Little Reminders

I wake up and he is not on his side of the bed.  As I brush my teeth, I stare at his prized razor and brush.  Grabbing a mug out of the cupboard I note that it is from Annandale High School.  I sit down at my spot at the table and have no one with whom to discuss the day’s news.  As I recycle the paper, I notice his Hayfield letter jacket hanging in the closet.  I drive to work in his car and pass the sushi restaurant he enjoyed and travel the same route we drove together when we taught together all those years ago.  Even at work, I wonder how he would react to a situation or person.  Sometimes I suppress the urge to make a comment that involves him.  Other times, I share away.  Everything reminds me of him.  Everything.

On days when I am feeling strong, the memories are welcome and reassuring.  Other days, I feel his loss so profoundly with every step that I take.  I have fleeting thoughts of moving or redecorating or just escaping for a while.  None of these is the right answer right now.  There are days when I DRAG myself to work and, in the end, I am happy to be there- distracted and busy.  I turned on the tv this weekend and caught the end of the movie The Way Way Back.  And I sat on my bed and cried.  We both really enjoyed that movie.

Dave comes to me in my dreams the way that Snuffleupagus visited Big Bird.  I am the only one who can see him.  Last night we were standing in line at the grocery loading our items onto the belt when he asked me if I had made an appointment for some test.  I assured him that he had already had that appointment.  When I woke up I was left wondering, if we had done things differently, if the results would have been the same.  I am not much for “what ifs” so I let go of that thought almost as quickly as I had synthesized it.

There are moments of most days that I will think of him out of the blue.  In my mind, I see him during those last few weeks, and I still can’t believe how it all went down.  Tears inevitably fill my eyes as I shake my head in disbelief.  So, if you were wondering how that whole acceptance thing was going, it’s not.

It’s Monday again.  I know exactly how many weeks it has been.  Thursday marks the fourth month point since I last saw him and held his hand and whispered to him that it was okay – that he didn’t have to fight anymore, that we loved him, and that it was time for him to rest, that we would be okay.  And we are okay.  As okay as you can be when you are left with a Dave-sized gap in your life.



7 thoughts on “Little Reminders

  1. Your pain is palpable. I don’t know how you stay so strong or how you can express your grief so eloquently. You are amazing and Dave would be so proud of you. Even when you feel you can’t take another step, you can take some comfort in the number of steps you have taken and know that the love you shared is one of the reasons it is so hard. Continue to take care of yourself and allow yourself to progress as is right for you. We continue to hold you and your family in our prayers.

  2. Robyn: Your writing is so profoundly beautiful in expressing the grief of loss – and your life you built together. Thank you for sharing – it makes me smile to think of Dave….

  3. Robyn,
    I am sitting here in my office in Houston, Texas. I was a classmate of your husbands in High School. I moved into Rockville about 3 months before graduation. And your husband was kind and welcoming to me, and probably when he did not have to be. I know we never met but I would occasionally look up David on the internet and call or email him to see how he was doing. He spoke highly of you and your wonderful family. I am sorry that I did not know about this loss but I am grateful to have had him as a friend. I have many fond memories with David and others. Going to play tennis or volleyball, going to see reggae bands in DC, going to OC or just hanging out and talking.
    If there is ever anything you might need please feel free to ask.
    Thank you for posting your journey and the pictures of David and kids.

  4. Robyn,
    You continue to amaze me. Not because I didn’t think you were brave and strong and a warrior and whatever other words we apply to those who are able to stand up to adversity. You have been all that in spades. You amaze me because whenever I get even the slightest tinge of what it must feel like to be you, dealing with Dave’s loss, I feel completely slammed. Last week, I was walking across the parking lot at a shopping center and a man who looked much like Dave was walking toward me. I stood still, and as he got closer I felt like I couldn’t breathe. Of course, when he got right up next to me and passed by, I could see it wasn’t Dave. The moral of this story is that
    you have so many of us cheering you on and sending you silent “Atta, Girl’s” when we read
    your words, even when you say you are not “coping.” And we struggle (with a fraction of the intensity that you face each day) to adjust to Dave’s not being here. The weird part is that it all has an overriding positive theme. He was a man who made a huge difference in the lives he touched and he was loved, wholly and unconditionally, by so so many. And you were the love of his life. I think that makes you pretty special!
    Thank you for continuing to include us in your journey….
    Love, Nanabelle

  5. Your friends have said it more eloquently than I can but just want you to know I am thinking of you too. You are weathering this and doing it even on days when it feels impossible.

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