22 May 2011

Working through the memorial cards and although I do it with a willing heart and soul, it is not easy. I add notes to some cards and realize that I am not in touch with friends I want to keep close. I keep to the task and dip back into the grief of that first week, then the first month, after David died. The finality of the exercise overwhelms. There is nothing to be done but to go through, diving in head first without caution. I know what is in the tunnel by now. The color and texture of grief changes -- it is not sharp every day, it is not in neon colors, but it ebbs at my spirit like a persistent tide. I am crumbling stone, an eroding beach. Sometimes I long for escape, sometimes for rescue, but I know I have a long road ahead and I cannot duck a single tear.

Julia and I went to a dear friend's baby shower yesterday afternoon into the evening. It was very sweet. I went overboard on our gift, but this friend and her family have been dear and there was no reason not to indulge my indulgence. Silly, shower games yielded me a bottle of champagne as a prize. For a moment, I wanted to refuse it -- What? Drink it alone? I have not had wine at home, maybe one beer since last year. I have a full larder of spirits these days. I should have a party -- but not today. But it would have been ungracious to refuse to take the bottle home. It would have pointed out sorrow where there is so much joy, and I could not bear to do that.

And I went home, with Julia -- thank god for Julia -- to a house alone and empty. And god, did it feel empty. Julia, Latkah, Didi Chi, and still I hear echos.

I work hard at happiness these days. I work hard to keep those balls in the air. Most of the time I can do it. Sometimes . . .

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