HERE IS YOUR LIFE!
Updated: Sep 2
“There are no shortcuts to healing grief, the only way out is through.
It takes embracing all the thoughts as they come along."
All the thoughts?
All of them?
That can't be right.
There are so many trivial ones, they tumble and build upon each other;
Who can I ask if my butt looks big in these pants?
Who knows the answer to such a loaded question is a helplessly blank, half-shrug back at me?
Who's gonna answer my never-ending Do I have too much makeup on?
with dismissive finality:
"You look great"
looking at my face?
I really need the kind of person around whom 100% sees no difference between my
green or red shirt, dress, pants…
Well, Andy was colorblind.
Ok, this is gonna be a real problem.
Where am I gonna find another colorblind, disinterested-in-what-I-have-on person?
Because he simply loved me - and literally couldn't see me looking
anymore, or any less,
in either blue or brown or purple or red or orange or yellow...
Any green was some shade of brown to him, as I said, he was colorblind...
My mom told me once (one of her many half-finished endeavors was as a colorist; uncertified, but she knew the basics - that we were both Summers),
"Remember, your black is a brown! If you live by that for the rest of your life -even in,
especially in, New York City- you will always look good!”
Who's gonna point out that I'm starting to sound like my mom?
Who else even knew my mom?
ALL THESE DUMB
EMBRACE ALL OF THEM?
But just wait - there's more:
What should I do with your underwear,
No one wants your underwear!
And socks? And razors?
And shaving cream?
So much shaving cream!
Must've been on sale at Walmart
or in bulk on Amazon.
What do I do with all this shaving cream?
Save it for Abadi?
What's the shelf-life of shaving cream????
Note to self:
Google the shelf-life of shaving cream. And while I'm there, what the red light on a fancy Miele vacuum means, so that I don't pay a fortune taking it in, if it can be fixed by me and, most importantly, free.
(It is, it was, I fixed it!)
WHO'S GONNA TEACH ABADI TO SHAVE?
That one - not so trivial.
Should I start asking?
Ok. Let's pack that one back up for now.
Surely, the rest of these thoughts can be tossed out, not worth saving...not worth thinking.
I don't want to give any more of my head space to them than they've already invaded.
What am I gonna do with all those plays?
What about all our boxes of crap we just refused to deal with or organize?
Should I create a little museum of our time together?
Like - where?
And for who?
All by myself?
A museum for one?
One of my favorite segments on Sesame Street was Guy Smiley's show
Here Is Your Life!
Guy Smiley interviews a certain guest and all the memorable and influential people, places, and objects, even (Sesame Street was way ahead of its time in the inclusivity and diversity department) from the guest's life.
The guest in this one was big Oak Tree, (Guy Smiley called him Tree), whom Guy really has to cajole to come out of his bark, as it were; Tree was so humbled, self-effacing, and embarrassed by the entire ordeal, clearly overcome seeing all those from his past show up for him; was a bit like having your life flash before your eyes, only rather than an unnerving hasty movie of jumbled past events when you think you just might not make it, it's more like a family reunion of sorts, reminding the guest who they are, where they came from, who and what shaped them.
God - Sesame Street was not only inclusive but DEEP, am I right?
First, this little old lady shows up with this framed photo of Tree as an acorn, saying, "Tree, I planted and watered you when you were just a baby!"
They hug and cry;
This wooden table and chair pair walk up,
"Hey, Tree! We were made from your left branch twenty years ago- remember us?"
Of course, he does. They hug and cry. I think a book of some sort shows up, made with paper from Tree, naturally; something widely read, of course, like a Dr. Seuss book, or maybe Grover's great The Monster At the End of This Book I loved...thanking Tree, jogging Tree's memory... showing him the full life he's lived...
So. Obviously, there’s been a lot of summing up of Andrew’s life I’ve been trying to do or wrap my head around these past six months - but. It’s impossible. And - feels so early.
But really. A summing up of my life with him.
I can’t invite him to the game show, to the reunion.
Man, death is so frustratingly permanent.
So, I guess I can build this museum of Andy's life, of us, our life.
Here Is Our Life!
Just for me…
That thought is not worth thinking.
That thought doesn't help me "move forward through my day."
Kind of leaves me stuck on an island of indecision and despair.
I disagree, respectfully.
Embracing all the thoughts, ALL of them, can be hazardous.
Maybe it's good to be stuck on an island of wayward thoughts for a while. Maybe that’s unavoidable with grief this chasmic.
And if I can't avoid it, embrace it. Embrace that island. Dig my feet in the stinging sand of utter sorrow and pain. It’s blazing hot. I might get a 3rd-degree burn that needs ER attention.
Here Is Your Life!
Step right in.