Growth

Feb. 28th, 2008 09:30 pm
singerinthedark: (Matthew Looking out)
March 7th is coming up. This year makes three years since I kissed Matt goodbye. It feels like a lifetime ago...

I was talking with Dearbhail and [livejournal.com profile] ribbin last night, saying how this is not my favorite time of year. As I was talking about dreading March 7th, I realized that it almost felt like an act at this point - like I was dreading something because I am supposed to dread it. I was anticipating being a wreck, but this year just doesn't phase me. Three years and a lifetime ago I was in love. And now:

Oh, goddess! I still miss him. Sometimes his place in my heart still aches from the loss. I don't think I'll ever really get over that ache, but I don't feel like I'm bleeding to death anymore. I don't feel like the void is going to swallow me up. There's just an empty place where Matt should physically be. In a way, with all the death I've lived through, my life is starting to resemble Swiss cheese - lots of holes where one would expect substance.

I like my Swiss cheese life. I have been fortunate to know and love many, many wonderful people. I will always miss those people, but I can't cry for them anymore. You can't miss what you haven't really lost.

I haven't lost him, but I'm not Matt's girl anymore. You can't cheat on the dead. Love is partially based on the instinctual urge to mate. It's gooey, corporeal, visceral stuff. It's blood and flesh and mingling fluids. Yes, that's right. I said mingling fluids. That's not to say you can't love the dead. I do love him, but it's not the same. I just can't live my life waiting for the wedding that never came, the life that died on the vine. I want to get out and try to find a piece of that visceral, gooey happiness again.

Watching "Practical Magic" last night, it struck me how much I have always related to the character Sally Owens. I saw myself in her long before Matt ever walked into my life. However, unlike Sally, I know that there's something else out there for me. He's the King of Swords. (Tarot geek, me? Nah!) He's the prince in a dream I had. He's the promise to be kept. Some days I am afraid that he's just the carrot dangled at me so that I'll keep going. Other days I'm just certain he's out there...

I'm not counting my eggs. I have no illusions that I need to grow a little more, let go a little more, and stretch a little more before we'll actually find each other.

So where to next? Well, I'm going to shred Matt's old robe. Then, I am going to work on coming to terms with the fact that I am an adult, and I get to figure out what that means to me. I'm going to figure out how to make sure that I'm taking care of my own needs so that I don't burn out as a new teacher. I am going to delve deeper into my spirituality, practice my energy work, and work on really getting a good barrier between me and the world that I can throw up at will. (I think this will help with the craziness of dealing with pre-teen angst.) And you know what? I am finally going to organize my CD collection so that it feels like all my stuff, not the stuff that was Matt's, the stuff that is mine, and the stuff that was ours. Oh yeah, and somewhere in the next couple months I'm buying a car.

It's going to be an interesting few months.
singerinthedark: (Matthew Looking out)
Matthew's dad sent this to me today. I'm putting it up here for those of you who want to see it.

Matt's headstone
singerinthedark: (Matthew Looking out)
I am leaving early Tuesday morning for Miami, FL where I will be working for a few days at a conference. The organization is paying my travel, my room, a per diem for food, $15/hr for the days I work, and then I get three or so days to explore Miami. Yea! I return home on the 13th(ish - I probably won't get back to Davis until the 14th, as I'll probably crash at my parent's house overnight to readjust to west coast time).

I will hopefully be able to update everyone on my travels sometime during the week.

I had a rough week last week. The accident report came in. I only skimmed it, but some of the details were fairly upsetting. The only good thing that came out of it was the confirmation of what I was told already; Matt could not have avoided the accident. There were no lights on at that part of the freeway, and the car was still spinning in the middle lane when Matt hit it. He was thrown, and, now I just hope that he didn't know what hit him, because the two people who were helping him did not give statements to the police.

I need to go to bed and pack a little. Perhaps I'll write a bit more before I leave for Miami.
singerinthedark: (Matthew Looking out)
So . . . Yesterday, I started working on the scrapbook that will contain all of Matt's and my love letters, RPG character sheets from characters we designed together or that interacted a lot, and all of the condolences and articles about Matt (and, perhaps, the accident report and info about the trial - depends on how I feel about that later when I'm more level-headed). In other words, the story of our relationship in pieces. Right now, I'm working on the love letters, and, despite reading the accident report yesterday, it has brought me back to the frame of mind I was in when Matt and I were first courting. It's nice. At the same time, it has made me incredibly depressed, as he is not just living across town. So I'm happy-sad. Here begins my emotional confusion.

