At some point we all need to search for what’s good in our lives after the love of our life dies, right? Leaving us behind.
So, I’ve thought and thought again about it and there is really little that I would qualify as good enough that it takes away the sharpness of Chuck’s absence from my life. Yes, I have my kids, my grands, family and friends and I’m glad for that, but it doesn’t take that sting away.
Nothing does. BUT.
I will tell you that, since watching him die, since I bathed and dressed him, wrapped his body in blankets and helped zip him into the body bag, assisted the morticians in lifting his body to the gurney that would wheel him out of my life forever…since covering him with 30 bouquets of colorful flowers and pressing the switch that admitted his body into the crematorium…since all of these things, here is one thing that rings loudly and true in my life.
There is hardly anything that I give a fuck about any longer. In a good way. In a way that means I am not intimidated by those who try to intimidate me.
Not by car salesmen when I negotiated a new car for myself so that I would be safe on the road alone.
Not by bill collectors who threaten my credit.
Not by those who wish me to fit into a mold of their choosing.
Not by those who want the old me back when I know damn well that woman is gone gone gone.
Not by expectations from others.
Not by criticism.
Not by judgement.
In the best of ways, I don’t give a fuck any longer about shit that doesn’t deserve giving a fuck about. Nor do I care if people get offended by my use of the word fuck. Before Chuck died I might have been more careful where and when I used the word. Since his death, honestly, it is my all-time favorite word that describes so much and can be used in so many ways: What the fuck I don’t give a fuck holy fuck fucked up fucking hell or just plain fuck!
It’s an incredibly useful adjective that really gets the point across. It’s a verb. It’s an adverb. It’s my favorite word. It strengthens my resolve on a daily basis and frees me from guilt, regrets, wouldas, shouldas, couldas.
I never use it in anger against a person because using it in the first place dissipates the intensity of any given possibly volatile situation. I just use it because it is, by far, THE best word to describe how I feel about life since Chuck died.
Out of all the words in the English language, this is the one that best describes, for me, the helplessness of watching him die, the numbness and grief, the grit and determination that I must cultivate every day in order to create a life without him, the missing-ness…all of it.
My mom used to say that we’re the ones who give power to words. I was still new to the word back when she was alive but daringly said it one day in conversation with her, a few months before she died and it didn’t faze her. Chuck used to tell me that I ought not use it as often as I did; he thought I’d unnecessarily offend people.
Good thing he isn’t around to hear me say it as often as I do now. On the other hand, he’d get it entirely about why I use it so frequently.
Fuck it. It means full steam ahead, good to go, up and at ‘em, steady as she goes…it conveys it all.
Four letters. One word. And no apologies. If people aren’t strong enough to hear that one little word, they probably aren’t strong enough to be in my life and I need strong people around me.
So, yeah…it won’t be leaving my vocabulary for the foreseeable future.
Because, really, this life since he died….what the fuck?!