I was already feeling extremely vulnerable. It's been three months. I thought the grief was, well, manageable. But then it came back with a vengeance. I missed Mark terribly. I miss him terribly. I think perhaps it is because I have the kids now on our "staycation." For the past four years, Mark and I have taken our four youngest children somewhere on a family vacation. In 2012, it was Yellowstone. Then, following Mark's diagnosis, we went to Disneyland. The following year, it was southern Utah and Moab. Then, last year, sensing it would be our last vacation together, we took them to Maui. And what a memorable trip that was.
This year, I thought it best to just stay home and do things locally. A wise decision. I really wasn't prepared for the grief that has come these past few days. I thought that I had dealt with it. But it came nonetheless. I have keenly sensed Mark's absence. After all, he had come into my life and into the lives of my children only months after I'd separated from my ex-wife.
Then, on top of this, came the unspeakable horror of Orlando. And a deep vulnerability - no doubt felt by countless other gay men - was ripped open. Grief upon grief. A recognition that our protections are so precarious, so thin - both from society and from ourselves. I don't think that I am alone in feeling that all the insecurities, all the fear, all the condemnation, all the self-loathing I've ever felt ever since I was a boy have come seething forth in the wake of this tragedy. The grief, the vulnerability, is palpable.
Tonight, I am striving to be grateful for all that I have. My family. My friends. The love that I have shared and share. But it is difficult to stay the tears of loss and of grief. Tomorrow, with the dawn, I pray the tears of gratitude will take their place.