We are packing, our living space ever-more-encroached upon by boxes, and our anxiety levels are steadily rising. You know that point in cleaning where everything looks messier and dirtier than when you started? That’s about where we are with the packing.
The pressure of the anxiety and the chaos has been a strain, on me, on N, and on our relationship. It’s a temporary strain, but it’s startling to see so clearly all the places where we still need to do better, the things we need to talk about more, the way that insecurities (on both sides) that I thought were vanquished still come into play. The cracks and seams of the places where we’ve so carefully merged our lives together are suddenly visible.
And maybe it’s good to have a clear picture of the places where we could most easily be torn apart, but mostly it’s frightening.
There were times yesterday when the sound of books being packed into boxes in N’s office sounded like anger. I think there are times when the sounds I was making downstairs, of candlesticks and breakables being wrapped and packed, sounded the same. He’s angry at me, though he won’t give voice to it, perhaps for the same reason I won’t tell him I’m angry at him, too – because we’re really angry (or, in my case, know I should be) at other things entirely.
We’ll get through this; it’s something I know in my gut, that one little moving venture won’t be the end, or even a part of the beginning of the end, of our partnership. The seams may be showing, but most of the joins are good ones. This doesn’t mean that I’m not crying out in longing for tequila, however.
And, it’s worse than it should be because of our loss, and I stare at those words as I write, wondering when that will stop being true. When will I be able to take on life’s strains and challenges without everything being made heavier and harder by Teddy’s death? I know that, running underneath the rapids of our moving and our need to get things packed and cleaned and organized, is the undercurrent of knowledge – conscious and otherwise – that the one-year mark is approaching, that these same days last year were leading up to the loss of something unbelievably precious, that we still aren’t ready to be the people who bear this loss and weave it into our every-day lives.
“This, too, shall pass,” is something I say to myself fairly often when in situations like this. Some of it – the packing, the longing for someone else to make moving and travel arrangements for me, the transition of shifting from home to home, hell, even the fatigue – really will pass. But some of it won’t. Teddy is not coming back to us, and once the packing and unpacking are finished, once our full year of mourning passes, we still have to find ways to live with that.
And we will, but in the meantime, I’d like to borrow someone to battle the stressors and practicalities so that I could have my brain back, so I could be a better wife and partner, and attempt to cope with the ebb and flow of this grief. Someone like Jeeves, who could organize my life impeccably, and pack all of our belongings with organization and aplomb while seeing to it that N and I were always properly dressed.
The man could mix a mean cocktail (and hangover remedy), too.