There is a part of me that believes, if that is the proper word (and I know it isn’t), that when this is done, when I’ve accomplished this Odyssey of Love, that I’ll go home and Handsome Husband will be waiting for me. I’ll walk in the door and he’ll be there to greet me with his customary smile, his eyes lighting up at the sight of me.
Maybe this is a challenge given to me. Maybe it’s a task that has been set for me to prove myself capable enough, strong enough, I can do this, right? I can sustain the massive pain and grief and still stand up and do every day. I can create a life in spite of this grief. And, once I’ve proven myself, I’ll go home and he’ll be there and this will all have been a dream, a nightmare beyond my wildest imaginings.
I’ve suffered from night terrors since I was a young woman. I don’t know the whys of that, but many times over my years of marriage, I’d waken in a cold sweat. Or Handsome Husband would have to waken me. Since his death, I’ve not had many of those terrors and my theory on that is that my daily waking life without him is such a nightmare that there is nothing left for me to fear in my sleep.
I wish desperately to waken from this nightmare. For this suffocating tightness in my chest to lighten. For my breath to easily move into and out of my lungs. Is this suffocating that I feel similar (though I know nowhere near as horrible) as Handsome Husband felt as his lungs, destroyed by cancer, filled and suffocated him and killed him?
In my sweetest dream, I wake from this nightmare that has lasted one year, two months and 14 days. I’m covered in sweat but Handsome Husband is right beside me, his arms comforting me, his voice soothing me.
We fall asleep again, lulled by the strength of the love that binds us together, in the touch of our hands, in the touching of our hearts and souls.
He and I are together. He is alive. It is indeed just another nightmare.