If I were in school, this would be my “How I Spent my Summer” essay..
I was…I still am, til the middle of August…working at an opera camp in the Ozarks.
Students come from around the world to perfect their art. Orchestra comes from around the world to play for the students when they present their operas. Staff brings their talents/gifts to teach and guide the students.
Carmen. The Marriage of Figaro. Susannah.
These 3 operas will always ring through my mind and my heart now, as I connect them with a summer spent learning and doing things I never thought to learn or do.
Lay a concrete block wall. Paint that wall. Ride a tractor to mow acres of campus. Weed whack a very long hillside, sweat pouring from me. Unflinchingly watch as a 5 foot long black snake slithers away from me. Very intently spray around my pink trailer for huge spiders. Help bail out a failed well, hauling bucket upon bucket of water, covered head to toe in mud. Watch as costumes are made and props are turned out in the woodshop. Take breaks from the muggy heat inside a theatre while rehearsals go on and see those props now as furniture and buildings and scenery.
Sit in the audience while young people I’ve come to know sing their hearts out.
Sit and talk with theatre directors and stage managers and singers and learn about perspective. I’ve always been good with looking at something and seeing many possibilities beyond its’ intent, but this summer I went to a new level.
How did I widow this summer?
I gained more perspective.
I revamped my understanding of the word acceptance. In a vastly different way than we’re generally told to accept, when it comes to grief and widowhood.
Here’s what it means to me now….
I accept that Chuck is dead. Shit, I’ve always accepted that. Duh. The perspective shift is that, hey, what I accept is that grief and love fully co-exist, and in my own little world of nothing being okay…that is okay.
I accept that some level of this heaviness of heart will always be a part of me. A huge part of me. Me. With other stuff on top of it occasionally. Maybe. But it’s my baseline now, because Chuck is, you know…dead, and I miss him with all that I am and I always will, and that does something to my heart. And, once again, in my own little world of nothing being okay, that is okay.
I fully embrace that my mind and my heart are living in the past, on my memories, even as I go about daily living shit because I’m alive and have to make a living. And I’m good with living in the past. In that I’m perfectly okay with doing so.
I loudly and fully declare that I will never say goodbye to Chuck, though I’ve been told that I must. Nope. Not going to. I don’t see the need and my heart won’t cooperate with doing such a thing. My perspective on saying goodbye? I need to do absofuckinglutely the opposite of that! I need to say hello to him, I need to find him in more than my memory. The night he died it felt like he disappeared and the life we’d shared together disappeared as if it had never happened. Fuck no to saying goodbye. And fuck yes to holding him closer and closer until he becomes me and I become him.
I’ve learned and I accept that I don’t need to move on or move forward or try to be or not be one way or another or talk myself out of or into thinking or feeling any thought or emotion. Whatever I happen to be or feel at any given moment is where I am. Period. I don’t give a grand fuck what the DSM says or so called experts or anyone else, about grief and where any of us should be need to be do everything you can to change where you are don’t be the way you are be something different something else don’t linger in the past blah blah fucking blah.
I will talk about Chuck til the cows come home and beyond that, til all the stars in the sky disappear and I take my final breath and that final breath I take will be a whisper of his name into the beyond.
I will not defend or explain any of the above. This is me. It’s who I am. It doesn’t matter to me one iota whether others like it or think I should be or do something else. If it’s too much for you, I give you permission to not be around me. You think all of this isn’t healthy for me? Bite me.
This summer of my widowhood?
I’ve made the strong and determined decision to perform a one woman show based on my Odyssey of Love. This summer with its’ operas and color and performances, witnessing the talent…yeah, I have some of acting craft in me, and my story calls for more creativity and color and depth.
And I’m the woman who can…and will…give it such.
I’ve already begun the script, I have the vision, I have people to work with me and I have more fucking determination than I’ve ever had in the years and months and forevers since Chuck’s death.
My goal is 6 months to prep, and then I’m taking it out on the road to venues north south east and west.
Chuck set me on a mission before he died. He knew I was a woman who needed a mission, and he knew…he knew….that I’d create something spectacular with it.
The Love story that he and I shared…our Love story that ended too damn fucking soon…our Love story that is now mine to carry….Chuck left it in good hands.
I’m going to take our Love story out into the world in a fucking explosion of pink and I will become Love and only Love and every damn person I meet along the way will know the name of the man I loved, the man who loved me…
I am his and he is mine and I carry us and who we were in my heart and mind.
Don’t mourn for me in black. It isn’t your color. Wear pink. Mourn for me in pink.
Mission embraced, D.
With all the Love you gave me and I gave you and we gave each other~