Thursday, September 15, 2022

I drive, I think....

Enclosed in the space of my SUV, my mind works overtime when I'm driving. It flits from thought to thought very quickly. 

Driving recently with the usual tears dripping down my face, I thought: If I collected all my tears from the past five plus years, I could have wiped out the Arizona drought!

I can count on one hand the times I actually got to see some friends during the last two years and still have one finger left over. As a consequence, I've taken a lot of rides with Snuggles, just around the neighborhood for a change in scenery. And while I drive my mind goes back into the sweet memories but often the sad darkness descends. It's not something I can control.  The thoughts I have bottled up come spilling out. 

And when they do, I start my conversations with Snuggles. She's such a good listener! It's like a running commentary, reminding her of the times Warren and I used to drive over to the big park with her and Sterling so they could enjoy some new smells in a little different scenery. I actually describe to her some of the scenery we pass because she doesn't see well anymore. 

As I pass a lot of restaurants Warren and I used to enjoy I think, "There's another one I won't be going back to." Eating in a restaurant by myself is not something I would do. At least I just don't have the courage to do it.

I was driving home from an errand I had to run when suddenly his smiling face appeared in front of me. I immediately started to cry, tears dripping down my face, my chest heaving with sorrow and not a sound came out of my mouth.

I sometimes cry quietly while driving. At least it starts out that way. But too often I end up screaming through my copious tears.  I try to prepare myself when I know I will be driving somewhere. Even when errands had to be run, we almost always did it together so driving with the passenger seat empty presents its own melancholy memories.

It's been over five years, the heartache has diminished just a little, but the tears continue to dribble down my cheeks as I drive. I'm okay with that. I have to get the anguish out and I seem to be able to do that more easily in the privacy of my vehicle. It is a necessary outlet that allows me to resume breathing again. This grieving thing: it really hasn't gotten much easier for me with time, the pain of the loss has just become my companion. It has settled in and I'm learning  to live with it, teardrop by teardrop. Grief has no time limit.

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