Handsome Husband was magic in my life. He brought magic into my life. Not in a oh everything is perfect way, but in very tangible ways. When the kids were small and he was paying child support and college funds and we had, at the end of payday, after paying bills, maybe $1.00 to split between us, he’d conjure money out of nowhere so that we could have a fun time somewhere. Or, during the time after he retired from active duty, and was unemployed for many months, a time during which my brother and mom and various extended family members were seemingly dropping like flies, he came up with airline tickets or money for gas for the car so that I could fly out to be with my brother or drive up to New England to be with my mom, as they were each, in their time, dying of cancer. He made things happen and I oftentimes told him he was a fucking magician.
The thing is, he wasn’t a magician because of the tangible conjuring he did, though that was pretty damn impressive. He was a magician in my life because everything he did, he did from love. That was his only motivation, ever. For me, there was magic too, in the way he gazed at me across a room, or winked at me flirtatiously. After 24 years together, my stomach still fluttered with butterflies when I felt his energy in a room. I didn’t even need to see that he was in the room with me physically to know that he was around. Every one of my senses went on high alert in the most wonderful way when he was around. He used to tell me I was a witch because I could tell when he was coming home (wherever home happened to be at the time), and I would meet him at the door, opening it before he even got to it. His arms around me-magic. In the time since his first cancer, when he hugged me I would lean into his chest, taking a breath deep from within my heart, inhaling his scent, memorizing it. His kisses were magic-he would put one hand behind my neck, or hold my chin in his hand, one hand on my hip, or one arm wrapped around me.
He brought so much magic into my life, and the lives of our kids. Perhaps magic is just another word for the love he brought with him, the love that he had for me, as his wife and lover, for his kids, near and far, for his grandkids, his mom, his siblings, so many people whose lives he touched.
As he was ill, as he was dying, my wish for him, my intent for him, was to return some of that magic to him, to surround him with that magic he so freely gave. Whenever I spoke with family and friends on the phone during those days, I’d always end the call with “It’s nothin’ but love here. Nothin’ but love”. I believe that I made that happen. He felt loved in every way. It wasn’t always easy, ensuring that it was nothing but love energy around him; there were moments and circumstances in those 3 weeks that threatened to change that energy and bring agitation into it. But he wasn’t aware of it and that’s what mattered to me.
So now, what I wonder to myself is: in the midst of this overpowering, immersive sharp shards of shredded glass cutting into my body and my heart and mind in pretty much every minute of every day because he died and I can’t bear the thought of it- in the midst of this, can the magic that he brought into my life, share space with the grief?
I don’t know and so I’m asking you, my dear readers. Tell me from your hearts. Can magic and grief co-exist? And, if so, then how?
My daughter read me this quote today, and I’m going to write in on my forehead so that I will see it every time I look into a mirror. “May I release my resistance and lean so far into grief that I am caught by the arms of its fierce love.” ~Abra Bankendorf Vigna”