As part of my quest to refigure the pathways in my mind and open myself up to more light, I’ve been doing my version of dance therapy — dancing to a peppy song or two every day. I hop a bit, wave my arms around, and surrender to the rhythm. It generally works to lighten my mood, but today, Saturday, my sadder day, the song had the opposite effect and I ended up pummeling the air instead of bopping to the beat.
The song? Buddy Holly’s “It Doesn’t Matter Any More.”
Cripes. As if I really needed to hear Buddy singing, “There you go and baby here am I / Well you left me here so I could sit and cry / Golly gee what have you done to me?”
Someone told me that grief over the death of a mate is like a relationship gone bad, and sometimes it does feel that way. I talk to him, and he says nothing in return. I beg for a hug, and he ignores me. I yearn for him, and he remains remote. I ask what happened to us, what did I do that was so terrible he had to leave me, and he doesn’t answer.
And then I remember — he didn’t leave me, he died. Now he is there and I am here with no way to bridge the gap. We don’t even have the opportunity to get together to fight about who gets what — I ended up with everything by default. If he were here, he could have everything. I’d even let him have the silly dishes we argued about that last year. (I received a set of Melmac dishes for Christmas when I was young. It was some sort of giveaway, and my mother got the whole set and saved them for my hope chest — though it wasn’t a chest, just a shelf in the kitchen cabinet. I still use those dishes occasionally — they are a wonderful size, and so very light.)
He and I shared everything during our years together, but for some reason I got very protective of those vintage dishes the last year of his dying. We’d started cutting up beets and other colorful vegetables for salads and I asked him not to use those plates — they were white and the beet juice stained them — but he kept using them anyway. (I should have known something was dreadfully wrong with him — he was the most considerate person I’d ever met.) I don’t know why my frustration over his continued decline focused on those dishes, but it did. I don’t even know why it mattered. It sure doesn’t matter any more.
The song (“It Doesn’t Matter Anymore” written by Paul Anka) continues, “Now you go your way baby and I’ll go mine / Now and forever till the end of time.” Yeah. A real spirit lightener.
The song ends with the words, “baby / We’ll say we’re through / And you won’t matter any more.”
We might be through — my life mate and I — and I wish I could say he doesn’t matter any more, but he does. And he always will.