Wednesday, February 10, 2016

When I Remember

Was I just deaf?
When I recall the days before February 15, 2012 what strikes me most is the normalcy of those days. It is amazing that I was so clueless as to what was coming. 

In the days leading to the 4th anniversary of Warren's death I remember how mundane everything was back then, nothing felt out of place. This scares me because it is as if I had a calm before a raging storm. There was no indication of what was to come. It is hard to be at ease because I live as if waiting for the next storm.

That is a tough existence. It means that my mind never really lets it go. In the midst of happiness there is dread and doubt. I always feel cautious against an unknown calamity that is always on the brink. This worry varies from a trickle to an all out anxiety-fest, especially in the month of February. Thank goodness it is the shortest month of the year.

Hindsight is 20/20 and I should look back and see the signs and that should help me look forward, right? Not exactly. 

Looking back, yes there were signs that Warren wasn't feeling 100% well, but they were so subtle that they fooled everyone - from doctors to paramedics and surgeons, all of whom had contact with him within a month of his passing. The physical signs that were missed aren't the ones that sting the most. What plagues is wondering where the hell my women's intuition was those days. Why didn't it enlighten me to say I love you one more time? Where was the push from the universe to hug him a little tighter, longer? Why didn't I get a gut feeling that night when I lay next to him that I would never get that chance again? That is where my dilemma lies. I feel as though I have no internal alert system.  

Maybe none of us do. I don't know. However, there was a time when I felt like I could sense when something was going to happen - good and bad. Perhaps it is egoistic to believe that I possessed an inherent internal warning mechanism, but I used to believe that I did. Surely something as huge as losing the love of my life would have warranted some sort of sense that I needed to change something in those days: prepare myself, prepare my child, prepare Warren. But there was nothing. I went about my days completely oblivious to the nightmare that was around the corner waiting to devour life as I knew it.

Death takes away a lot. One of the many things it took from me is my sense of intuition, that confidence in following my gut, listening to my heart, looking for signs from the universe. Now, whenever I think, "That must be a sign" or feel like maybe something is not aligned like it should be, I shut that feeling down, question it, fear trusting it. I don't want to have that distrust of myself, but it is hard to combat. I am thankful that I still get those feelings, but wish I could embrace them more, instead of getting angry and wondering where they were those days in 2012. 

The reality is that even if I had some premonition that something wasn't right, there is no way that I could have guessed in a million years what was in store. No intuition in the world could have prepared me for losing Warren. There could never have been enough I love you's, hugs, kisses or embraces to eliminate the feeling of being robbed. That simply is not possible. Even if I had a vision of what was to come, I would not have believed it. 

The awful truth is that there is no way to equip yourself for death. Even in cases of terminal illness I don't believe one can ever be prepared to say good bye to a loved one. Rationally, I understand that. However, as I grapple with facing the four-year anniversary of losing Warren, that knowledge brings me no comfort. I still remember the calm days that were like any other, and wonder how those days are any different than the ones I am left with today. Perhaps four years isn't enough time to heal from the shock of it all, but every year I think that this day will be easier, and every year grief unveils another layer, often more complicated than the last. All I can do is appreciate that I still have the memories of those days, and know that while they were uneventful, they were some of the most profound I have lived.

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