Dar Williams has a song called February which is a breakup song, but as I approach the first anniversary of when Drew died, many of the lines seem apt.
"The nights were long and cold and scary,
Can we live through February? "
The nights are cold and long. I wonder how I will manage to keep on keeping on through to spring. Especially at work where I for the most part pretend to be okay. It is hard to pretend all the time, but the students don't really have a clue and I'm glad they don't. My co-workers know, but don't really understand either. No one does unless they've been through this. I feel truly fake most of the time.
I wish I could take off work, but I would come back more behind. The grading piles up rather quickly and I didn't like doing it even before Drew died.
Sometimes I wish it could be March already. It would be easier to be past the anniversary. I keep thinking about those last things we did in February that we didn't know were last. The superbowl party where Drew played with his friends and sister. The Chinese New Year dinner where Drew and Meg loved the dancing.
On the other hand I am holding these memories close. Last year at this time he was alive and I won't be able to say that for much longer.
"And then the snow came, we were always out shoveling,
And wed drop to sleep exhausted,
Then we'd wake up, and its snowing. "
We live in the area that just got a mammoth snow storm both this weekend and yesterday. School was closed yesterday and today. Digging out took some effort and was mostly my husband's job since I have injured my shoulders.
However I drop to sleep exhausted anyway. Whether that is from taking care of my stir crazy daughter Meg who is being a typical contrary four year old or from the fact that I can't sleep until I'm exhausted anyway. Sleep is an elusive creature for me now. I even have problems motivating myself to go upstairs and start getting ready for bed. I think that relates to my persistent and irrational fear that Meg will stop breathing in her sleep. As long as I am up, I like to think that I would notice if something went wrong.
"And February was so long that it lasted into March
And found us walking a path alone together.
You stopped and pointed and you said, "That's a crocus,"
And I said, "What's a crocus?" and you said, "It's a flower,"
I tried to remember, but I said, "What's a flower?"
You said, "I still love you""
My husband and I always had a joke that only one of us could be crabby at a time. This way the other person could be supportive and remain functional. Grief of course is not like that. We walk in our grief paths alone together. We can support each other, but as one of the books I've read said "It's hard to lean on someone already bent over" We still love each other dearly and I am so glad that our marriage has remained strong through this.
No one should ever have to go through this horrible grief. Children should always outlive their parents.
"I have lost to February."