So much of what I've been thinking over the past month has been about death. About endings and unknowns.
Well, a few reasons. I thought my relationship was experiencing a kind of a death, and beyond, I imagined a ghastly, empty and cold unknown. I went home to visit my father a while ago, and my insides lurched. First with relief to find him well, and happy. And then with fear of what might have been but isn't here yet.
And then the day before yesterday, my dearest friend in the world lost one of her dogs to illness.
And in that wonderful and merciless way that life has, I was reminded that no amount of conceptual exploring ever really measures up to the real thing. Thinking about endings is gut wrenching. Living through a real, irrevocable one (or seeing your friend try to) is... well... Oh, Lord, a whole different game.
But still, in each of those imagined or real endings, my thoughts and feelings ultimately turned to consider what lay beyond. It is as if I simply cannot compute the possibility of Nothing. Even if something feels like it, I will create something, to fill the void.
And so I talked to the Man. And we acknowledged the end of one thing, and the possibility that another thing might be born to take it's place, if we let it. The end of our beginning. The birth of something to replace it - a relationship built on stronger legs than infatuation. But still full of fascination and adventure. And slowly, we are watching that imagined possibility come to life, I think.
And so I wrote to my father. Two cards. Newspaper cut-outs. A letter that is in draft inside my head right now, but soon to be penned in ink. I bought him a notebook to fill with poems. I called and stayed on the phone talking and talking and talking. And trying to imagine the possibility that one day, if he is gone before I am (this is always a possibility to be acknowledged), I will have something to fill that void: the memory of a real relationship with him. Not just one built on what I thought I had when I was in school. A real connection between two adults who love each other very much. And slowly, that is coming into being. He called me today, and we talked about his day. Just ordinary chatter. Totally banal. Infinitely precious. And for us, new!
Each of these two has been the result of imagining loss, and bringing about a change to prevent or dilute it in some way.
And as for the little doggie who has passed, I cannot bring anything new into being there, because it was not my loss, or my imagined loss. For that kind of ending, there is more grief, bitter grief, and then healing, and then a slow, tentative rebirth. All I can do is to help with hugs and phone calls and random texts in the middle of the day.