Most of the defining moments of my life are only identified in retrospect. It is only after the fact that I can see how significant an event or time or decision was. But for once I have foresight. I know this time is one of the most important of my life.
Of course the moment of greatest import right now isn't even mine and it feels self important to reflect solely on my experience, but it's all that I own. It's not my death, but it is an ending for me nonetheless.
There's a gulf between my understanding and my feeling and so few opportunities to try and reconcile them. The context is so raw, so fragile and so corrosive that the mess of emotions I feel can't be let loose to find their level.
My mind runs a reel in double time: moments, conversations, feelings of her. Things from yesterday and four decades ago all jumbled together. Things that make me smile and things that make me cry.
There's a sea of sadness. I can't escape the ocean metaphors, I really do feel like I am doing my best to just stay afloat while the waves wash over me. There are moments of peaceful calm on the waters, moments of being pulled under when I can't seem to breathe.
All the things I know about ocean safety also apply - that panic and fighting the pull are what kill you, that people float if they relax and trust in the process, that a rip takes you a long way from shore but eventually it brings you back to land, even if its not the same place you started out. There's also something there about the need to able to look after yourself but not be alone at the same time because others can't swim for you but they stop you from drowning.