Handsome Husband is gone. Gone. Period. I’d like to believe, I’d like to think, that he is here with me somehow. Maybe someday I’ll feel that he is, but, at least for now, I don’t. It doesn’t matter how many times people tell me that he’s with me in spirit-if I don’t feel that he is, what good does it do me? So I’m practicing saying the words “He’s gone. Forever. Just gone. And now there’s a life you have to build, without him.” Those words are incredibly painful-they bite chunks out of me and shred my consciousness. But I need to say them, so that I can shift my perspective.
The very thought of getting in the car and traveling on my own has overwhelmed me. Not that I physically can’t do it on my own; it’s the emotional toll involved that is so frightening. I saw it when I left him behind in California. It made my heart raw with pain in a gut-wrenching way.
Today, I had a revelation-one of those shifts in thinking that seems so obvious once thought about, but remains elusive in its’ commonsensicality until it’s suddenly front and center of the brain and you think “Well, of course!” (that’s the first exclamation point I’ve used since he died…so some progress of a sort, I suppose).
Here’s the thing. I’ve been struggling to figure out Handsome Husband’s banking system, hotel awards system, computer system, everything system, and its’ caused panic in me because he did things so differently than I would. He was exacting (in a very positive way). He was right on top of things. All of which made our lives easier, especially with traveling. But I’m not him and I’ve needed to figure out my own system. Which I’m doing, slowly. And it will work for me. (He’d say, well, of course it will, beautiful!)
My panic in contemplating being on the road on my own figured in the same way. He did the long-range planning; mileage, reservations, etc. He sought out on the map and through research on the internet various places we might like to visit along the way. We did a lot of hiking through National Parks or places we’d see along the road unexpectedly. I’ve loved every minute of it. And the thought of driving as we had, stopping to hike, doing all the things we’ve done together, and doing it on my own, did me in emotionally. Its’ made me not want to do it, to settle down maybe, because it’s just too painfully emotional to consider.
So, here’s my revelation, which takes us back to the beginning of this blog. I don’t have to travel the same way! So simple a realization, isn’t it? I can do it differently. I can drive how and where I want. I don’t have to hike at all unless I’m so inclined. (And, honestly, I did it mainly because he and I were together, not because it’s a natural inclination of my own). I can find my own focus for this traveling life. I can make this my own. I have to make this my own, because he’s gone and he’s not coming back. Ever. No matter how much grief and pain I carry in my heart, he won’t be returned to me. No matter how much I beg….whoever.
This is an exruciatingly painful step for me in every way. My plea every night when I lie down to sleep is two words to him. Find me.
Maybe, by letting go of the notion that any traveling I do must be done in the same way he and I did, maybe by doing that, I can get back on the road again, by myself.
And, maybe, by letting go of how Handsome Husband and I did our traveling and living together, none of which can be continued or repeated, I’ll find him again.