Today it’s six months since Shel spun off the planet into the who-knows-where. He took up less and less space in the world the last few years, but he still occupied my whole heart. He didn’t go willingly, but he wasn’t screaming in pain either, at the very end. The last thing he heard was me saying “I love you, Shel”, and the last thing he said to me was “I’m good now.”
It’s six months since I’ve been alone in the world, 95% of the time. But I haven’t gone for that much-too-long swim in the deep dark water, either, although I wondered if I would. I’m still here. And to paraphrase James Taylor, this old world is still spinning ’round, and I still love him. But he closed his eyes, he had to close his eyes, and it’s all right. And I still sing this song, when he’s gone.
I don’t really understand time. There have been so many long, agonizing moments since he died. And yet, it seems more like three months than six. Six means that the earth has traveled half way around the sun, an earth without Shel on it. Which means, inevitably, that Shel wasn’t the center of the universe, even though to me it often seemed that way.
And so I started my day with a Skype to our dear friend in France (Shel would have been so happy to see her smiling face), then lunch with a friend here (Shel loved that restaurant over the water), next a facial (Shel would have kissed my bright, shiny face), then a rehab session for my torn hamstring and body worn out by recent cares (Shel would have applauded my efforts to regain my strength), then the removal of our hot tub to give it to a new home (Shel would have been amazed at the strength of the Samoan crew that hauled it up to the street) and finally, a really big glass of whiskey (Shel would have had a Coke) and leftover pork chile verde out on the deck (Shel would have been too chilly out there and, alas, there was only enough for one). There will be a day when everything isn’t in reference to Shel, but that day is not yet.
So I’ve been holding it more or less together all day, but here and now, I disintegrate into pain. Shel’s well and truly gone, and he’s not coming back. That’s the hardest thing to understand, that someone who was here, so alive, so loving, is absolutely gone. And this old world is still spinning ’round. And I still love him.