It hit me this morning as I drove the back roads of south Jersey and passed a tree whose leaves were changing colors in preparation for the Fall.
Each time the seasons have changed since Chuck’s death, it takes my breath away. Not for the beauty of them, which I always used to appreciate, but because…the season is changing again. As they’ve changed 14 times in these 3 1/2 years since his death.
Each season takes me further away from his life, from our lives together. And, yes, it hitches my breath each time I acknowledge this. And it hurts my heart.
Many years ago, for his birthday, I surprised him with a trip to the Poconos. And yes, we stayed in one of the cheesy hotels with a heart-shaped tub. We loved it. Fall colors popped all around us, because Chuck’s birthday is in October.
On our way back home again, we stopped at a roadside park for lunch. There was a river there, with trees draping their leaves over the water.
It was beautiful. Now, I can barely bear to see the leaves turn.
Everything changes when your person dies. The meaning of everything changes when your person dies. What once had color is now bland. The flavor and flow of daily life, of days becoming weeks and months and years, changes. There is an absence of color.
I realize, of course, that I don’t write for every widow and widower. I can only speak of my own experience.
My heart sang with Chuck’s for our 24 years, and my world was filled with color and beauty. If there were a switch I could find to turn everything back on, I would, and I’d look at the trees outside and see what color feels like again and I’d listen to the fallen leaves rustle under my feet, and I’d feel everything down to the soles of my soul.
I just don’t fucking know how to change this everything’s changed world of mine~