Last night I was at my Lindy Hop class, and we were going over leading techniques in close position. This position involves both partners touching, and the men lead with their left leg. This is so close that, for the followers their whole left side is in contact with the lead's right side. THAT close. (Let me insert here that some of the guys in my class are attractive.) It felt so good to have human male contact. I felt like, just for a moment, I could fall in love again - just to have that contact. Then I realized that it wasn't just any human male I wanted contact with. It made me miss Matt all the more. I miss his hugs, the way he would rub the back of my neck, the way he would lead me waayy to hard while dancing and throw me into the couch, apologize, then hug me and start over. I miss his body next to me at night. I miss passionate kisses. (Matt was a fantastic kisser.) I miss sex. It frustrates me to end that I can't take all of these feelings and take them out on Matt (in a very good way). I can't rub his neck, or give him a back massage, or lock our door and pounce him.

The hardest part is, as sad and frustrated as I am, because of the love-letters, a large part of my head is back in the frame of mind it was when I lived in the dorms. I keep flashing to thoughts that I'm still in the dorms and Matt just lives at Pacifico. That's how into the letters I've gotten. I've completely lost my grip on reality and it's all Matt's fault. I know this is not what he meant, but Matt once said that he'd do that to me. I had no idea. . .

I need to finish the scrapbook, though. I am so afraid that I'm going to lose some of these letters while going through my files. I'll feel better once they are all organized, mounted, and in one place where they can't escape.

Well, here's to hoping for some more dream-time visitations by Matt.
singerinthedark: (Matthew Looking out)
I've been thinking a lot lately about soul-mates. Here I am, 23 years old, and I have already found and lost my soul-mate. Most people spend their entire lives looking that other person. I am 23 years old and I have already had the love of my life - and it's over. I know that I'm really too young to say that, but Matt made me believe in fate and love at first sight. He taught me that there is a deeper knowledge that you can have of other people that goes beyond consciousness, beyond this life.

At the heart of the matter is this: People do find their soul-mate. However, outside of the occasional tragic novel, you rarely hear the stories of people who lose their soul-mate, and how they cope with such a huge loss. Moreover, the stories you do hear are all about people who lose their soul-mate much later in life. I am afraid that Matt's loss means that I have to cram all of life in now because I have reached the latter half of my life. Honestly, I know this is probably not true. I just hurt so much right now that it's hard to envision having a long, fulfilling life without Matthew. (And before those of you who know me worry too much, I start grief counceling on Monday.)

So now I ask this of anyone who stumbles across this entry who just might be able to answer this question - How do you move on when you lose someone so close it feels like a part of you died? I mean, is there life after losing a soul-mate?

I guess the hardest part of all of this is that, no matter how much I want it to sometimes, the world does not stop just because I lost Matt. I keep telling myself to breathe, to take it one moment at a time, but I could really use some reassurance right now. I need to know that there's something for me out there.
singerinthedark: (Matthew Looking out)
So, I live in this room that still smells like him, feels like he still lives there, but lacks the person who made everything come to life. The other night, I broke down. I had just gotten some new pictures developed, ones of Matt and myself at Gaskell's Ball our first year together and some of my first backpacking trip ever, which Matt took me out on. I was so happy at first, but then, Saturday, I crashed. I looked at his face, the way he always tilted his head toward me in photographs, his skin... I miss him so much. I couldn't stand to be in the room anymore. The world is just so much duller without him in my life. I went home to my parent's for the night.

To top this all off, I feel like those in my inner circle are drifting away from me, or are falling apart. One good friend left today to move in with her boyfriend in Santa Rosa. A dear friend from my freshman year has been drifting away from Matt and I for the last three months or so. As I just found out on Saturday, the couple who was going to share the apartment with Matt and I just broke up not a week after Matt's memorial. I feel so lost. Not that I shouldn't have seen that coming. I read Tarot for myself that morning, and I was warned that Saturday would be a bad day for socialization - cards of loss, lonliness, and inner mystery (Luna - the moon - came up a couple of times). I just assumed that those cards were referring to Matt and myself. That dream I had not three days ago about the apartment potentially not working out... So to top everything off, I have to find new living arrangements for next year.

