“It turns out that Hollywood has grief and loss all wrong. The waves and spikes don’t arrive predictably in time or severity. It’s not an anniversary that brings the loss to mind, or someone else’s reminiscences, nor being in a restaurant where you once were together. It’s in the grocery aisle passing the romaine lettuce and recalling how your spouse learned to make Caesar salad, with garlic-soaked croutons, because it was the only salad you’d agree to eat. Or when you glance at a rerun in an airport departure lounge and it’s one of the episodes that aired in the midst of a winter afternoon years earlier, an afternoon that you two had passed together. Or on the rise of a full moon, because your wife, from the day you met her, used to quote from The Sheltering Sky about how few you actually see in your entire life. It’s not sobbing, collapsing, moaning grief. It’s phantom-limb pain. It aches, it throbs, there’s nothing there, and yet you never want it to go away.”
This piece hit me really hard today — not only because it reminds me of all the oncology patients I’ve been dealing with in the past year but of you. Your presence still lingers and though I’ve gotten better at hiding and pretending, it never leaves.
It’s raining tonight…
I stepped out of the gym and stood by the floor-length glass windows to watch the rain sparkle as it hit the ground. It’s late so no one else was around. The silvery pavement glittered in the dim lights from the windows and the world was enveloped in silence. I let the silence surround me and I realized that this moment and time would be perfect to reenact that scene from the Notebook. I never liked the movie, but every guy seems to know the reference. I rushed back and asked him if he wanted to cross an item off the list, but he gave me a confused look instead. Then I remembered that it was you who wrote on that small piece of paper: kissing in the rain, like that scene in the Notebook. Tonight, I miss you.
I put away your memories today.