The thing about my husband was that he was very talented. He was an actor/voice-over artist and a writer. He had some success in the real world. He also was an amazing singer. There are videos/recordings with him or his voice in them, and episodes of TV shows and movies that come on arbitrarily that he wrote.
Almost 5 years in, I still get blind-sided by these things. I lie on the couch on a Saturday night, watching a movie and am startled to hear his voice; I forgot he did voice-work on that movie. Or I’m flipping through the channels and, OMG…there’s a movie he wrote, or an episode of a television show. Often I just smile, sometimes the effect is a bit more disturbing. Tonight I was on FB, just trudging through, checking in, and there was a post by my (well, his) nephew.
He had found and posted a VERY old video by David Lee Roth (OK, Just a Gigolo, for those older than a minute). His comment was only, “miss you Tom.” Tom does a voice-over on it and appears in one scene. I had forgotten about it. It was really goofy. In the moment…it made me laugh, so hard.
BUT, I’ve been crying off and on all night. That’s the way grief works. It catches you unaware and knocks you for a loop. I can make it through his birthday with aplomb; show me a stupid video, surprise me with his voice..I’m a wreck.
I’m heading into what I call the “horror” months, because the holidays were his, our, favorite time of the year. Especially Christmas; the music, the activities. We always had a huge party. We went to many other ones. He loved carols; each year we’d make a CD for friends and family, with a theme, of Christmas carols. We have a lot of talented friends, so each year we’d include a friend singing on our CD.
Tom died in January 2006. For Christmas 2006 I decided to make one last CD. It is so beautiful, but one of the most precious parts of it was that I was able to add 3 songs that Tom sang on it. Every year I look so forward to – and dread so much – playing the CD. I know that I will listen to it Thanksgiving weekend as I decorate our Christmas tree; that’s when the CD’s come out.
I want to hear it, I dread it. I want to watch those movies, but I dread hearing his voice, remembering. The pain and the joy and the dread and the amazing gratitude that I have because i DO have these reminders…well. It’s hard to describe.
Grief sucks; life keeps moving ahead. And with it, I have to deal with the good and the bad. Tonight, though I’ve been crying most of the night, I’m clear on that. Maybe not tomorrow or Christmas Eve, but I don’t know. The way that this video surprised and delighted me even as it made me sad and feel my loss really points to the way that my grief, all grief, is a living, changeable thing. I will never not feel the pain, but as time goes on, I hope that initial jolt will be more often, one of delight and gratitude rather than pain and loss.