Monday, February 13, 2017

Last Night I Cried, "Happy Valentine's Day"

Don't know why I cried last night. Maybe because tomorrow is Valentine's Day and even though I still chat with Gregory, my Valentine only exists in my heart and in my head. I miss him so!

Maybe the emotions are raw because every morning I have been working on my memoirs and editing past blog posts. I am currently up to March 1, 2012! My experience with this editing alternates between seeing how WELL Gregory dealt with his changes, seeing how GOOD I was at supporting him, feeling BAD about when he was sad or frustrated, and feeling SAD about when I was not as good to him as I could have been!

Last night, the tears crept up slowly as I looked at Gregory's photograph which sits on the shelf next to a photo of his childhood favorite person, Grandma Carrie, and next to that, her sewing box which contains Gregory's remains.

I say goodnight to the photo every night and some sixteen months later, the photograph most often brings fond memories and joy; and peace in the knowing that he is no longer struggling with Dementia/ Alzheimer's.

Sometimes the photograph brings back the experience of our final goodbyes as I sat with his dead body ... but usually even with this image, the fond memories and joy and peace remain.

I flash on arriving at Lieberman at 12:30 PM or so on Sunday, October 4, 2015. Gregory had just died maybe 30 minutes earlier as I sat with him in his room. He was still hugging Peaceful the Bear, who was lying on his chest.

I kissed his Gregory's lips, still warm, and held his hand as I cried. I put my nose near his mouth and inhaled deeply so I could carry part of his last breath with me and in doing so allow his spirit to fill the hole which Dementia/ Alzheimer's had torn in my chest, allowing me to begin the healing process.

I cried tears of sorrow but also of joy. I was truly happy that he had died and that he had died peacefully. I felt a great loss but also a great freedom. We both could now move on with our lives ... his on the other side and mine on this side.

For some reason, last night my memories brought a flood of tears and sorrow; a renewed awareness that Gregory is dead and that I will live out my final days missing him and wondering: "What is death?" and more importantly ... "What is life?"

Gigi, Gregory's cat came to comfort me, as she always does when I am upset. She pushed me with her head, climbed my shoulder and rolled onto my chest. She sniffed my eyebrows and my eyes. She pushed me again.

She knows my sorrow, and I think she misses Gregory as well. Not long after Gigi's and my interaction; the tears subsided. I went to the bathroom and washed my face with a hot cloth. I felt better, no longer had the need to cry uncontrollably, but still felt sad and heavy.

I easily fell asleep and dreamed about Gregory. He is often in my dreams but usually does not take an upfront, active part. He is just there loving me and being part of my life. I awoke remembering the dream and felt his love. I know he feels mine.

Happy Valentine's Day to the person who taught me the meaning of unqualified love. I am forever grateful!


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