I have a lot going on these days. In the past year, things have speeded up for me. I am working on a new career, and further schooling to that end started this week, as the first course is ending. Working another job in the meantime. And looking at the inevitable change that will come when the house goes.
Amidst all of that are the quiet moments. Sitting on my lanai, doing all kinds of work on my iPad, suddenly it will come over me.
He’s not here.
And I stop, and spend another moment thinking of him, wishing him back, remembering our life.
Our dog is getting older. I think she can’t hear very well anymore. I have to prod her with a little poke to get her up to eat and go outside. I remember her as the tiny five week old puppy we got together all those years ago now. I remember all those first moments with her. Now, she is so grey, so slow. It breaks my heart.
Sometimes, it makes me think how grey and slow Mike got at the end. I didn’t realize it then, but looking back, I know now. I can’t believe I didn’t read the signs.
His things, other than the few bits I chose to keep, are gone now. The house is totally rearranged. In fact I have downsized too, radically, to prepare for the inevitable move. Nothing is as it was. And yet, for now, I am still here. I am still in this beautiful space we came to together. But he is not. The life we shared together is gone.
The ring on my finger is missing too. I notice that a lot. I took it off finally after entering into my new relationship, years ago now, itself, hard to believe. Part of me never wants to put a ring like that there again. But the emptiness of that space is hard. We were so proud of our rings, so proud to display our married status.
The empty hole is gaping. It is a giant dark void. When those moments come upon me, the sudden again oh God he’s gone moments, that shadow overtakes everything else.
I am getting better at shaking it off, albeit temporarily, to move forward with all the things on my agenda. In his honor, and indeed in honor of myself, I am determined to do something with the life I have left. But if you think it’s easy you are mistaken. It is a huge undertaking, this new life without him.
No, I am not alone. I have wonderful support and encouragement from many corners. But at the end of the day, I feel alone. I am the only one who remembers him the way a wife knows a husband. The one who was his wife at the end of his life, who knew the man he had become in private moments, who suffered the loss at this relatively young age, and is facing life without the man I thought would be with me for so much longer.
And it’s another day, again, without him.