Luck

I was lucky enough to be loved by someone I admired and respected. Someone who allowed me into his heart and mind, who shared his secrets, his pain, his ideas, dreams, his fears and so many things he shared with no one else in the world.

He forgave all my faults and mistakes with a smile on his face and love in his heart. He asked me to forgive his mistakes and let him learn from them. He actively asked for feedback on his progress. He loved me enough to be fully present, to show me the human being he was. I was so lucky for this.

But a bomb was dropped on my life and everything familiar, everything I thought I knew for certain and believed in, is now in shambles. I struggle to find myself.

I am rendered weaponless in the face of this sadness. There is no forgetting, moving on, “stopping” myself thinking about him (as if that were even possible). The pain of losing Albert will not just end one day. Time does not heal all wounds. It doesn’t ever end, I know. I learned to live with the pain of losing JM. Now I have to learn to live with the pain of losing Albert. It is the price I paid for loving him so much.

We were absolutely sure of each other. Two months into the relationship we talked about marriage. And from then on we only alluded to it because we both understood that the day he proposed would be a surprise.

Life was magic with him. I was lucky for this.

But life without him
is hardly a life at all.

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Supergirl

I was at a get together at a good friend’s place last week. Toward the end of the night,  she shared a song with me and told me that since Albert’s accident, she thinks of me every time she hears it on her playlist.

The name of the song is Supergirl. Three of us listened to it together and hugged as the song ended. They said I am a survivor for all that I have been through, and even a fighter and for this I am a Supergirl. I found the song online and listened to it on my bicycle ride home that night, stopping when I could not longer see through all my tears and my sobs had me weaving.

I want to be this a fighter, to accept it is not my time and that I am here for a reason I do not yet know. I want to emulate those qualities in Albert that I admired and be a better person for loving him. I want to be strong enough to rise to this challenge and learn whatever lesson may lie dormant in this nightmare.

I want to be this Supergirl, I want to be her for my friends and family who wish the person they knew would return.

But that person I was will never return. What may seem like strength is merely the absence of a choice. I can put on a normal face and force a smile in public I can get drunk and dance. I’ve learned how to sob so hard in a restaurant bathroom that my spit and tears wet the floor and I can walk out moments later as if nothing happened. I can orchestrate dinners and events because I fear the void of loneliness will swallow me and anguish will annihilate me. I’ve learned to wait out the horrifying clash and collapse of myself, the earth, galaxies, all of creation – into nothingness, over and over. I can pretend there is some grand plan, some purpose or lesson, in this future that has been presented to me in a fucked up basket with a black ribbon.

I am fragile and sensitive and although I would like to, I help no one. I get upset at everything and everyone. I resist every step. I shouldn’t even be making decisions for myself. I’ve missed planes, left important items behind and lost many more, missed appointments, forgotten to pay bills, double booked appointments, screwed up work projects, made impulsive purchases for things I didn’t need, lost work and clients, communicated poorly with people I care about and made them feel bad too, and the list goes on.

I wish I could gather my broken pieces and form them into a whole. I wish I could see through the darkness in front of me. I wish I could feel the coming winter with anything other than dread and fear of its echoing loneliness, its constant reminders of what no longer is and never again will be.

I wish I could be Supergirl.

 

On the theme of Halos

Albert used to send me songs when we we apart in the beginning of our relationship – the very beginning, like half a week in, when we still had nights away from each other – and for the next month or so.

The very first song he sent to me was a remade version of “Halo” and quite a beautiful remake at that. It must have been after our third date.

I listened to the growing playlist of songs when we were apart. Halo was always my favorite. I sang it to him much later, perhaps a month or two before the accident. I sang it quietly one night in bed, as a way to express my feelings for him because I was bereft of words at that point. I looked into his eyes as I sang this song. His eyes shone with happiness as he returned my gaze. He immediately asked me to sing it again once I finished. He held my hands and kissed my fingers as I did.

The first thing I consciously thought of when I saw his body at his funeral service was this song. It played and played in my head.

Albert insisted–absolutely insisted–that he would never leave, that he would always be with me even when were are apart. I considered the significance of the name of this song and his promise to me.

I cannot bring myself to listen to this song again. I wonder if I ever will.

Halo

The morning of my last day in the US a week ago, I was in Starbucks with my father.

We had been talking about Albert – how much he wanted to take my dad on a motorcycle ride, what my dad would have liked about him. I had shed a few tears talking with dad and was still teary as he left me behind to spend some time writing and thinking.

A man came over and sat down next to me.

His eyes were bright, sparkling blue and his hair was white. He said that he and his wife had been observing me for a little while and he felt compelled to approach me.

He very gently told me how beautiful they thought I was. His arms moved around his head as he told me I appeared to be glowing.

He said he felt a tug to come over to tell me these things, and didn’t know where where came from. I teared up and told him the timing was right, that I was going through very tough time.

He then added that I am a very special person and loved by many. And asked if he could give me a hug. Then he introduced his wife as she approached, and they left.

I have no idea who this person was. But there have been two other occasions in my life where someone said I was glowing.

My sister-in-law, at John-Mark’s memorial service, told me in the middle of the memorial evening that I appeared to be glowing.

And Albert, the first week were we dating, told me one night that I appeared to have a halo around me. Like I was glowing.

I think I’d rather not wear this particular halo.

Everywhere

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.

Everywhere.

I do not recognize this

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.

 

Your little family

Coming home is lonely. It’s just me and Kitty cat now.

When one of us was away, Kitty was with whomever stayed home. When I was gone you always told me that you and Kitty missed me. You sent me photos of the two of you. I did the same for you when you were gone.

You told me how happy you were the day you heard me ask the cat if she missed Papa, referring to your return from being away.  You loved that I referred to you as her Papa. You used to smile at the three of us cuddled together of the sofa or bed and say, “We are all here, our little family.” I couldn’t have wanted anything more. I didn’t. You commented once on how rich we were, rich with joy and love and contentment and anticipation for a long and wonderful future together. I agreed.

I used to walk in the door and be greeted by your smile and then your arms. Now Kitty greets me and looks for you. Sometimes I cry so hard my knees buckle and I don’t even make it to the sofa to lay down, where I grip a pillow so hard I think I will tear it.

It’s just me and Kitty cat now – your little family misses you.

Photo 27-02-2017, 21 14 41

Photo 18-04-2017, 23 58 41