Widow Speak~

There really is no explaining it
In words that either convey or make sense to anyone
The depths of the word change daily and minute by minute
Depending on the day or the minute
In the beginning, it means devastation conflagration incineration annihilation
Each of those feeling remain or don’t,
Depending on the day or the minute
It’s going to bed alone and leaving the TV or radio on low so that the hum of voices distracts you as you wake through the night and if you don’t have the distraction your mind hums with memories and the grief that no more memories will ever be made.
Grasping his pillow close and arranging your body sometimes unconsciously to the side you slept when you slept with him so that he could curl his body around you his arm curving under you his other arm draping over you his hand curled around your breast.
It’s waking each morning and wishing that you could have that unsuspecting moment that you’re waking to your old life like you hear people speak about but your body and mind are instantly aware that he’s still dead and this is another morning and you’re exhausted because your mind has been going all night long even when you slept but really didn’t sleep.
And you make the decision to get up anyways because you can’t just lay abed endlessly, right?
Go through a morning routine getting ready shower don’t cry or yes, do cry try to push away the thoughts that I just can’t do this again but you do it again anyways because what other choice is there?
Breakfast even though you really aren’t hungry but what does hunger have to do with eating its habit more than anything or eat because you aren’t hungry but you have to do something and the clock says breakfast time and you eat but you don’t taste because food doesn’t matter to you anymore.
It’s going through your day whatever your day used to mean but now doesn’t except that distractions help sometimes but not really because there underneath everything is your new pulsebeat of dead dead dead he’s gone gone gone.
Try to get home early if you’re out because there’s just something about that time of the early evening that makes missing him more powerful than all the powerful moments of the earlier part of the day.  Once you get home wherever home is now home was when I was with him wander around the kitchen the bedroom the house turn the TV on for noise eat food out of the fridge because who cares eat junk.
Go to bed because you need the day to end or don’t go to bed because you can’t bear being alone in bed so sleep on the couch somehow the back of the couch against your back helps you feel more secure.
One season follows another and the days drift and bend and each season carries its’ own cuts and bruises of remembrance and oh he would love the colors of the flowers the trees the snow the ocean that gust of wind feel that feeling in the air and he isn’t here and my soul can’t bear this beauty and I’m not ignoring the beauty but the beauty hurts because I’m seeing it feeling it being it on my own and that cuts into me again like a chain saw.
We’re supposed to be grateful we had what we had and I am and we’re complimented on being so strong and I am but also exhausted from being strong encouraged to remember and I do but what does that have to do with anything I wonder and told that look you have your kids and your grandkids and your life and other people who love you and I do and I know that but what the fuck does that have to do with anything and how on god’s green earth does any of that change anything or make up for anything most especially the fact that for god’s sake he’s dead?
What do you say when there are no words in our language to fully and really and completely tell you that I say what I need to say and do what I need to do and I’m whatever I need to be to meet this fucking real life challenge but none of it means a damn thing and I’m not pretending anything to anyone but life does fucking go on and I have to support myself and shop and do all the daily tasks that constitute living but if you really really really want to know the truth with no qualifications and no prevarications…
My heart is broken and I’m not really strong and I hate living without him and life is unbearable and I’ve run out of words and I have no energy for this and I’m really not okay but I have to be okay so I try to be okay but my soul inside this body that shows up every day even as I’m doing and talking and going through each day is just missing him as he is missing from me and it hurts and there isn’t one damn thing that doesn’t remind me of him including the very act of breathing.  And all the milestones and holidays and anniversaries and birthdays amid the everydays make me miss him even more and I want nothing more than to be held by him feel his arms around me his lips on mine feel safe again feel secure again dance with him sleep with him have wild sex with him wake with him share nothing and everything important with him live again knowing how special I am to someone in this life just have him back please please please…
Be his wife his lover again.
Not his widow.


To Waken~

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.


The Not So Gentle Nights~

There was a time, in the first year after we started traveling, where I slept so peacefully through the nights.  Handsome Husband and I were thrilled to explore this country, seeing new things, adjusting well to our 24/7 time together, deepening our love for one another.   His body next to mine in our bed, wherever that bed happened to be, his reassuring presence next to me, waking in the morning to face another day of adventure-life was, yes…bliss.

Ye olden days.  Gone forever.  Our last winter in Arizona marked the changing of our days and our nights.   Once we left Arizona to go further West into Nevada and California, our sleeping habits were never the same.   His nights got restless, with coughing and pain.  Mine changed as I woke with him.  By the time we arrived in Cathedral City, California for our 3 month rental, his nights were a painful trek from sofa to chair to floor to sofa to chair.  Pillow propping, back rubbing, soft massages, coughing, pacing, and me staring at that light high up on the nearby mountain out the porch window.   Neither of us slept a night through.  Even if I could stretch out in the huge king-size bed, there was a gaping emptiness next to me and I was oh so aware of him just a few steps away, sitting on the couch, both of us praying that, if nothing else, exhaustion would claim us.

Just a few days shy of 4 months later, almost 3000 miles away, on the other Coast, I am jolted awake once I do finally sleep.  I don’t dream and I sleep in brief snatches.   I don’t startle awake in a frightened manner in the months since he died.  It’s more a matter of I’m sleeping and suddenly, deep in the recesses of my mind, will be the realization that I’m alone in this bed, that he’s gone forever from me, and the abject loneliness and coldness of that thought will open my eyes as if it were daytime and I’d merely blinked.

I miss my husband.   We lived together, we loved passionately, we danced, we adventured and we were supposed to have so many more years together.   I remember saying to him early on, when we first lived together, before we got married, when we first shared a bed, how easily we shared that bed, giving space even while laying close, clasping hands if nothing else.   His body next to mine was of such comfort and we easily learned the art of two people sharing a bed.   His next-to-me during the night was his next-to-me during the daylight-strong, loving, confident, protective.

Now, my days of agony translate seamlessly into nights of agony and, once again, into days of agony in an endless march of time.

I’ve been robbed.