It was today. It was today – November 26th. I’ve relived every moment of that day so many times during the past year. I’ve tried to really put myself there – for whatever reason, while it was awful – I also find some comfort in going back to when the shock and pain was so raw; it makes today’s pain still seem valid and reasonable.
I have prepared for today (as much as one can) – for the one year anniversary of dad’s death – to be really hard. People have warned me. What I was not at all prepared for is that maybe it’s not the number – 26, November 26th – maybe it’s more the day, as in ‘the Tuesday before Thanksgiving.’ Yesterday hit me like a ton of bricks. It was Tuesday last year. I’m such a creature of habit; I always go to my gym for spin class on Tuesdays. Despite having a cold right now (that will not end and that I’ve had for 2 weeks already!), I knew that going to spin would be cathartic and good – it always is.
I walked into the spin room and stopped abruptly. Setting up in the front of the room was not my dear wonderful usual instructor (and friend) Heather – it was Laurie. (Laurie teaches evening classes but on the very rare occasion subs for morning ones). In that moment, I’m immediately transported to the last class I had with Laurie which was, of course, November 26th. (Apparently she has a regular gig teaching the Tuesday before Thanksgiving). The last time I took her class, I had no idea the news that Mike would be delivering to me over the phone when I was done with that class. But walking into that room and seeing her and realizing all that…well, I was done. A friend in class saw me just standing there and asked if I was OK. I shook my head, explained the situation and said, “I can’t be here. I just can’t do this.” I grabbed my stuff and went to the locker room before I could cause too much of a scene.
The rest of the day was just sorta downhill from there. I gave into it, I embraced the pain. I was a hot mess.
So, I’m hoping that maybe yesterday was the worst of it. But who knows…
I heard, yesterday morning, for the first time this season, the line that will never be the same to me ever again: “Fall on your knees and hear the angel voices…” And this morning, the quote at the beginning of my daily meditation (For Working Through Grief), “So he passed over, and all the trumpets sounded for him on the other side,” – John Bunyan. There seems to be a theme: angelic choirs and orchestras just totally rocked out when dad arrived. I’m sure they’re still jamming now. I’m sure it’s amazing. But I sure just wish he was still here.