One week before Warren died, Willie Nelson released his album God’s Problem Child and had an immediate hit with ‘He will Never be Gone’. This song was, of course, about Merle Haggard, but the sentiment rang true for me a week later when my Bear died – no matter what, he would always be with me.
Today, with one week to go before the anniversary of Warren’s death, Willie has released a new song called ‘Something you get through’. It’s a song about what happens when someone you love dies… “it’s not something you get over, but it’s something you get through’. I like that Willie and Warren and I are in sync this way.
I can’t even begin to tell you how hard this week is already shaping up to be. Tonight I had planned to go buy a rake to clean out my flower beds, and maybe get a barbecue so I could start grilling my suppers. But I got home and the empty house got me again.
All I can do is sink into the sadness for a bit. I tried to explain to someone that this week that it feels like I’m watching a train approaching and I’m stuck on the track. I find myself thinking about April 27th last year, when Warren and I were sunning ourselves poolside in Yuma: enjoying the quiet companionship, trying to identify the birds in the trees by the pool, giggling about things that would certainly have had our children raising their eyebrows if they heard… it was just like a honeymoon. The remembered happiness is bittersweet.
When I was at work today I tried to keep focused, but I looked at his picture and couldn’t stop myself thinking about shopping in Mexico last year. About how we had no idea that there were only 7 days left. And it makes me want to just run away – I don’t want to think about how those days were the happiest days, innocent of the fact that this time was coming to an end.
I’m surviving. Thriving maybe. I’m making a life for myself, putting things back in order, making friends, enjoying my work – adjusting to a life that has all my love with no Warren to give it to. I feel him here – in my heart – and that gives me comfort. He shows up in my dreams, and I’m always glad to see him: tall and strong and looking good – it gives me peace the day after I’ve dreamt about him; it gives me respite from the grief.
I’ve taken next Friday off, and the week after – I’m giving myself space to just be in whatever emotional place I’m going to be on the anniversary of his death. I’ll probably do a lot of driving, listening to our music, crying. It’s what I do now. And I’ll reflect on what a tremendous gift this man was to my life, and how he will never be gone.
Warren Allen McLeod. I love you and I miss you my Bear.