I spent yesterday, Super Bowl Sunday, with the people of the Dan. Being there, amongst his closest friends, makes me happy, nostalgic, sad, and perplexed. I love each of them, but wonder if I truly have an ongoing place in their lives. Does seeing me make them think of him, and is that too sad, too incomplete? They would never say that. In the same way, but in reverse, does seeing them make me think of him in a way that is too sad, too flawed? It was a mixed bag. Huge chasms of nostalgia want to take over the room, to turn the whole thing into a sing the praises of Dan event, but of course, that didn’t happen. It doesn’t happen anywhere. That is in the internal monolog of the widow I think. That is the inherent loneliness of widowhood.
Throughout the day, I touched base with each person, and each person was warm, and wondering. They asked me how I was, they laughed when I said something funny. I felt truly loved. I felt truly appreciated. I felt like I truly belonged. I’d always felt that way when Dan was alive, but for a few years afterwards, I wasn’t sure if I was just being included because they took pity on me. Yesterday I didn’t feel that way. I was assured of my ongoing place in the colony. Driving home, I knew that while I may not be included in all the events, I could be assured of maintaining my tether to the group.
Today, I went up to Dan’s favorite hiking spot, up behind our house, me and Juneau, alone to feel his spirit. That’s the place I can go where I still feel him walking along side of me. It’s not concrete, but yet it’s certain. As I walked along the narrow path, I saw the shadow of a hawk on the path before me. I slowly turned my head to the sky above me, and I saw a beautiful red tailed hawk flying, no, gliding, slowly above my head. As I walked, he glided. Too high to touch but low enough to see the rows of feathers in his wings. I just looked up, smiled, teared, and kept walking, him above me. And then I blinked and he was gone. He didn’t fly away, he just disappeared. Just disappeared.
I don’t really know if that was a sign or not. But I’ll believe it was. Cuz that’s all I’ve got. It’s all I need.