Owen died on October 24. A Sunday morning. 6 months exactly to Easter Sunday.
I’m not the sentimental type and I rarely even note birthdays, never mind half-anniversaries. The day did not arrive with any dread and it did not pass with regret that I didn’t do something more. Maybe the idea of 6 months is bigger than the moment of the day that marks the 6 months. If you get what I mean.
I wrote and thought a lot about Owen’s eventual death before he actually died. I said once, last summer, “When Owen dies, I’m going to spend 6 months in a cave.” Carsten asked, “Why a cave?” The 6 months wasn’t questioned.
I suppose I imagined 6 months was what I would need to become functional again. That I would hide for a while, bawl my eyes out and then be… what? Ready? For…? Of course it was easy to say then. From that place that doesn’t exist anymore. That place I was in and the person I was before it happened. When Owen was alive and my musings were safely theoretical.
Turns out I didn’t go to a cave. I have been alternately out in the world and lying on my sofa – leaving each place only when I can’t stand it anymore. Owen’s life and death are in me and around me and moving through me so continually I can’t distinguish between grief, acceptance, relief – it’s all there, all the time. A cave wouldn’t have made a difference.
And the 6 months? The event of his death feels like a while ago. Sure – like 6 months. It’s his life that was forever ago and yet somehow continues. I don’t think there will be a time limit on that.