North to South. To the ends of the country. Seeking escape, seeking friendship, seeking solitude, seeking adventure. Distraction, immersion, therapy. My head is swimming.
Grief doesn't just ebb and flow. Its waves crash over you; storm surges overwhelm you, spring tides threaten to flood your very being. Very occasionally I surf the wave, or at least swim against the gurgling white water with a strong front crawl. More often than not, I find myself floundering with the doggy paddle of a child without armbands for the first time. My head is going under.
Jenn is always there. My first conscious thoughts, my daily bread, in the tears cried into the pillow, filling my dreams. I wish they were exciting or fun dreams. Instead, they are of the mundanities of life. I wish I could share the mundanities with her. I sometimes wish I could escape my own mind for a while. Just a while. Instead, day after day, AFTER DAY. All we wanted was more days. Now, I'm not so fussed, thank you very much though. I'll try not to look that gift horse in the mouth, I promise.
Jenn isn't there now. She might be in my thoughts, but she doesn't answer back when I ask her questions. Neither does she give me the hug that only she can give. She doesn't love me any more, and the loneliness is overwhelming.
I listen to other's stories. They are all Jenn. Some of them are a slightly distorted version of My Jenn, others are a Jenn that I only saw glimpses of, and a few are of a Jenn that died long before she did. I want to treasure the detail painted in my mind and the gaps filled. It's too hard though. I struggle to feel anything other than bitterness that I only had Jenn for four short years. I know that at some point, I'll trade bitterness for thankfulness - in fact, the two aren't mutually exclusive, at least not for longer than a few seconds.
I'm pulling threads. Mentally drawing sketches of maps. A to B. I'm not sure where B will be, but I know a few stops along the way, or at least I think I do. Writing, making plans, and trying not to resent that I am making them for one, rather than two. Trying to picture a life without one, but with so many opportunities. Am I brave enough to pursue them? Which ones do I want? Do I care enough anyway?
I don't relish the next day, but I wish each day didn't go so fast. I want to reach a conclusion, achieve something before the day is done. As it is, my achievements rarely make it beyond "I'm still here". I've been so busy doing things and seeing people, that I haven't always done the right things. Today I just rode a bike. The best part of 60 miles, pushing a too-tall fixed gear up hills and into a headwind. My legs had as much energy as my mind, but the dull ache distracted from the sharp pain elsewhere. For the first time in forever, I did't want to stop. I tacked on another hill, and a final little noodle around the reservoir, just because I'd not seen enough Red Kites on the ride. I nearly pedalled past the door, but instead made a promise to do more of the same.
Things aren't ok, but that's ok. There will be chaos. Keep pedalling.