Monday 4th of March
I was surprised at how strong my emotional reaction was this morning. In my mind I was prepared for Stacy to pass. I knew that it would be different to anything I could predict, however I have been thinking about today for years and I thought that would partially prepare me. Wrong.
I experienced the full physical reaction that was beyond my control. It wasn’t immediate, however when I held Stacy something came pouring out with a force that took me by surprise. It was grief, pain, shock and loneliness.
It came in waves for the next couple of hours, when I was pressed closely to Stacy, when I was in the other end of the house, it came and went and surged and ebbed. It was unique to my experience so far. There was a flavour of the feeling that I used to get on a day that Stacy left to go back overseas during the first few years.
After dropping her off at an airport and returning home to my bed the emptiness inside me would curl my body inward like light around a black hole. Like a leaf drying in the sun, the edges curling in towards the pit in the middle. The vacancy, the cavity yearning to be filled.
I saw the sky as the sun rose, it was a beautiful morning. I experienced some memories of Stacy that I hadn’t for years (That strange straight arm on the spot run she would sometimes do). I was so grateful that the good memories came to me, I didn’t try, they came. She was always so wonderful to be with. I missed her and I smiled.
That hole of loneliness was familiar, I had been there before, however today there were other things. The shock of change, a change that I still have only a weak understanding of.
The pain of all her suffering that I witnessed from the closest of observation points. I witnessed it all and had to block much off. I couldn’t feel all of Stacy’s pain because I couldn’t afford to stop. She needed me to be able to do. At a moments notice, for an entire day. At any time of day and night, despite any other potential distraction, I had to be ready to do. I couldn’t afford to feel it all with her because mine was a task of activity, relentless activity with no control of the beginning or end. Feeling it all with her would have been paralysing. This morning I think I began to feel some of it again.
The long wait for Debi to arrive was the hardest part of today. Stacy passed at 4:20am, Debi arrived at 3pm. For 11 hours we waited. There were some things to be done, but there was too much that had to hold until Debi arrived, she had to know next.
Dave and I were standing on the shore of a disaster with a tsunami surging towards us. All we could do was brace for the impact. Once the wave crashed there would be more to do than we could handle, until then it was still and brutal.
Stacy was so beautiful. Hauntingly still and bright, like a marble statue. Glorious to look at and magnificent to touch. Quiet and familiar, she looked like at any moment she would wake up and ask me to help with something. I found it hard to leave the room because for the last few months we have been in eye contact for 95% of the day. I didn’t want to be away from her, I knew she didn’t need me anymore, but I think I still needed her. I still do.
It became easier for me as the day went on and we shared the news with Stacy’s world, Debi first and then out across the global community that Stacy has forged with her light. Caring for others is now my comfortable place to be. The thoughts, fears, pain and behaviour of other people is much easier for me to deal with than my own. Through the afternoon and evening I gratefully welcomed the disaster in everyone else’s lives as a mask for the disaster in my own.
Stacy left the house at 7pm. I didn’t watch the men from the funeral directors move Stacy onto the trolley, nobody touched Stacy. I am the one who helps her, I wasn’t comfortable watching others do it. I haven’t shied away from any aspect of Stacy’s struggle as I have been fully involved with every movement and decision. To not be included was harder than all the exhaustion, frustration and physical and mental pain of the last 3 years.
She left and I slept. Alone and very poorly. The empty pit returned, I curled around it.
Tuesday 4th of March
It was much clearer how to feel a year ago. Significantly more uncomfortable, more distressing and maybe even more confusing, however it was very obvious that was the way to feel. That was the day to be inundated by feelings like that, no question, indulge, submerge, bask in the vast influence of disaster.
Today I have significantly less clarity in my feelings. There is not so much disaster basking going on, I’m not overwhelmed by the all powerful rush of emotions. It's hard to bask in disaster when much that I experience is good, fun and happy. Perhaps I'm just executing a classic behaviour and looking back at a day in the past with all the clarity of time piled on top of it. Memory is not capable of recording all the doings of a day twelve months gone, so intellect takes over and says things like ‘oh yeah, it was was much clearer how to feel a year ago.’ Good one intellect.
Today I share in a range of feelings. A nice human range of feelings and i’m glad for the fact. Tomorrow I suspect i’ll try it again. To all of you who read this and also experience a range of feelings today, i’m with you and thanks for sharing it with me.
I burnt a candle last night. I don’t really know what it meant however it was good to have, thanks for the wisdom Mum.
Lots of love to you out there,