I went to yoga yesterday morning. It made me realize that it's better to take class here. When I’m able to take class I want to be in my community. Yogis here are spreading the word that what I want for now is for everyone at the studio to give me a wide berth and that giving me that space is caring for me. If I go and take class where the teacher and students don’t know what I am dealing with I won’t get the earnest tenderness that I do with my people.
While I cried for about an hour of the 75-minute class, I was surprised that my body knew what to do. My balance wasn’t terrible. My bending was the same. While my mind can’t come close to making it onto my mat, my body did what it was told. I’ve told my students that the practice they build is theirs, that it will always be there for them. Turns out I wasn’t full of shit. Not all the parts are there all the time. But pieces remain.
Everyone asks what they can do for me. The only realistic answer I can come up with makes me mad. It’s this though: Go love the hell out of your people. Love them hard. Make your person feel as loved as Jim made me feel. I hate telling people that because I want it back. We were shockingly compatible. It was unreal the way he loved me. We said, “This is what everyone wishes they had. How lucky are we?” But it’s gone, and here I am—through now-predictable tears—telling everyone, whether they want to hear it or not, to go make their relationships more. A Do-it-for-Jim!-type of thing. And I am sincere. But yuck. It’s not just unfair. It’s cruel.
Evidently I have to go through a bunch of terrible stuff. And because I’m tough and because I’m strong and inspirational and all that effing garbage, I will get through it. But I don’t want to. It doesn’t matter how resilient I am or how brave, Jim isn’t the prize. The person I want to be proud of me isn’t here anymore. So what’s the point of being great?
My autonomic nervous system is as stuck as the rest of me. I forget to breathe. Lots throughout the day I have to consciously exhale.
I know many people find comfort in thinking of an afterlife and seeing their someone again. Not me. It’s not Now. Now is when I want him. Now is how he lived. I don’t care about later. I care about this minute right now. I want to curl up against him and cry. I want to smell his smell on him not just on his jacket that I wear around the house. That isn’t good enough. Even if I stumble through the worst of the grief and I’m able to actually laugh or get up from the couch or eat more than Swedish Fish and whatever salad my mom hands me when I confess that all I’ve eaten is some candy and a Drumstick, even if I can someday sit up straight in sukhasana instead of slump or stand in front of a room to teach—everything after this is incomplete.
People ache their whole lives for the bliss I enjoyed in the day-to-day with my sweet, sweet Jim. I had an honorable man who adored me and made sure I knew it and so did everyone else. I had a man who left notes on the counter telling me that my smile made him weak in the knees. Who would leave two dozen roses in my car just because he knew where I was parked. Who always did the dishes after dinner. Who loved my body so much I was almost convinced it doesn’t suck. Who made little content sighs when I would tickle his back and who would fall asleep with his head in my lap and his hand clutching my foot.
Upon linking up with Jim I became a terrible friend, daughter, and sister because he filled any void. We talked for hours and hours and would have to cut ourselves off to finally go to sleep. When an event came up and I asked if he wanted to go, his answer was always the same, “Will you be there?” I explained accompanying him on so many seemingly mundane business trips as simply, “I want to be where he is.” I still do.
There is a Jim-sized gap in my little soul. You don’t fill something like that with other things. What he was wasn’t plain. What we had wasn’t ordinary. What I lost wasn’t small. And it seems that all that’s left is waiting for the end.