After almost four years I still ask myself now what every single day. Sure, I have been diligently working to recreate a life for myself, but everything feels largely hollow without him. I do not feel a sense of belonging. There is no place that is particularly comfortable to me anymore. Yes, after nearly four years, I now have some sense of direction, but in many ways I still feel that I am adrift on my own. It is incredibly hard to uncouple yourself from the person you love. Some might argue that this isn’t the point. Maybe they are right. But, I think that at some point, you do have to accept that you are on your own. All the life I have ahead of me will be lived without him, this is the cold hard truth.
As I write to you, I am alone in my house. Mike is not here and he has not been in quite some time. The “feel” of Mike is simply gone. When he was alive his energy ricocheted off the walls of our home. I could feel his aliveness in the next room. Now, everything is quiet and the warmth of Mike is gone. *Sigh.
Finally, because I have to, I accept that Mike is physically gone. I know that he is never coming back which is big progress because for a long, long time I imagined and I hoped against hope that somehow he could come back to life. Early on, I just could not accept his death. I was cruelly hurled into an alternate reality… Mike died suddenly. I woke up one morning and he had simply vanished into the ether. Gone without a trace. And, with him all our hopes and dreams died. I was left alone with nothing but my memories of our life together. It took me a long, long time to recover from the shock of losing the life I knew and the future I imagined. And, I don’t think I have fully absorbed the disappointment. Maybe I never will.
After all these years, if I am breathing I still miss Mike. My Soul feels his absence and there is not a cure for this type of missing. This is the duality we must learn to live with. As widowed people, eventually, we move forward and we reengage in life again; and, while we do this, we concurrently miss them.
Living forward is a tedious act. We live and we grieve… the two things are not exclusive of one another. Early on I did not understand this. I thought I had to find a “cure” for my grief. I have discovered that there isn’t such a thing. Grief exists because the love exists. And, like our love, our grief will remain in some capacity – forever. There is no other way for it to be. And, I am okay with this. I have to be.
In two short weeks, it is Mike’s death date again. What the actual fuck. Four years. Wow. It feels like he died a hundred years ago and, at the same time, it also feels like he just died moments ago. Mike’s death date just keeps occurring – every damn year. 11-15-2016 is forever etched into my psyche. I loathe that sequence of numbers. And, I rage against his death date because I have been forced to remember this date every single day for the last four years because, well, Mike has remained dead. There is no escaping his absence. I wake up and I am forced to acknowledge he is gone from Earth and every night I crawl into my empty bed and, again, I must accept the reality that his death. It took me years; but, now, I accept the permanence of his death. I don’t like it, but I accept it.
So, what do I do with his deadness? Well, I really don’t know. Maybe nothing. Really, what can I do? Mike died. And, I did not. I am still alive. I have to do more than just survive the trauma of his death – I owe this to myself.
I have the choice to live my best life, even without him. There are endless possibilities ahead for me, I know this. And, nothing but me stands in my way. So, onward I go. And, as the years pass, I feel less like Mike’s widow and more like just me – a woman who is finding her way in the world. I am slowly coming into myself and it feels really good.