Sunday, May 16, 2010

To Have and to Hold

Hug it out
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Today's outing was a brunch hosted by our good friends Steve and Nancy. Nancy is one of Michael's dear friends from back in his Peace Corp days. They hosted all of the bay area peace corp gang, which I am now an official member. In my mind I think of this group at the 'friends of Mike.' This is the same group of people that gathered in Big Sur for a memorial weekend in Michael's honor. Each person hold so much love of Michael, and each carries part of Michael's history. It was a lovely day, with lovely people.

As you may guess, it also makes me miss Michael even more. He is my connection to all of these people. They have become like family to me. When I talk to them it comes directly from the heart. When they listen you can see the love and care in their eyes. It's almost heartbreaking. Well, it is heart breaking. I know that they each have their own feelings of loss, yet they are so good to me, being very observant of my feelings.

I will miss each of them very much when I move. And yet, I will have several other of Michael's good friends around when I move to San Diego. Those peace corp people are just everywhere!

It's amazing to me that individual people can carry someones history with them, every where they go. It like each of us holds a piece of the puzzle. Some of those pieces join right up next to each others. Some pieces may not be necessarily connected, yet understood. Some of the pieces of history shine light on what we knew of our loved one. Some pieces shared shed light on something about them that we never fully realized.

I love this concept. There is no way I could know everything about Michael. I only had him for such a short time. Yet in the time I had him I got to know a very deep and personal side of him that others don't necessarily know. Some of my knowledge of him can be shared with his friends. Other parts were just for me. I love to hear what they know of Michael, and then put that along side my memories of what he shared with me. It often give nuance to tangential information that I picked up along the way.

When I am around people that carry so many years of history with Michael, I often feel closer to him. His energy is there. Today I could feel his love. Today I carried an image of his smile, and of the love he easily conveyed in his eyes. When I saw his friends interact with their spouses, it reminded me of how Michael and I did in their presence. It was as if he was standing right there beside me. When I saw his friends touch, or share affection with their spouses, I could remember how comfortably we shared our affection in their presence. It was all so bittersweet.

As time goes on I sometimes feel like it has been a life time since he left. I sometimes fear that I will lose that physical memory of how he was with me. Being in his friends' presence today brought that sensation right back to me. As I sit here I am filled with mixed emotions. One second I am smiling, the next I am crying. It's as if he is holding me, allowing me to feel his love, and allowing me to express my pain.

I loved being held by him. I loved holding him.

To have and to hold.


  1. Those types of days are so bittersweet, smiling and crying in the same breath. I sure understand it and I'm dealing with my own version of it these days. It's so rough. I hope your smiles outnumbered your tears as you felt his love.


  2. I'm glad you will still have some of Michael's friends around if you move to S.D. Interesting, but the place I stay in winter, there are some Peace Corps people there too, and they have remained friends their entire lives. They get together with others in other states quite often. It must have attracted a lot of good people.

  3. I have not read today's blog - I am still back in December 2009 - I have read every one of your blogs to that point. I am currently at day 89 in my widow's journey. Your blogs give me great comfort. It is nice to feel validated and normal (Something I don't usually strive for!) Your honestly, vulnerability and eloquence are an inspiration to me. I am so grateful to have found your blog. As I approach the 3 month anniversary of Dave's passing, I am still shattered and fragile. Your blogs speak my truth and reality. Thank you.

  4. Widowsquared, I'm glad that you find my writing helpful and comforting. At some point I want to go back and read what I wrote, but right now it feels too close. I think I want to put some distance between my grief today, and my grief during those early days. Know that everything you feel is where you should be. It is all a very slow process.