Happy New Year since before I was born.
Happy Birthday Michelle Dianne Perry, 01/01/65.
Happy Proposal Engagement Day, Bob and Michelle, 01/01/2005.
So many happy events, and then it hits me like a ton of bricks. Every year since 2009, it is also an anniversary for a profound moments of grief. Not sadness mind you. Grief. Welling up from my core. Exploding from an abyss. I never see it coming. I don’t expect it. I forget it is coming. And yet is has come on every New Year’s eve since 2009. It happened in 2013.
Yesterday afternoon, I was in the Hardware store parking lot. I had just purchased a floor squeegee. A new year’s necessity if your basement floor drain backs up, and hooray I had that very reason to shop and Celebrate. It reminded me of other unusual New Year’s Eves with Michelle.
Among them, the late night visit to the Albuquerque Animal Emergency room with Tank, our dog, the first year we were married, 2005. An unplanned 2 hours and $170. It is a very nice facility, if I might add. I’d give it 4 dog biscuits.
And WHAM. Grief. Soul wrenching, cry out, wailing and gnashing grief. It is usually only for a moment, and some moments longer than others. And once triggered, it can return without notice at every “Happy New Year” wish, though it rarely does.
My Wife, Michelle Diane Perry Fulton, 01/01/1965-11/05/2009, known too briefly to me, to my friends, blog readers and Bedlamaniacs.
Michelle Fulton. Adopter of my Favorite Dog and Best Furry Friend Tank Fulton.
Michelle Fulton. Matriarch of the returned shopping cart.
Remembering and recalling these events can make me happy, they can make me sad, they might have no affect at all. They are moments which can stir emotions, manic and depressive, or nothing at all. They are not the events which trigger grief.
The grief of which I speak is of a Supernatural genesis. It is an event. It is explainable yet unpredictable, but I know it is coming. I don’t know when. I don’t remember how. I do know this. It is explosive. It has a trigger. But the trigger has never had any common thread. Just the result is the same. For those who believe I will tell you grief is in the image of God himself. Grief is eternal. It encompasses the life of one’s memory. Ask any parent to speak of or remember a child lost. Regardless of the causal event war, disease, accident, or the amount of time passed, parents grieve. God grieves. I grieve. I believe you who are reading grieve also. It is in our God imagery. In “His image we were created.”
New King James Version “And the Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart” God Grieved for his children lost.
I pretend I am gruff. But I am a tenderhearted guy. I was sad when they shot “Old Yeller.” I was teary eyed when Dorothy told the scarecrow she would miss him “most of all.” As Red walks the Mexican beach to meet up with his friend Andy Dufrain at the conclusion of the “Shawshank Redemption”, well I still weep softly every single time I watch that scene. I am sad that Michelle died so young. I was sad when Tank was in pain after a simple surgery to remove a cyst. I can get sad or emotional easily, and then it is over.
Grief is so much more that just an emotion. As I stated before, it is an event. I can’t plan for it, however. I have discovered it is absolutely critical to the healing process. It is a reminder that I should NOT forget. Grief is done in remembrance. It is holy ground. And shame on me if I hope it will just go away. It always comes at the moment it was meant to arrive.
I often remember Michelle in many ways. But the most sacred is in a cocoon of grief. I often cry out and wail and gnash teeth. It is of Biblical proportions I think. And like a new creature I emerge from this chrysalis more alert and aware and sensitive to my surroundings. And the sufferings of so many others. I am able to sorrow in the sorrows of others.
So happy Birthday Michelle. You are remembered. Happy New Year Mom. 2013 was your last, as you would say “on this plane of existence.” It is the first New Year’s eve that finds the two of you together since this picture was taken I think. You both love to dance, so enjoy one across heaven’s ballroom floor. I rejoice in that thought.
I will see you both in my blog in 2014, or so I would think. You live on sacred ground, and I know how I will visit. I am certain I will be there in good grief. I just don’t know when it will be.
But there is no end to the grief in this plane of existence. Blessings.