I just went back and reread some of the Caring Bridge journal entries I made this time last year. I think about that time a lot these days. We are nearing the anniversary of C's departure to parts unknown. I think that it is normal to think about these milestones as they come up on us. I never know for sure how I will feel when I travel through the membrane of time stretched across my path like some sort of tape at the finish of a race, only it isn't a finish, just one more step on a journey who's end is not visible.
One year ago, C was beginning to stretch herself through and across a membrane that only she could see. She was experiencing vivid waking (and sleeping) dreams where she would have conversations with people (or entities) that were there for her, but not for me.
We also had a houseful of people most nights. Friends and relatives would come over and gather. Food would get made and beverages consumed. It was a ritual as old as time and as needed as is breathing. We needed to share this time. Occasionally, one of us would slip off into the bedroom and sit for a while. Sometimes there would be conversation and sometimes there would be silence.
It was comforting and crazy. We were not use to seeing so many people. Sophie the Wonder Dawg wandered from room to room trying to understand what was going on.
Sleep was a forgotten luxury between the rambling conversations that C was having with her soon to be friends on the other side, and her increasingly failing constitution that required frequent assistance from those around her. I was feeling exhausted and, in a curious way, elated by being part of my love's graduation to a different state of being. I had never been granted that before and having done it once, I feel blessed but that was enough. These are the times in life (and death) that define us as who we are, and what we are. We grieve the loss of life and seem to need structures that define a continued existence beyond this one. I am no closer to understanding what happens when that last sigh is slowly exhaled, but I have seen this side of the process.
To all of you who were part of that time, whether in person or through the wonder of the web, I bid you greetings and thank you for your thoughts and prayers. We have had a year of strangeness, pain, exploration, loss, discovery, love, learning, and always, memories. We have had anniversaries, birthdays, holidays, and other special times that reminded us of what has changed in our lives. One of those times is coming up again now. Remember with us.