I am a different woman because you died.
This is truthful and awful all at once.
Without you, I sense the world around me in a way I never used to.
I feel things so very deeply now.
Everything seeps into me.
And, the gentleness of life.
I absorb it all.
I feel it to the depths of me.
Even without you, I am surrounded by a good life and lots of love.
Good living and love exists all around me.
But, I can’t receive the love or enjoy my life the way I wish I could because I am lost from here.
I am somewhere else.
It feels like part of me is a million miles from where I physically am taking up space.
I am just not grounded in this life anymore.
Part of my Soul exists some place else now.
You know this. You feel this. And, I know you wish I would cut it out.
I know that you want me to reengage in living my own life.
I want this too. But, it is so very hard.
Both of us know that my life is passing me by because I am lost without you.
It has been 3.5 long years and I have got to get my fucking act together.
I can not spend my life yearning for a life that can’t be. *Sigh.
Since you died, I am able to see holiness in the ordinary.
I see the beauty in an ordinary life.
I witness beauty in modest moments.
And, this makes me want to reengage in a full life again.
The magic of life is casually stirring inside me again – thankfully.
In the future, this sacred stuff will become part of me as easily as canned fruit mixes into a jello mould.
It will all blend back together for me because it feels so familiar.
It is not lost on me. I recognize a beautiful life because of you.
You made me know the best of life and love and I am a better woman for it.
Thank you Mike.
When you first died I cried when I thought of you. Now, 3.5 years later I smile when I think of you. I am filled with such gratitude for what was. I am thankful that we chose to share part of our lives together. It was magic.
But, despite my gratitude, without you, I have grown quieter. I didn’t mean to, but it became necessary to I live inside my head – a lot. When you died, I purposefully detached myself from the world. I’ve had to. There was no other way to push through this. I’ve had to retreat inward in order to survive the mess that is your death. And, for a long, long time I lost myself into the nothingness that is now you. Mike, somehow, without you, I’ve become more of everything. Maybe that is your lasting gift to me.
Like a well used library book, without you, I am held by the hands of many.
Many people have loved me in your absence.
But, I miss being loved by you.
I miss being yours.
Now, no one calls me their own – yet.
Yet. A little but significant word placed in that particular sentence.
I do know. I have known all along.
I don’t know how, but I just know that I will be another man’s girl one day.
But, always, a piece of me will forever be yours Mike.
You know this. I don’t need to tell you any of this. I know.
So, for now,
I am waiting to be “held” and “read” again.
Once upon a time, you were the man who read me like a well worn book.
A book he couldn’t put down.
A book he held tenderly in his strong hands.
A familiar book he read over and over again.
A book that was always within his reach.
A book he carefully studied.
A book that became his favorite read.
When you were alive, I was poetry to you.
I remember. It felt nice to be so well loved.
Now, your eyes can’t pour over me the way you used to.
Now, there is nothing where your loving gaze once was.
All that we were together has turned into emptiness.
We vanished into nothing.
It is a tragedy of huge proportions.
I do not think I will ever really recover who I used to be. I am no longer the woman you loved. How could I be?Your death has changed me – a lot. It can’t be helped.
Your absence has made me a keen observer of life. Maybe this is another gift from you. Like a voyeur, I quietly watch the world around me. I stand still and I absorb the energy around me.
Emotions drip into me, as if fed to me through intravenous. The sense of things runs deep into my blood now. Ironically, I feel life so fully because you died. You death has taught me so much about life and living.
The feelings of the room pour into me.
They mix into me.
And, these things turn into the sticky ink I use to write with.
My feelings live loudly inside my head.
They blare so loudly within me that I actually hear nothing.
Not one damn thing.
Everything is jumbled inside me. My life has been muffled since you died. My thoughts of you are so loud that they quiet everything else in my mind. Tender thoughts of you hijack me from my own life. (It must be sad for you to watch.) Ruminating about you sends me in a tailspin back to the past – to a point in time when you are alive. Mike, I love my memories of you, but I can not continue to relive our life in my head. I can not continue to journey backwards. I can not keep returning to this place where I keep you suspended in time. I need to take flight and move forward. I know full well that life is not lived in reverse. Dammit, I know this but lately I feel like I am losing traction and slipping backwards.
Covid-19 is complicating my efforts to reengage in living. Now, like everyone else in the world, I am stuck in a holding pattern. I can’t exactly make bold moves and reenter life with any real passion right now. The whole world is paused. We are all standing still. Collectively, we are waiting. Standing still. Waiting…
Humanity is waiting until it is safe to reenter life. And, I am just one person lost in this stillness. This lack of momentum reminds me so much of early grief. It is feels far too familiar to me. This stillness the world is collectively participating in has returned me to the habits of early grief. I have begun ruminating about you again. Thoughts of you consume me. And, these persistent thoughts are robbing me of my own life. *Sigh. I am so fucking tired of being stuck. I feel like I am held hostage by my thoughts about a life that died with you. I desperately need to find respite from my rumination of you my dead lover. You are the dead man who keeps me from living. I know this breaks your heart. I’m trying to change this.
Somehow, in the middle of this mess, I can “hear” my psyche speaking to me. It whispers to me in crowded rooms and in the quiet darkness. I faintly hear echoes from lifetimes ago. My Soul knows that I am going to be “okay”, eventually. I know that somehow, everything will work out. One day, Covid-19 will come to an end and so will my profound sadness. Nothing in life stays the same – your death taught me this.
When I listen closely, I can faintly hear my life’s plan rattling around in my head. The blueprint of my life’s path is written in a language I do not understand; but, somehow I KNOW it. I am going by feel here. I am trusting my intuition. Somehow, I understand what is being said to me without actually hearing the words.
In this same crazy way, I “see” you without actually seeing you. Even though you are formless, I “see” you in the things around me. Yes, obviously, you are gone from here. But, I still see you – in the space around me.
I see you in all the ordinariness that surrounds me.
I see you in the mundane and in the magnificent.
I see you in the air around me.
Now that you are nothing, you have become everything.
You are the air I breathe.
I see you in the rain that falls hard and runs down the moonlit streets. I see you in the sunlight that comes to life on me when it caresses my collarbone in a meaningful way. The same way you once did a long time ago.
Now, you are there in the sunshine that coyly blankets my thighs, as I sit with my toes buried in the sand. I sense you. Our love knows not time or space. And, I’m grateful for this.
For the rest of my life, you will find me. I know this. When a breeze blows loose some locks of my hair, these strands will wildly dance in the wind and cast shadows down the nape of my neck. And, then, I will feel you. You will be there. Silently standing behind me.
And, you will trace the shadows down past the small of my back – with your invisible touch. And, it will feel nice – in my mind. This scenario will play out countless times in my lifetime. I know this because this is all you and I have left. We have to make this work.
Every Autumn, I will see you in the wind that rustles the orange and gold leaves loose until they fall like confetti. Confetti that scatters onto the ground and signifies fall. Fall, the last season you were alive. Fall, the time when everything dies – including you.
Mike, you can no longer hold me in your arms because you are gone from here. And, let’s be real, you don’t even have arms anymore. But, I know you. I know that you still wish to wrap your invisible arms around my life.
Can you do this?
I don’t know. I don’t have the answers.
But, I do feel like I will fall back into you – eventually.
Some day. Somehow.
Love your Girl,
Originally written: December 17, 2018 EDITED: May 3, 2020