First and Last

“I am going to break this guy’s heart,” I thought to myself. It was our fourth date, and I knew he was a confident person but this evening I could see I made him visibly nervous.  He stood in my doorway with a bottle of wine. We had plans to meet for the evening, but that was it. And here he was, visibly trembling in my doorway.

I thought if I made anyone that nervous, there must be something weak in them, something I eventually would find too needy about them, too desperate. These of course were my own projections about things I dislike about myself. But I thought they were indications that I was stepping into something I knew, that I was in control, that I could rationally decide when to leave, as I thought I would if I were to continue.

How very wrong I was. That step tripped me. I fell so hard and I didn’t know if it was the ground or the sky hitting me. I suffered his absences. I split and blazed in his presence. I laughed and cried tears of euphoria with him, for him, because of him. I lived my life in a state of presence I’d never been able to manage before. I never wanted any of our moments together to end. “Ah, THIS is it,” I thought to myself. “This is what it is to love and be loved completely.”

I was safe and I was fully alive for the first time. And maybe the last time.

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Anniversary

I couldn’t bring myself to write on the anniversary of his death 2 1/2 months ago.The notion that I will never see him again is too big. I faced it and felt it so deeply for so long, nearly ten months, until I could not embrace so much sorrow any longer. I had been going to every and all form of therapy and support groups, doing meditation, self care, acupuncture, spiritual practices, searching for meaning…that’s what I thought I was supposed to do. That’s what I didn’t do last time. That’s what I thought would help. But nothing ever did, ever does. I got angry and quit all of it.

I got sick of embracing a soul crushing pain that never lessened. Sick of feeling like I was under water, moving slower than the world, unable to make sense of the frenzy of life going on around me.  Sick of not knowing who I was anymore.

And I think I very nearly went down the rabbit hole; I came very close to losing my mind. I was certainly on the brink of something dark and frightening and I am not sure what it was. Maybe I was on the edge of enlightenment or maybe I was going to break. Whatever, wherever I was, I believed it led to a place I wouldn’t come back from, so I stepped back. I put my attentions on distractions and all the bullshit you do when you don’t know how to manage your feelings. Maybe someday I will regret this. Or maybe I will celebrate this. Who knows.

For his anniversary I spent the weekend with his family up in the mountains. We went to the ridge where we spread his ashes a year ago. It was beautiful and it sucked. Beautiful because the love we share for him brought us together, his sweet memories reside in all of us. It sucked for obvious reasons.

I thought pages and pages would pour out of me on his anniversary, but I couldn’t face it. Maybe I won’t ever again, I have no idea. I effectively turned off a switch and it could very well come back to bite me very hard later. Or maybe not, maybe I’m through something. But I’m not over anything. I’m trying to rebuild my life again, but this weight is always with me. I miss him and the future I lost with him so goddamn much. 

I’ll never get over my losses, nor should I, nor should anyone. I can heal, I can rebuild myself, but I will never be the same. I shouldn’t be and I don’t want to be.

 

death vs divorce

I can’t believe I am even writing this, but I must get it off my chest.

There is a difference. A big, hulking, overwhelming, devastating, sickening difference between ending a relationship and a partner dying. Divorce, separation is a choice. It happens typically because love is lost or not strong enough to get through  problems or the changes/growth of one partner.

But with death, the love was there and in many circumstances, it was still growing and developing.  My relationship was amazing. I had no doubt in my mind we would be inseparable until old age .

I am posting this because there are an unbelievable number of people who believe they understand what I am going through. They do not. They cannot. I’ve heard from many, many people who have been through both the death of a spouse and a divorce, and all of them_every single one__say that divorce is MUCH easier.

What’s more, there are a handful of folks who have dared to posit to my face that I am LUCKY that my partner died. LUCKY – because he did not leave me. The fuck??? This was not a choice. Your partner chose to leave you for a REASON. I never, ever wanted, nor did Albert want, this relationship to end at any cost. AT ANY COST. We were already fighting to make our relationship far better than either of us could ever had imagined. I would have died for that man. And I know he would have died for me.

This is harsh but being on the receiving end of all this shit is harsher. So to everyone who thinks they know, or thinks I have it easier in some twisted way because my love died, I have only two words for you: One begins with F and the other with Y.

Peace

Nothing helps anymore. Not therapy, not meditation, not spiritual connection, not talking, not distracting myself, not new activities or new people. I’ve quit all the therapy and PTSD treatments and yoga and acupuncture and spiritual groups and grief groups. I’m done. I’m tired of feeling, because all I feel is sorrow. There is no end, it will never fucking end. I’m a broken person and I accept this will be the rest of my life.

I go through the motions. I do activities. I try to work. I ride my bike. I try to catch up on the responsibilities that I have fallen so far behind with. I am around people. Sometimes not the right people but at least I am not alone. I make poor choices. I’m vulnerable and don’t care. And after all of it, I am still in the same place. Talking to his photograph, empty.

I have done many important things in my life and accomplished so much. My life was full before I met him. But he expanded my life in one year more than my life expanded in the previous 8. I cannot live without him. All the time I have lived and will live since he died is wasted.

I just want some peace. There is none.

Please don’t try to fix it

If I am with you and something overwhelms me with sadness, please don’t try to distract me by telling me what I should be excited for. If you ask how I am, and I am truthful, please don’t try to change my focus by listing all of the things I should be grateful for.

If I am crying because it is a significant date (or I came across a photo of Albert unexpectedly, or one of our songs came on in a restaurant, or I see the motorcycle he road, or pass the market we used to go to together…) please don’t point out how I am so much more fortunate than others in the world and so I should decide to be happy.

If I am overwhelmed with a longing for the love of my life and my lost future, please, don’t try to fix my pain. There is no fixing it.

Instead, please hold out your hand and tell me that it is here for me to hold. That your shoulder is available for me to cry on, that your heart is big enough for both of us. That your angels are ready to fight my demons, and that you are here.

 

08/08

I don’t want to mark this day each month. I don’t want to feel it approaching, anticipating the flood of emotions that will come whether I want them to or not. I want to go back, to return to when we celebrated with joy 16th of each month, marking the day we met that July.

There is relief in nothing, and I now know there never will be. I can feel other things now, I learned it is possible to feel other emotions alongside the sadness, and I am grateful for that. But missing you never stops, it never lessens, I think about you every minute.

I have engaged in multiple forms of therapy, joined new activities, made friends, reached out (sometimes desperately) to old friends and even strangers, withdrew, attended grief groups, talked with mediums, gone to church, and meditated. I’ve done EFT, been to energy healers, acupuncture, reiki, and sacrocranial therapy. I prayed for death for six months. I’ve drank far too much and too often, distracted myself, and kept endlessly busy. I’ve talked and written to you endlessly and cried rivers of tears…

Still everything is unbearable without you.

I want to go back to the time when 8 was my number – my birthday month, my numerology number, my race number – my lucky number. I hate that I mark this day each month as the day you died. I hate all of this.

I will lie

Know that when you ask me how I am, I will lie.

I am not fine. I am nowhere near that.

I don’t need fixing. There is no solution, please don’t offer me any. Things are dark, but actually they need to be dark now.

Please just be present for me. Please speak Albert’s name. Acknowledge that he is missing from our daily life, our parties, our trips, our lives our future…

Grab me and hold me tight enough so for a split second I don’t have to be the only one holding together a million shattered pieces of the whole I used to be.

Say, “I am sorry.”

Say, “I don’t know what to say.”

Say nothing.