I recall the exact moment I knew Tim was ready to leave. I was ensconced in my acquired cubby-hole, that space I had carved out for my self after his death. I was listening to music and these series of songs played, one by one, and then and there I knew he was saying goodbye to me. I had been hitting random and had asked the spirits of white light and goodness to help him speak to me. He had come through loud and clear. Every lyric, every word spoke a truth, and in pure Tim fashion, with all his unique finesse and heartfelt corniness, he said goodbye to me.
The other afternoon Mom, you know I’m standing out in the smoking pit at work, thinking for some quacky reason about Tim, about the signs he gave me after he died. Of that moonray shining away that night, February 14th, even with the foot of snow that had sat atop it all that month. Poof, that’s all it took, and the water works began. Fortunately I’ve become rather astute and have learned how to turn the faucet off before they spill through.
Still, grief is rather sneaky.
Now, two years on, I’m not sure I ever had any expectations on how I would feel after Tim died, but I can safely say this grief has often taken me by surprise.
He didn’t come back you know till after dinner, that Valentines night of 2013. I had felt in those intervening four months that he was at peace.
Half way through the month, and two weeks to go before I would be leaving for good our snowed-in paradise. Two weeks to finish packing up my life, finish saying goodbye forever. And of course, it was Tim’s favourite day of the year.
When I walked to the kitchen from my writing space there in the back of the cottage that night, when I came by the sliding glass doors and looked out onto the deck beyond and saw that Moonray glowing away, impossibly, I knew he had returned. Tim, with all his tenacity and handyman ways, he would have understood how light travelled, and therefore something as ethereal as electricity would be a conduit for spirit. I know he was saying, I Love You, Tim. Like a surreal Valentine Card.
Where there is a will, there is always a way.
I’ve said this before, but I am often struck by the dichotomy of this grief I have towards him. The things I miss of him are sometimes the very things I abhorred while he was living. Yet I’ve learned that sometimes you need to push the boundaries in order to live the life you choose to lead.
You make choices, every day, every moment, so its important to know your landscape. How to read people, and how to get away with what you want for yourself, are sometimes things I now understand as acquired differently.
Tim never could conform. He tried, for me he tried. But he never could. Even when I insisted he could be honest with me about anything, that I wasn’t going anywhere and that he didn’t have to lie to me anymore, he still did. Out of habit, or desire, it was just his nature I suppose to create for himself a world that pleased him, regardless of the consequences. I have always, as you well know Mom, been aware of the consequences.
Tim on the other hand, no Tim just forged ahead and did what he thought needed to be done; whether for his own good, or the good of another. Some may not agree, but Tim was not always driven by his own survival. But his demons stalked him. Oh yes they sought him out, and time and time again, that Peruvian marching powder always found him. It was his undoing.
Ah Tim. I miss him Mom. So much at times it makes my chest actually physically hurt, and I have to take a deep breath to calm myself. That rotten scoundrel of a man he often was, and lord above do I sometimes miss him. I still know I have a lot to do. There is still a lot of things that will someday need to be dealt with. So be it.
The courage I have today to forge ahead, and how to find the paths of least resistance, these lessons only a soul like Tim’s could have taught me.
Teaching me how to become a meadow. How to embrace the boho side of myself, and how to display my scars and calloused soul for what it is, and embrace that spark of divine beauty I carry within myself.
So, there I am yesterday morning as I was waiting for the toast to go golden, in that oversized toaster from Home Hardware Tim insisted we MUST have, I go to grab that no name pot of honey, and you know Mom every time I reach up to the shelf to purchase another at the grocery store? I can’t always do it without getting all weepy; so I often go without. It takes me a certain amount of concentration to come away with a replacement.
Tim LOVED creamed honey, and so at least once a month we would have to travel to the Aviary to acquire another. For god forbid we should run out. And we had to buy it right from the Apiarist himself, like no cheating and buying it instead at the local grocery store, for the same price. Tim I think believed this imbued it with some special quality.
You know Mom, I’ve decided that Tim will always somehow be with me. I won’t ever now be rid of him you know. I will carry a piece of him where ever I go. His name may not always come up in conversation, but I will wear his cloths I have taken on as my own, until they are rags. I will no longer apologize for this, and it will just be so.
I’ve learned recently that I am so changed that for me again to be in a real relationship, whoever it turns out to be, they will have to accept the presence of Tim in some aspects of my life; past and present. I’ve learned by watching Dad with MsB, that only those who truly love you are able to do this.
It is a blessing that MsB reached out five years ago, and found Dad as well still grieving, and they healed their wounded hearts together. They give me faith that love IS something you can find again, and again… but only if you are willing. For you know now it could wound you again, but you also know that with every grief you have become stronger.
Like the calloused finger tips of a Classically trained guitarist, this is the price you pay sometimes for that which you love. If nothing else I suppose that is something I taught Tim… that there are ALWAYs consequences to our actions… eventually.
And every now and again you know Mom, he still comes to visit me. Not for long, but I always know when he’s around. And I acknowledge his presence in different ways, and sometimes I say right out loud… I MISS YOU SO MUCH TIM…I really do. And sometimes I just quietly feel him there, right with me, and I don’t have to say a thing.
Somehow Tim always knew what I wanted, even if I wasn’t always aware of it myself. I never understood how he knew. But he always did. I suppose that is the thief within him, always hyper-aware of those around you, and what they want. For Tim at some point figured that if people think they’re getting what they want, they’ll trust you, and you’ll let down your guard around them. He was sneaky.
Ah Tim…I do miss you. You rat.
Which by the way Mom I’m wondering if perhaps I have in the kitchen, cause holy shit, there was something in the kitchen gnawing away on something. I went in there yesterday morning, and rattled the stove a bit…and so far haven’t heard a peep again.
Dreamt about Shoe and Gizmo the other night you know too…we were somewhere at the edge of some meadow, and some sort of white otter or weasel type animal attacked me. I don’t recall those old fart cats being of any use during the attack, but I do recall they were there… and I remember in the dream at some point Gizmo was doing her stop and start purr, as she headbutted my shoulder – her way of saying, to you with love I suppose. Yes Mom, I talk to the dead…and not just to you. Why? Because I can.