This is a little reflection on what it is like.
I am in a very weird place.
I hope you will bear with me. I know you have all grieved. For lost parents, brothers, sisters, friends, and others. I have too. This is worse. Much worse. The only thing that could be worse is the death of a child.
First of all, let me say, “Widowhood sucks. There is nothing about it that does not suck. Period.”
For those of you in happy marriages, my advice is, die first. Really. This is a really bad place, and I can’t think of anything to recommend it. Other than that if I had, in fact, died first, I would have left my love in this position. So, with that thought, I must accept that this is my cross to bear for now.
Thea wrote this for me:
Still and silent soul
Finally and too soon bereft of its twining mate
Spinning quietly with the momentum of parting
Soon spent…how on Earth—God!—do we find
Our dark clad foot on a darkly lit path
Never mind the next step, but just to place it down again,
Now the piper’s tune is done and the dance replete?
Vision altered with diamond tears in velvet night
Pain in nova blossoms anew and spreads
Articulated, sharp-edged, and merciless
Until all is a conflagration of grief
Travelling a raw and well-seasoned network tracery
In to every abode, den, and way place of body and mind
Faith and hope become millstones of cold reprove…
For a breath, all that tarries is Love
Plain, unmet, answerless…
Ask again, Denese…for the twelve quartered wind
Is always listening, and draws its zephyrs even now
To your succor…however it may shape and press
The cloth of your being against your beleaguered frame
Love that is spent is not lost, and well-spent flourishes beyond its wielders
Returning on a sister brother breeze
Seek ye out the breasts of your loved ones
And lay your head down upon them
Be held and caressed and kissed
Cry all of your tears
That in sweet catharsis you may be left
Limp and pliant, and there you may rest awhile
Seek not beyond this for now
It is enough to place your foot down
On that darkly lit path, and wait for the coming dawn
My first impression was the surprise at the physical loneliness. That caught me unprepared. The physical presence that had been a given for me…hugs, kisses, hands held, the weight of him next to me in bed, or watching television. The sound of his footsteps, his constant cough. The sound of his labored breathing the last few weeks, even. Now a big empty space. A terrible”wrongness” in the world. Because he is not there. And for 26 years, he was never “not there.”
We always met adversity by saying, “It will be alright, as long as we are together.” That saying was my mantra through all the many adversities in life. So now I must find a way for “it” to be alright, even though we aren’t together anymore.
Because, you see, I know he doesn’t want me to stop living. Or enjoying what life has to offer. I know he wants me to go on and be happy.
So, rather than curl up and die in my grief, I must work through it. And it is a very hard thing.
The day before yesterday, I did not cry. That was a milestone. I made up for it yesterday.
I cry when I meet a friend of his that doesn’t know, and when they ask how he is, I have to tell them that he is gone. And endure their shock and sadness.
I cry when I see something that he would have enjoyed seeing or hearing about.
I cry when I see a book that he would have enjoyed reading. Or a TV show that would have stirred him.
I cry when I am reminded how much I have lost. I cry when I run errands. He always did that for me, because he knew I hated it. I cry when I cook. He always cooked for me. I cry when I do laundry. Because he always did the laundry.
How selfish am I?
But you know, I am starting to get real tired of crying.
When will I have cried enough. I wonder?
When will I stop reaching for him unconsciously?
When will I stop looking for chocolate to buy for him?
When will I buy teal blue clothing that I like, but never did because he doesn’t like that color?
When will my grief stop being the center of my existence. My daily task?
This is a very strange place for me to be, this unhappy place of grief. I don’t like it at all. But, I know that it is where I must be for now. So, I am willing to accept.
OK, enough crying today.
I will think of something to laugh about.
Stolen funeral flowers. I have to laugh.
Thanks everyone for being my friend, and my support.