There is no pain like the loss of a loved one: the numbness, the tears, the anguish, the loneliness, the aloneness, the sadness, the anger.
In the beginning there were so many tears, gut-wrenching tears, an unfamiliar howl deep from within. Slowly the world came back into focus; busyness overtook the constant memories and softened the pain ever so lightly"but not really. It was a false sense of return to wellness.
For the first sixty days I ran from here to there from hither to yon moving but going nowhere. I lunched with friends, talked and found my laughter, but inside I had a huge gaping hole that was consuming me.
The crowd of friends that beckoned my door and rang the phone diminished to a handful of special caring friends. I know its not because they've forgotten me or my loss, but rather that their lives -- their normal lives - moved forward. I understand, but I now know that I, too, have never fully been the friend I should have been to those who have lost their love.
Loss is so profound, so personal and individual. It's true we all grieve differently, but I do believe we all need loving friends to bolster and uplift us. I remember as I opened and read each of the multitude of sympathy cards that I found myself angered by them. How dare they remind me that I have my memories? I don't want my memories -- I want him, I want my love I'd scream inside and out.
As the weeks turned into months I feared time would move too fast, move his presence further away from me. I found myself sadder in an indescribable way. I didn't just cry anymore, it was animalistic. It didn't sound like me. It didn't feel like me.
I'd wake in the night to my voice. I'd be talking to him but when I'd look to his pillow to see why he didn't answer I was reminded why. I still find myself talking to him expecting him to reply. I'll watch something on television that I'd want to share with him so I'd tape it and then I'd remember"
In spite of all of this I thought I was doing fairly well managing my grief, but then five months past and it was my birthday and he wasn't here to tell me that he wanted me to find that "to die for" gift. But what I missed more was his tender, soft loving lips that knew just how to kiss me with such perfection that I was always left yearning for more.
And then it was another month, six in all -- and it was his birthday. It was my worst day to date and I couldn't seem to recover. As if in slow motion I began to feel my body shutting down. Weakness overtook me and my bed became my refuge. Although my doctor told me it was my Lyme Disease rearing its ugly head, my mind told me it was overwhelming all-consuming sadness.
I asked my family physician to please prescribe something to help me regain myself and ease my tears. I was surprised how well it helped; how good it felt not to cry every day.
However, I'm still struggling; my body is slowing coming back to me, but not fully yet. But in these many weeks alone contemplating all that lead up to his final days I'm sad, I'm angry and no matter how many surround me I'm profoundly alone.
I'm angry that he left me. I'm angry that months before he passed he told a close friend that he didn't expect that he'd make it to the holidays -- and he didn't. It angers me that he didn't tell me. Instead he kept assuring me that he "wasn't going anywhere anytime soon" and I believed him. After all, he looked so well, so alive. Did he give me this false hope because he thought that's what I needed? It makes me angry nonetheless.
Instead he told my closest girlfriends to make certain that I find love again. He didn't want me to be alone. He'd tell them that I personified love and that I was meant to be loved. He'd tease me telling me to make certain the next one is a young stud! He made me laugh. He always made me laugh even in the worst of moments.
Later, when all that he was left was the use of one arm and one hand, he'd cup my breast in his hand and hold on. It didn't matter who was there: doctor, friend, acquaintance. He wanted that memory. It surprised me that I felt no embarrassment or self-consciousness. No, instead he made me smile and I adored that in his horrible state he still wanted me and he wanted the memory of me. (That is a memory I shall always have.)
But I look in the mirror: I'm no longer that cute little thing he fell in love with. Years have replaced my 19" waist with a somewhat more Rubinesque voluptuousness. Who but someone who grew with me would look upon me today with adoring, loving eyes? Do I even want someone else to kiss my lips and trace my arms with his hands memorizing every bit of me?
We were once young and adorable. We'd turn heads. I always thought it was because our love was so palatable so obvious to all who gazed upon us. We had this glow that emanated from within. Every photograph I have where he's looking at me it's evident that he adored me. What we had was so special, enviable I've been told.