Something New

March 29, 2006

Regarding my pique at being invited over to someone’s house for the first time, and my initial reaction of “why now?”, I think I came to a better understanding about it last night in group.

While I have been over to other friends houses since Michele’s death, this is the first brand new relationship I’ve experienced on my own. It has the potential to be something good, and it is hard to accept something good when I’m alive and she isn’t. Going over to a new friend’s house for dinner, meeting their spouse, is movement forward, away from Michele. I know deep down that I need this movement, but it is very difficult to accept. In a very real sense this is another nail in her coffin, it is consciously choosing to leave her behind.

New is good, movement is good. Coming to terms with my need for it, and my willingness to move out from the place I share with Michele, to explore and test, is difficult. I know that Michele will never truly leave me, I carry a part of her in my heart at all times; the man I am today is colored and shaped by the influences we had on each other during our relationship. Even if I were to develop a hundred new relationships I would still have Michele inside of my memories. I just have to get over the shock of reentry into the pool of life after staying huddled on my little rock of despair all winter.

I came to this realization during group last evening. What was fascinating to me about the process was the group’s reaction to my question. What I said was that I was wary of the motivation behind the offer for dinner since one had never been proffered before her death. I was wary of being a charity case. The group, to a person, spent the next several minutes defending the other person, trying to get me to see that maybe this was a good thing. Even after I explained, again, that I recognized it was a good thing, and that I was accepting the offer, but that I was still curious as to the real motivation behind the offer, they wanted to change my thinking about it. The contrast between their attempts to make it okay by “explaining” the other person to me, and my need to be validated in feeling wary was huge. It reminded me once again of the tremendous depth and total trust Michele and I shared, for she would have acknowledged the feeling I was trying to express and ignored the other person altogether.

Saying it all out loud to the group did ultimately trigger my understand explained above, so I got what I needed. I just miss the shared wavelength that Michele and I used to communicate so effortlessly.

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Mark H. Nichols

I am a husband, cellist, code prole, nerd, technologist, and all around good guy living and working in fly-over country. You should follow me on Twitter.