Time flies, eh...?
Last night I surfed into email, and off in the sidebar I noticed a little green dot, the one that tells me a friend--or just someone I email occasionally--is online. I'm not one to initiate IMs, because hell, why would anyone want me to interrupt their reading and writing of email, but I felt an impulse to click on their name and just say "Hey."
Before I could, an IM window popped up. "Heyya," she said. "Your month just sucked, didn't it?"
It was not the best month in the history of months, no.
"You still have to move? Did your landlord give you a reprieve under the circumstances?"
Hell, we didn't even ask. His realtor was extremely understanding and didn't even call back until a few days ago about letting someone in to see the house. And after losing the Spouse Thingy's dad, having to move seemed like a nothing kind of thing. Ok, so we intended to stay in this house for at least one more year and hadn't entertained the notion of moving, but the owner has the right to sell it. And he gave us more than the 30 days notice he needed to.
The looking for a new place to live, the packing and the clearing out...it doesn't seem like much of anything at this point. After taking such a hard blow--and it still hurts, sometimes like a hot poker coming out of the blue--moving is just a detail. We'll take care of it, and quite literally move on.
We're looking at it as opportunity now. We get to move. We get to leave one really nice house for one that's probably even better. One with space that makes a little more sense for us. And we found it so quickly, like it was meant to be.
"I remember how all this feels," she tells me. Then I recall her own pain, just a few years old, when she lost her father to his 5th stroke. "All the sudden you feel like a grown up."
And you do. Death is such an adult thing to deal with, all the things that have to be taken care of. I stood on the periphery and watched others take care of the hard things: funeral arrangements, getting death certificates, and now the maze of life insurance and social security payments and What Has To Be Done Next. And I noticed the hard lines of sorrow and fatigue drawn on the Spouse Thingy's face, a weariness that could be measured in definite volumes of weight, clinging to him and pressing him down.
Then today I read this at Blogs Are Stupid: I would realize over the next couple days that grief paints time on peopleÂ?s faces; the canvas of our skin becoming a stark portrait of our mortality. It strips us of our pretenses and lays bare the awful truthÂ?that every hour of every day, we are getting older. It denies us the illusion of forever.
The weight of grief just wraps itself around you and strangles grownupness into you.
But still...it gets better. "Give it a few weeks," she said. "You'll feel immature and stupid all over again. Inappropriate farting will make you laugh."
Don't fret Those Moments, she advised. The thoughts you'll have when you move into the new house. The crushing sadness of He'll never see this place. He won't see how wonderful his clock looks there. The kitties peeking at him through the rails on the stairway. Cry if you want to and don't apologize for it. And for God's sake, don't let anyone heap that "but he wasn't your father" crap on you. You were lucky. Not everyone gets to have inlaws that don't feel like outlaws.
We talked about heaven and hell; I believe in the former and have my doubts about the latter. There has to be a purpose to the lives we're given, and I don't think that our eternities are punished for the human mistakes we make. We get here, we grow, we learn; we either become good people or we don't. We get it or we don't. For the same reason you wouldn't ground your kid for 10 years for his teen stupidities, I can't see burning in hell for our all too human and very mortal idiocies. Maybe there's a celestial time out, maybe not.
It's just that in the grand scheme of things, getting kicked out of a house seems kind of trivial. It might not if we had no where else to go, I know this. But in the face of that strangulating grownupness, the murky watercolor gray that grief paints on every horizon, it doesn't really matter. We'll dangle pizza and beer in front of the Boy and his friends, and we'll take our stuff from one place to the next, and we'll deal with it all.
We'll just do it. Simple as that.