To see the world, things dangerous to come to, to see behind walls, draw closer, to find each other, and to feel. That is the purpose of life. ~ LIFE magazine motto as told in The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
It’s been awhile since I have shared on this blog. I’ve been journeying I know not where…I think I recognized the river Styx, that mythological place between earth and the Underworld, though there were no signposts at waters edge. No guides appeared so I have been using my own compass to navigate the tricky currents of grief and life without my soulmate and best friend.
I mistakenly thought I had landed on calmer shores as I was feeling slightly “back to normal” for several months in a row. Slam, bam, thank you m’am…suddenly I am caught off guard by an emotional wave of tsunami proportions hitting the coast of Maine where I am now, on a magical island where my romance with Scott first ignited.
There have been physical things to deal with. Reopening a hundred year old house that has been vacant for 18 months poses its own practical challenges. Dirt, dust, mouse droppings, mildewed mustiness, leaks and creaks and fencing to mend…these are simple tasks to take on. But how does one sort out another person’s life-long accumulation of tangible things? And how does one deal with the intangible emotional debris that is attached to so many of these items?
Scott was an extremely unusual man in that he had the sentimentality of a young school girl. He held on to every scrap of evidence of a life well-lived, no matter how small or inconsequential (i.e.: ticket stubs from concerts and museums spanning 40 years) and no matter how emotionally painful (i.e.:his own elaborate collages and hand painted valentine odes to former lovers that inexplicably ended up back in his possession instead of cherished by the women he gave them to). As I sort it all out, I have the feeling that I am a witness to The Whole of him from the smallest idiosyncrasies to the infinite largeness of his heart. It’s his joy I am glimpsing, it’s his suffering of his past losses I am feeling now, in his stead. Reviewing the memories, his memories…one last time.
Letting go of any of Scott’s things feels to me like letting go of Scott. He was such a collector, a possessor and an accumulator….anything I release feels like a tiny betrayal of my beloved and I am not ready for this. I am the curator of the Scott Morgan Life Museum. For now, simply cleaning all “the stuff” and containing things in an organized fashion so that there is space for me to breathe is enough. In this moment it feels like I will never be ready to let go of Scott. I want to bring him back. I want to hold on to him for dear life. But therein lies the rub: life is dear and my dear is not here. Having finally found each other we have to let each other go. My rational mind knows that I will have to keep going and eventually I will even be compelled to thrive. Otherwise that would be the ultimate betrayal to Scott’s legacy… and to myself.
This summer sends me a new series of firsts, The First Summer Without Scott. The First Stonington Farmers Market Without Scott. Loolie’s First Visit to Nervous Nellies Without Scott. The First Memorial Day Without Scott. The First Swim in The Lily Pond Without Scott. The first _________ (fill in the blank). This summer is a time I must take for myself. It hurts so much more because it was not my choice or decision To Be Without Scott. I must gather my strength and my energy and be here now and seize this time, reconnect with my separate personal rhythm. A time of reflection and of healing. A time of feeling and seeing behind walls. There is no need to rush. It takes as long as it takes. No right way, no wrong way. And for this, I am grateful.