Most of the time, it's become easy to put the details of Rick's death out of my mind. I accept that he is not here, that he is dead, and I go about my day living life. But I don't think about the death itself - the circumstances, the day, the pain.
But there are times when my mind wanders and without even realizing it, I'm suddenly in the middle of reading his suicide note. I don't even realize I'm doing it. Maybe a lyric of a song transports me. Maybe I am thinking about a card which leads me to think about notes which leads me to think about his note. Maybe I'm thinking about how messy my kitchen table is and from there my mind is remembering how and where I found the note that day, on top of the kitchen table where I always put my purse. Maybe I'm just nostalgic for the love notes Rick used to leave me and the progression to the suicide note is a normal one.
I don't know how I end up thinking about that note, but I do. And I realize I'm driving and I've missed my turn. Or I didn't actually see what happened during the last 5 minutes of the TV show I was watching.
Most of the time, what jolts me back to the present is the tightness in my chest. I feel like it's harder to breathe and that shifts my focus out of my thoughts and back to my body.
I have not re-read the note since the week I got the copy of it back from the police. I do not torture myself with looking at it, touching it, or seeing the words again. And still... it's there in my mind.
I can't help but imagine my husband writing it. Was he sitting down at the kitchen table painstakingly thinking of what to say? Or did he write it in a hurry? Did he have a cat on his lap or was he completely in his own head, with no thought of anything else? Maybe he was standing, leaning over the table... Maybe he wrote it at his desk and then moved it to the kitchen table... Maybe he wrote it more than once before he got it "right"... Maybe he knew exactly what he wanted to say... Did he talk out loud to himself? Did he pray? Did he imagine me finding it and reading it?
The fact of the matter is that it does not matter. And yet I can't stop my mind from going through this.
Rick's last moments here were spent alone... and it hurts so much to know what he must have been feeling in those moments.
I don't take it on... I don't let it disturb the progress I have made... but I cannot stop myself from thinking about it. It's completely involuntary.
I guess the right thing to do is to let my brain process it until it's finished doing so. I guess I have to be patient with this too.
Last summer I was in Maine with Rick. I looked up the anonymous Monday note I left on the Marginal Way in Ogunquit by the sea. The day Rick told me that the Marginal Way was where he wanted some of his ashes to be spread.
Maybe it's a message for me...from myself...that changing my scenery for a bit would be a good way to start clearing the lingering pain of the worst day of my life. Maybe the association with this place is stronger than I realize. Maybe I just need to recharge my brain and return a little less weighed down. "Some conversations are just waiting to be started..." I guess I'll have a long talk with myself.