I have all of these friends, but I feel so lonely. With many of my friends drifting away, moving away, falling apart, dying, it's making me so confused. I feel like I should still think about staying in Davis for a year until I get my act together, but then, with all of these people drifting away, all of this death and change, I just wonder if this is the time for me to leave. I just don't know what to do with myself right now. So much is going on right now, energetically. It all comes back to, what the heck am I supposed to get from all of this, and what I am supposed to do with my life as a result? I know that things will be come clear in time, but that's no comfort to me now.
As I predicted, my Dad was a pain in the butt this weekend. I love him so much, but really, I need a little breathing room. Telling him this six times did not help either. I ended up feeling worse about coming home to Davis by the time he dropped me off than I did leaving. *Sigh* I know he's having a hard time with this, but I really, Really, REALLY am not going to move back home. I am not going to run away from Davis just because I lost Matt. That would be running away from the issue. It doesn't matter how many times I tell my Dad this, though. He just keeps laying it on. I almost threw things at him when he dropped me off, not that he got the hint. Grrrrrr... My Dad has a thick skull.

In other news of the weird and misguided, I received a letter addressed to Matt from the UC Davis Med Center letting him know that his insurance carrier needed more information from him in the next ten days in order to process his claim. Anyone else find it ironic that the hospital (which has records of his death AND his parent's contact info) writes a letter to the deceased for more information regarding his injuries and such? (When I opened the letter, I could hear Matt slapping his forehead and saying, "sigh!")

As I said before, the grown-ups are certainly very odd...
singerinthedark: (Matthew Looking out)
I had three dreams surrounding Matt last night. In one of them, I hadn't been able to go to C.'s wedding for a reason I couldn't remember, and I was walking to a Live Action Role-Playing game (LARP) to go play this character I've come up with. (The concept I came up with in my waking life, in honor of Matt.) I see Matt sitting on a blanket with a bunch of Pryanksters, Barnabas and Hazel being two of them. I walk over and pounce Matt, hugging him so very tight. He's taken aback (I rarely pounce him). I ask him where he's been in an upset voice, as I've missed him. He shrugs and I wake up.

It's hard getting up in the morning after a clear dream like that. I could really feel Matt. The third dream was equally as clear and Matt was so very tangeble... I won't write about the other two. One I already know the meaning of, and the other... well... is kind of inappropriate to put online, not because of the content (I'd say PG-13 in terms of content), but because of the background I would have to give.

*Sigh* Maybe one day I'll wake up to find that I've been dreaming for the last three weeks, and that Matt's still around. Maybe one day I'll wake up in a reality where he hasn't died, where he's still going to officially propose to me, and I get my happy ending. (My happy ending involves the two of us dying at the same time after spending a long time spoiling great-grandkids and racing in our wheelchairs.) Until then, I just keep moving forward.
Just a thought for today:

When love comes quickly, unabashedly, and without strings, give yourself to it. When you are sure that you have found someone you knew before you met him or her, give in. True love is worth the pain it causes when lost. For all the stings and aches I now deal with, for every tear I cry, for every day that I will miss Matthew, there are a hundred thousand little moments in which I find myself overpowered with gratitude and joy for having had him in my life. I will fear neither death, nor love, nor life because I met that one person in the over two billion on this planet who was THE ONE.

This is what keeps me going from day to day. This one thing is what keeps me alive inside. And though I know the love I experienced is going to make it hurt more and more for a time, I also know that the love I experienced is also what will heal the wounds Matt's death had caused me.

Coping

Mar. 27th, 2005 11:50 pm
singerinthedark: (Matthew Looking out)
I just got back about two hours ago from Seattle. This has been a long weekend.

The funeral. )

I'm staying with my parents for a few days. This is a good thing and a bad thing. The good part is that my mom's office needs some help, and they're going to pay me a bit more than my regular job does, so I'm working with them. This'll give me a little more money to pay for the next couple of months (rent, food, and classes at the experimental college to keep me busy). This also gives me a chance to hang out with my family, which I enjoy. The bad thing is that, while I love my parents dearly, they're dealing with this situation by coddling me, which is starting to get on my nerves. They're kinda putting pressure on me to move back in with them. My parents are now so afraid of losing me they just keep pulling on me back to them. And, while I understand the panic all of this has triggered in their brains, I need a little space to deal with this huge change in my life. I am certain that by the end of my visit I will be so very, very happy to go home.

I was actually kind of disappointed to leave Matt's family so quickly. Mom needed to work and I am going in with her. However, I just feel like they need the love and support right now. I hope they know that my thoughts are with them this week. And if they don't, they will when I e-mail them in a day or so.

