I think in song. My mind drifts to a song in every conversation, every dialogue on television, every news item on the radio. It’s a unique thing about me…or maybe not so unique. I can’t really sing well aloud, but in my head, I’m Lady Gaga. My choice of music is fairly eclectic and changes with every occasion. It just does.
When Peter first died, the song I kept singing in my head was “I Miss You All the Time” by O.A.R. “Welcome to My Life” by Simple Plan played in an endless loop with every phone call made to an insurance company, credit card company or pension board. Lately, during my morning shower, my head has Jennifer Hudson’s version of “I’m Changing” from Dream Girls. (I told you eclectic). The lyrics, “Look at me. I’m changing. Trying every way I can”, and “I’m changing….I’m going to start again” resonate in me as I face and create some newness to my life. Let me tell you, it’s scary as hell. It’s not what I wanted. It’s taken away my comfort and love of the past., of what I dreamed my future to be. And it’s inevitable so I best start to accept it all…only I struggle with this. But here it is. Here I am. With no Option B.
In the song, “I’m Changing”, Hudson sings beautifully about losing friends in this morphing process. This is a fear of mine. Maybe my biggest fear, losing people in my life I love and cherish. I worry of friends leaving as my grief has become too much, too boring, too constant for their lives. I worry about the conditional friends I made through Peter, the ones we made together, as a couple. I worry about the friends who won’t embrace me without Peter’s half defining me. I worry about the friends who won’t or cannot accept who I will become without his definition. I worry about my kids as they look at me for the first time as their entire parent rather than part of a whole. And I worry about the family I made through Peter and wonder if my reminder to them is a reminder of Peter, all the pain of his absence that may bring and wonder if it’ll be all too much for them.
A wise person told me good friends will stay. If not, they’ve never been good friends. And maybe that’s true. Maybe this will weed out the friends without substance from the friends I only actually need, and/or want. Maybe I will look at the friends or people who have booked out of my life, or those who never did show up, and examine my need to hang onto them, if at all. Maybe the friends I’ve always taken for granted will rise to the top and I will see them, actually see and appreciate them, for all their beauty and heart. And maybe, I will make other, life long friends, who will change my life. Maybe all and none of this. I don’t know. All I know, it is another sucky party of the griefing process, to go through all these changes.
I’ve already started losing people in my life. The phone calls and texts and visits have started to slow down, even diminish as my grief continues. I get it. Kind of. Okay, I get it from some, and others, it hurts. I mean, I understand, not everyone deals with grief well. Not everyone knows what to do or say. Grief has made into a fairly one-dimensional person for now. People want the funny me, or the clever me, or the talkative me. They want the me that has been suppressed by the death of the one person who mattered most in my life. Oh, I’m still there, only different and only in glimpses.
People’s own grief has lessened. They’ve moved on, beyond the disbelief and the longing. I’ve been swallowed up by both. So, do they really want to be dragged back into my own pit of grief? Plus, they’re moving on. I am too, but much more slowly and not the same way because really, nothing will ever be the same way…including relationships.
There is a scariness and an uncertainty in change. Yet it is inevitable and the ADD, child of my mother person can’t stand still and not let it happen. Peter, and the way he always moved, wouldn’t want it to happen. Anyone who truly knew Peter would tell you, he was an adventurous soul, never fearing the consequences, never wondering about the outcome, never caring what other people thought. I’m taking those lessons, his lessons, as I move forward. It is his legend living inside of me.
I write this blog post today, the morning I am leaving my job. Oh, I’ll still work through the transition, but I’m no longer working my regular hours. It’s a change..a change so I can take my chance on writing. I write this blog today, on the morning before I escape my cocooned home for a birthday weekend with a best friend and one I’m not looking forward to but know I have to face. It’s a change. A different birthday weekend. I write this blog today, the morning I am reminding myself to reserve the elevator to the apartment I am moving into. It’s a change. A place I need to have in the welcoming arms of my city of birth.
So, yeah, my life moves on toward different…and it has to. Whatever that means, who I will lose, who I will gain, how it will look, I have to move toward a new definition of my life. There is no choice. Half of me died and I need to resurrect as a whole. As my own near-perfect JHud voice, sings, at least in my head, “I get my life together now. I’m changing…..I’m gonna start again”.
Oh, by the way, you are welcome for that song in your head today. Peace in your nows.