Michael’s obituary was in the paper last week. The 20th, I believe. I bought two copies of it. The paper sat in a bag on the love seat until just a few minutes ago.

I took the papers out of the bag, grabbed a pair of scissors, the same ones I used to wrap Christmas presents, and cut them out of there. They are both now in a safe spot with the program from his funeral. The flowers his daughters gave me at the funeral are in a vase above my sink, the yellow rose is drooping and almost gone, it looks how I feel. Drooping, sad, depressed. The two red roses are blooming and beautiful still, as if the love instilled in them lives on.

Maybe, that is exactly what it is. The body passes, the soul moves on, but, the love remains. The love that we had for Michael is still there, the love he had for us, is still there, it sits on a different plane but, it remains.

I know they won’t last forever but, they are a nice reminder of Michael, and of how wonderful his daughters were. How even in their pain, they came up to me and both hugged me so very tight as I cried at his funeral. They may not have been his biological daughters but, the love between the three of them is almost palpable. Both girls spoke at his funeral, short lovely tributes to their Daddy. Tributes that made us laugh as the tears ran down our faces.

The girls Mom and I had began to become friends prior to Michael’s death. We talked on Facebook, a bit, had meet one another a couple times, and in fact Jenn is who I contacted the day Michael died. She is the one I got a hold of because I just knew what he was about to do, didn’t know what to do, didn’t have his address, as I knew where he lived, just not the number.

She was the one who called the police, and the one who had to tell me that he was indeed gone, that the feeling I had when that last message came through was correct. And, we have bonded over all of this. We both loved Michael, he was one of our dearest friends, we had both dated him, and knew how sensitive of a man he was.

Now, we talk about all sorts of things, not just Michael. Don’t get me wrong he is a topic of conversation. How could he not be? he has been gone just over ten days.

Ten days and I look like I have aged ten years. I never realized how grief has such a physical weight to it. It is leaden and sits on your shoulders, pushing you down toward the ground. Every step seems to be at least twice as hard as normal, and every normal life activity seems to take up to much of your strength, your effort, your everything. Yet, you push on. I did quite a bit tonight. It helps. The busier my hands our, the less my mind can concentrate on “Michael’s gone. Michael’s in a vase* Michael’s dead.”

I made a double batch of spaghetti sauce, cooked spaghetti, cut the ham up and froze it in meal portions, cleaned out the fridge, froze some squash soup, folded and hung almost every piece of clothing we own. I scrubbed the kitchen, everything other than the floor, that will come tomorrow. Just a couple hours of very busy work to help my mind.

Now, it is 3 AM, I am worn out physically, and my brain is settled back on “Michael’s gone.” I do not get this. I do not want to understand this. I do not want to move on, yet, as those left behind, we have no choice. We move on, or cut out. Slowly but, surely, we have to put one foot in front of the other, remembering the love, but, moving forward.

*(Dawn and Kelly kept saying vase so, now my brain does, too, instead of urn. at least it is a nice looking vase.)