Last night I prayed for the first time in I don't know when. I was having trouble sleeping, and a friend wrote on my Facebook post, "Meditate and pray!"
I thought, "Well, I'm not sure what I believe in anymore," but I started to pray. Before I knew it, it was 6 a.m. and I was waking up to some very welcome rain after some very welcome sleep.
My beliefs were strong when Stephanie died, but in the wake of her death, I became so angry at God. I became even more angry at God because of the way so-called Christians treated me after I got into a relationship with D. "Love the sinner; hate the sin," so they say. That's complete bullshit. If we are human, we sin. But is what I had with D a sin? Is loving someone ever a sin? I don't think so. We weren't hurting anyone but ourselves with our relationship. Had it been a healthy relationship, there wouldn't even have been that hurt. But I challenge you to find a relationship that hasn't experienced rough times.
My life is quieter now. I am much more able to focus on work and writing than before. I'm re-reading Joan Didion's "The Year of Magical Thinking," which she wrote in the wake of her husband's death. They'd been married just short of 40 years when he dropped dead at the dinner table of a massive heart attack. Before the book hit the shelves, her only child was also dead. I don't know how the woman survived. She's been one of my favorite authors since I was taking literature classes in college, and I love her observational style. I've been meaning to re-read this book ever since Stephanie died, but I was finally able to lay my hands on it yesterday on my way out the door to the doctor. I'm devouring it. It makes my grief appear so much more sensible to me, knowing what she's been through. In the book, she cites passages from Emily Post's 1922 book on etiquette on how to deal with death and the bereaved. The advice is as appropriate today as it was then. Put light food in front of the bereaved. The body will instinctively reach for it and take in some sustenance, but don't ask the bereaved if they are hungry. They won't be.
I'm still navigating this maze of grief, but it doesn't lay me out flat as it once did. Now I do more remembering of the good times, the laughter, the uniqueness of Stephanie than I do of remembering the day we were notified. I'll always know every detail of that day, but I no longer relive it constantly.
Time for me to heal, truly. Part of me is so lonely, but another part of me is so grateful to be myself again, not constantly on edge.
I went out to Borders bookstore Tuesday night and played games with my son and his friends. Last night I went out to dinner with my ex, his girlfriend, and my son. We laughed and had a great time. She's a wonderful woman. She's having me over on Sunday to the barbeque she's throwing in honor of my son's birthday, her daughters' birthdays, and her dad's birthday - all in August. Hopefully her parents don't freak out to see the ex-wife showing up. I'm genuinely happy for Paul and his woman. They seem to have a good relationship and camaraderie. Healthy.
I'll find my way. I'll discover how to get out there in the world again; I'm already doing it to a certain extent. This weekend is about rest and cleaning, but it's also going to be about getting a little writing done, if I can, if the muse hits me.
It's just good to be here, sane/safe/happy.
Peace - D