. Maybe then, and only then, I will feel ready for the answers.
Since the funeral on Thursday, I’ve been replaying the same moment in my head over and over again. Each time I think maybe I can get through it without that emotional swell that brings me to tears.
My mom and I arrived 20 minutes early for the funeral and there was no one in the receiving line before entering the main part of the chapel. Even before I saw the line, I could feel my emotions rising through my body, in my stomach, and up into my throat. By the time I was standing in front of my ex, i was already full and bursting from the eyes. I attempted to maintain my composure as I gave him a light hug and offered my condolences.
Next was his mom, who I had been most worried about and felt very sad for. She hugged me tightly and whispered in my ear, she loves me, she’s glad I came, thanks for sending flowers, and that I’ve done a good job raising the kids.
See, I can’t think of it now without tearing up again.
I was worried and anxious and had nothing to worry about. I wish I had been more prepared. So many unsaid things are in my head and it’s too late for me to say them. So now they are stuck inside of me. And now I realize it’s too late, their “stuck-ness” hurts.
I proceeded down the receiving line. Kristy, Wendy, Scott, and Larry. Family that used to be my family. Family that would be my family had I stayed married. Family that I was separated from suddenly and unnaturally. It was the toughest part of my divorce and standing there I was reduced to my younger self, broken and exposed and not knowing what to say.
I hugged each person in turn, followed by my mom making easy casual conversation with folks the way she does. Why couldn’t I have inherited her easy social nature?
We proceeded into the church and selected a spot near the back of the room. The service was nice. The personal portion was touching and the religious portion allowed me to splay my thoughts in different directions.
My children were there, sitting with their cousins and though I said hello to them, it felt like I was approaching strangers, not really a part of that circle. They are all so grown up. The oldest cousin having children of his own now. That’s life.
We didn’t stay for the reception after. My mom was in a hurry to get going. I almost regretted bringing her as I may have stayed longer if it wasn’t for her. It was probably for the best. I don’t really belong anyway and it would have been awkward.
That was 2 days ago and that 120 second clip of navigating the interactions in that line will not stop replaying in my mind. Two mornings now I’ve woke up thinking about it. The words whispered, the embraces, the flood of emotions. It leaves me wondering what I will need to do to release myself from repeating that memory. That’s the question.
I’ve told three people, and each time I began to get weepy and still that did not help. I’m hoping writing this will help. I guess we’ll see. Time will tell.
Time heals and time wounds. Time is forgiving and cruel. Time keeps its secrets until it’s too late, revealing the questions when the answers no longer matter.
My former father-in-law is gone and I can no longer tell him how I feel about him and how much he means to me, my memories locked inside because I’m not able to sit around the table with the family and reminisce.
I can’t reach back in time and change anything. I can’t rewind and ask my grandfather about his life. I can’t stay in touch with Stacey and convince her life is worth sticking around for or change the way I treated KS. Life goes on and as cliche as it is, it waits for no one.
That’s a good a place as any to stop. There’s more I could say about family and attempting to spend more quality time lately, but it’s Saturday and going to be hot out and I need to water my plants.
Another cliche but so true—there’s no time like the present.
With peace and love,