You are everywhere.
In every restaurant we went, where you’d sit or kneel beside my chair, take my hands and tell me I am your everything. Every single time we dined.
Among the pages of my notebook, where I wrote our story as it happened and poems that came out of me when I thought my heart would explode for you. Poems you teared up over when I read them aloud.
Below my balcony where you would whistle for me, and I would exit to see your broad smile and shining eyes. Sometimes with your bicycle, sometimes with your moto helmet, sometimes with roses in your hands.
At the airport arrival where you waited with signs for me, again and again. Where we fell into each other with kisses and laughs of joy to be together once more.
The beaches where we would picnic at night, music playing on our phones. Or sometimes swim naked by the light of the moon.
My bathroom mirror where you’d be at my shoulder as I readied myself for our evening out.
The pillow you would hide chocolate bars under so you could feed me bits at a time.
Every cafe we sat shoulder to shoulder in, hands entwined.
Every street we walked down arm in arm.
My closet where your shirts hang slack.
Your final entries in our calendar.
The vacant airplane seat beside me.
My unread messages.
My empty bed.
I don’t want to do this. I don’t know how.
When I am in deepest despair–which is often, daily–Friends and others remind me that I know how to do this, that I’ve gotten through this once before and I should be able to see that while it hurts now, I will make it through and incorporate loss and the memory of Albert into my life.
But this is not the same. I have to tell you – it is not. The the loss of John-Mark and the loss of Albert are ridiculously, insultingly similar, and yet they are totally, entirely different. I do not recognize this as anything I have experienced before.
It’s two times now that I’ve lost all my sense of safety, order and continuity in life – that much is true. But it stops there. Nine years ago, John-Mark’s death was traumatic and extremely painful and I was in shock, but I still felt I had a sense of direction and the power to make decisions about my life.
I do not feel I have that now. It is a terrifying, dark, powerless place that I am in. Albert was my confidant, my friend, my lover, my protector, my security, my life partner, my future. I have no desire for the future that lies ahead of me now. Nor do I want today. I don’t want to remember anything. I sleep at night easily, because that is where (for the most part) I can forget.
I do not have a blueprint for how to accept this. I don’t know how to incorporate this loss into my life, I have no idea. This cannot be forever. I will not survive.