Holding on and Letting Go

Some respite from constant pain today permitted small forays into Life Goes On. Nice weather continues to ease this whole process. I’m starting to set small areas of the house straight. As I do that, I even spot small opportunities to rearrange things just a little differently, just a shade more to my liking. I don’t think this place is turning into a bachelor pad but I accept that it may come to lack quite the shine of a woman’s touch, in favour of pragmatism. Elsie has been remarkably pro-active about cleaning and tidying. An extremely good thing!

And then, as I look and move around the house, there are countless small reminders of Jane. Each one is a small elastoplast that must be pulled off. A small goodbye. And my body is covered in them.

Only two weeks ago, Jane sent me a text: “Honey – can you come home a little earler so I can buy you a nice dinner?”. We ate at Bologna, in Carlton Mill. I sat opposite Jane at a small table with a delicious dinner and wine. We looked into each other’s eyes the whole evening as we talked and ate. I remember thinking, and saying, I love you, I love you, Jane. At each moment, I could feel the fibres of love being spun between us, weaving and joining us, and I celebrated each one with joy.

I guess it is those fibres that I can feel being torn off now.

And yet, strangely I can go for several moments feeling ok. I feel a bit guilty about it. I look at other women differently now, and feel guilty about that. “Other women”. They aren’t really other now, as there is no-one for them to be other to. It’s just that, even though Jane is gone, our relationship feels far from over. In fact it feels only just begun.

Here is the poem, or excerpt from a poem, that Liz Bayliss (from from Whitireia Polytech) copied into the remembrance book for Jane:

     The art of walking upright here
     Is the art of using both feet.

     One is for holding on.
     One is for letting go.

           Glen Colquhoun

Since Thursday, my good days have been alternating with my bad days. That means tomorrow is a bad one. The day I try to go back to work. Though I know to be gentle with myself, I know my work itself will take a lot of letting go, once it starts to engage me again. I know that I resent that Pit when I slide into it. And I know that the bottom of that Pit, nasty and lonely as it is, is a healing place.

Jane is Dead: One Week In

OK movie posts are over. For now. I have a lot of processing to do and I’m going to do some of it by writing. Some of that I’m going to do here.

Yes, as the title says, my Lovely, Beautiful Jane is Dead. She died a week ago on Saturday, 23 July, peacefully while she slept next to me. There’s a notice on the Spears Family Website.

Today I felt terrible. Almost all day. It was lovely to have Elsie and Ed around. They were kind to me. I can accept that, when they freely give me nurturing. Jacqui came in the morning and we went to Elsie’s hockey. That hurt. There was no Jane loyally attending every hockey game with me and shouting “Go Harewood!”. I enjoyed being with Jacqui, talking about my process while she listened. Hearing about hers, and about Maddie and Simon.

The “What If?” question has been bugging me badly today. What if I’d said “Are you alright, Jane?”. And then just the twisted gut feeling of loss. Jane gone. A thousand small reminders of Jane each day. Each one like a plaster being pulled off. Yesterday, I had a better day. Today I feel like I’m paying for that. “Hanging On and Letting Go”

There were people around but I wasn’t up to talking with them. Just retreating into myself to feel the pain. Learning “the Song that is Playing at the Bottom of the Pit”. Hanna tidied up and refreshed all the flowers. Thank you Hanna, you angel.

This last week has been the most painful of my life. My loss of Jane came so suddenly and was so great that it almost completely overwhelmed me. All of the amazing people that were here loving and holding me couldn’t make it any better. If they hadn’t been here, tho, I don’t know that I would have survived it. It has also been the most profoundly magical week of my life. A “Festival of Love” that touched everyone who came in contact with it.

Kate and Walter were the last ones here. We talked long and easily together. I talked through with them much of what I have hinted at in this post. We talked about the funeral that seemed so like a wedding. About my experience of deep love, the joining of the two groups of family, friends and workmates in celebration of Jane, and of our relationship and how both had affected them all, the ending of Jane in death and the living on of the relationship, somehow despite that. “Now that Death Has Us Parted”

I know that I have a lot of letting go to do and a lot of holding on. That’s why I’m writing: to give myself time and opportunity to do both those things. I’d like to write some of the story of the relationship that Jane and I created. “Danger, Love Ahead” is a title for that.