When does this change? The missing-ness? Does the emptiness ever fill up?
I know that there are no solid answers for my questions but they invade my brain during my days and in the middle of the night.
Sleeping with my arms wrapped around a soft pillow, trying to find some comfort in the feel of something, anything, pressed to my body. Does the longing ever leave?
Resting my head on his pillow that has traveled with me for the 100,000 miles since his death. If I put my head where his was, will I feel closer to him?
The urn with his cremains stand behind his trifold flag, on the pillow next to me on whatever bed I sleep. In my trailer, they stand guard on the bench next to where my head rests. My fingers curl around the flag. I remember those moments as the Honor Guard Captain approached me and I ordered my knees not to buckle. Will the curl of my fingers around his flag remind me of the curl of his fingers around mine?
The jacket from his BDUs, hanging on the back of the seat in my pink car: if I put that jacket around my shoulders, will I feel the crispness of it against my cheek from long ago years when he hugged me upon his return from the base?
His blue denim shirt: if I stare at it long enough, hanging from the back of the door, will the memory of him wearing his favorite shirt as we hiked, as he drove, as we wandered the country for 4 years, bring me consolation enough to ease my heart?
The sapphire and diamond bracelet that he gave me for Valentine’s Day one year early in our marriage: if I wear it around my wrist every day and night, will he feel closer to me as I remember the day he gave it to me?
His ID tags from active duty: if I wear them around my neck, dangling on the same chain he used, will his name etch itself visibly upon my chest, showing the world that I was always his and always will be?
The words of counsel that I offer to our kids, to our friends, that oftentimes come out his words rather than mine: if I say those words enough, in the tone and cadence of the way he said them, will I become him eventually?
If I have to live decades of time without him, will I become more him as I strive to remember him, and less me, or will I meld into a person who is two people now one?
As the months become years and the years become decades, will my memory of him fade until he is a shadowy part of my life, existing in a world that may not have even been real?
There is so much I can’t remember. Or is it that I remember it but I don’t feel the memory? I want to feel the memory desperately but is that even possible now that he is gone? Is feeling the memory dependent upon feeling him in the here and now?
If my muscles hurt and my skin feels the hunger of no longer feeling his touch, is that good memory or bad memory? Is it better to at least have some memory, even such as this, or no memory at all, so that it doesn’t hurt?
There isn’t enough busyness in the world to keep these questions and ramblings at bay.
And then I wonder if there will ever be a time when questions such as these will be laid to rest…