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Sunday, March 16, 2008

Reason Behind "To and Fro"

I have been transferring several of my old journal entries to the blog this weekend. I guess it was a quiet weekend and I found myself with lots of extra time on my hands. As I have been working on the Blog I went back and read my entry, "To and Fro." I thought some people may not understand this entry, so I thought I would try to explain what led to me writing it.

Last week Ginger was here so we could finalize our wedding plans and the house. Nic and Kate were also here and it was Anthony's birthday so all in all it was a busy weekend. But the first thing Ginger and I did was visit Andrea's grave. I think this event impacted me in ways I did not understand at the time. Any time I visit Andrea's grave is very emotional for me but this time as you might guess was very different.

We spoke very little at the grave site. We just sat there and I cried. I felt so many emotions, one was the thought of Andrea and Ginger meeting. I know had Andrea lived we both would have gone to meet Ginger when she was in Dallas over Christmas. It was so close to them meeting and then to have them meet this was, in a cemetery was overwhelming. After a while I went to sit in the car as Ginger asked to be alone with Andrea. I will never forget seeing Ginger kneeling at Andrea's grave, the wind blowing her hair. Andrea was gone and Ginger was here. It was a catalyst to a deeper understanding of Andrea being gone.

What I have learned over the past three months is there are different levels of dealing with loss. I think you always know someone is gone but as time passes and the days stack upon each other and the develops a deeper understanding of what it means for someone to die. There is gone and then there in never coming back. There is silence and loneliness and then there is living alone. My understanding of what it means to have lost Andrea is not stagnant, and with each level of understanding I find there is a corresponding level of pain. It is not a one time realization that Andrea is gone and a one time moment of grief and then life is back to normal as I initially thought. Everyone always says you will just know when you are done grieving. I guess I'm learning it is when I comes to terms with Andrea really being gone. It is not as if I expected Andrea to come back from the dead but there is a sense of closeness that seems to fade as time goes by. That closeness is not an expectation that I will have Andrea back but a closeness I feel just from 24 yrs of living with Andrea. I still see signs of her all around the house. I realized the other day that Andrea and I only lived in our house on Randolph for four months, and it has been four months since Andrea went into the ICU. So I have lived as long in our house alone as I did with Andrea. That seems crazy to me. I guess I did not realize how fast it all happened.

This past week seeing Ginger at Andrea's grave was a significant event for me. It made me come to terms with the fact that Andrea was truly gone. Seeing them "together" my past and my future, one alive one dead. The realization of how opposite they were. In my mind Andrea was still a with me in some way but in that moment I understood just how my life had changed. Andrea being gone became that much clearer to me and with it came a new depth of pain. It was out of this pain that I wrote "To and Fro."

This is hard because I know I have to reach a point where Andrea's memory no longer hurts and to do that I have to come to terms with her being gone. It is just that as I accept Andrea being gone it means she is gone. Does that make sense? I need to accept Andrea's death but that entails accepting Andrea being gone in every way. With each step I take on this journey I learn more about my past and my future and at times that hurts. It is not a reflection on my future, this is just the reality of losing my wife. Like I have said before I think it is different losing your spouse because not only do you deal with the thought of losing a loved one, you also lose the only person who really knew me, every secret I have, every mistake I made, and every weakness, every fear. Andrea knew them all, and she loved me. The loneliness of our bedroom is far deeper then then merely missing Andrea physically. I lost my soul mate.

I'm thankful in so many ways to God for placing Ginger in my life right now. I have found when I'm with Ginger I find the joy and happiness I once had with Andrea. But I have also realized that when I'm with Ginger I have been able to side step some of the grief of losing Andrea and when we are apart I thrown back into that grief I put aside. Hence, "To and Fro." Ginger and I will be apart for the next three weeks and I think this time is for me focus on understanding my loss and being ready to fully give myself to Ginger.

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