today marked thirty days.
thirty days since he took his last breath. thirty days since i took mine knowing he was alive.
what have they been like, these thirty days? they have been filled with phone calls and meetings and paperwork and tantrum navigation. with kind messages and careful texts; with a bounty of delicious, delivered food; with sympathy cards in the mail; with donations that have moved me to tears. with hugs and hand holding and more tears. with family and friends and community doing the best and beyond to keep us all afloat in these murky waters of grief. i have combed through his belongings and parceled them out as he would have wanted. i have read and re-read the cards both he and i wrote to each other in the ten years we were together: our first birthdays together; our anniversaries; the father's and mother's days. i have watched videos and studied photos of him; of us, until my eyes crossed. i recovered a deleted phone message and sobbed at the sweet sound of his voice.
i drove us to the beach, to my parents' condo because the boys needed sun and sand and water so badly. a drive ronen always made, with me in the passenger seat beside him, doling out snacks and games to the kids – grateful that i was not doing the driving myself. but this time it was me behind the wheel. a metaphor for this new, unwanted life. i thought the water would finally bring me that drop-to-my-knees type of sobbing that i crave so badly, but it did not. i was running around with two kids who love water but can't really swim. there was no time for that.
i've learned a lot about grief in these thirty days. it's an emotion, a process, completely out of my control. when i want to cry, i can't. and when i'm doing something completely mundane, like walking into the dentist's office, there they are, streaming down my face.
i understand now, in a way i did not for quite a while after ro's death, that i will never see him again. that he will never see us again. it is too much to bear this thought, but it is the truth. when i am feeling generous, which is not often, i think of the wonderful life he was able to live.
he travelled the world, he connected deeply with others, he loved and lost and then fell in love and got married. he had two beautiful children. he discovered his passion, psychology, and received a ph.d. he held an esteemed position in the field and truly helped people who needed his ear and guidance desperately. he changed lives. he changed my life so much for the better. his was a wonderful life and with that ticking time bomb of an avm, it could have been taken much earlier.
but then. he had so much more to do. to see. to feel. to experience. he was too young. he was robbed of so much.
and where do i fit into all of this? where do our children? how did this become our story as well? i never believed in destiny until ronen. until i saw his face years before we were us and knew, like a punch to the gut, that he was going to be in my life, in some important way. it was like i had known that beautiful face before, somehow. like i would know it again. and then i did. and then we fell in love. and destiny didn't seem like such a ridiculous notion any more.
but was this part of our narrative all along? i can't stomach the thought. for myself, maybe, but not for them.