Having lunch with a friend the other day, one who knows me well and knew Mike, I told her: I feel like a completely different person now. Four year later, the only things that remain the same here in Kona are the friends we knew together, my two dogs, and the house I shared with Mike, though its innards are greatly changed now too. And soon, no idea when, the house itself will be gone, and I will be gone from this place altogether.
When I ruminate on the person I was when he was alive…well, it was a completely different life. Mike and I shared a certain understanding of the world together. We shared a certain daily existence…we talked about certain things, expected certain things, did certain things. Without him, I’ve lost not just my husband, but a whole life. An existence in a world that is really, in all respects, pretty much gone.
It didn’t happen all at once. It’s been a gradual shift, as life has led me forward. Days lead to months and years, the people in my life shift, things happen, decisions are made, and now, well, it’s just not the same.
I sit here typing this in his rocking chair on our lanai. The one he sat in every day, enjoying his peaceful life here in Hawaii. I used to sit across from him, in “my” chair. That chair is no longer mine, and his is no longer his. I can’t sit in my old chair ever again, because I just look over to his empty one. So I fill his instead. It’s the way it’s been since the day he died. Good luck to anyone who tries to sit in this chair now.
I’m limbo girl, I tell my friends. No idea when things will move me forward again. Just living day to day. It’s not a bad life. I enjoy my job, this town, my friends, but feel life pulling me away and I am listening. I am paying attention. I am doing the best I can to maintain my self, knowing there is a giant part of me that died when Mike died. She is gone with him, that part of me. And so I move forward despite it all. It has happened without my even realizing it, without trying, and despite my attempt to hold on to the past. But I am still here. Living in this strange new world, a strange new person even to myself.
I mourn the loss of the girl I was, with Mike. I miss my life with him. I miss who we were together. But tomorrow, I must get up and go to work. I must participate in the world as long as it will have me. And continue morphing into the new person I am becoming. I know no other route.