The hardest part of leaving home is proving to be coming back home. Six days away and the heaviest punch came when I walked through the door last night. Home suddenly doesn't feel like home anymore. Too much time living with memories and not enough time making myself ok with the reality of today.
I am ok. Today has been a vaguely sad and introspective day. I know that tomorrow will be better, and if it is not, then the day after tomorrow will be. It is that belief that keeps the world turning.
A year on and it is proving hard to say goodbye, to remember but to look ahead. I know that this is causing a lot of worry for a lot of people close to me, but all I can say is that until you have lived in this moment it is impossible to explain what it is like. The part of my heart reserved for Melly and for Matt is permanent and unchanging. My heart can and will expand for others, but the irrational defenses I have built around their memories are hardened. Attacks brought on by an advancing clock still hurt. Walking in the door last night felt like a page being ripped out the calendar, a stark reminder that it's been a year and a big part of me is still living in a time capsule.
I've had more than one person tell me that the one-year anniversary is one of the hardest because it is so tangible. All of the things that were happening that fateful night are happening again. The heat. The angle of the sun. In my case, the fireworks. It's like reliving it again, but without what feels like the whole world watching. It's like reliving it again all by yourself. And that feels impossible at times. I know that I am not alone on this journey, not by a long shot, but this particular section of trail is only wide enough for one person at a time.
I took a nap this afternoon. This was one decision that was easy to make. The dogs jumped up on the bed with me and we all slept together for a few hours. I had a dream of Melissa. I've been dreaming about her a lot lately. The dreams are sad, as you'd expect them to be. She comes and sits with me for a while, never talking, but always happy to see me. She is appearing to me as she appears in the many pictures I have of her, young and beautiful. I am scared that this is how I remember her, as she is in pictures and not necessarily as she was in life. I am disturbed that she doesn't talk to me anymore, I am worried that I don't remember her voice. I know that I do, and I know that I have video and recordings when i need them, but I fear that my brain is starting to let me down. In my dream this afternoon she is getting ready to speak and my phone starts to ring. It's the real world butting in, a friend calling to check in on me this afternoon, waking me up from my slumber.
I am thankful for the call and the distraction. Too much time living in this regretful place is not helping me, and it is hurting others close to me. Time to grow, time to choose where I want to be, home in this place surrounded by friends and people I love, or home alone chasing impossible ghosts and dreams unrealized.
At this point in my typical blog post I try to end on a hopeful, positive note. I am supposed to say I choose the living, that I choose the friends and knowledge of what is in front of me. It's as much to convince myself as anyone. I do still choose the living and the positive, but every now and again it is nice to visit this dark place. I don't want to stay, but I do want to get a sense of it so that I can see and appreciate that light place. Yin to the Yang. The sun will be shining again soon enough.