Friday, August 31, 2012

Muscle Memories

Christmas 08
Mike, Me & my fav. nephew opening stockings

Muscle Memories

When I first lost Mike I didn't know how he smelled, tasted or felt.
I couldn't remember. 
I worried that I had lost those feelings forever. 

When I started dating, and then falling in love again, it felt even further away. 
It seemed like when I tried to think of holding Mike's hand, all I could conjure was "hand", 
this was indistinguishable from my new man's hand. 

I stumbled on the above picture today and it took my breath away. 
I could smell that sweatshirt, 
feel that day old scruff on my neck, 
taste those earlobes,
run my fingers through that wiry hair, 
feel what his giant hand feels like, 
stretching my fingers apart in an attempt to interlock. 
I could feel Mike again. 

This is an amazing realization. It feels like muscle memory. Akin to getting on a bike for the first time in a decade. I can truly feel Mike again. It took getting over two years away from the trauma of losing him to realize that he hasn't entirely left. 

I've felt shocked by my ability to recall Mike with my senses once before. When packing for Golden, Colorado's retreat I pulled out Mike's old sweatshirt from the box of clothing I kept hidden in the office closet. I put it up to my face and smelled. Inhaled all of the molecules of that sweaty neckband. I almost vomited, or passed out - or passed out in my vomit. Holy cow. It was overwhelming. I went to text a widda friend, and accidentally texted my boyfriend in my shaking haste. (He was a little stunned, but recovered gracefully.) 

I sat in my office and sobbed, truly sobbed. For one of the few times since Mike's death I allowed myself to cry alone. I usually didn't trust myself to really breakdown when alone. I knew what Mike's demons had led him to, and I extrapolated that to mean that I could never really let my grief, PTSD and heartache rule the show. As such, I tried to have a safety net if I really needed to break down.  I would either wait until I had to leave in 30 min,  someone was coming over shortly, or there was someone in the other room so I couldn't really be alone with the nitty gritty freak out indefinitely. But not this afternoon. I cried unabashedly. I wasn't alone. I had Mike there holding me. I held his sweatshirt, breathed him in, felt his presence, allowed myself to feel his love, and allowed myself to miss him. 

I look back on this day with fond memory actually. I remember having a glimpse of Mike again, not the "background task" of grief, but a front and center show of the man I missed and loved. I wasn't mourning a loss, I was missing a man. A flesh and blood person who truly existed. Smelling him again brought his actual existence into focus. 

This is what I experienced an hour ago when I found this picture. A "holy sh*t!! I loved a man that existed. A man who loved me, and I loved him. It really happened. I can feel/smell/taste and touch it again." Thank you muscles for remembering Mike, even when my crazy brain thought I had lost him for good. Thank you for saving pieces for me to find again later. Breadcrumbs back to memories. 

With Love and Light, 

I hope this message finds you well and happy. Anyone had similar circumstances? A picture that brought back memories that other pictures failed to elicit? A smell that took you to a moment in time? 


Post a Comment

Please wait a moment for your comment to be published. It needs to be approved by a moderator.