My memories of moving out here, within a month of Kirk's disappearance, are split. I have the calm, reasonable moment to moment memories, the ones where I could line up the next hour and walk through it carefully, eyes on what had to be done, looking only as far as the thing directly in front of me. Eventually that stretched to a day at a time, still with a stolid interior dialogue that recited a litany of what would happen next. It kept the rest of it firmly at bay, the roiling, desperate misery that would have swallowed everything otherwise.
I have no memory of that - or rather I have, but I still can't visit it. There isn't anything to look at anyway, nothing like ordinary memories you can shake out like last year's summer clothes and look at the cut and the color and catch a whiff of sun screen and camp fires. Instead I acknowledge it's there, a sort of respectful nod to it, neatly boxed up: it's there, it's not the memory of Kirk himself, it's the memory of that pain and it's a part of things, that's enough.
Still those first months, the first year, was split like that, the practical, divided precisely into ordered pieces of time: school schedules, soccer games, meals that all subdivided and labeled the day, and under it the constant, howling, almost featureless awareness.
Eventually perspective shifted somehow and the daily things became easier to focus on, the rest of it more compressible. It didn't threaten to swamp me any more and I only felt it flick on the raw a few times a day.
What I hadn't realized was that through the years that became, rather than a method of coping with the unbearable, a way of life. I still start each morning focusing firmly on a list of what has to be done: what will I wear, what needs packing or signing, meetings and deadlines, errands and reminders. I have an inner voice that chimes in whenever there's a lull with, "right, there's still that data to get sorted and analyzed and what about finally deciding on a palette for that project?" It's just that there isn't, really, anything to cover any more.
I still miss Kirk - I miss him daily, but, somehow in the last six months, without my really noticing when, it's become, yes sad still, but acceptable. Perhaps I've finally grown myself enough to fit it.
And, for various reasons that may or may not come up here on the blog, I found myself being still for the first time in ages, letting the next moment simply arrive.
I found myself, to my great surprise, comfortable.