Friday, January 29, 2010

Vanishing into the Blue

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I'm thinking that blue works for me right now. It has such natural beauty. Blue can be bright and open like the sky. Blue can be cool and refreshing like water. Blue can be somber, melancholy.

Blue can also speak of a remote distance, such as someone vanishing into the blue. This is how I experienced Michael's death. I held his face in my hands, and was kissing him gently on his lips, then with one last breath, he vanished. For a few seconds there was silence. From the body he left behind, to the room that he once occupied. Silence.

In the immediate days, and weeks, after Michael's death, I sat in silence. I did this for hours on end. Much of my days were spent in tears, aching for him, feeling my body in physical pain over my loss. It felt much like what I would expect physical withdrawal from a drug to be. My body, my psyche needed him. I couldn't properly breathe without him adding carbon dioxide from his breath to the air available to me. So I sat. I sat in silence. I sat looking into the blue, wondering where he went. Friends that came to visit, or to sit with me, found quite a stunned individual. My whole being was confused, lost and shaken. Everything I previously understood, or believed, about the afterlife disappeared.

Into the blue he went. I would cry out in tears, "Michael, where are you?" I received no answer. So I sat, and I sat. It has now been more than four months, and yet still I sit, looking into the blue. Each night I sit in silence. Across from my bed is the urn with his ashes. Next to it is a candle that burns each night. I keep vigil, for what I do not really know. I find that I do not want any distractions, being oh so careful not to miss anything. Miss what? Again, I do not know.

I sometimes wish I didn't have to go to work. I have thought many times of quiting my job. The security it provides me no longer makes me no longer hold the same weight. Financial stability is no longer what motivates me. Everything that I have to do each day feels like it is taking me away from what I feel compelled to do, which is to sit, to listen, and to wait.

Into the blue he went.

Vanished, into the blue.


  1. Dear Dan - holding you close, walking by your side - sending gentle light into the blue to you - my heart is with you.

  2. I keep vigil, for what I do not really know.

    Last winter, after arriving here in Arizona, I spent quite a lot of time sitting and waiting - it seemed like something would happen. Perhaps we need that time to be silent and not preoccupied with outside thoughts, in order to rationalize all that has happened.
    A year later, I'm back here in Arizona, and once again doing a lot of sitting in silence, or working on some of the things that I had abandoned when Don first became ill. I think I'm trying to pick up the threads of my life before all of this stuff happened. When Don became ill, I stopped working on my photography and study of natural history. I actually found that I could not remember the scientific names of species that had formerly been everyday words to me. It has been like having amnesia for two years. Just recently, the names are beginning to come back to me. Perhaps I should write a post about this as it has been a profound experience - this loss of being able to think of much other than Don, and now the gradual return of my former knowledge and some desire to pick up where I left off. Anyhow, I believe there's something important about these silences and giving ourselves time to let this kind of thinking occur.

  3. i'm glad you've become content with blue for now. blue is considered a calm color. it's considered stable and mystical. blue irises are sent to be reassuring while some religions believe blue brings peace and keeps bad spirits away. blue is a primary color and other colors can be made from it. it's root is found in the Germanic and means "shining." if you lean towards believing in psychics, people with blue auras are said to be interested social service work such as social workers, counsellors, teachers, and psychologists. hmmmm. bit of deja vu.

    Michael may have gone "into the blue," but "out of the blue" sometimes good things come. i've always liked cerillion blue for it's ability to provoke deep thoughts. and silence. there is nothing wrong with silence. as a society, i think we can be starved for the serenity silence can bring.

    from reading this piece, it seems that a period of silent contemplation is coming upon you. possibly a life change will take place and you'll go do something drastically different. maybe you'll make a decision to sit tight. whatever you do, you will go "off into the wild blue yonder." and having that option sounds very freeing. blue has so many possibilities. sadness will be a part of it for a long time to come, but you can draw strength from the color, from the emotion, and from yourself. i'm keeping you in my thoughts.

  4. I just wanted to say thank you for writing. I lost my partner suddenly in mid-November, and this post illustrates what I'm going through; I just don't know what to do. We had been together for just over 5 years, and had planned a commitment ceremony at the end of December. I’m 29 years old, and feel like I have nothing left to look forward to. As much as I would hope no one would ever have to go through this pain, reading your posts has helped me realize I am not alone. For that I needed to say thank you, and I hope you find some peace through your writings.

  5. Suzann, thank you for your sweet words of support.

    Bev,there is definitely something about all of this that does kind of create vacant spots in our heads. As you say, more than just sitting and waiting, I too feel as though parts of me have just disappeared. I don't know if those parts will return, or if I have let them go.

    wNs, I love all the various meanings of blue that you share. With my chosen profession I must definitely have a blue aura. This journey has definitely pulled me inward, and I do find myself back to some of my more contemplative places that I had previously shed. The quiet really suits me right now.

    SC, I'm so glad, and honored, that you found my blog. This is why I am herr. I have learned that there is so much strength and peace in knowing others that are on this journey. It is a difficult one, and it only helps to know that what you are experiencing is exactly what you should be experiencing. I am so sorry for your loss. Michael and I had only been together less than four years, and I feel so robbed. I hope to hear from you again.