I sit here on this cooler November 9th morning with a hundred tabs open in my heart, mind and memories.
Sometimes life just gut punches us and we have to take a step away, a step back. Not to cut off all communication and contact, but to limit. If for no other reason than to just breathe. Just take a few deep breaths. To find that footing once again. To search for, and hopefully find, a center that we can hang on to - and build a life around, again.
**The end of September my niece had a major heart attack that took her life, and changed so many. Including mine. We grew up together, as she was almost a year older than me. Hours upon hours playing, working, talking, laughing - even a few arguments along the way. And once again, that gut punch of life where my world was rocked, my soul was shattered.
**And something I have learned on this road of being a widow - when there is a death that shakes your core, it brings that initial brokenness and grief to the surface and forefront all over again. Each time, I find memories that somehow had gotten pushed to the back now front and center, pounding my heart and my thoughts.
**A few phone conversations, some Facebook Messenger chats, a text here and there, a face to face visit, with a few hugs thrown in for good measure - and little by little, my world begins to settle into place, just a bit all over again.
**My landlord came out to visit when it was time to pay November's rent. He has changed his mind - said he is not going to be moving here. And he has decided, at least for now, to not raise the rent.
So, this gets me out of Jell-O land, at least for now.
I am still keeping my ears and eyes open - for while I am here now, there is still no permanence about being here.
***Then, the news that a celebrity died suddenly, without warning (at least to me).
Someone that I did not know personally, but one who felt very much a part of our family, and my life.
Our daughter was the first one to get hooked on "Friends", with her daddy and me wondering how and why? We just did not understand the attraction and attachment.
Until years later, when Rick and I found ourselves alone with the kids grown and living their own lives.
And late one night when we couldn't sleep, Rick was scrolling through the TV channels - "Friends" was playing a marathon.
We watched the first one, mainly out of loneliness and missing our daughter.
It took ONE.
We were hooked.
Attached forever now.
We watched every episode.
And when our daughter found out that we were watching these, she was astounded and gave us a little argument - LOL.
Understandably, and all in good fun, with laughter and love.
We watched "Friends" when things were going good in our lives.
And when we were at our lowest points - with health, with finances, with jobs and housing.
When we were healthy, and when our health was in danger.
When we couldn't sleep at night.
Or on a lonely afternoon snuggled together on the couch.
When Rick died, "Friends" became my anchor.
An anchor to a better life.
A touchstone to not only our daughter, and then our granddaughters, but to Rick.
Oh the memories!
Chandler and Joey held my heart and my memories in their struggles and in their laughter.
"Friends" - familiar, comforting, laughter and tears, and the ability to escape from the real world of my own grief for a little while.
I did not expect Chandler, Matthew Perry, to die. and when he did, I found myself grieving all over again.
I grieved for his family and his friends.
I grieved for his co-actors on "Friends".
I grieved collectively with all who loved and treasured him.
And yes, I grieved for myself - his life was such a part of our life and laughter, that his death was like losing another piece to that life.
I will grieve the loss of this one from my memories (sometimes to the judgment and words against grieving from others) , even while holding to the sound of laughter in my heart and soul.
Much like I have grieved, and continue to grieve, the loss of others from my life.
*I miss Rick.
In these 8+ years, this has not changed.
What has changed is that the tears do not come as often, nor do they seem to last as long.
But still, they are there.
Usually at the most importune and unexpected times.
Memories are more sweet than bitter these days.
Laughter is easier to express.
Talking about Rick doesn't bring a cloak of sadness like it did.
More a blanket of peace - that he is not forgotten.
Life goes on . . . gut punches and all.