the “now what?” date

With remembering anniversary dates with regards to losing Willie, the big ones tend to hit loud. The day he died, the day after when I saw him in the morgue, the next day when we went to the funeral home to make arrangements, the day of his service … All dates that are remembered and that, as they come around every year now, hurt with the pain that those dates carry.

But there’s another date. A date that is quieter in its hurt. a date that anyone who has lost someone integral and a part of their daily life knows.

It’s the day after it all. It’s the day after the final service or memorial. The day that you wake up and the quiet awareness is there inside of you that asks the question “now what?”

The shock is still so present that You don’t recognize that date then or even a year or two after. It’s the day that there isn’t any more details to deal with or plans to make or things to plan. It’s the day that life, for everyone else mostly, starts to return to “normal”. It’s that date that you look back on eventually as the day that you were truly stumbling.

I remember waking that day and looking out the window as I had been for hours everyday and wondering what I was supposed to do. And not knowing the answer. How do you live your life from “before” now? How do you out together the puzzle pieces when you’ve never seen what the picture is supposed to be?

So you start trying. False starts and steps forward and huge careening slides back. You wake up every day and just do.

Today, February 9th is that date for me. A day that I realized today is a day that sits a little differently for me. Not a date that screams of his death but a day that whispers to me of the loss of him. A day that speaks to the reality of how it is … Now. After the shock, after the disbelief and the rawness. A day that in some ways is more sad in how quiet it is. Maybe because it’s a day that solidifies the finality and the unavoidable reality of what has happened. A day to reflect on the “now what”.

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