Steve Hutchison (foomf) wrote,
Steve Hutchison

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411 - coincidentally

Well... one of the things that being sick does for me is that it knocks me out of whatever emotional funk I'm in, and the month-long silent miserables went away pretty dramatically as a combination of three things.

First, getting enough sleep to actually dream, I had some pretty intense dreams and dream conversations, but when I woke, I didn't remember the content, other than it had been emotional; I had the most powerful sense of being loved and being at peace, which has mostly stuck with me, though I know it'll probably come and go.

Second, I was able to read, recreationally, for the first time in ages, and I happened to pick up a copy of John Scalzi's Old Man's War, which is pretty good for potboiler military SF space-opera. I liked the characters and the concept... and that Scalzi writes with wisdom about what it's like to lose your life-mate, and the story resonated very strongly for me. It caught hold of something I know (believe) to be true: that death of the body is not the end of all things, and that (at least many of us) have a life after, and that in that next life, we will see one another again. That was pretty much the close of the book - although in the story, that next life is a physical one by technological means; still Scalzi had hinted that the transcendent might also still be there, in other parts of his story. It doesn't matter - the thing that helped was that the words were true for me.

And third, something that happened Thursday morning. I fell asleep on the couch before midnight, woke up at 3AM with my back all numb from sleeping on that narrow hard cat-infested object, and staggered into the bedroom, turned on the radio so I could sleep. (I don't know why it works that way, but it does.)
When I woke up sometime before 8am it was because the radio was playing "Fields of Gold" - which was one of the songs that Penny and I had built stories around, when we were writing for the Dragon's Inn, and which was the core of a love story. The sludge was still wrapped around my brain and I went back to sleep only to be awakened a few minutes later by "Heard it through the Grapevine", which was jarring again. That was the song that made the California Raisins characters successful, at the time around 1988 when Penny tried to apply at Will Vinton studios. (This didn't work because she became too sick from gallstones to hold down a job. She decided to try making dolls and personalized wedding cake toppers instead, and we discovered that we wanted to have nothing whatsoever to do with Wedding Madness.)
When I ignored that, they played "I will Follow You (into the dark)" and that made me wake up enough to say "OK, fine, stop now."

I still get the messages. Once is happenstance, twice coincidence, three times is ... Someone saying "get out of bed now."

Life continues to be very strange for me. But like the book said:
"What is it like when you lose someone you love?"
"You die too, and you wait around for your body to catch up."
"Is that what you're doing now? Waiting for your body to catch up, I mean."
"No, not anymore. You eventually get to live again. You just live a different life, is all."

So I have a different life for now. I still miss the old one, and I haven't stopped loving and missing Penny, but the dying is over; I think I've been told that more than once.

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