Taking down the tree…

It’s odd how even though you know that a relationship is over, being in the throes of the last dying vestiges of it are still difficult.  There is this immense sense of failure and along with it an equally intense sadness… not for what is ending but for what it could have been… its lost potential.  So it is firmly rooted in this emotion that I took down the Christmas tree this morning.  

I’d been putting off… not that I don’t normally take forever to do it anyway, but it was a thing that I was ruing even as it was being put up.  That moment was poignant in itself, each of the three of us knowing that it was the last time that we would be sharing this type of moment together.  In years past, especially the last several, only Gabriel and I participated in decking out the tree with ornaments, so I was somewhat surprised (though pleased) that Steve decided to join in.  

It’s been many months of “lasts” since we’d had our discussion about finally and irrevocably ending our relationship. I’m not yet sure whether this whole drawn out process is good or not. As with the deaths of my parents, my mother’s was sudden and my father’s was not (though it was not horribly drawn out, either), in both cases there was still an incredible sense of loss at the end, and a time of mourning, and though the process differed somewhat in both, the end was the same and equally painful and left me bereft. Perhaps this longer mourning period is good. Perhaps the opportunity to say goodbye to each familial habit… to notice it and remember it, in all of its facets, and then let it go… is a good thing.

I haven’t really spoken to Gabriel about this whole digestion process. I don’t know if he’s doing it as well, or whether we will get to the end of our time together and he will find it difficult to cope with the sudden change. Again the sense of failure engulfs me… and an accompanying guilt.  I’ve done the best I could to sort out this mess, with little help and support. I often wonder whether Steve’s inaction was something I should have paid attention to a long time ago… whether that was my cue to stop trying too, because no matter what I did after that point, it wouldn’t make a difference in the end result.  

I am grateful, though, for the learning process it provided. I’ve learned that I am a lot more tenacious than I thought I was… that I can think on my feet and find solutions to things that seem imponderable… that I really do love myself, even though I’ve spent so many years denying myself my own affections, simply because I thought others deserved them more.

There was a knock on my door a few moments ago, and a package dropped on my doormat. I opened it just now and see that it is a holiday gift from my friend Rita, who I’d not been able to connect with over the holidays but to whom I’d sent by way of Bonnie her gift from me. Again… I am overcome with emotion. Just last night, as I lay in bed contemplating the ache in my neck and shoulders, and feeling needy for a kind and gentle rub on the back (you know… the kind your mom used to give you to comfort you… slow, circular, right over the heart chakra area on your back, and just firm enough to soothe away the aches of the body and the soul), I thought it would be wonderful to get a massage (that I can’t afford right now, and haven’t had in ages). And… as I opened my gift, I saw that it contained a little sachet-ful of body care goodies, and a gift card to a women’s dayspa (where, incidentally, I used to work as a massage therapist before I went back to full-timing it behind a computer screen). I am so very lucky, because even though I can’t seem to maintain a relationship with a man, my friendships are golden.

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One thought on “Taking down the tree…

  1. Gigi Starnes

    You put this so well! Taking down Christmas used to be just work, now it is a time of reflection, rememberings, and great comfort. Right on Adriane!

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