Every day for the last 6 weeks, I have woken up with that song in my head. I’m not sure if it’s a song about Brian, about me, or a song about us, but it’s been there relentlessly, so I figured I should do something with it. I don’t know who made the video, but I’m trying to forgive them for the horrid font they used at the beginning. ugh.
2 months ago today, Brian left to go camping and never returned. While the death certificate states that he died November 25, I know in my heart he died 2 months ago tonight. I know that because I knew Brian better than anyone and I knew his routine. He was meticulous when camping. When I arrived at the site 2 days after his death, I could tell immediately what he had done and not gotten around to doing yet. He died quickly upon arrival. He died on the 24th. That said, the officials have to go on what they can prove and they can prove he was found on the 25th, so there it is. Another wrong “fact.” Does it even matter? It matters to me, but I know the truth and that’s going to have to be good enough. Just another walk through the motions.
When I was in Costa Rica, I took a walk down to the river. It was mid-day and I was alone, or so I thought. I was walking through the jungle path looking at the river hiding through the trees and suddenly I felt like I had just walked through something. No, I felt like I walked through someone. I felt like I had walked right through Brian. I know that’s a very strange thing to grasp if you’ve never felt it, but I swear one step I was just me, the next step I was us, the next step I was me again. You bet your ass I backed up a step and, sure enough, there he was. Standing with me, me standing with him, me standing in him. I could have lived in that moment, in that tiny footprint forever. It wasn’t like I could smell him or see him, but my heart recognized his and he was there. Just like how I would be in deep sleep and still know when he came to bed, I knew, I KNEW I walked walked right through my world and into his.
Sometimes Brian walks through his world and into mine. I have written before about how he visits me sometimes while I’m in bed, in the moments before sleep or just in those fuzzy moments before fully waking. He’s been walking through to me more often. Now it comes with some sound, too. It’s still the warmth, the weight, but now it’s also the sound of not just his heartbeat, but a rushing sound in my ears – just like him breathing into my ears as his soft, bearded face rests upon mine. Odd, though, that it doesn’t really feel like a beard. It feels more like ..what? Breath? Grace? Something. And the other night, he kissed me. I would bet my entire life and all that is in it that he kissed me. My lips tingled out of nowhere. He was laying with me, breathing with me, and then …kiss.
We are living behind this veil, he and I. We are neither of this world or the next. We are dancing across the lines. He walks through. I walk through. Somehow we always walk the right direction and find each other.
Our children see him. The other day, our youngest son got quiet and started to cry and smile at the same time. I asked him what was going on and he whispered, “Mom, Dad is standing right by your left side. Right now. He’s right there.” I almost peed my pants. I felt him, too.
Here’s the thing: I can get all caught up in my own grief and pain and loneliness and agony and feelings of injustice and anger that I forget I’m not (and my kids are not) the only one going through this. Brian never wanted to leave. This was not his plan. This was not what was supposed to happen. He got cheated, too. He doesn’t have a fucking clue what happened and he’s pissed. As much as I long for him to wrap his arms around me, he longs just as much to hold me. As much as my kids want to play with him, it’s agony to him that he can’t wrestle with them. He is sad and grieving, too. He is trying like hell, as I am, to find the non-existant rewind button. Here’s another thing: no one on this entire planet could make Brian do a damn thing he didn’t want to do. Ever. Period. While this drove me insane for quite some time, it brings me wonderful comfort now. He didn’t want to leave and circumstances might have made his body leave us, but nothing NOTHING can make HIM leave us. He’s right here. He’s here now. He’ll always be here.
The trick is to just find evidence of that in new ways.
Yesterday my garbage disposal backed up. INTO MY BATHTUB. Yeah. Gross, right? We live in an old house with entirely too many screwed up issues. When he put the garbage disposal in several years ago, it was a nightmare getting it all hooked up to the plumbing, but he did it and it has been amazing. Yes, occasionally it would back up into the sink and he would have to gut the whole thing and get it cleared out, but never once did it back up into the bathtub. No, that little pleasure was left for me. But you know what? I fixed it. I called Mom over so she could take a peek and go grab some liquid plumbr, but I completely disassembled all of the plumbing under the sink, cleared it out, put it back together, and fixed the damn problem. Let me tell you, this is not your average plumbing hookup. It’s all kinds of rednecked up, but I did it. I walked through sludge and came out clean as a whistle. I didn’t do it alone. Yes, my mom was there, but so was my own personal MacGuyver. Brian walked me through.
There is a huge piece of the puzzle missing. I’m not sure what it is or where I will find it, but Brian keeps giving me clear messages that it’s out there and that he means for me to find it. He doesn’t know what happened. He has appeared to many people and told them each that he has no clue. He has told me he’s confused because he doesn’t know. It’s my job to be his hands and eyes and feet and it’s my job to walk him through and find answers for him. It’s my goal and I won’t give up, regardless of how long it takes, how dirty or bloody I have to get. I will find it. I will walk him through.
We used to walk through this life hand in hand. Now we are walking through heart in heart. But we’re still walking. We’re going to make it.
We’re still walking through.