Well, it's late and I'm going to get some sleep. I am emotionally, spiritually, and physically tired. I'll write more tomorrow perhaps. Goodnight.
singerinthedark: (Matthew Looking out)
Well, finals are over. Somehow I managed to finish my last final on 1 1/2 hours of sleep, and probably ace it. (Whew!) I also kept falling asleep during the final, but that's a story for another day.

It's been hard to get up in the morning. On Mourning )

I'm off to go do something with myself. Otherwise I'm going to sit here in the computer lab and start crying. (I'd rather cry at home... I have cats and people there to comfort me.)

Oh, bother

Mar. 21st, 2005 11:55 am
Finals are almost over (one more this afternoon.) I took the one for physiology of the fishes, and I think I just blew the B+ I was getting. Maybe my professor will be lenient on me. I just couldn't focus this weekend at all... I've had a short attention span lately, and this weekend was just awful in terms of distraction. I couldn't look at my book for more than 20 minutes at a time. I stayed up all night (minus a 1 1/2 hour nap) studying, and I still didn't cover everything I needed for the test. (Mostly because I forgot to go over the readings in detail this weekend, so I lost a TON of points on that... Hopefully some of my educated guessing paid off.) The good news is that I know I didn't fail the test, so unless he does some sort of funky way of weighing grades, I at least passed the class.

I have one more final this afternoon at 4 (Pest Management), but I'm not too worried about that one. The teacher tends to write tests that test the way I tend to think (if that makes any sense).

Then, after this, I'm not sure what I'm going to do with myself. My plans for the next few years were all surrounding getting Matt through his Ph.D. the two of us starting our life together, and then running off so that I can go get my Ph.D. It's just so surreal. Bad enough that I'm done with undergraduate work and am now pretty much responsible for myself (very scary), but now I have to do it without the person who was my biggest support. It's overwhelming.

I know I'm going to stick around here, probably for another year or so. I'll probably get a job with a consulting firm somewhere. Over the next few months I have to go through Matt's things... It seemed like so very much stuff not too long ago, and now, as I contemplate going through it, it's not very much debris from life at all...

I guess, now that I'm out of distractions, I get to face the reality of losing Matt. We are going to bury his ashes on Saturday in Seattle, where his parents live. (Yes, bury his ashes. Matt wanted to be cremated, and his parents want to be buried with him when they die. I think he might have wanted to be scattered, but he never told me outright - that I can remember. We never really talked about death. It's a compromise - his parents have a place to visit and Matt doesn't take up as much cemetery space.) I'm not really sure how I'm going to react. It wasn't pretty when I heard that he probably wasn't going to make it in the hospital. I was a mess when they took him off the respirator. Even though his body won't be in a coffin or any recognizable form, I'm just not sure how I'm going to feel about seeing a headstone with his name on it. I've been taking this whole thing in stride, as much as one can in these circumstances. I've been dealing with it as things come up, but at the same time, I'm not sure if I'm really dealing with it, or just pushing it off for a later breakdown. I'm trying so hard not to cry as often... Matt wouldn't want me to be weepy all the time. I just loved him so very, very much. It's hard to let go.

Well, I need to stay focused and study for this last test. Wish me luck...
singerinthedark: (Matthew Looking out)
I've been surfing the boards lately, looking at the entries of people who know Matt and I, and it is slowly dawning on me how many people had no clue that we were thinking about getting married. A lot of people are expressing their hurt about that...

I want our friends to know that Matt and I weren't trying to leave all of you out of this. We didn't say anything because, it wasn't public information yet. Matt had yet to "make a big deal about it," i.e. propose to me formally. (For the whole story, see my first entry.) Our parents didn't even know. (Matt's parents were pushing for it, though.)

When the accident happened, Matt's parents told the hospital that I was his fiancee because, it would be easier for me to have access to him. They knew that Matt intended to propose to me formally in the near future, they just had no idea that he had done so informally about two years ago. It was the easiest way to explain my relationship to Matt.

Matt was my life-partner. Whether we actually were engaged or married or whatever doesn't really matter to me. I think in some ways we both knew that one of us was going to leave early. I feel that's one of the reasons he and I became so close so quickly. Somehow in four years I have experienced a lifetime of love. I am grateful for that. And I am glad to have shared this period of my life with our mutual friends.

