}

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

That rollercoaster again

Back in October, I described this grieving process as being like a rollercoaster. While not a perfect analogy, it was proven to me yet again this week that it’s a pretty good one.

Yesterday was a very, very bad day. As usual, I couldn’t think of any particular reason for it, except for everything, of course. But miserable as I was, and in between crying fits, I worked out what was actually wrong, and it was something I mentioned Sunday when I said my inability to accomplish much packing was because it had “something to do with the finality of it all,” and that’s it exactly: Even though neither Nigel nor I loved this house, leaving it will mean ending the last vestige of the life Nigel and I had together, and, it turns out, that’s incredibly painful.

In a sense, it’s kind of like saying a final goodbye to Nigel, were it not for the fact that I carry him with me wherever I go: He has a permanent presence in my heart and my memories. However, this house was the last place we shared life together—our last memories, good and bad, were formed in this house, and it was even the place his body spent the final night before cremation. This house, then, doesn’t have emotional resonance by itself, but as a symbol of our life together, and the end of that life together, it’s incredibly powerful. The thought of leaving it makes me feel like I’m saying goodbye to Nigel all over again—and doing so day after day after day.

Today I drove a carload of stuff to my new house, and there was a moment I noticed something. I started driving up the Bombays (a hill range at the southern edge of Auckland, basically separating Auckland from the Waikato), and suddenly I felt better. This is because I know that where I’m going will make it possible for me to move forward, it will be the start of whatever my life after Nigel will become. It will be a place the dogs and I can just be, and also enjoy the company of family. It’s a very positive thing.

But to get to that positive thing, I’ve first had to endure some pretty bad times, and yesterday and this morning were among the worst. The truly good news for me is that those particularly bad days are drawing to a close. One week from today, the moving truck will leave this house with all the stuff I have. Part of us both will always be here, but the very best parts of us, those I managed to pack and move myself, in my heart.

This tale, then, has—or will have—a happy ending. I’m just not there, yet.

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