Holding hands while practicing our vows at our wedding rehearsal (26th June, 2009)
I slept for 11 hours last night and am still well and truly exhausted.
Today is the 26th June, 2010. This time last year I felt exhausted too. It was the day before our wedding. After a week of getting 3 hours sleep a night and spending every waking minute preparing all the details, large and small, for our big day, I was exhausted. I almost passed out as my friend manicured my nails before our wedding rehearsal began. I'd been living on toast (another toast linked memory we shared!) and rushing around like crazy trying to make everything perfect. Who needed sleep when you were marrying the man you loved that weekend? Exhausted, yet full of excitement for the big day ahead and the beautiful days as a married couple that lay before us.
Today I am truly exhausted. I have been for weeks. It's not because I've been sleeping 3 hours a night. In fact, late nights aside, I sleep pretty well. It's not a lack of sleep that's tired me out.
It's that feeling when you leave the house and every day, feel that you've left something behind.
It's that longing to share the things that happen each day with someone you won't see again for all your days on earth.
It's the continual frustration of desires.
It's having had your other half, a part of your very self, die. There's only half of you left now to make it through each day.
It's beginning to do things that 'normal' people do with half the strength.
It's learning to walk again, to breathe again, to be again...no wonder babies sleep so much with all the learning they have to do.
With exhaustion comes a horrible sense of numbness. It's horrible. As much as at times in the past few months I have almost willed myself not to feel, that I might escape the heartache and frustrated longings for my sweet, darling boy, to feel numb is to not feel at all; And to not feel is perhaps the most tragic sense of being there is. We're designed with hearts that sense and feel, that love and hate. Feeling numb makes me feel inhuman. I feel detached not not just from the things that surround me in the present, but from my memories so full of feeling, too.
I've dreaded this weekend, our first wedding anniversary, so much because of the memories it brings (sweet memories of course but echoing Ems absence even louder). Yet somehow, I've longed for it, hoping that as I remember the huge excitement we shared in planning, and the memories of the sweetest day we could have hoped for, it would break this numbness that I've been experiencing.
To choose to feel too much or to not feel at all? Great as the pain may be, I could never choose to not feel. To choose to not feel and experience the love, however much it means the reality hurts, would be the most tragic choice of all. It's not even a choice we can make for ourselves - however hard some people try.
Even though the beautiful object of my affection is in beautiful pastures new, the love we shared can never die. Just like Ems, our love will never grow old. I choose to feel it with every ounce of my being because it was the sweetest human love I could ever have experienced and a love like that is not one you let go.
[Memory #19 the "lavender" episode
I can remember so clearly the week leading up to our wedding. It was frantic but we were both so excited that it didn't matter. We'd enjoyed suit fittings, marquee decorating, gift preparing, etc. Ems had been involved in every detail (dresses aside) before the big day, the most amazing partner and help, and now it really was all go. When we arrived at the 26th June (the day before the big day), we had most things covered and Ems and I met at the church to decorate and clean together. We managed to have a moment together before others arrived to help. We couldn't wait for the wedding. Everything felt, everything was, just right. Ems spent the next 2 hours scrubbing every nook of the church's toilets (so if you were a guest at our wedding and went to the loo that day you can thank Ems that it was so clean!). I'd given Ems a bowl of lavender to put in each of the toilets. A few weeks after the wedding, I noticed the bowl of lavender, hidden away in the ladies loo. I mentioned it to Ems, wondering why anyone would have hidden it since the wedding. Ems expression gave away immediately that he knew something about it (his transparency was beautiful). He said that he'd hidden both of them away from the start. When I'd given them to him and mentioned that they were to "make the place smell nice", he took it literally and so hadn't realised they were also decorative! I loved that day of preparations and excitement with my lovely boy. Battling with emotions at the wedding rehearsal, I had no idea how many tears were to come.]