Crashing on Shores of Significant Objects

-a dispatch from the grief process

I made a little note on Twitter:

“grief is kind of weird to deal minute stuff feels "normal" then it crashes, again and again. tiring.”

That is just like this quote I put in a previous post.

“When someone you love dies, and you’re not expecting it, you don’t lose her all at once; you lose her in pieces over a long time—the way the mail stops coming, and her scent fades from the pillows and even from the clothes in her closet and drawers. Gradually, you accumulate the parts of her that are gone. Just when the day comes—when there’s a particular missing part that overwhelms you with the feeling that she’s gone, forever—there comes another day, and another specifically missing part.”

John Irving, A Prayer for Owen Meany

Last night I went to a local fast food joint to get something to eat. On the way back I pulled my keys out of my purse so I could open the door. I looked at the keys. They are actually two sets of keys, I notice now. I had, up until that moment considered them as one set of keys. One group is for my place in Canada and the other was for our place in India, which is no longer our place because there is nobody there. And the apartment is now empty.

I had spent a fair bit of time last week on the phone and via email with Manoj’s older brother and some close friends dealing with the disposition of all his material goods. There were inventories to be taken, questions to be asked and answered. Technically under Indian law now when people live together for over two years the woman is entitled to property rights. So as the “widow” in all but name, my input was sought. There were some very difficult conversations. Not difficult in terms of conflict but difficult in terms of memory, for all of us. I have known the people I talked with for as long as I have known him.

I didn’t want anything sent to me. As things are examined though I expect some might be. Some personal things which those who know me will know have some significance. I trust that process. They will know these things when they see them.

I have here photos, gifts, household objects, all kinds of things that tie me to that life. Even if the other end of that tie has come undone. The gulf of the separation does not become wider but becomes deeper. I don’t know where the bottom of it is. Maybe there is none. Maybe I will just come out the other side, wherever that may be.

So I look at these keys. This one set that is now two in my mind.

These other keys.

These now uncanny keys.

They are the keys to nowhere.


One comment on “Crashing on Shores of Significant Objects

  1. Thank you for this post, it answers some questions that were in my mind. I have a set of keys like yours: “the keys to nowhere”. I don’t know what to do with them. Maybe drop them in the sea at the deepest part, and looking for a geographical location to do that…

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