What this grief feels like, but what I know it isn’t:
The PowersThatBe, whoever or whatever it/they, are, have decided to test my strength and endurance by making Handsome Husband disappear. They want to see how many times I crumple to the ground and get back up. They want to see how much gut-wrenching pain I can be in physically from this grief, and remain standing and doing. They want to see how much determination I can have, in spite of. They want to see how much my heart and soul can be cut and I can bleed out, but still stand.
THEN, when I have been tested to beyond my limits, THEN they will say “Okay. Good job. We thought you had it in you but we weren’t sure, so we had to run some tests to see what you had inside of you. But now we see. Here he is, back again. Well done.”
And Handsome Husband will walk in the door and say “That was some shit. Now let’s get on with our lives.” And we will. And I’ll love him more than I did before, (and I already loved him with every beat of my heart, so that’s quite a bit more.)
I’m not the only woman who has ever been widowed. I know that. Knowing that, actually, has been my saving grace ever since this fucking nightmare began. (Even as I typed that swear word, I hear Handsome Husband in my head, saying that using that word will offend people and keep them from reading my blog). When the grief is sinking into my blood and bones, I’ve reminded myself right from the beginning of this, that millions of women the world over, since time began, have suffered this loss. They’ve come through it and I will too. I know that. And somewhere inside of me, it helps that I remind myself of that.
But that doesn’t remove the grief and that’s what I need to get through now. I’m not dressing anything up here with my grief. My writing about it is for me, to help me get it out of my body and my heart and the words out of my mind, and put it out there, for no other reason than I need to put it out there.
Shards of glass, that’s all I can say what my insides feel like. Beaten up, that’s what my body feels like. Blistered from the hot desert sun, that’s what my mind feels like. Torn up. Stomped on. Bloody.
Grief isn’t pretty. It doesn’t go away when you’re tired of it. I’ve realized, and find ease in this realization, that who I am right now, and who I will be, probably for a long time, is grief. My baseline is grief and the agony of missing-ness, and I operate from that as I do all that needs to be done on a daily basis. Which, surprisingly, helps. I’m not trying to be something I’m not. (happy, carefree, optimistic, etc). I’m grieving hard. And that’s okay. On the outside, I’m participating in life, because that’s what must be done. But I am different and it would be silly, and I expect, harmful to me, to attempt to be something I’m not in order to make anyone comfortable. If you could see my insides, they would be a morass of hysteria, sobbing, pain, numbness, disbelief, just….raw. If you could see inside my head, you would see the word “FOREVER” stabbing in a neon light frenzy as I try to absorb on a minute by minute basis, that I’ll never see my beloved Handsome Husband again, that he isn’t coming back no matter how much I run and pant and fall down and get back up and throw up and gasp and cross an invisible finish line.
He’s gone. Forever.