Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Fade Out to Begin a New

What we call the beginning is often the end
And to make an end is to make a beginning.
The end is where we start from...
We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
~ T.S. Eliot, Four Quartets

There's an empty, over-sized bag of Sunmaid raisins sitting on the kitchen counter - - day 4.  The bag is laid out flat, folded in half and resting on the back half of the counter against the wall.   Last Sunday morning I took the last handful of raisins out of that bag adding them to my daily snack mixture of almonds and walnuts, subconsciously placing the bag where its now sat the last four days.   I don't see the bag everytime I walk into the kitchen;  periodically it catches my eye, I glance at it, thinking momentarily about throwing it out,  instead I leave it there and walk out of room.   

I can't seem bring myself to throw the empty raisin bag away.  It represents the last remaining food item Boomer had personally bought.  And on this day, 9 months since he passed, it's a blunt representation that Boomer's existence here in the house is fading out.  All that remains is a bar of soap and his shampoo that I am slowly nursing. 

Kona, HI 2009
Throughout the past 9 months, I have gradually exhausted shaving cream, disposable razors, baby gherkin pickles, even cooking up a slightly too-tough corned beef brisket out of the freezer- - all things that seemed exclusively Boomer.  The raisins are particularly poignant,  because they were one of the few remaining more healthful things Boomer ate -- compounding my sentiment over emptying the bag.  It has been through my personal consumption that I felt connected to him, that he was a still a living presence here.  It is merely my bereaving mind and heart playing deceptive games with me.  

I've spent time the last several days down the rabbit hole of isolated confinement and solitude;  re-experiencing mine and Boomer's final days together.  It's been during these days a fresh awareness has also risen.  I've crossed a new threshold of time - - one-third of the now 26 months I've lived in Florida have been without Boomer. How do I feel about that?   I don't know yet.

The end of the bag of raisins has been inevitable.  I was prepared for that, having purchased the replacement supply two weeks ago.  It's the timing of finishing the bag that unsettled me.  My healing process, the permanence that is death, and the causes of Boomer's passing, how unprepared I was that I continue to come to terms with.  I believe the AA speaker meetings I've started attending will help me, as will reading AA's "Big Book."    Boomer's been whispering to me that I go and begin this chapter of understanding and healing - - because he couldn't. 

An unexpected visitor came and rang my bell this evening; this time it wasn't a holy roller solicitor, which is more often the case with unexpected rings.  It was my neighbor down the block, Kathy.   She was out for her evening walk, had spoken with my next door neighbor Dianne about me and wanted to introduce herself and invite me to a girl's night out she's hosting at her home in two weeks.  We enjoyed a lovely chat.  I appreciated her invitation and told her I'd be delighted to come by.  

To be able to begin a new, a fade out must occur.  To heal, move forward and design a new life, I must be willing to understand, accept and say yes. 

The raisin bag is now in the trash.  

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