I haven’t had a lot of time to write or think or clean or eat well lately. I’ve been subbing and side gigging a lot so that I may survive this summer on my meager savings, good will and the kindness of strangers. (I did promise Actor Boy that I wouldn’t trade snuggles for home repairs.
But I have had time to make a few lists with some salient points on topics that have been broiling in my head lately (although steaming is a better choice, as it has been so humid I can actually hear my hair frizz.) One of the topics is defining Love.
Today is marks the six year anniversary of the death of my friend Steven Scott Garrett. He died at 2:44 PM on May the 14, 2010. He was declared dead at 3:07 and his body was picked up by the funeral home at 7:00 PM.
Why yes, that does mean I sat in a room with Steve’s corpse for almost four hours. The funeral home less than five miles away from his home. I realize now how ghastly this was and that Steve probably would have been perfectly all right with me trying to wheel the bed down the frontage road to the establishment. In fact, I think that might have been in his will if he had thought of it first.
It has been six years and I am just now letting go of the shell of numb that I created to get me through the sheer horror and panic I felt at losing him and the slow revelation that certain parts of my life would ever be the same.
I don’t want to reveal everything, but suffice it to say there are certain people who are opportunistic rat fiends (perhaps with little rat faces) and will think nothing of using someone’s grief as an excuse to wedge themselves into a place they do not belong.
One of the big things that changed is that I no longer had someone who said “I love you.” to me every day.
That was incredibly heart wrenching, especially since I was still married at the time.
In retrospect that should have told me something, but I was so numb for so long that all I could do was stare straight ahead. I missed a lot.
Why, you may ask, would I put myself through the stress and the strain of being 100 percent emotionally available while also attempting to work and coax my kid on his way to college?
A big part of love is availability and a willingness to be around for the icky parts.
And waiting six years to feel again.
Because that’s all a big part of it.
I don’t know if I’m finally facing how much I loved my good friend. It is more than I can possibly describe and is exponentially related to how much I miss him.