In the beginning, I counted every hour. I counted the hours since I had seen him, then the days, then the weeks, and now the months. When I was counting the weeks, every Friday, I would add up the days. 77 days, then 84, 91. They kept adding up. I would relive the events from that fateful Friday. For a while, we continued to do our pizza nights on Fridays, but we don’t anymore. That slipped away without me even realizing. I forgot to remember.
Now the months are what I count. We’re at 8.5 right now. On the 10th of each month, I relive the events of that Friday. I feel both amazed and confused that so much time has passed. I imagine I will stop counting months at around 2 years, just like you stop counting a baby’s months around then. And then I will count the years. That feels like such a big change, to jump from months to years. But I imagine it will feel just fine when I get to that point.
The grief has changed too. At first, it was all-encompassing. I felt like it was my job to be sad. I couldn’t be much else. Slowly, that sadness turned to anger, and then I was able to get some relief. It’s like I went from being underwater in the churning ocean to letting my head stay on top of the water, bobbing up and down with the waves. I would still occasionally go underwater with the strongest waves, and I still do. I started to find moments of happiness. I felt guilty for that. I felt like Greg would have wanted me to be sad because that would show him that he mattered to me. I feel like I am over that guilt now. I still have moments of all-encompassing grief and days when I’m a wreck, but they are spreading out.
I have experienced some of those moments of forgetting to remember, as I have started a life without him. At first, I would think of how his shoes sounded every day when he would have been coming home from work. I would include him in my thoughts about what he would like for dinner. I would always predict how he would react to a kid’s antics. As time has gone on, I still do those things, but it isn’t as constant. I imagine him with me often, and try to remember his presence, but since he is not here, he will continue to be less and less included in my day to do events.
I can’t imagine that a day will go by that I don’t think of him. Some days he consumes my thoughts, and other days, he is just there in the background. I know that the ways I think of him will change, as I have experienced that in the past 8.5 months. I would be sad if there was a day that went by without him coming to my mind at least once. I don’t think it will happen. Ever. I really don’t. But I am sure that as the years go on, and as he is less tangibly involved in my life, the thoughts will slow down. He will not consume my thoughts as often. He may come to my mind only once or twice a day. I don’t know.
How do I feel about this phenomenon of forgetting to remember? Honestly, I feel okay with it. I think that guilting myself about it is cruel. I didn’t always feel that way. My mind has played tricks on me, making me feel that there was something wrong with finding happiness or not thinking about him all the time. But if I am to continue in my life, it feels peaceful to have the consuming thoughts and emotions fade. It really is torturous in so many ways, so I look forward to the peace that more time will bring.