I am so sorry Matt and I didn't tell you all about this earlier. I just assumed that you all had figured it out, and Matt was way too good at keeping secrets.
It's midway through my finals, and I managed to do pretty well. Yesterday, I did pretty well on the Entomology final; there were only two questions I couldn't answer. Today I took a final for my Habitat Restoration and Ecology class. That one went pretty well, too. I don't think I lost too many points on it, as I had more to say than there was space, but I think I hit all of the points on each question. Three classes down, two to go.

I've been all right today overall. I found out that I got an A on my term paper for the Habitat restoration class, and that my professor is not going to make me give the presentation on it. So, barring any major failures on the final (and, as I said above, I'm pretty sure I didn't flub it too badly), I have an A in that class. I feel really proud of myself for getting such a good grade in that class. I have had a hard time in getting good grades throughout my college career, mostly because I tried to keep my life balanced and have a life outside of academics. (Being a procrastinator doesn't help any.) I feel like I really pushed myself this quarter, and now I'm finishing with a bang.

The downside of all of this is that, I can't bounce home, throw my arms around Matt, and get a finger waved at me for being too squeaky next to his ear. I can still tell him, it's just not the same. I know he'd be proud of me, but, darn it, I want my victory hug!

Sometimes I wish I knew how to switch into parallel dimensions, even if just briefly, so that I could share this small triumph with Matt in a world where he isn't dead.
singerinthedark: (Matthew Looking out)
So it's really friggin' late, and I should be at home studying for my eight o'clock final, but here I am in the computer lab typing yet another entry for livejournal. Go figure.

Ramblings on Fate )

This is so hard. Everyday I see something cool that Matt would like, and I want to tell him about it. I say it out loud anyway, as he just might be around to hear it, but it's not the same. I can't kiss his skin, or rub his neck, or lie next to him in our bed and talk the cares, joys, and little wonders of the day into memory. And that sucks.

I keep telling myself that it was a blessing that I could be there to talk Matt through dying. I keep telling myself that my being there helped him to move on. I keep telling myself that he won't just hang around, or be stuck in limbo because he knows that I'll do all right. I hope all of that is true.

It's just that some moments in the day are much more beige without Matt to share them with. And some moments of the day are so much more beautiful for my understanding of how fragile, impermanent, and mutable the world really is. It pulls me in two directions; I find myself sad that the world is so much more dull and angry that I should feel that way because life is a beautiful thing.

I'll stop here before it gets far too late in the evening for me to get some actual studying done. I've been unable to focus, but I've got to keep my "C" in this class. I have to finish what I've started.
singerinthedark: (Matthew Looking out)
"The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, delirious of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous roman candles exploding across the stars..." - Jack Kerouac

I woke up early this morning and spent it going over all of the old letters Matt and I wrote to each other. It's funny, I wrote a lot. Matt wrote very little. After about a year of knowing each other, Matt had a tendency to just tell me what he was feeling. He never really wrote me cards or anything like that. He'd show me. I guess it all goes back to the beauty of impermanence - it is a wonderful thing because it doesn't last forever.

Hindsight is 20/20 )

If there is anything I have taken from this experience, it is a sheer, overwhelming love for life and the people I'm with. I've always loved life, but in the last six months I have lost track of that with all of the studying, stressing out, and reaching for a perfection I know that no one can attain. Matt has made the world more vivid to me, in life, and in death. I wrote in a letter to him that I would want Matt to live, to breathe, to move on with a clear heart should I ever die. While he never told me outright (Matt never talked to me about death - he always lived in the now), I know he'd want me to do the same.

So I go on in this mad, crazy, ever-spinning world to new adventures. Every day is so special. Every day I breathe is so good. While I miss Matt, I am so grateful to have the time that I do to share this world with the rest of you. I hope you find love and peace in your day as well.

Enough philosophy. I have Behavioral Ecology of the Insects to study. (mmmm crunchy!)
singerinthedark: (Matthew Looking out)
So, live journal was always one of those things that was funny, you know... Something you never thought you would get involved in. So, I guess I'm funny now. ;)

Monday morning I held my fiancee's hand as he died. Monday morning every plan, every idea, every notion I had turned out to be dead and false. Monday morning I lost my best friend, my love, and my soul-mate.

Rambling on about Matt, Life, and Death )

Am I wrong to feel cheated? I have had more love and adventure in four years with Matt than many people have in 50 years of marriage. I feel like I've known him for a lifetime. So why should I feel so cheated?

It hurts so much. I just keep putting one foot in front of the other, hoping that some day I am granted the wisdom to know why this happened, or what lesson I am supposed to take from this. But for now, it just hurts.

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