Here it goes. Me being politically and most likely socially, incorrect.
I hate life. I hate life without the man I love in it. I have no interest in anything I’m doing (and I’m doing so much). The only emotion I feel besides numbness, which isn’t even an emotion and doesn’t actually describe the baseline feeling of raw pain that is a constant, is emotional pain. And physical pain that is the type I’d imagine someone feels when a limb has been amputated. Phantom physical pain. Except not a limb but my heart, which is still in my body and yet somewhere out there wherever it went when my husband died. (Lying in pieces, shredded and bloody). Mostly I’m neutral emotionally. I walk and I talk and I do and I don’t do and its all the same to me. Life without him sucks.
There. It’s out. I said it. No bravery happening here. No thoughts for my future. Indeed, no care for my future. I don’t give a rat’s ass for my future. All I know is that I’m here at this moment, typing at my computer. It’s another day here in Key West. I got up. I showered and got dressed. It’s a rainy day but that doesn’t bear any influence on me. I’m just here.
No, I’m not depressed. I’m fucking sad. I’m being brutally honest about what my grief is. I’m telling you that as I talk to you, watch the sunrises and sunsets, see all the beauty around me, that what you see and who I am are polar opposites. You’re not seeing the real me that is the blood and gore that remains of my heart and my soul and my joie de vie-all that was and now isn’t.
I wonder how many people who are grieving in this world (and there are legions), are too timid to speak such a truth as this because of the general response. Our society compels us to get out there, make life happen, be filled with gratitude, pull ourselves up by our bootstraps, and on and on. We are told “He/She wouldn’t want you to feel this way. He/She would want you to love life again”. And on and on. None of with which I argue. My response to that is mostly “No shit, Sherlock “. (no disrespect intended) It’s what I would want for Handsome Husband if he’d been left behind. Indeed, we spoke of this many times over the years-what we wished for the one left behind.
But tell me, how the fuck do I get from here to there? How do I care again about life? I’m paying attention to my life. I’m creating a life, no matter how I feel. I’ve done so fucking much since he died to make it happen. And I’m also just letting myself be, letting the grief happen. I’m doing every (pardon my french here) goddamnfucking thing I can do or not do.
In my head, back and forth, I remind myself constantly and relentlessly “He’s dead. Just accept it. He’s not coming back. He’s gone. You’re in love with a dead man. Just walk. Just keep walking. But how can he be dead? He was so alive. He was just here. How is it possible? We had a life. We loved each other. We paid attention. We didn’t take each other for granted. He did everything right. It doesn’t matter. He’s dead, he’s dead, he’s dead”.
Over and over. The reality running flat up against what my heart is struggling to accept.
For years I worked in hospice and in that time, I supported men and women whose wives/husbands had died and I’m ashamed to say that I thought at times “Well, at some point you’ll remarry and get on with it”. I have deep shame at my lack of compassion.
The death of a partner is an unrelenting loss of every part of a shared life. Well, I guess it is if you actually love your partner. It’s the bomb blast of your life. Yes, a person might find another person to love and be in love with but how shallow of me to think, as I counseled grieving widows, that allowing another person into your life might make that first person, and all the emotions that went into building a life with them, disappear. How incredibly courageous and life-affirming, to even allow another person into your life, knowing the pain of loss that will inevitably happen again, at some point.
Handsome Husband and I loved, and were in love with each other, deeply. We loved our kids in every way, our grandkids too. We loved our parents and friends. But the love we shared with each other was sacrosanct and separate and the most deeply felt. Our life together was the most important thing to us. We danced, we fought, we adventured, were impatient with each other, we made wild, passionate love, we held hands, we laughed, we saw each other at our most awkward moments and at our best, we supported one another in our dreams, we slept together with his body wrapped around me, we cared for each other when we were ill, we celebrated life together.
He was the keeper of my heart and I feel empty without him, more alone than I’ve ever felt before. I write none of this to draw sympathy from anyone, or words of wisdom or support, but only to make a simple statement. As Handsome Husband would say “It is what it is”. And it sucks the big one.