Monday, May 25, 2009

Grief & Amazing Grace

Amazing Grace
This past year I have been told time & again that I am holding on to my grief too hard, too long... That I am being unreasonable in my sorrow. So I am writing this, not for an audience, not for the Family, not to explain. I am writing this for me. Vinnie & I were friends longer than we were adults, longer than we were lovers, deeper than the hollar, longer than the song of a whippoorwill. I know there will come a time when my thoughts of him will not come with the price of a knife dragged across my heart. I know this. He left me. It was not the first time he'd left me, he left me during our long long relationship every three years. Sometimes for a short time, the last three times he left me, he'd leave me for up to a year. He'd leave me dangling, wouldn't return my calls, leave me selfishly, leave me with no warning, leave me without a chance. But he'd leave me KNOWING in his heart that when he was ready to come home, that I'd have that home to come home to. Except for this last time.
My Immortal
Vinnie always considered Memorial Day Weekend "his". This was "his" Birthday, "his" time to gather "his" Tribe to him, to his heart. This is the first year that Vinnie hasn't been here to gather his Tribe. I miss him. I miss him in the world, I miss knowing that he was HERE. I do not miss his Peter Pan ways, I do not miss the idiot drunks he'd bring home from the bars, cursing and out of control sitting in the driveway... I do not miss the abuse he'd heap upon my head. I don't miss his telling me that all our problems were as a result of my menopause. I don't miss all the cruel names he called me. I don't miss the drunken nastiness. But damn, I miss the shining light that he was, how he could be when he was happy... I miss the psychic connection we had. I miss the instinctual camaraderie, the history we shared. I miss his spirit. I miss him. I miss my Vinnie. I miss my friend.

At his funereal, I felt so lost, so forsaken. I fully understand that people grieve in their own way. Some people are demonstrative, some are not. Some people are so filled with regrets that they simply must have a "villain" to blame. I realize my part in this. I have taken these lessons to heart. At his funereal, I think all I could actually vocalize was that I was a lousy wife. That is the only thing I regret. Damn it, I wasn't a "lousy wife", not unless you compare me to Betty Crocker. I did the best I could. I gave the very best I was. None of the positive things I wanted to say would come out verbally, they only came out in my tears, in my memories. I had written a... an emotionally honest tribute to the man I married, but all I could verbalize was that I was a lousy wife. And really, I was, as long as you held me up to an unattainable pedestal.... I did the best I could. I gave you the very best I could The Best of My Love the very best I am. It wasn't enough. That is neither a condemnation of you, nor I, my Dear One, my Friend. I'm Feelin' You Lyrics
I'm Feelin' You
I wish you to know something. You, who are my friends, my family, Vince's friends
I felt deeply about Vince. He was my dear friend for a very long long time. (longer than we were grownups. I know I have said this before, but it is important to know. We were children together. We grew up together.) But Vinnie was not my GREAT LOVE. Nor was I his. He was definitely a great love and a great friend, and he was a big part of who I am today. But he wasn't the "greatest love of my life"... and again, I don't believe I was his. We were a comfort to one another, support for one another
(at least at one time) but my ability to love deeply and thoroughly did not die when he did. I need to know this, I need to hold this fact next to my heart. For my own protection.

I grieve for him. I wasn't given the opportunity to express that at his funereal... and I wasn't given the opportunity to fight, or argue or ... much of anything... when he left. The many times that he left me.

So mostly, I am dealing with a heart full of unexpressed emotion, within a person of great emotion. I.... I guess I am not very good at expressing things like this.. maybe because it's all so RAW... maybe because I stuff the raw edges away so they won't trouble others. So this Memorial Day, I will say Goodbye to you, my friend. My Vinnie, of all the men in my life, you have been the one old friend who has known me throughout all my life, who was there for me through my griefs and my triumphs, my sorrows, my silliness. You were there to help me with my Grammy's passing, you helped me bury my darling pets. You were my good life friend. You will always be in my heart. I wish you would have been able to love this new life as I have. I wish ... oh there are so many wishes I had for you .. for us. Damn it, you are NOT my Immortal. Vinnie, you know you aren't, you left me too many times. I am NOT your Good Bye Girl.

But if wishes were horses, beggars would ride.
So. My point.

I Am Unwritten

Do not let one single moment go be without telling, showing, demonstrating, hell SHOUTING!!!@! making a fool of yourself if need be... just Shower the people you love with love

With the death of my Grammy, and then with Vinnie's death, this I know... do not not hesitate to tell the people you love that you love them.. Do not hesitate to forgive the people you love their weaknesses, their trespasses. Do not hesitate to offer a kindness, do not hesitate to be patient... Do not hesitate to love open hearted, with open arms.



Kimberly Rose Carolan said...

I totally get what you're saying, it sounds a lot like my mom's story. My dad was a jerk too many times to count and, while they didn't have the happiest marriage, when he died, it really affected my mom in a similar way.

She says in a silly way sometimes, "He probably died just to spite me", even though it was clearly cancer that killed him.

Most people don't understand, except those who have been through it.

My best,

Kim Carolan

Kat Wolfdancer said...

Thanks for understanding, Kim... It was cathartic to write it all out. Vinnie wasn't a jerk, he was just very confused... rather like a perpetual Peter Pan with alcoholic tendencies. *smile smile* But I miss him, and I guess I always will. Like I've said before, we were friends longer than we were grown-ups. I will miss his friendship, and will always wish he would have been able to be happy.