Babaes, It's been awhile since I have felt this, a nearly overwhelming sense of dread. A reluctance to face what must be faced. I first felt it driving to your Mom's house to tell her. To tell her you died. On the drive there I just kept thinking what do I say? How do you tell her? Then it came often; walking through the doors of the funeral home, going to see you one last time. Leaving the house alone, coming back to an empty home. I felt it in mass amounts as I was driven downtown to set up for your celebration of life. It made me late for nearly everything in the first six months.
Over the last 15 months it has dissipated, and today it caught my attention as a feeling I haven’t felt in a while. It must have faded gradually because I didn't notice its disappearance until today, when I noticed its looming presence.
Building since this morning. My body hurts, my neck and shoulders are tight and I have a massive headache. I feel extra vulnerable. Like everyone can see through me, like they know what kind of hurt I am hiding. Really they have no idea, but I still just wanted to hideaway. As it got closer to 2:00 the dread grew. My headache worsened and I felt ill. It was as though my body was trying to protect me from it. If I were sick enough I wouldn’t go. But I know how to function through this, I know it is an illusion. I am not sick, I’m just about to face something really hard.
Today I will sits at the police station and hear what happened in the accident that took your life. I know the outcome but am missing some of the details surrounding it. The first hand account I heard only once, and like much from that time I can remember only broad strokes. Where we were, who was there and the feeling, but not much of the actual conversation. I remember C. was sitting beside me as he spoke, and I hung on to each word. No one spoke from when he started until he finished. I remember his face as he told us. I remember my heart breaking for what he had experienced. But there are some details I need that I can't remember, or maybe he didn’t say.
The few people I have told that I am doing this today keep asking if I want to. Which I think is odd. We are kind of past what I want, don't ya think? I didn't want that call that started it all. “It's about Rene, you need to come home”. Those words haunt me. I didn’t want to have your celebration of life, but it was necessary, and I wanted it just how you’d like it. I didn’t want to see you at the funeral home, or move out of our home that you made so nice for us. I really didn't want to give your things away, or accept awards in your ‘memory’. But to have skipped those moments would have been worse. It was necessary for me, and wanting or not wanting wasn’t a worthy factor in my decision to show up then and it still isn't. You deserved me showing up for you. You are worth it, I am worth it.
This is no different. I know there are gaps in what I know about that day, and it bothers me. Do I think knowing is going to make it better? No, of course not. Still, for me to put this piece into its place I need to know. I need to fill in the blanks before I leave Kelowna or it will be looming everytime I come back.
So, I will do what I have done so many times over. Wipe the tears off my face and go in. With a sinking heart and reluctant steps, I will go in.
One more piece of the process.
One more thing done.
Babes, you have shown me how to be brave. You have shown me how to move forward through adversity. You have shown me how tough I am, and you have taught me about love.