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Valentine's Day Revisited

Saturday, April 9, 2011
I have shared previously on what Michael and I gave each other for Valentine's Day this year, and all of my thoughts that were wrapped up in it.  Valentine's Day was just 6 days before his accident.  If you have not read it yet, I encourage you to read it first.  The post is called  "Valentine's Day."  One of the gifts that he gave me was a generous gift certificate for a massage.  Yesterday I had my massage.  The massage therapist is the wife of a man who was one of Michael's employees, had worked for Michael for years,and was presently working for him at the time of his death.  She has her own private studio, which is perfect because you never have to see or talk to anyone else but her.  I was prepared for an emotional time of tears.  I knew it would be even harder than it would have been with another therapist because she was grieving for Michael too.  Her touch would be filled with understanding and her own tears.

She asked me if there were any particular areas in my body where there was pain or I was having trouble.  I looked up at her with a knowing glance and tears rising to my eyes, that said, "My whole body. My heart. Where do I begin.", but said nothing. She said, "I know," and then told me where to undress and to slip under the covers on the table.  The grief was surging up in me uncontrollably. There was beauty, serenity, music, and candles lit in the room.  After she stepped out, I began to sob as I got undressed and removed my jewelry... including his wedding band, which I wear on a chain around my neck,  his cross necklace that he never took off and had been wearing for years before we even met, and the watch he bought me for our 10th wedding anniversary. (It was sitting on my pillow in our hotel room in New York after coming back from our anniversary dinner celebration.)  My vision was blurred from the tears as I tried to place it all in the little tray provided. The feeling of missing him and the experience of living without him was overwhelming me.  He loved to treat me and would send me to get a massage frequently over the years of our marriage.  Every time we traveled together, he would be sure to find a spa so he could send me there for a relaxing time while he went to a meeting, walked around looking at architecture, or shopped for the two of us while drinking a Starbucks coffee.

The type of massage I was getting, Ashiatsu, places you on your stomach for most of the time while she holds onto bars from the ceiling while using her feet for the massage. (It is amazing.)  Face down was a good place for me to be. I continued to shed tears,but gently and quietly, throughout the massage but they were able to soak directly onto the terry cloth pad that surrounded my face.  I did not cry the whole time, but the grief would wash in then recede, just like a wave. With the music playing in the background, my mind continued to replay memories, like watching flashback scenes in a movie.  He would rub my feet or my shoulders in bed several times a week. While he rubbed my feet, we would talk about life and our deep thoughts. When he rubbed my shoulders, it was usually a time of silence.  I kept seeing this while she was working on my back.  Her slow, fluid movements matched  the rise and fall of emotions that were going through my mind.  I was missing his heart and the connection it had with mine.

When it was over, my muscles were relaxed but I felt so very alone.  I felt like I was deep down, inside the box of grief. The moment felt surreal. I had that feeling of exhaustion that you feel after having a long hard cry.  I slowly got dressed and put the necklaces , with care, back into their place around my neck, and placed the watch back on my wrist. I felt like he had pampered me during that time of the massage. He took care of me.  "You need to do that for yourself", he would say to me regarding a massage. I did.... and I felt his presence.

1 comments:

Marion Says:
April 9, 2011 at 11:25 AM

I felt like he had pampered me during that time of the massage. He took care of me. "You need to do that for yourself", he would say to me regarding a massage. I did.... and I felt his presence.

This was very real for me as well, Jene'. The timing of the gift in relation to the loss, the timing of your visit in relation to your grief - so many connections intertwined so poignantly, so perfectly. Michael's presence was palpable, as was God's. Thank you for sharing the time with me; I hope you're feeling well today. xo

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