Though of course I hesitate to say that because it seems everytime I pause to breathe and reflect that it's been fairly OK for me, the other shoe drops and I'm met by a streak of really crappy crappy crappy days.
But I'll say it anyway, because these can't be taken away from me, no matter how awful the future days might be: the last few days have been really nice.
I even went so far as to say the other night to E as we lay in bed, (following a 2:30 am panic attack in which I sobbed my lungs out, mind you), "I like the person that I have become since Otis came into our lives so much better than the person I was before him. I really like who he is changing me into..."
When I'm not crumpled on the floor of my closet, sobbing and screaming and pounding the walls, I can notice how this journey is making me more of who I've always wanted to be. I am more compassionate, with myself and with others who are suffering. (I've yet to find compassion for that neighbor B!#@* who yelled at me about not picking up after my dog, when, in fact, I had. And I still flip off a lot of undeserving mothers and fathers who so seemingly smugly hike "our" trail with their babies in their baby wraps. But they don't see me flipping them off, so it's not THAT bad, right? OK, yes, I'm working on the compassion for all beings. Haven't quite made it there yet.)
Many of my friendships have developed and grown in ways I didn't think were possible since Otis died. Old friends have emerged out of the woodwork and shown up for me in ways I never would have expected. I recognize, and appreciate, how loved I am. I love E more than I ever imagined possible. I appreciate him so much, and I have such an incredible sense of respect and adoration for him - it surprises me sometimes, even. I love what our marriage is now. I love the closeness we share. I love that Otis is in many ways like the most special little secret that no one else can ever know the way we do. E often says to me, "Otis is my superpower." I am pushing myself to face longheld fears and knock them down. As is E. Knowing Otis, losing Otis, loving Otis - all of these things challenge me to be a better woman, in ways I didn't know I could. It's pretty fucking phenomenal.
But, of course, there's that caveat in the first sentence of the paragraph two paragraphs above - because, well, yes, there are still a lot of moments that find me just absolutely and completely gutted. Moments where I am completely overcome with panic, with anxiety, with anger, with rage, and at the bottom of all those, sadness. Pretty much every "outburst" I have - whether it be a panic attack, an anxiety attack, a raging fit or yelling at a person on the freeway - when they are distilled - all the outbursts end in flurries of tears, and this deep longing for Otis to be back here, alive, in my arms. And make no mistake - I have outbursts pretty much every day still. So even when I title this post "A good coupla days" - I say that with the asterisk that will accompany everything in my life from now on - *all things considered.
But there were so many breathtaking glimpses of hope, of beauty, of Life, in my world in these last few days. My heart is full, except for that big gaping hole, of course.