I’m attending a wedding today. The celebration of two people promising to love each other until death do them part. Actually the love doesn’t go away even after death shows up, unannounced. The love remains like scar tissue over your heart and stings and burns and thickens with time. I RSVP’d a month after Jason died. The same month I was still living in a fog of disbelief and invincibility, unable to grasp what had actually happened. I also registered for a half-marathon in November. Another feat I expected myself to be capable of at the time. I didn’t enjoy running before Jason died so I’m not sure what made me think I’d be able to finish a race with a tornado spinning within me and knocking me off balance.
The disbelief wore off right around the two month anniversary and it revealed weakness, confusion, anger, immense sadness and the reality that I was a human experiencing traumatic and complicated grief for the first time. Jason dying not only meant that HE no longer existed but that WE no longer existed. I played two songs at his funeral. The first song was something he played for me only months after we had started dating. The fact that we were discussing mood music for our funerals didn’t seem strange because music was such a large part of our relationship. We constantly looked at the calendars for upcoming shows and were almost competitive about finding new and obscure bands on iTunes.
Most of my library is ruined now because almost every single song takes me back to a moment I shared with Jason…and then I cry and go to work looking like Tammy Faye Bakker. On a side note, if anyone knows of a truly waterproof mascara, please let me know. I’m forcing myself to listen to these tainted songs one by one and make them mine again, but each note rips off a scab forcing the re-healing process to begin. The second song I played at his funeral was the song I wanted played at my own funeral. Oddly enough they were both songs by a band called Cloud Cult, a band we rarely listened to yet they had produced these two magical songs that summed up what we wanted to leave everyone with once we were gone. His song was “Love you All” and mine was “Dance for the Dead.” I have listened to both of these songs exactly once since his funeral. I’m not sure I ever want to hear them again but I know eventually I’ll rip the scab off..I might even put them on the playlist for the Raleigh Rock n’ Roll Half-Marathon. The one thing I MUST do and WANT to do is finish the race for Jason but I keep imagining what it will be like to hit the hill at Boylston Avenue. That’s where he collapsed and where time stopped.
I don’t want to go to this wedding today but I am because Jason would tell me not be scared. He’d tell me to take a walk and cry if I needed to but to never retreat from experiences just because they might be tough. He’d also advise me to take a flask of scotch just in case, since they aren’t serving alcohol. He was always prepared for life.