everyone’s experience with loss is unique. i know this. recently i noticed that i’ve been feeling differently. each day since Hunter died has been different anyway, unique each time. never the same. sometimes it’s a quiet experience of thought and remembering our life together, sometimes a chuckle at his antics. sometimes,… a painful memory of the end.
but at the 7 month mark i felt a noticeable shift. i can’t say i liked it. i’d grown accustomed to having tears almost everyday. it comforted me and i felt relieved. it translated as an acknowledgment and testament to my love for him.
now, … a vague sense of distance, a far-away-ness. like i was looking back. my experience somehow felt like i left him at June 22 2012. i drew a line on a page, with dates. a timeline. so i could “see” him. but i still felt as though i sensed him far far away. i didn’t like this feeling. at first i thought it was from being away from home during the day lately. spending time, a couple weeks in the fields at our friend’s vineyard. pruning vines. a fine meditative experience. the snow was deep and the air was cold. uninterrupted time for thought and contemplation. i often wondered how Hunter would have been out there with us if he were still alive. and not sick. he’d be digging holes! or grabbing and ripping up the vines we’d just snipped and yanked from the trellises. undoubtedly the holes would have been a bit stressful to manage, but his antics,… so comical!
but i’m back now. in my studio. working on images of Hunter. painting, drawing. sculpting. the feeling remains.
i just finished designing a ring to commemorate Hunter. a local artist will carve and cast it in silver. i will have a symbol of Hunter on my right hand to remind me of my promises to him and the promise i made to myself to l i v e by his mottos. this work has been so good to do. i cannot imagine not doing it.
the feelings i have around Hunter now seem to be of a general settling into the life i have begun to create without his physical presence, but including the spiritual development that is directly connected to having lost my darling. i cannot imagine living a life where i do not bring forward his gifts into my own life. i wouldn’t thrive. i wouldn’t be me.
this journey of living with the loss of Hunter has been the most profound experience of my life. i was determined to have it so. my love for Hunter and the loss of him,… no one can exactly feel it’s effect and power as i do. and i have realized that no one has to. i realized that in my grief, i needed company, if only to know someone understood the depth of my pain. but this journey has taught me that the only person who needs to understand this,… is me. writing in the last 7 months and 10 days has illuminated my thoughts and reflected them back to me. while i’ve written here in pets • love is love for only a few months now, i began to write in a journal dedicated to Hunter just an hour before he died. and i read him the first entry, before the vet came to release his spirit. that is how my journey to honor Hunter’s gifts to me, began.
my love for Hunter has not changed. life continues whether i like it or not. all that has occurred in life, the things that have happened between today and the day i lost my lovelet,… is life. it was life carrying on. i have experienced that “time” as life, my life and also as “interference” in my recollection around the details of Hunter’s death. i took it hard. very hard.
this “interference” though, is a gift. it muddles those painful memories and has allowed the grace for memories of love and laughter and the gifts we gave each other to come forward. this is what i am most interested in. this is what i can see now. my creations began as a way to cope with living without Hunter. now they are a means to celebrate him and celebrate me. celebrate who i am and who i am becoming because of him.
Hunter took me from one lifetime and walked with me for 9 and a half years to a time i have always dreamed of. and then he left. his gift was given.