I would gaze at the large photo of Iggy from our wedding day at the Church the day I laid him to rest. His casket adorned with white Orchids and Lillies to my right…
Six weeks later that photo was propped up in the corner of my new apartment. I’d shake my head in disbelief with the same numb gaze. Maybe if I stared long enough I would transport back to my old life – the one we built together.
Eventually, I would start to mutter to him. Perhaps he would send me an answer, I begged. I wondered if the severed head of the person who killed him would show up at my new rental. I often wish I was still shocked enough to consider something so alarming with sincere practicality.
I’d start with “What the fuck Iggy.” I’ll be honest, if he were to suddenly reappear it would still be my opener…
I remember thinking I had gone completely mad when I had a conversation with him about how we could make it work. Yes. I told my dead husband that we could make it work. I didn’t mean in a traditional sense. I was well aware he was gone and that my life would never be the same. It was almost as if I were re-newing my vows from a space he no longer occupied. I was promising him I would fight for him, for justice, for myself.
Death does not do you part.
During that time my fear was that I would forget how to love him. Would I run out of love? For Iggy, my friends/family? For myself? Would I ever be able to love another man? Pain exposes you and gives you room to expand. The ache rips me apart; love is the catalyst that sews me back together. I’m awake now, yet I’ll always have this broken piece.
Grief is just love with no where to go.
This day holds space in my heart and head all year. Our wedding anniversary – and the anniversary of Iggy’s murder. I started a new life on this day – twice. My soul awaits the anticipation of a complete lap around the sun; this beautiful & dreaded day calls me. I’m sick, grateful, heartbroken, hopeful, confused yet so damn clear on what matters most.
An anniversary serves as a benchmark for reflection. Over the last 3 years I have grown. I’ve learned to commit to the relationships that don’t require me to decode my soul. The ones who can reconcile the person I was and the person I have grown into. The ones that allow me the freedom to grieve out loud – forever. The constants.
Moving towards this day is a challenge. I mull over how to acknowledge the duality. How to remember Iggy. Will everyone forget if I don’t mark this day out loud? I’m annoyed that the earth continues to spin. Selfishly mind blown that everyone who knew him are not clawing themselves out of the depths with me…
But it’s not essential for my healing to have a ritual. I find ways to honor Iggy and the life we shared everyday. Sometimes that means muttering that classic opening line more than once a day. Other times that means using those days of reflection to nudge me forward. Either way it grows and changes as each moon falls and sun sets. Because, at the end of the day, we don’t need another lap around the sun to remember.
“Real love stories never have endings.” – Richard Bach