What is it about grief that makes so many tasks so much harder? I use to be a good house cleaner - keeping our home neat and tidy. Whenever I would go a bit deeper and spend quality time on cleaning Jim always noticed. He would come home and say "wow, you've been busy today!". And it would feel so good to have done the job and also to have the guy I shared the space with take note. Now? Who cares? It's just me and my dog, Ella, who contributes a great deal to the dust and dirt that billows into the corners .... and under the bed. Which is where I realized I hadn't cleaned for too long.
Today I pulled the bed out away from the wall and vacuumed behind, around, under and through this whole area. Who in the world designed base board heaters? Those things are impossible to clean without tearing them completely apart! And as I tore the base board apart and stuck the vacuum down in between those impossibly small slits I turned and picked up an empty, black plastic container that had been sitting in the bedroom since last spring. I knew what it was, I just hadn't dealt with it. I grabbed it, ready to throw it out now, and then I read the white label on it:
Certified remains of
James T. Daniels III
cremated on .........
I lost it. I crumpled onto my knees and just felt that grief beast grab me by the throat and shake me. It was such a reality hit ... again ... once again. Which is how it all happens. One minute I'm fine and ready to deal with the cobwebs and little black boxes and then BAM! Nailed. These hits just take all the wind right out of my sails too. My good intentions of forward motion today went screaming into reverse and I stalled out. Oh, I was able to pick myself up and get the bed put back into place and I even finished vacuuming, but I was done with trying go deeper. I looked at all the stuff that still needs to be dealt with up there and just shut the door. Walked away. Another day, maybe.
Damn, there are so many levels of missing this man. Not wanting to cook for myself seemed to be a given but house cleaning? Good grief ... no, just grief. Neither good nor bad, it just is what it is.
I've left a few cobwebs for another day. The spiders who share this space with me are safe for a bit longer. I remember the book Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver. The main character in this book exclaims to never kill the predators; thus the cabin she lived in had spiders that kept all the other bugs in check. It works for me too, for now ... it's just going to have to.
I miss you Jim Daniels. More then I ever thought possible.
Loving you all back,